Sunday Sevens #170 6.1.19

Happy New Year and welcome to the first Sunday Sevens of 2019! We are on the final day of the school Christmas holidays here. And I’m writing this to avoid thinking about school uniforms and packed lunches! Here goes…

The sun goes down on another year…

This was the last sunset of 2018, a calm end to the year. We spent New Year’s Eve at home and ate nice food before watching the coverage of local celebrations on the TV as the clock ticked down to midnight….

Bring on the fireworks…

…and then the skies lit up all around us. Several neighbours put on rather impressive firework displays.

New Year’s Day Med Steps trip

We thought we would start the year as we mean to go on and headed off up the Med Steps late morning on New Year’s Day. It was the first time we’d taken the two youngest Postcards up there and they loved it. They did so well, especially Youngest, who has the shortest legs of all. Two and a quarter hours door to door, which is very good going I think.

All the fun of the fair

There have been Christmas Fair rides and attractions in town all over Christmas. We managed to avoid them until this week (cruel parents that we are). Fortunately ours aren’t great fans of rides so a quick go on hook-a-duck was enough to satisfy Youngest.

Unusual boat

This huge crane ship has been in our eye line for weeks. It appeared across the Bay at Algeciras before Christmas and then around New Year’s Eve, it moved out into the Bay to be serviced by some of the bunkering ships from Gibraltar. It disappeared off into the Med not long after.

Christmas done for another year…

And so, after all that build-up, Christmas has been packed away back into boxes for another year. I felt sad putting my fairy lights away though, I love it when they twinkle at night!

Cavalcade

The 62nd annual 3 Kings Cavalcade took place in Gibraltar last night. It was honestly quite a sight. A few years ago there were concerns that it might stop as fewer floats being entered. This year saw its second biggest number ever, with 17 floats in total. Some of them were amazing this year…

Well done to everyone who took part!

And so that’s Sunday Sevens for another week. I hope you’ve had a good start to the New Year.

I’m anticipating that things will be a bit busier than usual for me in the next few weeks (all good things though) so I may not be around as much as usual. I will endeavour to keep up with Sunday Sevens and Friday photos, but there may not be the chance for much else for now.

Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, have a good week!

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

Sunday Sevens #117 7.1.18

Hello and welcome to the first Sunday Sevens of 2018. After all that build up, the festivities seem to have passed in a flash and we’re one week into the New Year already. Schools in Gibraltar go back tomorrow (hooray!) and life is returning back to normal. Let’s rewind a bit though and look back at New Year’s Eve…

Happy New Year!

We brought in the New Year in Spain. We ran away for a few days and did things like play Cluedo, table tennis, swimming and chilling out. It was a really lovely break. The hotel next to our resort laid on the most impressive fireworks display. We have stayed in the same place a couple of times before and in the past the only fireworks locally were a few rockets set off by families living nearby. This time it was something else.

Starting as I mean to go on!

Within half an hour of us arriving home in Gibraltar on Monday morning, I had my trainers on and I headed up the Med Steps for my first of many climbs (I hope) this year. It’s been a few months since my last visit and the first signs of spring were in evidence with these beautiful narcissi dotted along the pathway.

The view from the top was so clear, Africa looked so close!

Morning moonlight

I believe it’s a ‘wolf moon’ that we had on New Year’s Day and into the 2nd. Here it is just as it was about to disappear behind the hills above Algeciras on Tuesday morning. This beautiful image was captured by Mr Postcard on his way to work. Just as well he took it – I was fast asleep!!

Child cruelty

As the schools in Gibraltar haven’t started back yet after the Christmas break, I have had three Little Postcards at home this week. We had beautiful weather for much of it and it felt criminal to stay indoors, so I dragged them out with me and took them for a steep walk up the Rock.

We started from the centre of town and walked up to Princess Caroline’s Battery from where we could spy on the city below and watch the comings and goings at the airport. I was an awful mother, taking them away from their devices, making them walk miles and miles up a ‘vertical hill’ (their words not mine). But I did get them ice cream at the top and in hindsight they said they enjoyed it ;-).

Being tourists

Last month, Gibraltar’s newest tourist attraction opened – a viewing platform to see the entrance to Gorham’s Cave and Vanguard Cave. They are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site we have here in Gibraltar and the site of significant archaeological discoveries relating to the Rocks earliest inhabitants. We decided to pay it a visit this week and enjoyed a really informative talk by our guide. It’s well worth a visit.

Three Kings Cavalcade

Friday was 5th January and that meant it was time for the annual Three Kings Cavalcade in Gibraltar. After a decline in the number of floats in recent years, there was a lot more out in time for the 61st Cavalcade. Local businesses, community groups and even families put on elaborate floats to delight the crowds. This marvelous fish was on a float made entirely of recycled materials – what a fabulous idea!

That’s all for Sunday Sevens this week, a week in which I launched my Friday Photo Challenge and was overwhelmed by the response. Thanks very much to everyone who’s taken part so far!

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

Monthly Meet-up January : Sparkle

Throughout 2017 I took part in the weekly photo challenges set by Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil. This year, they have both decided to take a break from setting this particular challenge. Instead, Sandra at Wild Daffodil has started a monthly meet-up with a prompt for you to share photos or blog posts you may have which are appropriate for that prompt.

This is the first of the monthly meet-ups for 2018 and January’s word is Sparkle. What better way to start the year’s new blog series than with some sparkly fireworks from New Years Eve?

As I enjoyed taking part in Sandra and Cathy’s photo challenge last year so much, and I thought I would miss having a weekly photo post, I have decided to launch my very own photo challenge for 2018. Starting this Friday will be the 2018 Friday Photo Challenge. The first prompt is aptly ‘New Beginnings’ and if you would like to join in, just tag me in your post and I will share any entries each month as we go along.

Do join in if you fancy it, there’s no pressure to get involved each week if that’s too much of a commitment, just dip in and out if you like. The full list of prompts will be published with the first Friday Photo Challenge post this Friday.

Sunday Sevens #116 31.12.17

Well here we are on New Year’s Eve 2017. What a scary thought, another year older (not sure whether I’m much wiser though). A year when I was lucky enough to be offered new challenges and be able to take them. A year when my blog-friends have stuck with me despite not having much time for them in return. Thank you all.

I guess if you can get to the end of a year feeling thankful, it’s been a good one for you. I know it hasn’t been plain sailing for some of you, but I sincerely hope that 2018 brings better things your way.

Here’s my end of 2017 edition of Sunday Sevens:

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve afternoon was spent at the park at Europa Point, it was unusually quiet (unlike how it probably was on Christmas Day or Boxing Day with children testing out their new bikes and scooters). We spent over 2 hours playing football, swinging on swings and climbing (well I played the football – not sure the swings were built for my age group) in the hope that the fresh air would help aid excited Little Postcards doze off ahead of the arrival of Santa. We were there so long that the sun started to set. With tummies rumbling for dinner, we headed home…

Christmas Day

The fresh air worked – they did get to sleep eventually! I’m pleased to report that Santa came and everyone was pleased with their Christmas morning surprises. The best bit about Christmas for me, apart from being with loved ones has to be the food…

Boxing Day in Marbella

When I was a child we used to go for a Boxing Day walk in the north Cheshire countryside near to where I grew up. We’d have turkey butties and a thermos flask with coffee in (maybe with a tot of whiskey when I was old enough – to keep out the cold). We’d crunch through frozen puddles or squelch along muddy canal tow-paths. I fear we are raising Southern softies…. this is where we came to on Boxing Day, an hour or so’s drive from home.

Christmas crochet

I started this project just over a year ago as a Christmas present for last year, as you can see it’s still very much still in progress. Hopefully I’ll get it done by next Christmas!!

Blue skies

We had some mixed weather over the Christmas break, some rain and stormy winds (we tried and failed to fly kites it was too gusty), but we did get a couple of days with magnificent blue skies. There’s no filter on this photo – it really was that blue!

It’s begun…

My actual weight is a secret between me and my Fitbit, but crumbs I got an unpleasant surprise when I stood on the scales this week. Well perhaps it wasn’t that much of a surprise – you kind of know when you’ve over indulged and your profile is slightly more Michelin man than Olympic athlete.

So I have begun my new regime, I have to get fitter again – less than six months ago I climbed the Med Steps five times in less than 4 and a half hours, I feel like I would struggle to do it once, something’s got to give (and it’s not my waist band).

So here’s to 2018 and health and happiness and a slightly smaller waist! Happy New Year!

I’m linking with Natalie of Threads & Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #65 8.1.17

2017 is now one week old. How’s it been for you? It started with a bang here in Gibraltar – well actually it began with about three hours of them….

New Year Fireworks

I’m not sure how the pets in our neighbourhood fared with all the New Year celebration fireworks but we had a heck of a show near us. Beginning seconds after the clock struck midnight and still going at 3am. I’m pleased to report that our bunnies; Snowflake and Diamond, were none the worse for it.

First sunset of 2017

New Year’s Day was a quiet one for us, after a late night kept awake by the fireworks. We had a lovely sunset to end a chilled day.

Giddy podcast news

Ooooh I’m on iTunes!!!! Who’d have thought it? My second podcast went out on Friday. If you missed it you can catch it here  or why not subscribe on iTunes if you have it? You’ll be able to hear some of our local New Year fireworks in it!

Sunny weather


We’ve enjoyed mixed weather this week but there have been some lovely sunny moments. This photo was taken down by the water at Marina Bay on Tuesday lunchtime. The perfect weather for an alfresco lunch… shame we were only there to visit the dentist!

Another sunset…

I did threaten a lot of sunset photos now I have my new camera lens… sorry if this is getting tedious! I happened to look out of the window at golden hour on Wednesday just as the sun was going down and there seemed to be an awful lot of activity going on out in the Bay. Boats of all shapes and sizes from little fishing boats to a gigantic cargo ship were heading in and out.

Just to give you an idea of the size of that cargo ship, here’s a close up… those containers look like matchboxes piled up like that!

Cavalcade

Thursday evening brought us the 60th Annual Gibraltar Cavalvade. The parade down Main Street features the Three Kings, floats created by local community groups, families and local companies as well as marching bands and beauty queens. Normally we stand about half way along Main Street to see the floats going past but this year we stayed in Casemates Square where the parade heads out from and kind of got trapped there by the crowds of folk.

I wrote a post about last year’s event but wasn’t able to get many photos this time because of our position on the route. The float shown below was put together by a local family and they received the first prize for their efforts based on the film Madagascar 3.

Goodbye to Christmas for another year…

The Cavalcade officially marks the end of Christmas in Gibraltar, but I have one last Christmas tree for you before we pack it all in a box and put it away for another year. This lovely interpretation of a Christmas tree has stood in the entrance to the John Mackintosh Hall (the home of the Gibraltar library) over the festive period. What a lovely idea. I kept meaning to include a picture and finally remembered to take one this week before it gets dismantled.

So that’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope you have enjoyed it and that you have had a good week. School begins again here in Gibraltar tomorrow and I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed. I think the return to a routine will do all of us in the Postcard household the world of good. Until next week, thanks for stopping by and bye for now.

Sunday Sevens is a blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #64 1.1.17

Happy New Year! Is it really only a week ago that we were celebrating Christmas? It feels like much longer!

Christmas Day Lunch


Mr Postcard reprised his role as Christmas Day chef and was so proud of his turkey, I was called into the kitchen to take a photo for Sunday Sevens! It was delicious.

We had a lovely day at home, joined by my parents. We were all very lucky and got lots of lovely things. Among my favourites were a new lens for my camera from Mr Postcard – watch out for loads more Postcard from Gibraltar sunsets… and some lovely fluffy yarn and an Amigurumi book from my little brother.

This year’s Christmas makes


I can share a few of my festive makes,  now they have been gifted. I was asked by a friend to make a mermaid blanket for her daughter. I made a couple of ring cushions ahead of two weddings next year and the wreath was a request for my Mum.

Polar bear swim


Boxing Day for us was dominated by turkey leftovers and the Catalan Bay Polar Bear Swim. If you haven’t already, you can read all about it in my post here. I’m so glad I did it – I was wavering until about two hours before hand and I just thought what the heck, life’s short and one day I may look back and regret not doing it.

Crochet, rosé & Dirty Dancing 


So in the space of a few days, we lost two people who played a big part in my formative years (and those of countless others) albeit via the silver screen and the radio airwaves. I think an awful lot of people from my generation really felt the loss of George Michael and Carrie Fisher this week. Sometimes only crochet, wine and Dirty Dancing on the telly will do… Thank you Channel 5 – I really needed that.

Legotastic 


Despite all the new toys which appeared in this house over Christmas, the trusty box of Lego featured heavily over the last week. We have had vehicle races and competitions and all sorts of creative fun. The lounge floor was awash with those sharp little bricks but it was a small price to pay for fraternal harmony (for a few hours) and a break from TV and gadget screens.

Beach walk


We revisited Catalan Bay on Thursday afternoon to stretch our legs. It was somewhat quieter than it had been on Monday… and I resisted the temptation to jump into the crashing waves and stayed on the sand. 😉

Shopping in Spain


On Friday we took a drive up the Costa del Sol coast for a brief shopping trip and lunch. We were away from the Rock for less than 6 hours but we enjoyed our mini-mini break!

New Year’s Eve Med Stepping


Yesterday, I ventured up the Med Steps for the first time in weeks. What a change those weeks have meant for the vegetation and wildlife up there. There were loads of delicate white narcissi lining the paths and on the roof of this old army look out post. There was also a lot of these wild clematis type of plants…


It was so pretty up there. The beautiful flowers took my mind off the fact I was out of breath!

One last sunset of 2016

I know I have gone way over the normal seven photos for a Sunday Sevens post, but there has been such a lot going on this week. As Gibraltar was gearing up for a big night of celebrations (see photo below) we headed home for a quiet celebration. Here’s a couple of shots of the last sunset of 2016 as seen in Gibraltar – can you see a sliver of moon among the clouds?


This photo shows the lights in Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar from here we live. It’s slightly blurry (apologies for that) but it gives you a sense of just how close we are.

I do hope that you have a wonderful new year and that 2017 is a happy and healthy one for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for all the lovely comments I’ve received over the past year, it’s so nice to know that there are actually people out there (apart from my Mum and Dad) who want to read what I have to write. Thank you!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog.

New Year in Andalusia

 
I hope you have had a good start to 2016. We headed a few kilometres along the coast from Gibraltar into Andalusia for New Year. We were blessed with beautiful weather as you can see from the pictures, and it is a really beautiful place. The above photo was taken at Nueva Andalucía on New Year’s Eve.    The two big (and rather obvious) differences between Gibraltar and it’s closest neighbour are space and greenery. When 30,000 people live in such a confined strip of land it can get quite intense sometimes. I do love Gibraltar but having grown up a few miles from rolling countryside and with a front and (small) back garden, I find I need to get away every now and then.  

 
We stayed in an apartment in the hills above the bustling town of Puerto Banús. The seaside town is famous for being a millionaires’ playground with it’s marina full of posh boats and posh cars. Apart from a meal at the Hard Rock Café and a quick look at the shops we stayed away from the razzmatazz though and did our own thing. We woke on New Year’s Day to the most glorious weather and decided to get a bit of fresh air and walk along the coastal path towards Marbella.  

 We weren’t the only ones who chose to stretch our legs that afternoon. There were people walking, scootering, roller-skating, cycling and Segway-ing along the wide promenade.  

 I was happy on foot but our two youngest sped off on their scooters to burn off a bit of energy. Their destination was this bridge across the Rio Verde. The summit in the background wearing a cloudy hat is Sierra Blanca. 

It’s a great bridge, perfect for scootering. It’s wide and smooth so you can go fast, is made of wooden planks so it makes a great noise as you fly across it and has a great slope to zoom on giving your Mum palpitations as there’s a flight of stairs at the end! 

 It’s set in great surroundings, the Rio Verde on one side. Where sea birds were enjoying the calm waters. 
 And the sea on the other side. 

 Beyond the river the beach stretches on towards Marbella. Even though it was the first of January there were some people basking in the winter sunshine.

 Our walk ended here as hungry children demanded food so we turned around and headed back towards town. We have promised ourselves we will return and walk further next time. 

  

January 2nd brought with it rain and cloud – we were so glad we’d made the effort to have our walk in the sunshine when we did. We explored a market which appears in the streets around here each Saturday.  We have managed to get caught up in the market by accident a few times in the past when trying to drive through these roads. This time though, we were on foot and ready for a mooch about.  

 Apart from some nice plant stalls and a few artisan craft stalls in the grounds of the bullring we were a bit disappointed with what was on offer. 

 There were thousands of fake designer handbags and sunglasses to choose from as well as cheap toys and a few electronics. I’m afraid it wasn’t at all what we had hoped for. 

 After the anti-climax of the street market we decided to regroup and try an alternative outing so we hopped into the car and headed east along the coast to Benalmádena and the Butterfly Park there.    Standing high on a hill and in the shadow of a stunning Buddhist Temple, we found the Butterfly Park. It didn’t disappoint.  

 From the moment we arrived we spotted them. Bigger than the palm of your hand and in every colour of the rainbow. I’ll let the photos tell the story here…    

      We listened to a talk by a member of staff who told us about the life cycle of the butterflies and moths there and showed us the most amazing array of cocoons and newly hatched butterflies.       Then came the fun part… Firstly our littlest got to feel a cocoon (and it’s metamorphosising inhabitant moving). Then he got to have a sleeping moth on his hand…  …then we all did. That was a big step for me as,although I love the beauty of these creatures, the idea of having one on my skin was erm not really my cup of tea. But I couldn’t leave being the only one not brave enough to try it – so I did. Yay me!  

 There were other creatures there too, this big lizard and a wallaby, both of which wander freely about inside with the visitors. We really enjoyed our trip and would recommend it, although for a family of five it cost €42 so it wasn’t cheap. It was a lovely tranquil place. 

 Once our visit was over we couldn’t help but go across the road to admire the amazing view west over Fuengirola.  Today we packed up and headed home, we were given a pretty send off with a rainbow by the side of the motorway.  And we were soon home… Ah there she is! Our lovely Rock.  Until next time, thanks for stopping by 😊. Thanks also for all the likes and lovely comments, it’s great to hear from you.