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!

Friday photo challenge (week 52) Winter plus the Autumn / Winter roundup

In these parts we don’t have a winter like in the UK, we don’t get frosts or snow, and in many cases the trees keep their leaves. However there are some unmistakable signs of winter, like the naked vines with their pendulous seed pods and bountiful crops of citrus fruits.

This is the last entry for this 2018 photo challenge. This year I embarked on a photo challenge adventure after following other people’s challenges in previous years. It was done on a whim and amazingly some lovely people joined in. It has been fun to share this year of photo challenges with you all, thank you to everyone who took part along the way!

I’m taking a step back from organising the photo challenge in 2019 but my blogging pal Alison in Andalucia is running one next year if you fancy tagging along.

This year, we had participants on Instagram and on blogs too, and here is a little round up of the highlights from the last few months:

Autumn / Winter round up:

Week 41 Nocturnal

Let’s start with a bang… how about this for drama?

Bats were a crafty project for Hook Stitch Sew:

Week 42 Curve

And another globe-trotting shot from Susan (bluejake235):

Alison shared an iconic Andalusian image this week:

Week 43 City Life

Alison in Andalucia showed a rather damp Granada for this challenge:

Meanwhile in a much drier Gibraltar, Sandra showed one of the downsides of living in a city which is always developing…

…there’s always a construction site nearby.

Week 44 Tunnel

My well traveled photo challenge friend Susan went through a tunnel to drive across this amazing and fictionally infamous bridge…

Crafty Creek used tunnels created by avenues of trees to great effect this week.

I love this now closed tunnel – it looks so inviting.

Week 45 Remembrance

Susan at bluejake235 is the proud owner of one of these beautiful ceramic poppies….

Sandra at Wild Daffodil wrote about a lovely act of remembrance from World War I in the shape of the Sawdust Heart Project:

https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/1568-sawdust-hearts/

Week 46 Storm

Stormy seas featured this week…

Along with snow in Crafty Creek’s blog post and Randall Peck’s Instagram entry…

Week 47 Climb

What about a climb to the top of the Vatican?

Crafty Creek has created the most beautiful patchwork of the Catbells, they look rather similar to the Rock we live nearby!

And visiting this picturesque castle has got to be worth the climb!

And this is a climb I’m yet to make, up to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar curtesy of Sandra!

Week 48 Wild

Randall Peck used wild grass as his inspiration:

Crafty Creek went wild this week with some fantastic photos of the Yorkshire Dales! It includes the most amazing shot of a never ending dry stone wall!

And Sandra, who also lives in Gibraltar has shared this great pic of some of our wilder residents!

Week 49 Sunset

What about a desert sunset?

Or perhaps one where the sky’s on fire?!

Week 50 Decoration

How about this for a Christmas tree? It’s in Brussels and comes curtesy of Susan at bluejake235:

This, my friends, is carved out of ice!!!

Crafty Creek shared some beautiful photos of her home decked out ready for Christmas.

And Sandra captured this great ‘decoration’ in La Linea just across the border from Gibraltar…

Week 51 Star

Here’s next year’s photo challenge custodian’, Alison’s entry for star…

Crafty Creek has a beautiful selection of Christmas creations on show for this challenge too.

And finally, how about this for a light?!

Thank you once again to everyone who has joined in along the way, it’s been great to make new ‘friends’ and hook up with long-standing ones too. Alison, I now officially pass the baton over to you! Have fun and every good wish for 2019 and all the fun it may bring your way!

Friday photo challenge (Week 50) Decoration

Sacred Heart Church needs little additional decoration, it’s beautiful to start with, but it’s currently sporting some Christmas wreathes.

We are a bit slow off the mark in our house and haven’t yet put up our decorations… that’s job for this weekend I think. But Gibraltar has all its decorations up and looking splendid!

Next week is the penultimate week for this photo challenge, and the theme will be ‘star’.

Friday photo challenge (week 49) Sunset

We are incredibly fortunate to have a beautiful west-facing view from our home. We look out on the Bay of Gibraltar and the hills behind Algeciras in the distance. Each clear evening we get to see the sun plop down behind the hills and often, the sunsets are spectacular (the top one was taken on Sunday).

Sometimes we just get a quick glimpse as the sun comes out from cloud cover before disappearing!

We’ve been lucky enough to see some lovely sunsets while on holiday too. The one above was taken on a bridge across the River Garonne in Toulouse in Southern France, and the one below on the beach at Marbella on the Costa del Sol (Costa del Sunset on this occasion).

But my favourite sunset photo has to be this one….

…taken at a hotel a short drive along the Spanish coast from where we live in Gibraltar. I love how the dark silhouettes of the trees and bridge are reflected in the pool.

Next week’s Friday photo challenge is: ‘Decoration’.

Friday photo challenge (Week 48) Wild

Our rather famous ‘wild’ inhabitants here in Gibraltar just had to feature in this week’s photo challenge! What are they talking about I wonder?

My favourite place here has to be the Med Steps, and they are covered with ‘wild’ flowers in Spring.

Gibraltar Candytuft

It’s not just the Rock which has ‘wild’ inhabitants, we have beautiful dolphins in our waters too…

Next week’s Postcard from Gibraltar Friday Photo Challenge is ‘sunset’.

Friday photo challenge (Week 46) Storm

This week’s photo challenge is ‘storm’. Many times I have tried and failed to get a decent storm photo. This one (above) was taken on Southwold Common in Suffolk last summer during an amazing thunderstorm. It was after 10 o’clock at night, and between the lightning flashes it was pitch black apart from the neon lights on the circus big top in the distance. It was so cloudy though that the whole sky lit up rather than seeing the forks of lightning I was hoping for.

Living where we do, in Gibraltar, we often witness some great storms – especially across the Bay of Gibraltar. One day I watched this belting rain cloud roll in from the Strait of Gibraltar. It turned an otherwise bright day to instant nighttime.

And at last, after many years of trying to catch a ‘proper’ lightning shot, I got one. This was looking straight ahead outside our front door one stormy evening.

Next week’s Friday photo challenge is ‘climb’.

Friday photo challenge (week 45) Remembrance

As we prepare for Remembrance Sunday this weekend, Remembrance is a fitting theme for this week’s Friday photo challenge.

This year, our attention is drawn to World War One, as it’s 100 years ago this year that it came to an end on Armistice Day. To mark this, there’s a special exhibition on in Gibraltar at the moment to remember the Rock’s involvement in the conflict.

Since arriving in Gibraltar almost a decade ago, I’ve become aware of the role of the Rock in the Battle of Trafalgar, and of course, in the Second World War, but naively didn’t realise it’s involvement in WW1.

It was strategically important for fueling ships, treating injured servicemen and transporting supplies.

Hundreds of injured troops were transported from Gallipoli in Turkey to Gibraltar, to be treated in the military hospital.

Among the exhibition is the story of local Gibraltarian soldier Manuel Peralta, who fought, was injured and then fell in love with his nurse. They later went on to marry.

Royal Gibraltar Artillery 1914

This wonderful exhibition by the Gibraltar National Archives gives a much deeper understanding of the effect of WW1 on Gibraltar as well as its role in supporting the wider war effort across Europe.

Out and about, Gibraltar has its own war memorials, this one (above) was built following WW1, but now serves as a memorial for the fallen in both World Wars.

The American Steps memorial (above) was built by the United States to remember its servicemen who were lost when the US Navy ship USS Chauncey was hit in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Next week’s challenge is Storm.