Sunday Sevens #129 1.4.18

Happy Easter and welcome to this Easter Sunday edition of Sunday Sevens. Last week we were on the slopes, skiing in the Dolomites. (If you missed my Postcard from the Dolomites, you can find it here.) This week we started off back at home in Gibraltar but once the Little Postcards broke up from school for the Easter break midweek, we found ourselves heading back to the airport to fly to England.

Back in Gibraltar

Ah! Look at that sunshine breaking through the clouds. After the wettest March on record in Gibraltar, it was so lovely to see the sunshine at Catalan Bay on Sunday.

Back in training

Monday morning and I got my first chance to climb the Med Steps since 27th January! Bronchitis and then very wet and windy weather rather got in the way of my training for the Med Steps 5 in May.

I went up alone on Monday and managed it ten minutes slower than on my last attempt, partially due to my decline in fitness, and partially because of the copious amount of apes which were sitting in the way on the steps. There were lots of baby apes and some rather fearsome parents so I wanted to give them a wide berth!

I have a lot of training to do before May!

Happy birthday Grandma

My parents left Gibraltar mid week, but before heading back home, my Mum celebrated her birthday with us. It was lovely to be able to spend it with her as most years we are apart. We had a birthday meal out to celebrate the occasion, and this was my dessert – a panacotta which tasted as good as it looked!

On the road again…

Bright and early on Thursday morning we hit the road again, with children this time, bound for Malaga airport and a flight back to the UK for an Easter break…

Hello Jurassic Coast!

We flew to Bristol, then drove down to Devon, to Sidmouth to be precise so we could visit the Jurassic Coast. Living where we do, means that we don’t really ‘holiday’ in the UK. We visit at least once a year but the main purpose of the trip is to visit family and friends. This trip though, was mainly for sightseeing with a couple of visits to see friends.

Snow!

Before Friday, Littlest Postcard had never seen snow before. Driving between Lyme Regis and Sidmouth, the wet weather took a rather colder turn and the rain turned to sleet, then snow. Such excitement! It didn’t stick unfortunately as the ground was too wet, but it still counts I reckon!

Hello Exeter

Yesterday we travelled to Exeter to meet up with a couple of old friends from our university days. It was so lovely to catch up with them after many years. It was my first time in Exeter too (if you don’t count traveling through the station). It’s a beautiful city, very reminiscent of Norwich and a bit like York too. I would’ve liked to have explored a bit more than we did but time was against us.

However you are spending your Easter I hope you are having a happy time with your loved ones. Take care until next week. Here’s a few photos from this last month – as always, it’s been a busy one!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for Sunday Sevens.

Sunday Sevens #126 11.3.18

Hello and a very happy Mother’s Day to you. Not only is it Mother’s Day here in Gibraltar, we are also enjoying the first bank holiday weekend of the year with Commonwealth Day falling tomorrow. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

I spy blue sky!

We got a respite from the wind and rain on Sunday afternoon last week, I can’t tell you how good it felt to gaze up and see that! I would have loved to have gone up the Med Steps to celebrate the break in the rain, but sadly it was closed due to rock falls on the Upper Rock caused by the recent heavy rain and gales. Hopefully I’ll get back up there soon.

Rain, rain go away!

We started the week, much as we ended last week – in the rain! On Monday I had to go to Spain for a medical appointment and decided to take advantage of the fact we were near some different shops. While standing at the till waiting to pay, my phone rang. It was school, one of the Little Postcards was ill and they wanted me to come and collect him. We have been in Gibraltar for 8 and a half years and I have never before gone further than 30 minutes walk or drive from my boys at school until Monday. Sod’s Law! We had to rush back to the rain soaked Rock to pick up the young man in question (who incidentally was feeling much better by then and skipped home). I won’t do that again!

Sunshine!

Midweek we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy some sunshine – a very welcome diversion after days and days of grey, wet and windy weather. These marguerites looked beautiful in the afternoon sunshine.

A splash of colour

I decided to ring the changes on my Seaside stash busting blanket this week and opted for a pop of colour. My latest row of bobbles are red and yellow inspired by the colour of buoys bobbing about at sea. You can find the Crochet-along at Coastal Crochet.

World Book Day

World Book Day was celebrated in Gibraltar on Thursday this week, one week later than the rest of the world! Rain and gale force winds put paid to the original plan, and unfortunately it was wet again on the rescheduled day, but at least it wasn’t as bad as last week. It’s fun to walk to school and see the various miniature book characters heading into school. I saw a black cat (belonging to me, above) a chicken, many witches and wizards and pirates on our morning trip into school.

Watercolour tulips

I continued with my ink and watercolour experiment at my watercolour class this week. Tulips are the subject of my latest attempt. I painted them in the colour of some of the tulips I bought myself last week. I loved the pink and lemon yellow colour.

Bank holiday weather

Apologies that this edition of Sunday Sevens is rather weather dominated… this was my view from my favourite window as I sat sewing the legs onto crocheted unicorns yesterday afternoon (doesn’t everyone do that??). I enjoyed watching the shafts of sunshine break through the clouds.

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

Sunday Sevens #125 4.3.18

While the UK has been in the grips of the snow and ice brought by the ‘Beast from the East’, down here in Gibraltar, we’ve had a bit of a battering from Storm Emma too. We knew it was coming, but we got a heck of a pounding from the winds, rain and hail storms.

Where ever you are I hope you made it through the last seven days warm and dry! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Last rays of sunshine

We were well warned that there was bad weather on the way so as the sun was shining on Sunday afternoon I felt compelled to take the Little Postcards out on their scooters to the park while we still could. Initially they were reluctant to leave their digital devices but they had a great time and were very pleased that they’d made the effort. We haven’t visited the Alameda Botanical Gardens for a while, so it was lovely to go back there and admire the architectural plants (and tear down the sloping paths at high speed!!).

First trip up the Rock in ages

On Monday, the terrible weather we had been warned about hadn’t yet arrived so I took the opportunity to climb up to the top of the Rock for the first time in a month. I had a nasty dose of bronchitis in February and it knocked me out of action for a bit, I’m now a lot better although have been left with very sore ribs from coughing.

Anyway, I wasn’t brave enough to attempt the Med Steps in case I felt a bit funny, I thought it safer to attempt the roads instead – you can climb to the same height but it’s more gradual and there’s a better chance of seeing other people. I made it up to the top and was rather pleased with myself. Once the bad weather clears I think I’ll be ready to attempt the Steps next time.

I went for a bit of a wander while I was up there and went along Douglas Path (a newly refurbished part of the Upper Rock) for the first time. You can see the pictures here.

Oh, and I spotted some processionary caterpillars on the way back down. They may look furry and cute, but they are best avoided – they fire off the hairs on their backs which are loaded with nasty toxins.

Dressmaking

Enough of the toile already, let’s get cracking with the real thing!! I’ve reached the nerve wracking part of my dress construction at dressmaking class – actually cutting it out. If I make a mess of this, it could be disastrous! No going back now!

Rainbows

Grey skies don’t bother me when I have a crochet rainbow to work on!! I’m really enjoying the bright colours on this project. Just the antidote for the bad weather.

Wild weather

The flags were barely still hanging onto their poles at Parsons Lodge on Thursday morning. It was a bit wild. Between getting up at 7 and leaving the house around 8:30, we had thunder and lightning, hailstones, gales, drizzle and calm. It was a lovely trip to School though (I drove for a change and the roads were empty) as many people must have decided to keep their children at home and out of the storm. It was very eerie. Needless to say I was brought up up north and my children weren’t going to miss school for a bit of rain, hail and gale force winds 🙈.

The bad weather continued into the weekend. World Book Day was postponed over here until next week so costumes weren’t ruined by the rain and wind and outdoor activities could still go ahead. We had bits blowing off buildings and even a large rock fall from the north face of the Rock on Friday which closed a road and made an awful mess of some parked cars.

Watercolour class

I did a little poll on Instagram for what flower to paint next after my irises and daffs, and tulips won! We’ll see how this one progresses when I start painting it next week at my watercolour lesson.

That’s all for this week, let’s hope this bad weather soon comes to an end! Here’s a few pictures from last month – that blue sky looks lovely after this last week!

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

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 22 : Douglas Path (Upper Rock Nature Reserve)

On Monday morning, before we were hit with the bad weather we’d been warned about, I took one last chance to go for a walk in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. It’s been a month since I have been able to do the Med Steps, so thought I would break myself in gently with a walk up the western side of the Rock using the roads to reach the summit. After reaching the top of the Med Steps (above) I decided that rather than to rush back down, as I usually do, I would go for a wander.

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of investment in the Upper Rock and certain parts have been cleared and new paths and attractions created for tourists and locals alike (one notable addition in recent times has been the Windsor Suspension Bridge). As you come down from the summit of the Med Steps, there is a ramp up to the right, which for months has been barricaded off with screens as work was being carried out. On Monday, I noticed that these screens had gone and went for an explore.

The path led upwards and in a northerly direction back towards the top of the Rock. As the gaps between the trees and bushes grew larger, I was given a great view down to the town area and harbour ahead.

As I turned a slight bend in the path, there in front of me (admittedly shrouded in cloud) was the northern summit of the Rock.

The path lead down some steps amongst a number of old disused military buildings (you can see inside the one above later on). How tempting does it look to go down down these steps and find out what lies beyond?

The first building I came to afforded great views across the Western side of the Rock, along with some rather intriguing looking hooks cemented into the ceiling! I’m assuming that they were for holding cabling or equipment at some point in the past…

Opposite this small building lay a network of other rooms and corridors, which were sunk into the ground and set into the Rock itself.

This room below is in the building you first see as you arrive at this place, there are two seagulls sitting on the roof of it in the photos earlier on.

It was such an atmospheric place to be. It almost felt forbidden to be there, or like I was the first person to go into these buildings for years and years (that’s clearly not the case but it felt like it!). I believe that these rooms were used for charts and telephone communication. The ones with lookout positions were clearly used to keep an eye on what was going on outside. If these walls could talk….

It was only when I entered the room above that I realised I had passed under the top of the Rock and was peering through these openings to the other side – towards the Mediterranean Sea! This place is one of the few positions in the Upper Rock which affords spectacular views out to both the east and the west.

It reminded me a lot of when I visited the Devil’s Gap Battery on a similarly accidental basis a while ago. We go about our daily business in the streets and buildings below and forget about the rich military heritage Gibraltar has up above our heads.

I was unable to continue any further north along this path, as it was gated off, but it gave a great vantage point to look northwards.

What an interesting place. I shall have to do a bit of investigating to find out more about it. I have been in Gibraltar now for about eight and half years, and it never ceases to amaze me when I stumble across something new.

As I headed back down the Douglas Path (below) to pick up the road back down to my home, I passed a tourist notice board with some information about this area: the path runs along the top ridge of the Rock and connects a series of military installations. To the south are O’Hara’s, Lord Airey’s and Breakneck Batteries (what a name!), as well as Douglas Cave.

I couldn’t do a post about the Upper Rock without featuring one of furry neighbours could I? Cue obligatory ape shot:

I’ve saved the most interesting fact until last (well it’s interesting if you like James Bond films). Douglas Path featured in the opening sequence of the 1987 James Bond film ‘The Living Daylights’. In his first role as 007, Timothy Dalton parachuted onto the Rock before zooming down the nature reserve’s rather vertiginous roads on the roof of a hijacked Land Rover and crashing through a wall towards the sea – Douglas Path was one of those roads!

That little nugget of information may help you in a pub quiz one day – you never know!! You’re very welcome. 😉

Sunday Sevens #124 25.2.18

Hello there, I hope you’re having a nice weekend. We have been blessed with some lovely weather this week (I wore a T-shirt to do the afternoon school run on Friday), but – and it’s a big but, I have it on good authority that we are in for some very wet weather over the next seven days.

It’s funny you know, whenever there are severe weather warnings for the British Isles, that often means that for us down here on the southern most tip of the Iberian Peninsular get pretty rubbish weather too – admittedly not as cold as ooop north, but, still bad. So, as the UK grabs it’s thermals and digs out the shovels and grit to cope with a big freeze and snowy weather, we are digging out our wellies and rather fetching waterproof trousers to cope with an impending monsoon.

Anyway, weather talk aside, here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Sunset across the Bay

Clearly last Sunday nothing of note occurred as I didn’t take any photos. This lovely sunset happened on Monday though. All of a sudden the apartment was bathed in the most beautiful orange glow and I looked out of the window to see that the sun was just about to set behind the hills directly opposite our apartment windows. Each day the sun is setting further to the right (north west) as we get closer to spring and it was a beautiful beam of orange which signalled the end of Monday’s daylight.

Seaside blanket silliness

I’m really enjoying the twice weekly instalments of the Coastal Crochet Seaside stash busting blanket Crochet Along. Last week, one of my fellow CAL-ers uploaded a cute photo to Instagram with a Lego diver, seaweed and fish on her blanket and I thought I’d join in with the silliness. I spent rather longer than I should have digging about in search of a Playmobil diver and his gear, but only managed to locate his breathing apparatus. I gave up and raided the bath toy box for this pair. I have a horrible feeling our diver has met a sticky end somewhere. (Note to self : I really must grow up).

Dressmaking class

At my dressmaking class this week I finished my slice and slide frill around the top of my toile dress. It was removed from the mannequin and converted from lots of jigsaw pieces of fabric to just two to check I had the correct drape for the frill. It’s not looking too bad. I’m awaiting instruction on what to do next….

Crochet confusion

I have been attempting to start a rainbow crochet blanket (requested by a Little Postcard) for a few weeks now, but I have really struggled with it. First of all, I tried a new ripple pattern, which required a lot of concentration by me. I really wanted something I could do without too much thought in front of the telly, but I kept getting so far and having to frog it because I’d made a mistake way back at the start of the row.

On top of this I wasn’t completely happy with the colours I had chosen. I picked them online and got them sent to Gib, but when they sat next to each other, they were a bit harsh. I finally relented and went to the wool shop here in Gibraltar and bought three complimentary shades which evened out the rainbow effect I wanted. I also found a new ripple pattern which worked better for me. Back to the drawing board, but I had a plan!

Blue skies

I mentioned a the start of this post that we have had some beautiful weather this week. This was the gorgeous blue sky on Wednesday lunchtime. I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch but she got a call from school to say one of her little ones was ill, so lunch was postponed and I got the bus home. This was the view from the bus stop over the top of the park and Trinity Cathedral to the top of the Rock in the distance.

Watercolour daffs

I managed to finish my latest watercolour painting at my watercolour class this week. I’m rather pleased with these daffodils. They go well alongside my iris painting from a couple of weeks ago. I have decided to have a go at another painting in this same style with pen and watercolour, and after a bit of a poll on Instagram, it’s been decided that tulips should be my next subject!

I love it when a plan comes together…

My persistence paid off I think, the rainbow blanket is coming along well (although not fast enough for the Little Postcard who wants it for his bed…. “When will it be finished Mummy??” “Errr, don’t hold your breath son.”) I’m finding these ripples so relaxing to make, with not too much counting required by me. I have enjoyed a couple of episodes of Wallander on Netflix as I hooked these rows during a few quiet moments. I have been wanting to work on this all the time and it has come with me to football training and a football match just in case I get the chance to hook a few extra rows! My kids are seriously considering disowning me….

Batman update….

Did you see Batman in my last Sunday Sevens? He’s still up there bless him – I took this photo at 10:30 last night. They must have good helium in Gibraltar!!!

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope you have a good week. If you are in the snow, keep warm, if you are in the wet, keep dry and I’ll see you next week, same time, same place. Toodleooo!

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

2018 Friday Photo Challenge (Week 8) Movement

Movement is today’s prompt for the Postcard from Gibraltar Friday photo challenge. Here are a few suggestions from me: the one above was taken while out on a dolphin boat in the Bay of Gibraltar. We were lucky enough to see lots of dolphins that day.

This following picture was taken en route to see the dolphins with the Rock in the distance.

And this final photo is a bit off piste – I loved the movement of the fabric in this outfit at the Rock Fashion Rocks! exhibition I went to last week.

Fancy joining in? Here are the prompts for the challenge:

Sunday Sevens #123 18.2.18

Hello there, I hope you are enjoying a chilled out Sunday. I’m making the most of the Little Postcards being engrossed in something to dash this out to you. Here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens:

Farewell Queen Elizabeth

On Monday morning the Royal Navy’s brand new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed past our home on her way to sea trials after making her first ever overseas port of call in Gibraltar. Here she is pictured passing the old naval defences of Parsons Lodge.

Dressmaking class

At my first dressmaking class for a fortnight I was able to get back to working on the dress I began designing before Christmas. It’s got an asymmetrical neckline complete with a frill, so in order to work out how it will all work out I have made a toile out of curtain lining fabric.

I am now trying to make the frill out of a jigsaw of scraps to figure out exactly what shape and size it needs to be before cutting any fabric for real. It’s been fun, but I am on a steep learning curve and have no idea how it will end up really!

Valentines Day sunshine

Valentine’s Day brought with it some glorious sunshine! I really enjoyed this lovely sunny time out and about while the boys were at school.

Watercolour class

No prizes for guessing the subject of my latest watercolour and ink creation! I enjoyed working on my irises last time that I decided to try another spring flower.

Rock fashion rocks!

On Friday, I managed to get to this fabulous exhibition of fashion. It featured work by Gibraltar designers over the past 40 years. The beautiful dresses above were created by my Dressmaking teacher, Dorcas Hammond. Hopefully there will be a blog post coming soon with a few more pictures of the gorgeous creations there.

Another project finished!

So this week, I finally managed to finish this crocheted shawl. It started life on the plane to Rome last summer and was worked on in a gîte in Carcassonne in southern France too before being forgotten about when we returned home. Over the past week and a bit I’ve been working away at it and I’m thrilled that it’s finished. I love how the colour of the Scheepjes Whirl yarn gradually changes. That’s my fourth WIP (work in progress) completed so far this year! 😊

By jingo Batman you’re in a fix!

I know I shouldn’t laugh, and no doubt this Batman balloon was meant for someone’s birthday party, but I had a bit of a chuckle when he caught my eye in the carpark yesterday. You would’ve thought that a superhero would be able to get down from up there wouldn’t you?!

I hope you have had a good week, I wonder what the next seven days will have in store for us?

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