Sunday Postcard #19 17.1.21

Hello there, sorry I didn’t get round to posting last weekend, there wasn’t the time! Here’s a double dose of Sunday Postcards for two weeks, although, please be warned – it’s not very exciting – life has suddenly become rather restricted!!

Here goes:

Snowy walk

Two weeks ago today, we still had some remnants of snow from our snow fall on New Year’s Eve. As the Little Postcards hadn’t been out much we headed out for a walk across some open land close to where we live. This is part of the Mersey valley which is about 15 mins walk from our home.

It’s land which I used to play on as a child. There was much den building, hide-and-seeking and adventuring which happened here many years ago. I love that I can share it with my children now.

The fishing lake was frozen – there were some ducks doing a spot of ice skating at one point!

A new project

Now my Christmas blanket is done, I started a new project on New Year’s Eve. I’m trying a bit of amigurumi this time as it’s been quite a while since I’ve done any. Plus I’m having a go at designing it myself. Watch this space… it may be an utter disaster!!

Cake anyone?

Last Friday I had a sweet tooth so dug out the cake cases and made chocolate fairy cakes. They were rather nice, even though I say so myself!

Saturday mist

Other than a short walk round the block we hadn’t all been out of the house since the previous Sunday so last Saturday morning before too many people were about, we headed out to our local playing fields and park for a misty walk.

It was very atmospheric. I do like a bit of mist (if I’m not trying to drive in it!!).

While out and about we took a different route to normal and spotted this chap for the first time. He’s super!

Au revoir Robert

I have unfortunate news about Robert the snowman… This was him on 28th December…

…and this was him last Saturday. I’m afraid by the start of this week, he was no more.

Podcast news

Over on Making Stitches, last Friday saw the release of the latest episode of the podcast. This one features Sara Huntington, Editor of Simply Crochet Magazine.

I was thrilled when Sara agreed to speak to me. She had a fascinating story to tell about how she got to her current job situation and is really worth a listen. You can hear the episode via this link.

Home schooling

I have to hold my hands up and say home schooling is hard work. I have really struggled with managing to keep up with what has needed to be done by the Little Postcards. We have kept up but it’s not been easy. In fact it’s been rather all consuming. However towards the end of this week, we got into enough of a rhythm that I was able to squeeze a bit of amigurumi in between the long multiplication. We are getting there!

Amongst the home schooling has been food tech. So one evening we had a rather tasty chilli cooked by Middle Postcard. I believe it’s carrot cake next… yum!

Birthday fun

It was my birthday this week, so I have joined the lockdown birthday club. Inside this beautifully wrapped parcel from my little brother was this gorgeous book:

I can’t wait to get started on some of the projects inside. He knows me so well! As do my Little Postcards who got me this…

I’ve been looking at this for a while, without telling anyone, so I was thrilled that they had chosen it for me. Well done boys!

Another lovely birthday surprise was the fact that my latest issue of Simply Crochet arrived on my birthday and it featured a write-up about Making Stitches!!

Here’s the full page it was on

I am feeling very chuffed with everything that came my way!

Apart from that, it’s been a rather quiet week of trying to complete schooling tasks and keep on top of running a house. I have done lots of little bits of crochet in between and I’m almost finished. I’m looking forward to sharing what I have made with you very soon.

Wherever you are I hope you are ok. We had some positive news recently about people we know who slowly recovering from serious hospital-stay bouts of Covid and also some very sad news too. This truly is a very difficult time for everyone. I’m sending my very best wishes to you and hope that things are going ok for you even if it’s challenging.

Until next time, stay safe.

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #18 3.1.21

Hello and happy New Year!

I hope you have had a decent festive period, it’s been rather muted but also rather nice to be at home too with no pressure to attend events either. We now find ourselves in Tier 4 like much of England and my friends in Gibraltar are in lockdown due to a huge spike in Covid cases there after being relatively unscathed until this point. I do hope they manage to get things under control over there very soon.

I’m having an internal debate about when to take the decorations down, there’s something a bit sad about packing the twinkly lights away for another year and yet there’s something nice about having clear surfaces and a fresh start too, maybe I’ll do it tomorrow…

Anyway, here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard and the first one of 2021.

First snow! ❄️

It was a big day in our house when we woke up to this on Monday. A generous dusting of white stuff had arrived while we slept and for Littlest it was his first experience of snow ever!

It was such a treat to see and completely changed the way I look at my new garden, I feel very lucky to have a little patch to call our own especially now we are effectively back into lockdown.

It was also rather fun to sit by the window and crochet snowflakes while looking at the real thing outside!

After the snow came the freezing fog which enveloped us in a rather murky gloom for an entire day. I found it quite atmospheric although not everyone in the house agreed.

Then more snow arrived on New Year’s Eve…. and a heavier dusting.

Doesn’t it just make everything look magical?

Mission accomplished!

I set myself the challenge of completing my Christmas Eve blanket (pattern by The Crochet Sanctuary) by the end of the year seeing as I had missed my initial Christmas target (whoops). I didn’t manage to finish the border but the blanket is finished for now (last stitches completed on New Year’s Eve) so I’ll take that as a win. I love how it looks and really chuffed I managed to pull off the mosaic crochet Christmas trees too – my first attempt at that technique and I love the effect.

Party time

My word, I know how to party. A new crochet project in front of Jools Holland’s Hootenany is how I rolled on New Year’s Eve! I did have a few bubbles though curtesy of my lovely brother and sister in law’s Christmas gift hamper! Cheers!

Since New Year we haven’t really done anything of note, a bit of preparation for the return (or non-return) to school and a bit more crochet for me. I will share more pictures when and if they are worth showing!

I will leave it here for now and hope you are doing ok where ever you are and whatever restrictions you are facing. I had a look at my ‘best nine’ photos on Instagram and it’s a sign of the times that my lockdown rainbow featured, I’m glad it was filled with two of my favorite things though – crochet and Gibraltar!

Until next week, take are and thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #16 20.12.20

Hello there, thanks for stopping by. Before I begin this Postcard, I just want to say that I know this coming few days is going to be difficult for many people this year more than ever. Following the announcement yesterday of even tougher restrictions in parts of the UK, many people’s plans have been left in tatters.

I’m really sorry if you have seen your Christmas plans reduced or even cancelled, or if your work situation has been rocked even further after this turbulent year. I don’t know what I can say or do at this point other than say you are not alone, even if you are physically isolated. Do reach out if you need someone to talk to.

Now to the usual tripe! Apologies that this year I’m not sharing uplifting photos of the blue skies and seascapes of Decembers gone by in Gibraltar… my location has changed this year to a rather greyer but no less friendly and happy Manchester in spite of everything that’s going on. Here goes…

Final flat pack delivery

Finally after almost 2 months of living in our new home, our final furniture delivery of 2020 arrived a couple of weeks ago. Eldest now has a desk for his homework and I have a bookshelf for my crafty books – hurrah! That means several more boxes have been unpacked. They are getting less and less!

Keep on running!

My Couch to 5k training is continuing. I’m pleased to say I have now passed the point at which I stopped last time. Having a training buddy with me is a huge boon and makes us deliberately schedule in our runs, plus now we can hold a conversation most of the time too, so it feels like less of a chore! I snapped a brief bit of sunshine on one of the morning training sessions last week.

A Postcard birthday

We had a family birthday earlier in December – it gave me the chance to bake an old fashioned Victoria sponge with buttercream & jam filling. Yummy!

Christmas lights

There are some super examples of Christmas decorations in the streets near where we live now. I am planning on taking the Little Postcards on a nocturnal walk to see them as soon as we get a dry night! I love Santa in the camper van and this house (below) has Santa projected onto an upstairs window complete with “Ho ho ho!” sound effects!

More baking

It’s just as well I’m running at the moment – there’s been a lot of cake-age going on Chez Postcard lately. Middle Postcard has been having to do his Food Tech lessons at home so last week was Swiss roll. The last time I made a Swiss roll I was at school!! It turned out alright. Although I would have preferred jam as a filling to chocolate spread – the chef had the final choice naturally.

Model making

In addition to baking there’s been model making on the go too. This is a waterfall which had to be produced for an end of term geography lesson. Hours of work went into it, I’m still finding paint splatters in the kitchen!!

Empty Malls

I had to make a trip to the Trafford centre last week for a couple of Christmas bits. The joy of living close by means I can be there when it opens and before the hoards arrive. It was a successful trip and I was able to leave just as it was getting busy.

Crafty bits

I got some very unexpected happy post this week… this pack of Scheepjes yarn and a super case of Knit Pro crochet hooks. I recently renewed my subscription to Simply Crochet magazine which had elapsed this year while we were moving about from house to house. I had received the magazine for several years while living in Gibraltar but as an overseas subscriber I never received a subscription gift. This time I did! Woo hoo! What a treat – thank you Simply Crochet!

Strictly Crochet…

Wasn’t the Strictly Come Dancing final glorious last night?! In the words of the great Craig Revel-Horwood, it was “Fab-u-lous”. The only problem was I had to keep stopping my crochet to give the dances my full attention! I love that Bill & Oti won – they were my favourites after Caroline & Johannes left.

So what was I working on whilst watching Strictly? My Crochet Sanctuary Christmas blanket CAL. Will it be finished by Christmas this year? Who knows? I’m trying though… I’m over half way…

Don’t look too closely at the unorthodox bobbles near the top… I did one bobble row 4 times because I kept miscounting it and getting it wrong, so when I discovered later on that I’d missed 3 bobbles a few rows back I couldn’t face unraveling and added them afterwards. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!

Podcast News

Agnis Smallwood – weaver & educator
(photo credit: Joanne Crawford)

Last Friday I released another episode of Making Stitches Podcast featuring a weaver called Agnis Smallwood. She spoke to me about how she first got into weaving, her enjoyment of passing the skills of weaving and other crafts onto her students and how she found colour inspiration in her lockdown veg patch. You can listen by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app.

And that brings this Sunday Postcard to a close. It’s been a funny old run up to Christmas, and my mind keeps being taken back to the many Christmases we enjoyed in Gibraltar. We may not be there right now, but it will forever stay with us, just as our Christmas tree is reminding us.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you have a peaceful Christmas and are able to find joy in these coming days.

Take care,

Lindsay x

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 25 : The Med Steps – an oasis of beauty in the midst of lockdown

Hello there, it’s been a while since I took you on a stroll with me. Care to join me again?

This afternoon, I escaped for my first solo walk for over 8 weeks, and my first trip up to the top of the Rock since being poorly with the dreaded virus.

Looking south East towards the enclave of Ceuta in Morocco

It was hard work, and took a lot longer than it used to (personally I think they’ve made the steps steeper while I’ve been away 😉) but it was bliss. I just love this part of Gibraltar, it’s my favourite bit. Calm and quiet even when Town is bustling with tourists (not that there are any at the minute) and so, so beautiful – especially at this time of year.

Looking East over the Mediterranean towards some huge drilling ships at anchor

This weekend should have been the Med Steps 5 Challenge in aid of Cancer Relief Gibraltar, but because of the current situation, it’s been put off until autumn at the earliest. I had planned to do it again this year (all 5 laps) but life and coronavirus got in the way. At least I got to enjoy just the one lap today!

This time of year is the perfect time to walk/climb the Med Steps footpath, the wildflowers are in their glory. I was thinking I wouldn’t get the chance to experience them this year, but thankfully an opportunity presented itself today for a solo stroll and I leapt at the chance!

It was so quiet, I spied just 4 other walkers on the entire stretch.

It was so clear looking beyond the Europa Point lighthouse and across the Strait to Morocco

I didn’t realise just how much I’d missed this time alone. I felt energized and able to totally switch off from the world outside this tiny bubble of mine!

Just look at those wildflowers!

A rainbow of wildflowers

I did the touristy thing and went into the cave (pretending it was for an arty photo but actually it was for a rest!).

View from one of the Goats Hair Twin Caves (Gibraltar’s most Instagrammed views apparently)

I spotted these purple flowers, which I had never seen before…

Could they be a kind of orchid?

Whatever they are, they’re beautiful!

Those steps, my word, it was hard work but it’s always worth it for that view!

View from near the summit looking North

And of course our hairy neighbours are never far away!

And that, as they say, is that. One Med Steps stroll done. Now there’s the easy jaunt back downhill to get back home!

Thank you for stopping by to come on my Med Steps trip with me. I hope you’re safe and well and managing during this worrying time. x

If you would like to find out more about the Med Steps, you might like this post I wrote a while back.

Sunday Sevens #219 26.4.20

Hello again, I hope this finds you well where ever you are in the world. Sunday has come around again… it’s been a week of baking, crocheting and a new podcast has gone out into the world!

Baking part 1

Eldest made some truly scrumptious dark chocolate cookies last Sunday – they were perfection with gooey centres. Yum!

A long standing WiP

I was inspired by Black Sheep Wools this week to dig out a long-standing WIP (work in progress) and get it worked on. Well now’s as good a time as any. The challenge was to get it ‘finished by Friday’. I’m not sure which Friday, but I’m on my way.

The front of the jumper was wrong and unsalvageable it had to be frogged. I’m now almost back to where I started!

Baking part 2

We had a lockdown birthday this week. A Little Postcard turned one year older. The cake was rather nice, even though I say so myself.

A postcard of thanks

This week, households across Gibraltar received these lovely postcards to send to people we want to thank for helping during the pandemic. It’s free postage. What a lovely gesture.

A rare sight

So, I was brave and headed out to Morrisons for the first time since before lockdown yesterday. We’d managed so far with food deliveries from friends and neighbours while I was unwell and we were in isolation, and after that managed by just visiting smaller shops in town.

The thought of queuing for up to 2 hours just to get in just filled me with dread… but I decided enough was enough and I should go. And there was no queue!! What joy!

Even the wet weather couldn’t dampen my mood – hurrah! A fully stocked fridge again!

A short coastal walk

Yesterday I popped out on my own for a short walk down to Camp Bay. We hadn’t been for a couple of weeks and the Little Postcards were not interested so I had a slightly damp solo trip to the seaside for about 10 mins. It was short, but a treat nonetheless.

A new podcast is born!

If you follow Postcard from Gibraltar on Instagram, you may already know that on Friday the first episode of ‘Making Stitches’ podcast went live. It featured a chat with the two lovely ladies from the Crochet Sanctuary (Lynda & Lisa above). It was a fun chat about the Crochet Sanctuary and their current Pandemonium CAL.

If you haven’t heard it yet, you can find it on my other website makingstitchespodcast.com as well as on lots of podcast Apps including Apple Podcasts & Google Podcasts. I’d love it if you gave it a listen. 😊

Talking of the Crochet Sanctuary ladies and their Pandemonium CAL, here’s my latest progress. Really not sure at all about my colour choices – there are some stunning ones on show on Instagram and Facebook. Oh well, time will tell!

And that, I’m afraid, brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to an end. It’s been a busy old week inspite of everything. I hope it’s been a good one for you, and you are coping ok with lockdown.

Take care, and until next time, bye for now x

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #218 19.4.20

Hello!!! I hope this finds you safe and well. We’re doing fine now I’m pleased to report. Can it really be a week since Easter Sunday? I can hardly believe it. Although we have long days at home, the weeks seem to fly by. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Easter egg hunt

Last weekend we didn’t let the lockdown stop the Easter fun. We had an Easter egg hunt in the apartment. Eggs were secreted around the apartment, balcony and patio. It was good fun.

Spring migration

On Monday evening as we were eating our dinner I spied swirling black birthday streaming past our windows. I dashed out to get a proper look at them. I think they were black kites again.

Sunset

We haven’t had a sunset for a week or two in Sunday Sevens I don’t think, so here is Tuesday’s lovely sunset. We had some rather gloomy days this week, with grey skies and rain, so this burst of colour at the end of the day was very welcome.

Spooky storm

At 1:30 on Thursday morning as I was turning in for the night (I had been lost in a world of Netflix and crochet) I noticed the sky was flashing. I investigated by going out onto the balcony to see the most incredible silent and dry lightning storm. This photo was taken at 1:30am – it would normally be pitch black apart from the lights from the ships and across the Bay in Algeciras.

After watching it for a while I went to bed and couldn’t sleep for the noise of the rain which suddenly began hammering down on our roof. It was incredible – and still the lightning continued for a long while. It was very spooky to see the lights but no rumbling thunder.

Uno on lockdown

The inclusion of this photo is because I was asked to put it in. One of the Little Postcards’ attempt at a rainbow using Uno cards! 🌈 Incidentally out of 8 games, I lost every one!!

Evening walk

We have been good and taking our walks when it looks quiet out and about. One evening it was just before the 8 o’clock clap for key workers, and we had to hurry home to make sure that we were home in time!

On another walk we spied this lovely rainbow banner…

Pandemonium CAL

My Pandemonium blanket is growing by the week. I’m enjoying this so much as the pattern gets released twice a week 7 rows at a time. If you fancy joining in, you can find the pattern on the ‘All things Crochet Sanctuary’ Facebook page.

And that brings Sunday Sevens to an end for another week… almost. This week I launched a trailer for my brand new Podcast ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ you can find it on Spotify & Buzzsprout for now, hopefully it will appear on other podcast apps very soon. If you want to listen, you can also find it on my new website makingstitchespodcast.com

My thanks to Neil Warburton who has designed my fantastic new logo for the podcast – I think it’s lovely!

My first ‘proper’ episode will be coming out this week all being well. Thank you so much for stopping by. Stay safe and until next week, bye for now.

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #216 5.4.20

Hello, I hope this finds you safe and well. It’s been another funny week. I feel like I’ve not really done anything and was surprised I managed to find seven photos from the last seven days to share with you. Here goes…

Swab time

Last Sunday morning I was phoned and asked to come to the drive through testing for Covid-19. I had phoned the helpline on Saturday – 10 days after calling the first time to report symptoms and after being told to self-isolate which we had done. It was a bit of a highlight being able to leave the apartment albeit for about 25 minutes in total.

It wore me out though. I needed to go back to bed afterwards to have a sleep! I haven’t had my usual energy at all.

Sunset

The compulsory sunset photo

No Sunday Sevens is complete without a sunset photo don’t you think? This was last Sunday’s view from the balcony.

Whoops, looks like I started another blanket…

So, last week I spotted that a new CAL or crochet-along had begun to be completed while we are all under lockdown. It’s been put together by the lovely people behind the Crochet Sanctuary and is called ‘Pandemonium’. If you would like to join in, you can find the pattern (which is released twice weekly) on the ‘All things Crochet Sanctuary’ Facebook group.

Don’t look too closely though… I did it a bit wrong and had to unravel slightly. 😉

Rainbows of hope

I thought I would jump on the rainbow bandwagon this week (this lockdown has helped me rediscover my crojo – had you noticed?). I saw loads of lovely patterns online for crocheted rainbows but thought I’d have a go at doing my own. After two failed attempts at an ‘arc’ which were wonky (and yes, I know I could just do a circle and fold it in half) I gave up and did a little flag instead.

Home learning

We have been very fortunate in that the Little Postcards have all had online lessons this week. The teachers here in Gibraltar have done a great job keeping their pupils engaged through online teaching. However before the lessons kicked in, Littlest had a go at growing carrot tops. They are coming on rather well. They will be given to Diamond, our house rabbit, for a treat once they’re a bit bigger.

Pandemonium Part 2

The second part of the Pandemonium CAL was released mid week – what a treat to look forward to! I’m really enjoying it.

It’s finished – at last!

My Catalan Bay blanket

In case you missed my post yesterday about it, I finished my Catalan Bay blanket this week. It’s only taken a year 🙈. I had to wait until Friday for the sun to come out to take a photo!

So, there you have it, another week on lockdown. As for the test results, they came back positive for Covid-19. I suspected as much, but I felt a lot better knowing for sure. It’s not been nice, but I am feeling extremely lucky to have had a relatively mild dose in the scheme of things. I am thankfully now on the mend, although I don’t think I’ll be fit for climbing the Med Steps again for a while even if it was allowed!

For now we remain in self-isolation but hope to be able to get out of the apartment sometime next week for a government sanctioned walk once we know the household is completely clear of symptoms. It’s strange how the things we took for granted just a few weeks ago now seem so precious.

We have some very good friends and neighbours who have delivered shopping and medicine to our door. Thank you so much for that – we’re very grateful.

Gibraltar has risen to the coronavirus challenge. Whilst we haven’t been able to witness the empty streets other than on our car journey to the drive-through test facility, I have watched the daily governmental briefings and seen news reports about the new Nightingale hospital facility at the Europa Point sports complex, heard about the volunteers who have come forward to help in many ways and joined in the clapping and appreciation for all our key workers at 8pm each night.

Thank you to all of you who have contributed to the effort, your work is very much appreciated.

Until next week, stay safe & stay at home x

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.