2019 Friday photo challenge (week 1) Sunrise

This year I am taking part in Alison in Andalucia’s #52fridayphotos. Today’s challenge theme is ‘sunrise’.

That was a bit of a problem as I don’t have any sunrise photos. Living where we do on the Western side of Gibraltar we get to see some fabulous sunsets though…

This photo was taken while sitting on the platform at Manchester Oxford Road railway station waiting for an early train. That’s as close as I can get to sunrise! (I’m not really a morning person!)

Postcard from Gibraltar Review of 2018

Well here we are at the end of another year, it’s been a year of crafty and photo challenges, and on the whole a good one for the Postcard clan. It’s only now I’ve taken a look back at what we’ve done that I realised that we’ve packed a lot in! Here are some of my highlights from 2018…

January

I started the year off with a lovely walk up the Rock, those paperwhite narcissi were photographed on New Year’s Day. After enjoying participating in a photo challenge in 2017 under the stewardship of Sandra at Wild Daffodil, I decided to have a go at running one in 2018, so #postcardfromgibfridayphoto was born on Instagram and in Blogland. I also embarked on the Seaside Stash Busting Blanket CAL in January too. Little did I know what fun it would become.

February

February saw plenty more crochet and a fair bit of watercolour painting, along with the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth to Gibraltar. The huge Royal Naval aircraft carrier was quite a sight to behold.

March

March, very fortunately for us was a month for travel, first to attempt skiing for the very first time in the Italian Dolomites – it was amazing, and second to take the Little Postcards on an Easter trip to the South of England.

April

We began April on Easter Sunday on the Jurassic Coast in Devon, then headed to London for a few days before heading home. It was a fun trip.

May

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge, Gibraltar’s Comic Con and some lovely spring weather.

June

June brought with it the Calentita! food festival and my very first printed article in the Calentita! magazine. We celebrated World Environment Day and I had a go at Yarnbombing the Alameda Gardens!

July

Summer holidays we the order of the day in July (along with my now traditional annual Summer Craft Challenge). We headed off to Suffolk to help celebrate a big birthday for a member of the Postcard family. We traveled by plane, old trains and kayak! Which reminds me, we went to a fabulous country fair at Worstead, I really should get a post written about that…

August

August was spent in Suffolk, Gibraltar and visiting my family in Manchester. We watched acrobats and magicians in Gib and followed the Bee trail around Manchester.

September

Back to Gibraltar in time for school starting and the end of the Gibraltar Fair. We had National Day celebrations and the MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling Music Festival.

October

At midterm in October we headed off for a short break in Portugal. We’re so lucky to be able to drive to so many lovely places from where we live. This was also the month that I finished my Sandy Bay blanket.

November

November began for us in Portugal and ended with the Christmas light switch on with the fabulous Gibraltar Literary Festival in between. It’s a truly wonderful festival which happens right on our doorstep.

December

December saw the end of the Friday photo challenge I curated as well as a rather pleasant pre Christmas trip up the Med Steps

Thank you to everyone who has followed and read my posts this year, it’s been lovely to know that there’s someone out there actually reading them! I hope that 2018 has been a good year for you and that 2019 is too!

A postcard from Bee in the City Manchester 2018

All this summer, there’s been a buzz in the City of Manchester and very soon, it will come to an end. While we were visiting my parents a few weeks back, we went on the Bee in the City trail to see what we could find.

The big golden Bee was at the start of the Bee in the City trail at Piccadilly Station, from there we set off our our Bee quest to see as many bees as we possibly could…

The Urban Jungle Bee (above: top left) was a particular favourite is mine…

We saw some (but not all) of the bees in the Northern Quarter:

Before heading towards the Arndale Centre where this lovely homage to Salford artist LS Lowry was …

… then on to the Printworks and this Bee celebrating the Manchester music scene:

Before taking on the Bee in the City trail, I downloaded the app to my phone. Every Bee has a code on it which you can enter into the app to say you’ve found it. Some of the Bees offer rewards, and this one gave money off on meals at restaurants in the Printworks. That seemed like the perfect time to stop and grab some lunch Rock and Roll style 😉

After lunch we headed towards the main shopping area and found not only the Bee in the City shop, but also Liam Gallagher (of Oasis)’s Rock and Roll Bee…

We wandered around town spotting a few more before heading to Manchester Cathedral…

Manchester Cathedral:

Manchester Cathedral hosted a whole swarm of the smaller, community created bees. Among them were bees made by local schools and youth groups;

Market Street:

In Manchester art gallery, we found ‘Crown Jewels’.

Outside the Bridgewater Hall there was Buzz-wig van Bee-thoven …

…and across the road at (what was once known as) GMEX was this gloriously shiny bee called Bling Bee!

Albert Square / St Peter’s Square:

In front of Manchester’s currently empty Town Hall were two bees, This is Manchester…

It came complete with its own version of a Gib Rock

The Birds and the Bees bee, no less!

Beside the Library theatre we spotted this worker bee…

A botanicals gin bee…

…and even a virtual bee called ‘Buzzi’ who only appears on your phone! Now you see him…

Now you don’t…

This rather elegant bee stood inside part of the library…

With the St Peter’s Square bees ticked off the list, we jumped onto a tram and left the City Centre behind. We spotted another bee through the tram window:

Next stop: Media City, home of the BBC, ITV and lots of television programmes.

Media City UK

Children’s BBC programmes are made here and it’s now home to the relocated Blue Peter garden.

And, Blue Bee-ter!

He even has a Blue Peter badge!

Between Media City and the Lowry theatre we had a close encounter with a space bee:

In the Lowry we found a little swarm of five small bees… including (on the right) the ‘Sewing Bee’!

Upstairs, by the L.S. Lowry exhibition space, there were three more:

By this point, we had clocked up 61 bees and some rather tired legs, so we decided to call it a day and head home. We really enjoyed our day with the Bees in the City!

That evening, my Dad went to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United play, and whilst he was there, he sought out this Bee too…

The Bees are being sold off for charity next month so if you would like to see them yourself, you’ve not got long – it’s the last day tomorrow!

For more information about the Bees, check out their website.

Sunday Sevens #152 2.9.18

Last week began for us with a bank holiday weekend back in Manchester, and ended on a Ferris Wheel in Gibraltar! Without further ado, here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Manchester Pride

Last weekend it was Manchester Pride. On Monday I took the Bee in the City Trail in central Manchester with the Little Postcards, it was the last day of Pride and we snuck through the barriers on the hunt for bees and soaked up a bit of the after party atmosphere.

Bee in the City

As I just mentioned, we went on the Bee in the City Trail on Monday too. This is the first one we encountered at Manchester Piccadilly station. A post all about it will hopefully appear soon…

Mold

On Tuesday we took a trip to North Wales to visit family members. It was a lovely trip and the Little Postcards loved meeting up with their second cousins.

Worden Park

We had a recommendation from a friend to visit a park in Lancashire called Worden Park. It’s on the outskirts of Leyland and is just perfect for a visit with small people. We played crazy golf, had a lovely lunch in a courtyard surrounded by craft workshops (below), visited a lovely walled garden run by a local charity (below below) and the Little Postcards loved the adventure playground. It got the Postcard from Gibraltar family seal of approval.

A-mazing fun

If you read my Friday photo challenge at the beginning of August about gardens, you may remember the subject of the challenge as Somerleyton Hall in Suffolk. When we visited we had hoped to try our hands at the maze on the estate, sadly we ran out of time and had to leave.

Imagine my surprise, that while visiting Worden Park, we found another maze, made by the very same man who had designed the one at Somerleyton! He obviously travelled a bit, Suffolk and Lancashire…. so we got our fix of a maze this summer after all.

Heading home!

All too soon, our time in Manchester came to an end, and we headed to Malaga (to avoid a shockingly early flight to Gibraltar).

And at last, we were home!

Gibraltar Fair

Last night was the final night of the Gibraltar Fair, and we arrived home just in time for a visit.

This year, it had a new addition of a Ferris Wheel. I was ever so brave and went on it, but crikey it was high up!!

That’s it for Sunday Sevens for this week, slightly long winded this week (apologies!) as always, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #151 26.8.18

Thanks to everyone who responded so positively to my 150th Sunday Sevens last week! This week, I packed up with the Little Postcards and headed back to Manchester to visit my family, leaving Mr Postcard at home to look after our rabbit and some baby birds…

Birdwatch update

You may remember a few weeks ago I told you about the pair of collared doves who were nesting in our roof and then gave up and went away. The nesting material didn’t go to waste – a pair of sparrows took it and made another nest further along the roof and we have been listening to the chirps and cheeps of babies for a few weeks now. Then, early this week, we saw them fledge!

A final Gibraltar sunset

There must be something about me leaving our place that the apartment doesn’t like. The day before we left for Suffolk earlier this summer for a holiday visiting Mr Postcard’s family our two hot water boilers both blew up. On Tuesday evening, as I was looking forward to enjoying a calm quiet evening before flying to Manchester, the pipes behind our washing machine split and sprayed water everywhere. Mr P reckons the house is haunted and it doesn’t want me to leave!

On our travels again

Wednesday saw me heading off to Blighty again. It’s been such a relief to leave the high humidity behind, it’s just been unbearably hot in our apartment lately.

Beeing in Manchester

On Wednesday evening, after unpacking, I went for a walk with Eldest to the park and gardens at the end of the road where I grew up. I remember them being beautiful when I was very young, but as I got older, they were neglected and vandalised, which was very sad. In recent years though, a group of volunteer gardeners have got involved and they have made the place looking lovely again. In one corner of the garden is a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Manchester bombing last year. This bee mosaic is part of the memorial, it’s lovely.

Cooling off!

I haven’t done any proper exercise since about May, so I made use of the flat pavements and cooler weather to go for a run…. and got soaked through! The heavens opened once I was past the point of no return. I’m not complaining though!

Gnome alert

I spotted a rather funny collection of garden gnomes and other ornaments in a front garden not far from my Mum & Dad’s house which made me chuckle. I’ve never seen an astronaut gnome before!

Dunham fun

Yesterday, we visited Dunham Park in Cheshire. It’s a place I’ve visited since being very young and I love it there.

The deer were so tame, coming up close to the human visitors. We even saw some of this year’s fawns which were just 3 or 4 months old, although they were a bit more timid and kept their distance.

Despite it still being August, there were a few signs that autumn isn’t far away. This fungus looked beautiful in the afternoon sunshine.

That’s all for Sunday Sevens this week, thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Review of 2017

Crumbs, it’s looking awfully like we are on the cusp of another New Year, it surely can’t be a whole year since the last one, it’s gone far too fast. I guess now’s as good a time as any to have a look back at some of my Postcard from Gibraltar highlights from the past 12 months….

January 2017

A new year meant a new challenge for me this year, a photo challenge. Last year I read Nana Cathy’s blog and was intrigued by her weekly photo challenge. When January came around I thought I’d join in myself. It’s been such fun and quite inspiring throughout the year to have weekly prompts to find pictures for. If you fancy joining in check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information.

Also in January I joined forces with my friend Kate of H and FlossieDoodle to start the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. We did meet weekly to crochet and chat over coffee although our meetings have got less and less frequent due to other commitments lately. Our mascots Gib and Rocksy went for a bit of an adventure.

Another new project for me this month was my podcast, you can find my blogposts and the related podcasts here.

February 2017

In February I ran my Creative Gibraltar series looking at some of the very talented craftspeople who live in Gibraltar. I began with my lovely watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson and ended with local craftswoman and up-cycling guru Sue Orfila. February also brought us the 2017 installment of Gib Talks. I was also fortunate to be able to speak to Gib Talks organiser Julian Felice before the event for one of my podcasts.

March 2017

March was a month for Lenten crochet (far easier than giving up chocolate) which helped support the Sixty Million Trebles effort, a beautiful Suffolk family wedding and a sad goodbye to our rescue bunny Snowflake.

April 2017

April began for us in Southwold in Suffolk, one of our favourite places and involved a lot of Med Steps training, which was very handy for burning off those seaside fish and chips! I was also able to finish another Sixty Million Trebles blanket – this one from the Gibraltar Crochet Collective.

May 2017

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge again this year and I even managed to beat my time from last year! You can hear my podcast about it here. We also flew back to the UK for our second family wedding of the year.

June 2017

June started for us in Wigan in Lancashire, the location of our latest wedding and the perfect setting for a lovely walk. It was also the Calentita! food festival in Gibraltar. (For some reason the same aerial photo of Gibraltar appeared in May and June’s collages – not sure why that was. It is a good photo though don’t you think?).

July 2017

In July our big summer of travel began with a trip up to the North West of England and a flying visit to North Wales. We also drove to Portugal.

August 2017

This has got to be my most cosmopolitan of all months, featuring travel in Portugal, Rome, France and of course good old Gibraltar. Which reminds me, I have loads of holiday photos on my phone and camera SD card which are crying out to become blog posts – watch this space in the New Year.

September 2017

September is a big month on the Rock, this year more than most as Gibraltarians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum when they voted overwhelmingly to remain British. Gibraltar National Day on 10th September coincidentally happened to be the day of my 100th Sunday Sevens. We also had a fabulous music festival.

October 2017

October brought with it some interesting weather, beautiful sunshine, murky mists and exciting lightning storms.

November 2017

November was a good crochet month for me as I finally got around to making last year’s Little Box of Crochet autumn wreath. I also greatly enjoyed this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival with talks by Nicholas Parsons, Patrick Gale and local photographers and naturalists Clive, Geraldine and Stewart Finlayson.

December 2017

December seems to have rushed by in a flurry of end of term carol concerts and panicked making of Christmas presents (some of which failed to get finished in time). There have been some opportunities for peace and quiet though, namely the last Saturday before Christmas when we avoided the shops and headed for the beach for peace and tranquility.

Summer craft challenge

For the second year running, during the long summer holiday we get in Gibraltar, I decided to set aside a little time each day to do something crafty and I documented this with my Summer Craft Challenge. Each day I featured a photo on Instagram and each week I wrote a blog post on my progress.

At the beginning of the challenge I made a little amigurumi unicorn which I got the kit for in an edition of Simply Crochet magazine. I christened her Europa and she became my Summer Craft Challenge mascot and came on our travels with us. There were several occasions when the Little Postcards thought Mummy had lost her marbles posing a crocheted unicorn in various European locations for photographs…

This year, I returned to work part-time after 13 years as a full-time, stay at home Mum. I have to admit that during the last few months I have found it hard to make time for Postcard from Gibraltar alongside my new commitments and at times I’ve wondered whether I can actually keep it up. I have had some really lovely comments and support from my online friends and that’s kept me going. Thank goodness I have Sunday Sevens and the weekly photo challenge to keep me ticking over during ‘dry’ spells.

I think I would really miss the community I have ‘met’ through Postcard from Gibraltar, and if I’m honest, it’s you and the support you’ve given me which gave me the confidence to apply for the job in the first place. Thank you very much to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts over the past 2 and a half years, and for the virtual friendship you have given me too – it’s not taken for granted. Every comment and like is very much appreciated.

Here’s to 2018 and all the wonderful challenges it may bring!

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year x

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 9)

Welcome to the slightly late final edition of my Summer Craft Challenge 2017. A return to school for the Little Postcards and the wonderful MTV Gibraltar Calling music festival this weekend slightly threw me off track… here goes!

Day 57 : Saturday 26th August

Saturday was our last night in beautiful Carcassonne.  I will always remember Carcassonne when I wear this shawl once it’s finished.

Day 58 : Sunday 27th August

Back in Toulouse on Sunday the colour blue began to emerge in the yarn. I’m really enjoying the colours of this Scheepjes Whirl yarn.

Day 59 : Monday 28th August

With a few hours to kill between checking out and heading to the airport it meant a little while in one of Toulouse’s gorgeous public parks crocheting on a bench…

….and then more time for hooky on the plane. I ended up sitting next to a lovely Spanish lady who loves to crochet too. She showed me her bag which she had made herself.

Day 60 : Tuesday 29th August

Back at home in Gibraltar now, with just the chance for a couple of rows between the multiple loads of post holiday laundry!

Day 61 : Wednesday 30th August


Time for a change today and a return to this lovely ‘Jenny’s Mandala’ from Little Box of Crochet. I know I have said it before but I just love how the pattern and look of the mandala changes with each new row.

Day 63 : Thursday 31st August

More mandala time, and as the sun went down on Thursday, it went down on the school summer holidays and indeed my summer craft challenge for this year. I felt a glass of wine was in order to celebrate over 60 days of craftiness (I missed just 2 days this year) and to spare a thought for all the wonderful teachers who will be nurturing all our kiddiwinks over the next academic year.

My Summer Craft Challenge this year has been such fun and has come with us all over the place on a mini European tour. Europa the Unicorn, who I made on the very first day of the challenge back on 1st July has been to the U.K., France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. I have been getting weird glances from not just my children, but passers-by as I have been attempting to take photos of her in various locations, I have been disowned on more than one occasion.

Thanks so much for joining me!