Sunday Sevens #228 28.6.20

Hello there and welcome to another Sunday Sevens. If you read my post on Thursday, you will know that sadly we are preparing to leave Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here.

As a consequence of our impending move, it’s been a rather difficult week with lots of boring packing and sorting of belongings and paperwork, but thankfully good friends sprinkled some fun amongst the drudgery!

Here’s what we got up to this week…

Sunset

Seeing as our days here are numbered I’m reveling in the beautiful view from our apartment as much as I possibly can. I’m always popping out into the balcony to watch the ships or see what the squawking seagulls are up to. This was last Sunday’s sunset.

Packing up

One of the joys of packing is unearthing treasures at the bottom of drawers and the back of cupboards. This isn’t exactly a treasure but was my first and only attempt at cable knitting. I think perhaps I need to have another go at it.

A treat of a boat trip

Friends of ours have a boat moored in one of Gibraltar’s marinas and they invited us for a trip out to see the dolphins on Wednesday. It was a total delight. We saw a mother and baby and a pod of others hunting fish further off.

What a treat it was and a real boost to escape the never ending to-do list for a few hours. The Little Postcards had such fun with their friends jumping off the boat into the Bay, and trying to spy our home amongst the other buildings. It was just what the doctor ordered.

A blogging birthday

So this week, Postcard from Gibraltar turned 5. I am amazed that this milestone has been reached. When I first started writing it I had no idea if anyone would actually read it! Thankfully you have! 🙂

If you missed my blog birthday post on Thursday, you can find it here.

A trip to the beach

Normally by this point in the summer, we would be regularly popping down to the beach, but unfortunately jobs have prevented that until yesterday. We made our first trip to Sandy Bay and it was glorious. What a great time we had. We’ll really miss having this on our doorstep.

Glorious geraniums

The geraniums are looking super on the balcony at the moment. They look brilliant against the bright blue sky & sea.

I had a most wonderful evening last night with some special friends. I didn’t take any pictures as I was so busy eating and talking!! It was a bit of a going away dinner, and was a real treat. I know it’s sad to be leaving this beautiful place and good friends but it’s not goodbye, just farewell until next time.

Podcast update

This week saw episode 10 and the last part of the first series of Making Stitches Podcast go out. I’m taking a bit of a break over the summer and will be looking forward to recording some new podcast episodes for later in the year. This week, my guest was my wonderful sewing teacher, Dorcas Hammond, who spoke of a lifetime in dressmaking. Just search ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ on your favourite podcast app.

That’s all for this week. I’m not sure whether there will be much for me to write about over the coming seven days, I fear it will be boxes, boxes and more boxes, but I’ll do my best!

Until next time, bye for now and thank you for stopping by.

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

Sunday Sevens #224 31.5.20

Hello there, how have you been getting on this week? It’s been a busy one as usual for me. How can life still feel so busy when so many aspects of it are restricted at the moment? I have no idea. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Cruise ship calling

In spite of the fact we are still in semi-lockdown here in Gibraltar, there still seems to be a lot of cruise ships calling in. Few of them have passengers though, they are coming in to change crews, fly passengers home or collect supplies. It must be rather strange cruising about the place with very few people on board.

A trip to the beach

At the start of the week Littlest went to the beach for a short while for a socially distanced meet up with a friend. It was lovely and quiet down there and did him the world of good to see someone from outside of our family unit for a change.

Home schooling

I’m so glad that I got the chance to spend one afternoon a week as a work experience helper in a primary school as an A-Level student. It made me realise that I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher and I turned my attention elsewhere. I have to admit I’m struggling with the home schooling during lockdown. My patience levels are at an all time low. I completely understand that the lockdown and school closures are necessary but I will certainly be doing a happy dance when my three all return to school (whenever that may be).

An unexpected delight

I have to thank the ladies at The Crochet Sanctuary for bringing this to my attention – my new podcast, Making Stitches, got a write up in Crochet Now Magazine!! How marvelous is that?! I’m really rather chuffed about it 😊.

Crochet with concentration

I’ve been trying to finish some of my long-standing WiPs during lockdown and this is one of them. It’s an Entrelac Tunisian crochet purse from Little Box of Crochet. I started it and put it away. Upon rediscovering it, I realised the first row of turquoise blue diamonds wasn’t right so ended up unraveling the lot and starting again. This is how far I got yesterday – I’m not quite as far as I was before I ripped it apart.

It takes quite a bit of concentration – something I’m a bit short of at the moment – but as the rows grow it makes more sense and I think I’m back on track now. Hopefully I’ll be able to share a good bit of progress next week!

Also on my hook this week…

I’m still playing catch up on the Pandemonium CAL. It had been going so well but life & boring stuff interrupted my crochet! I think I might need another few rainbow rows…

Podcast update

Amanda Bloom & her daughter Jenny

This week’s podcast episode features Little Box of Crochet’s Amanda Bloom. We had a lovely chat all about her daughter a Jenny, who was instrumental in setting up their subscription box business as well as how the business has grown and the community it’s created. You can find it here, if you fancy a listen.

That’s all from me for this week, I hope the new week is a good one for you. Bye for now 😊.

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

Sunday Sevens #221 10.5.20

Hello and how are you? I hope you are safe and well wherever you are reading this. We’ve just completed week 7 of lockdown here in Gibraltar but things are slowly relaxing in terms of restrictions and that feels good.

It’s been a week of crochet, walks and a fun podcast about quilting! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Gibraltar plumbing…

So last Sunday afternoon our walk was cut short by a phone call from a neighbour to say one of our pipes had sprung a leak. Can you see the jet of water spray shooting upwards? Well that was our salt water pipe which fills the cistern to flush our loo.

The pipe’s only a couple of years old but because it gets direct sunlight in the mornings it’s perished the plastic. Plumbers are a bit thin on the ground in Gib at the moment as many trades people who work in Gibraltar come in from Spain. I found one eventually, but it took him 4 days to source a ladder tall enough to reach the pipe.

I know we speak a lot these days about the things we once took for granted before lockdown began, but there’s nothing like constantly filling your cistern with a bucket in order to flush that makes you reckon you’ll never take a flushing toilet for granted again!!

Thank heavens it was fixed on Thursday…

Sunset

I spied this lovely sunset one evening as I walked past the open front door. It’s nice just to take a moment to appreciate them when they come along.

Hat making workshop

I’ve been missing my weekly dressmaking lessons with my sewing teacher Dorcas lately. She hasn’t been idle during lockdown though, she’s been uploading video tutorials and selling patterns online. On Tuesday I took part in one of her online classes – and made a hat! It was upcycled from an old pair of trousers and turned out rather well.

If you fancy taking one of Dorcas’ classes online just visit Dorcas Fashion Academy on YouTube.

Paint job

While clearing out the shed, I found some paint, so decided to give our gate a facelift. One day for undercoating and another for gloss. I’m pleased with my work. FYI the paint splatters were on cardboard I put down – not the floor (I’m a messy decorator).

Lily in bloom

This beautiful lily, which lives beside our front door, came into bloom this week. I love it when it comes to life like this.

5K walk

There’s an appeal underway in Gibraltar to raise money for the Covid fund for the local health service. They are asking people to walk, run or cycle 5 km and donate £5. We did our 5k on Friday, the VE Day bank holiday.

It was a super, sunny afternoon and even Littlest did very well, in spite of his legs being a lot shorter than the rest of ours!

#finishedforfriday

A few weeks ago, Black Sheep Wools issued a call to action to help us work through our WIP piles (work-in-progress) I have one or two (ish) projects on the go including this jumper which has been in my WIP pile for about 18 months.

I didn’t manage to get it finished for that Friday but I got it finished for this Friday instead! I’m really pleased with it – it’s the first item of clothing (which I’d be happy to be seen in public wearing) that I have crocheted.

It was made from a Simply Crochet Magazine pattern using Stylecraft Linen Drape in Cranberry. I love it! Shame it’s not really jumper weather in Gibraltar at the moment!

It has the nice heart detail in filet on the sleeves too

Making Stitches Podcast

Also on Friday I published the latest episode of Making Stitches Podcast. This one is about a community quilt being made in lockdown inspired by a quilt made by female prisoners of war in Changi in Singapore during WWII. You can find it on podcast apps by searching for ‘Making Stitches’ or here.

That’s Sunday Sevens done for another week, I hope you are ok and managing with whatever restrictions you have had imposed upon you. I hope the week to come is a good one for you…

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

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.

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

2 years of Postcard from Gibraltar 


This month, Postcard from Gibraltar celebrates it’s second birthday. I had no idea where it would lead me when I wrote my first post and if I had a crystal ball and could see my life in June 2017 I would have been very pleasantly surprised to see that it is still going!


It’s opened all sorts of doors for me and achieved just what I hoped it would – getting my brain working again after spending over a decade at home with my children. It has led to me being asked to contribute to an online publication and given me the to confidence to apply for a small part-time job which I actually got!


It has given me an excuse to keep taking loads of photos as I wander about, and allowed me to waffle on about all my crafty hobbies!


This past 12 months has seen the launch of another Postcard from Gibraltar series “Creative Gibraltar” to add to my “Stroll around Gibraltar” series and most excitingly I was able to launch the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast which you can find through the blog as well as on PodOmatic and, wait for it, iTunes! How cool is that?


Blogging has not only helped me build my confidence, I have also met so many lovely people through it both virtually and in real life. Last September I met my crochet heroine Lucy, from Attic 24 at the Yarndale Festival in Skipton, North Yorkshire and through Instagram I met the very talented Marisa, a Gibraltar born crocheter who lives in London and who has now launched her own blog Mariwish.

Lucy from Attic24 at Yarndale with Llanita the Yarndale Sheep

If you are thinking about taking the plunge and having a go at blogging yourself I can highly recommend it! Do have a go, you never know where it will lead…. 


As Postcard from Gibraltar enters it’s third year, I would like to say a sincere thank you for coming along on my adventure with me!

 

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 008: Superhero artist Aaron Seruya

In this episode, I meet Aaron Seruya, a barrister who put his legal career on hold to follow his dream of creating an exhibition of paintings featuring comic book heroes.

Iron Man and Wolverine painted by Aaron A Seruya
In his Superhero Experience Exhibition, Aaron marries two of his life long passions; art and superheroes. But what made him put his career on hold to follow his passion? A real life meeting with Superman here in Gibraltar.

You can see Aaron’s 71 paintings at his exhibition at the Fine Arts Gallery in Casemates Square from 3rd to 16th May.

***To hear the podcast with Aaron, please click here***

Why not subscribe to the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast on iTunes or PodOmatic? That way you won’t miss the next episode.

The theme music for the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast is Happy Me by Twisterium.

This podcast is recorded and edited by Postcard from Gibraltar.

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 007: YGTV with Giordano Durante


People are turning to their phones and tablets more and more these days to keep abreast of the news and find out what’s happening in the world. In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, I caught up with Giordano Durante, editor of the online news service; Your Gibraltar TV, to talk about this new age of news at our fingertips.

On returning to his native Gibraltar after studying Philosophy at University in London, Giordano worked at the Gibraltar Chronicle and as a prison warden at the newly opened Windmill Hill Prison before joining YGTV. Now the news service’s Editor, he told me how in this age of Facebook and Twitter, Your Gibraltar TV is often the first port of call for many people when they want to read the news.

***TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST PLEASE CLICK HERE***

You can find the Your Gibraltar TV website here. YGTV can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you missed the last episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, you can hear it here, it’s also available on iTunes and PodOmatic.

The theme music for the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast is Happy Me by Twisterium

The Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 004: Rebecca Faller 

Gibraltar may be small, but it is such a creative place. This month on Postcard from Gibraltar, I’m casting the spotlight onto some of the very talented people who call the Rock their home. Throughout February, in my ‘Creative Gibraltar’ series I’ll be talking to people from all sorts of creative backgrounds.

Rebecca Faller

In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, I hear from  writer and poet, Rebecca Faller about her latest book Renault Five. The story is an autobiographical account of a road trip across Europe with her two closest friends which brought her to Gibraltar for the first time.

To hear the podcast, please click here.

Rebecca’s book; Renault Five is available for sale in Gibraltar’s bookshops it is also available on Amazon & Kindle.

Also in the Creative Gibraltar series : Creative Gibraltar : Watercolour painting with Deborah M Lawson