A big birthday – Postcard from Gibraltar is 5 today!

Hello! Postcard from Gibraltar is 5 years old today!

When I first launched this blog back in 2015, I had no idea where it would lead. It was an outlet for a slightly stir-crazy stay-at-home Mum with a desire to do more but unable at that time to go back to work, even on a part-time basis.

Little did I know the doors it would open or the confidence it would give me. It has brought me the opportunity to write for magazines; both online and in print. It gave me the confidence to return to the world of work after many years at home with children and now there is a new podcast ‘Making Stitches’.

It all started with this first blog post. Little did I know then, where it would lead and even if it would last as long as that first summer!

Catalan Bay

It has also brought me connections with many friends near and far. Friends I have never met and probably won’t ever meet, but friends nonetheless in ‘real life’ and living in my phone!

Our furry neighbours

Thank you to everyone who has read my posts and cheered me from the sidelines over the past five years. I am very grateful for your support.

It seems rather appropriate that this milestone should happen now while things are in a state of flux for us. Not just because of the issues going on on the world stage but also those a little closer to home.

Looking north from the Med Steps

Next month we will be leaving Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here. Life is leading us back to the UK and a new life in the north of England. We leave with mixed emotions; great affection for Gibraltar and it’s people who have made us feel very welcome and sadness to be saying goodbye to good friends and this beautiful place.

Gibraltar National Day 2019

However, looking forward we are thrilled to be heading back home to be close to family and friends (some of which I have known since primary school). Living so far from family has its limitations and that has been brought home more than ever during the past few months of lockdown.

Europa Point lighthouse (with Morocco in the background)

I have thought long and hard about what to do about Postcard from Gibraltar after the move. Can there even be a Postcard from Gibraltar if I’m not in Gibraltar anymore?

View from the Med Steps on a foggy day

But I would miss the community I have met online too much if I packed it all in. I also can’t quite face starting a new blog and going back to square one with it alongside the enormity of moving a family and all our belongings from one end of Europe to the other during a global pandemic, so Postcard from Gibraltar will continue after our move.

View from the Bay of Gibraltar

I can’t guarantee as many photos of blue skies or sea views. I’m not sure whether our sunsets will be quite as picturesque in the suburbs as they are across the Bay of Gibraltar but I will do my best.

The view from our front door

I understand that a good proportion of readers of this blog will be doing so because of the Gibraltar connection, and if it no longer interests you in the future (in its UK based form) I won’t be offended if you fall away. Many readers though, I believe, do so because we have a shared interest in crafty things and trying to find a little bit of beauty in everyday.

Town centre & Upper Town

And so, at the end of Postcard from Gibraltar’s first five years, I look back feeling proud of what it’s become and excited for the future and what it holds in store. Thank you for coming along on my journey with me, it’s been a pleasure to have your company on the ride!

Looking south to Gibraltar from Alcaidesa beach in Spain

Thank you,

Lindsay x

25th June 2020

Sunday Sevens #222 17.5.20

Hello there! How are you this week? It’s been an extremely busy one for me. I was bitten by the cleaning / tidying bug – it’s a very rare occurrence. I did so much cleaning one day I walked 12,000 steps and hadn’t left the apartment!!

So much domestication has meant not much time for crafts but I hope to make up for that next week now I can sit back in a clean and tidy(ish) home! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Sunday family walk

Last Sunday we had a family walk up to the bottom of the Upper Rock Nature reserve. It was a lot busier than it has been of late. There were more cars to dodge and some people were stopping to chat too. It felt jarring to see after so many weeks of isolation and social distancing.

Med Steps escape

On Tuesday I escaped on my own for the first time since lockdown (apart from to walk to the recycling bins or go to the supermarket) and climbed the Med Steps. It was beautiful and full of wildflowers. I wrote a blog post all about it – you can find it here if you missed it.

Pandemonium CAL

I’ve hardly had time or energy for crochet this week. But here’s what I have managed… done rather big bobbles on my Pandemonium blanket!

Sunshine on a rainy day

We’ve had a few extremely wet days this week (think total stair rods /monsoon). Naturally as I was on a spring cleaning mission, I washed all the windows – big mistake! They were soon splattered with raindrops. But at least it meant I caught sight of this brief beauty.

Coo-eee! I can see you!

When I climb to the top of the Upper Rock I like to take a moment to look down and spot places of interest. From certain angles you can see the roof of the building we live in, the schools the Little Postcards have been to etc. When you’re up there, it’s easy to forget that there might be someone down below looking up at you. One afternoon this week, that was me. I was in my kitchen and looked up through the window to see three people up there looking down. It looks rather precarious from below though…

Winning at the weekly shop!

Now when you get up and out early to do the weekly shop and are braced to join the end of a long queue to get into the supermarket, there’s no greater sight than this….

Eurovision night sunset

Last night as we watched Eurovision (the not really Eurovision version) and as the sun was setting on what should have been the venue of the grand final, I looked out of the window and spotted our own sunset too.

Podcast update

This week’s Making Stitches episode features a chat with Carole Rennison from Yarndale about this year’s charity appeal. Pop over to Making Stitches to hear all about it.

That’s all for this week, I hope you have a good one. Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

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 #207 27.10.19

Hello there welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens. You find us on midterm here in Gibraltar – and we are enjoying the prospect of not having an early alarm tomorrow morning!

Trafalgar Memorial

It was the 214th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on Tuesday. Every year, on a Sunday near to the anniversary, a special ceremony takes place at Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar. This year’s remembrance happened last Sunday.

The men who lost their lives in the battle are remembered and wreaths are laid on the graves of two men who came to Gibraltar immediately afterwards for treatment, but who died from their wounds.

There is always a Royal Navy vessel in port for this ceremony and the sailors attend in their uniforms. It’s a really special time.

Med Steps on a Monday

It was a beautifully clear, sunny morning on Monday and I headed off up the Med Steps. I spied these two big black birds overhead which were circling above the Rock and causing a great deal of excitement amongst the seagull population. I spoke to one of the wardens about them, and I’m reliably told they are a pair of ravens, and it’s hoped that they will breed next year.

Dressmaking class

So my second pair of trial run trousers were sewn this week and although my problematic large calves were adequately accommodated, elsewhere they were a bit on the large side this week! Darts are the order of the day in my next class!

Sunset alert

Sunday sevens wouldn’t be Sunday sevens without a sunset pic would it? Here’s this week’s one.

Framing my paintings

I finally got round to framing a few of my watercolour paintings this week. I bought some frames a few weeks back and wanted to hang them in the hall. My seashells from two years ago we’re just the right size.

A catch-up with a lovely friend

A lovely friend of mine came round for a visit this week – the first time I’ve seen her in months – and she brought these beautiful flowers. They look glorious in their vase and are a lovely reminder of a fab chat over lunch.

A prickly situation

This little chap/lady got him/herself into a bit of a tangle this week in my parents’ garden in Manchester. (So this isn’t one of my photos – thanks Dad). The last time I remember seeing a hedgehog in their garden I was about 10 – so it’s not a common occurrence, or if it is, they are very stealthy!

He/she had a rest in a box in their porch before heading off for a wander…

And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to a close for another week. Thanks for stopping by!

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

Sunday Sevens #203 29.9.19

Hello! It’s Sunday again, and it’s been another busy week at this end with lots going on! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

Med Steps on a Monday

It feels good to be able to say that! It’s been such a long time since I had last made the climb. I think it was back in May just after the Med Steps 5 challenge actually, so this walk was well over due! It was hot but glorious up there and took me 46 minutes to get to the top (when I’m on form I can make it in less than 30 so there’s some training required!). I stopped aching yesterday… 🤣

Nocturnal visitors

When we got our new windows put in recently I was hoping our gecko friends wouldn’t abandon us. I am pleased to report that they came back with the warmer summer weather and they are still with us now. They don’t come onto the clear glass windows – just the frosted ones and lie in wait for moths.

Dressmaking class

My made-to-measure paper pattern is finished and the fabric has been cut ready for my trial run at making trousers. Sewing will begin this week.

An evening with friends

This week the book club I belong to had its first meeting since before the summer break. We met on Queensway Quay and it was lovely to catch up on everyone’s news and hear how everyone was getting on. Our book over the summer was Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman which I read when we were away in Portugal on holiday – it was so long ago I had trouble remembering the story! Must be my age!!

Upper Town walk

One morning I found myself in town and had a bit of free time (which doesn’t happen often enough!) so I took a wander up into Upper Town. There was a time a few years ago when I would regularly end up in these streets and alleyways but life doesn’t bring me up here often these days – it’s funny how your life’s geography changes over time.

Down by the water

On Friday evening I found myself at the Park just by the water at sunset. Normally I see the sun going down from our balcony but it was nice to see it from close to the water for a change…

Seamist at sunset

Last night though, I was back at home and saw this great weather as the sea mist swept into the Bay from the Strait of Gibraltar just as the sun was going down.

Eldest spotted it first looking out the window and commenting that it was like being on a plane and being above the clouds! It was quite beautiful. Less so though for those who were actually on planes and had to be diverted to Malaga because the reduced visibility meant they couldn’t land in Gibraltar.

I did manage to grab my crochet hook yesterday for a while in solidarity with all my yarny friends who are at Yarndale this weekend. Each year I hope I will be able to return to this great friendly festival, maybe next year? You can read all about my first, and so far, only trip to Yarndale in 2016 here.

And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to an end. I hope you have had a good week and that next week is kind to you.

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

Friday photo challenge (week 24) Clouds

I’m back for another Friday photo challenge after a break of a few weeks. The theme this week is ‘clouds’ and as Gibraltar is rather famous for its clouds, I had to get back on the photo challenge wagon. These two photos are of Gibraltar clouds, but from above. In the top picture it shows the famous ‘Levante’ cloud from a plane as we came in to land and below shows the view from the Med Steps one day as I climbed up through the cloud to the top of the Rock.

#52Fridayphotos is curated by Alison in Andalucia.

Sunday Sevens #188 26.5.19

Hello there, Sunday Sevens has made it back to a Sunday! It’s been another extremely busy week at this end, with a school sports day, an inservice day, and now we’re halfway through a bank holiday weekend. I had to put an extra page in my diary this week to allow for all the things we’ve had going on! I’ll be glad when summer comes and things quieten down a little – I hope!

Med Steps 5 weekend

Last weekend was Med Steps 5 weekend. In previous years the fundraising event ran just on the Saturday. This year though, there was a family event on the Sunday. Children were given a Med Steps passport to complete along the route and were awarded medals at the end.bThis brilliant event, as always, raised funds for the wonderful Cancer Relief Centre in Gibraltar.

One very big boat

Do you remember that in last week’s Sunday Sevens I told you about this big boat? Well this week it even had a helicopter on the top! And I hear it belongs to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame.

Last rays of sunshine

I happened to step out onto the balcony just at the right time to spot the sun about to dip down behind the hills across the Bay from our house one evening. It’s at times like this that I’m so grateful for where we live.

Street art

This little chap has been all over social media in Gibraltar lately. The sloth has been painted onto some hoardings around building work and I happened to walk past him mid week for the first time. Moments later I spotted this lovely cat too just a bit further on!

Jacaranda galore

This year I’ve noticed just how many Jacaranda trees there are in Gibraltar. I have been trying to photograph one with it’s gorgeous blue/violet blossom for the past couple of weeks but normally the background has been blue sky which didn’t display the colour of the blossom well. I spotted this one on Main Street and the building behind it showed it off to great effect.

Polling Day

I’m sitting here in front of the TV this evening watching BBC coverage of the European elections whilst simultaneously watching the local coverage from the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation on my tablet. We, in Gibraltar went to the polls like the rest of the UK on Thursday. Gibraltar is eligible to vote as part of the South West region of Great Britain. Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly (76% of the Vote) for the Liberal Democrats – the party leader, Sir Vince Cable was in Gibraltar to campaign just a week or so ago on a pro-Remain ticket, there was even a Gibraltarian candidate standing as a Lib Dem MEP.

Beautiful botanical gardens!

We took a walk through the beautiful botanical gardens yesterday. No matter what the weather or the time of year, it’s always special here!

That’s all for Sunday Sevens for this week, thanks very much for stopping by.

Sunday Sevens was created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #186 12.5.19

I completely forgot about Sunday Sevens this week, here’s a rather short and rushed one!

Sunset shot

I spotted this lovely sunset on Sunday evening last week.

Dressmaking class

This week I was going rather cross eyed while I tacked the lace I’m using to make a top to the lining using an identical coloured cotton. Most of the tacking is now done, hopefully I can get sewing soon!

Art class

I’ve lost my painting mojo a bit of late. This was the best of a bad lot this week at my watercolour class…

Visitors

We’ve had some family over to visit this week, which has been lovely. This was as we crossed the runway to pick them up from the airport.

Med Steps

What do you do when you have visitors to the Rock? Drag them up the Med Steps of course!! Shame we picked the hottest day of the year so far to do it… 26.9 degrees Celsius. It was rather warm up there!

Upper Rock wildlife

Whilst taking a breather on our trip up the Rock I heard some rustling in the leaves. First of all I thought it was a snake but then I spied legs! It was the biggest lizard I’ve seen during my time here in Gibraltar.

Convent Garden Party

One of my first ever blog posts was written after visiting this beautiful garden, the Convent garden. The Convent, which is where the Gibraltar Governor lives is a beautiful place, a real oasis in a rather built up place.

And that is a rather rushed Sunday Sevens for this week, I hope it’s been a good one for you.

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

Sunday Sevens #182 7.4.19

Hello there and a very happy Sunday to you. I hope you’ve had a good week. We are edging closer to the school Easter holidays here in Gibraltar – just one week of school left to get jobs done before I have days full of boys! Here’s this week’s look back at the last seven days… (and, incidentally it’s my 500th Postcard from Gibraltar post! That sounds like rather a lot doesn’t it?!)

Mother’s Day lunch

We went out for a lovely lunch on Mother’s Day. A glass of Prosecco, rose and a beautiful view across the Strait to Morocco came with the meal.

Med Steps on a Monday

It’s been a long time since I’ve been up the Med Steps on a Monday morning, but I managed it this week. It was lovely up there, grey skies but some sunshine, and cool breezes. Perfect conditions.

And Spring has sprung…. the native Gibraltar Candytuft is blooming.

Dressmaking class

As I finished my jacket at last week’s lesson, it was time to draft another pattern for a new project at this week’s lesson. I bought this lacy fabric (below) from my teacher Dorcas a while ago because I loved it and really fancied making a top with it. That process has begun now.

Crochet blunder

I have been working on a filet patterned crochet jumper for a while and decided to pick it back up again this week. Unfortunately I paid the price of not rereading the pattern properly as I just carried on with a 4mm hook I found in the bag with the partially made jumper. Having done 2/3 of the front I got the measuring tape out to check if it was time to shape the shoulders. It was long enough, but, and it’s a big but, the pattern didn’t match the back. I was two pattern repeats short – I should’ve used a 3.75mm hook! It’s been unraveled, and I’m now playing catch-up!

Frustrating flights

We decided to do something we don’t normally do on Thursday – we went over to Spain while the Little Postcards were at school. It was a rather long drawn out process. We left home, got stuck in a queue to cross the runway as a plane was landing… then I realised I’d left my phone at home so we had to turn around and go home again to pick up the phone in case school called with a problem. Then I took this photo as we were stuck for a second time with another plane landing… instead of taking 15-20 minutes to get from our home to the border, it took 50!! Whoops.

We had to forfeit our lunch, instead of leisurely tapas we had a service station sandwhich in the car to make sure we were home in time to pick the Little Postcards up! Maybe we’ll get the tapas another time…

Stormy day

The weather on Friday was rather grim, wet, very grey and with gale force gusts. This was the rather uninspiring view of the Bay of Gibraltar around morning school run time. There were rumbles of thunder as I walked home – fortunately I made it back indoors before the horizontal rain started!! (The big grey ship may be a Spanish aircraft carrier coming into port in Algeciras across the Bay from Gibraltar.)

Saturday sunset

We’ve not had a Sunday Sevens sunset picture for a while. I caught the last rays of sunshine disappearing behind the hills opposite our home yesterday.

That’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope the coming seven days are kind to you.

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