A stroll around Gibraltar No. 26 : All the way around the Rock

Today is 10th September which is Gibraltar National Day and I wanted to mark the occasion with a special blog post. As our family moved back to the UK this summer after over a decade in Gib, it will be a strange National Day for us. It will also be a ‘different’ one for the people of Gibraltar as this year, the traditional rallies and gatherings have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

This is my tribute to Gibraltar on National Day 2020, a post which I hope, will show my deep affection for the Rock and it’s people. It’s a place which will be forever in my heart, and I dearly hope I will be able to return to frequently in the years to come.

Gibraltar National Day rally – Casemates Square 10th September 2019

Way back in May, before we made our epic move back to the UK, I got the chance to do something I’d never done before…. walk the whole way round the Rock. It’s not something I’d done before because it takes quite a while and strictly speaking you aren’t allowed to walk through one of the road tunnels to complete the route.

However, during the waning weeks of lockdown while there was very little traffic on the roads many people were walking through and the authorities were turning a blind eye. Being someone who doesn’t like to bend the rules very often, I saw this new development as my opportunity and took it. (FYI it’s very busy on the roads again now, so I really wouldn’t recommend doing it now. PLEASE BE SENSIBLE AND DON’T WALK THROUGH).

Here goes…

Europa Road

I began my walk in South District not far from where we used to live on the (normally busy) Europa Road.

Past the beautiful blooms of bougainvillea and nasturtiums.

Rather than going the long way around via Queensway or Main Street, I walked above the Trafalgar Cemetery and popped through Prince Edward’s Gate and into Gibraltar’s old town that way.

Trafalgar Cemetery
Prince Edward’s Gate

And into town…

Town Range
Looking from St Mary’s School towards St Andrew’s Church

I walked along pavements I have walked countless times before over the years. It was strange to think that just a few weeks later, we would be saying goodbye to Gibraltar after 11 very happy years. During that time these streets, which once felt so alien and unlike where we had come from, became our home.

St Andrew’s Church of Scotland

I passed below the beautiful and historic Garrison Library.

Gibraltar Garrison Library

…and further on into town along the narrow Governor’s Street north towards Casemates Square.

Governor’s Street
Casemates Square

As you can probably tell from the bright blue skies in the photos – it was a rather warm day!

Casemates Tunnel

In the north east corner of Casemates is a tunnel which leads to…

Landport Tunnel

… Landport Tunnel which was, once upon a time, the only way to access Gibraltar by land. All the area beyond the city walls was once sea before a series of land reclamation projects were undertaken. At curfew each evening those big wooden doors would be closed and the drawbridge on the other side would be lifted sealing inhabitants of the Rock inside for the night.

The tunnel is steeped in history – walking through it you can imagine some of the people who must have come through here over the centuries. There is a bend in the middle for defence purposes I believe.

Northern Defences

As you come out of Landport Tunnel Gibraltar’s military heritage is in evidence on your right and above your head lies the Northern Defences – a place I would have loved to explore before we left.

Onwards and northwards I headed towards the airport and the sundial roundabout.

Sundial roundabout with the airport runway and air traffic control tower beyond

My path turned to the East at this point along Devil’s Tower Road.

This road (which is normally very busy but thanks to lockdown was extremely quiet) has a mix of older housing blocks, flashy new developments and industry. The Rock looms above it all.

At Eastern beach you pass the local vehicle licensing and MOT test centre, behind this military pill box.

As I passed by this spot I was rather taken by this little chap!

Gnome created by Gibraltar street artist Jupp
Can you spot the spy holes in a line on the Rock in the bottom third of the photo?

There are plenty of reminders on the East side of Gibraltar’s military past as well, apart from the spy holes in the Rock above your head is this cairn constructed in memory of the members of the Black Watch who worked here to create some of Gibraltar’s Defences. I wonder what they thought about the heat of the Med after traveling down from the Highlands of Scotland?!

Heading south towards Catalan Bay

The sun was rather intense at this spot beating down on my head (I’m glad I wore a hat!) and the crickets were chirping in the grass by my side.

Catalan Bay

All of a sudden after the industrial buildings the developments give way to a huge land reclamation project and on the other side – beautiful Catalan Bay. When we first arrived in Gib, this was our beach of choice in the summer. It’s small-ish and is less easy to lose children when you take your eyes off them for a millisecond! Plus there is ample parking if you arrive early enough in the day. Lately though, we moved to Sandy Bay which is a lot less densely populated and gives you much more space.

Beach protocol in Gib is something which you quickly learn as a newcomer to the Rock. Local families have their traditional pitches where they always set up camp on the beach and it can be quite easy to ruffle feathers if you plonk yourself down in a seemingly empty spot. At the height of summer beach umbrellas, deck chairs and tables appear on the beach at first light many hours before their owners appear to take up residence. It is quite a sight to behold.

Catalan Bay
Looking down over Catalan Bay village

Rather than dashing down to the beach to feel the sand and waves on my toes I kept on going along Sir Herbert Miles Road which hugs the back of Catalan Bay village (Sir Herbert Miles was Governor of Gibraltar from 1913-1918).

Catalan Bay rooftops

Catalan Bay was once solely populated by ex-pat Genoese fishermen and their families. Until about 100 years ago the village was cut off at high tide and the only access was via the beach when the tide was low. Genoese was the language spoken here and Caletaños (Catalan Bay villagers) are responsible for a lot of the Genoese words which have become a fixture in the Llanito dialect in Gibraltar.

Traditional wooden fishing boats at Catalan Bay (Photo: Postcard from Gibraltar archives)

Traditional wooden boat building is still a skill which is passed down through the generations in this village. The beautiful handcrafted rowing fishing boats are used daily by village fishermen to catch fish, they are also used for a traditional annual boat race in the Bay.

Brightly coloured Little Genoa

Along Sir Herbert Miles Road is the pretty and colourful development of Little Genoa (can you see what they did there?).

All the while the huge Rock is there above you!

After Catalan Bay is Black Strap Cove, a small stretch of undeveloped land between Catalan Bay and Sandy Bay. As with much of the Gibraltar coastline you can see now abandoned military installations amongst the rocky cliff side. It is a haven for wild flowers in spring and I’ve seen Barbary Partridges here at times too. A lovely spot.

Next stop Sandy Bay…

When we first arrived in Gibraltar 11 years ago, there was a tiny pebble beach here at Sandy Bay. The winter before we arrived brought tremendous storms and sea swells and washed the beach away (as well as running a huge tanker aground by Europa Point and causing damage elsewhere in Gibraltar). Maybe 5 years ago (my memory may be wrong here) the Government completed the project to build a couple of groynes to protect the beach and shipped in tones of sand to replace what had been lost in the storms.

Sandy Bay is now a large beautifully sandy stretch of beach and thanks to the rocky arms stretching out to hug the beach, the water here can be calm where the conditions are choppy elsewhere for swimming. The perfect spot to spend a day with the family! It’s now our beach of choice.

The housing development of Both Worlds which forms a barrier between the main road and the beach was built just over 50 years ago and opened just around the time the border between Gibraltar and Spain was closed by General Franco. Overnight Gibraltarians couldn’t cross over for holidays and trips into Spain, and Both Worlds became a holiday destination for many local people.

When it opened there were shops here, food delivery services (much like what many of us rely on these days) and even a mini buggy taxi service which would give residents a lift along the length of the resort. I happened upon a fabulous newspaper supplement advertising the new Both Worlds development in a 50 year old Gibraltar Chronicle at the National Archives a while ago. It made for fascinating reading!

It is now a residential block, half of which is for over 50s and the rest is sold on the open market. Some of the apartments can be rented as holiday lets.

Old military buildings south of Sandy Bay
Looking north towards Sandy Bay
Dudley Ward Tunnel

A short way south of Sandy Bay is Dudley Ward Tunnel. This is the tunnel which isn’t supposed to be used by pedestrians but during lockdown became a regular pedestrian route around the Rock because of the greatly reduced traffic on the roads.

Goodbye sunshine… into the cool darkness. I had my fluorescent gear on so I could be seen clearly walking along the side of the road (fortunately just two cars passed me by). I didn’t hang about for long, it felt very naughty to be in there. I don’t mind telling you that was a bit relieved when I popped out into daylight at the other end!

The coastline here is different to the other end of the tunnel, the cliffs are steeper and go right down to the sea below.

Cliffs covered in wildflowers (can you spot the nesting gull?)

You get a clear view of the clay pigeon shooting range which was built for the Island Games last year.

2019 Island Games Clay Pigeon shooting range

This section of the Rock is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the photo below you get a true sense of the magesty of the cliffs looking northwards. Down at just above sea-level is the Gorham’s Cave complex which is full of important archaeological research.

It truly is a beautiful spot.

Looking south towards Europa Point and the Moroccan coast beyond

When I could see the lighthouse at Europa Point, I felt like I was on the final leg of my journey. Not long now before I could have a cold drink and a sit down!

Out at sea, as I was walking, I spotted a bit of argy-bargy between a Guardia Civil boat and a Royal Navy rhib. That’s a common sight round these parts as there is an ongoing dispute about who the British Gibraltar Territorial Waters actually belong to. Sometimes skirmishes make the British news, one day I saw a flare being fired by the British after a Spanish vessel continued on a collision course towards a submarine. That was quite a sight I can tell you!

Europa Advance Road

Onwards in the full heat of the sun heading south…

Trinity Lighthouse

… there she is – Trinity Lighthouse. Doesn’t she look magestic?

The lay-by which offers this stunning view also has a touching memorial for a young soldier.

As you round the bend in the road, in front of you is the dramatic sight of the Mosque.

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

Between the mosque and the lighthouse, Europa Point is a rather iconic part of the Rock. It’s also home to a fabulous play park for young children, a heritage information centre, Gibraltar University, the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe and the recently built Europa Point stadium which is home to Gibraltar Rugby & Gibraltar Cricket and was used to house the Nightingale facility to cope with Covid-19 patients (although, so far, thankfully, it hasn’t needed to be used).

Looking towards the lighthouse, park & stadium between the mosque and university accommodation.

The road swings round to the north again after Europa Point offering great views of the Rock.

Europa Road looking north
View from Europa Road down to Little Bay, the Nuffield Pool and Camp Bay beyond

Looking westwards out to see you see both the Moroccan coast (on the left of the photo below) and the Spanish coast (on the right) the strip of water between them is the famous Strait of Gibraltar and the gateway to the Mediterranean.

Europa Road here gets quite narrow as it was once crossed by an archway and policed by an army sentry.

It was a defence point to stop invaders approaching from the south getting access to the town.

And finally I had reached my destination… almost home, I was back in South District!

Two hours on from when I’d set off, I had completed my circuit of the Rock. I am so pleased I managed to tick this walk off on my to-do list in Gibraltar. Despite living there for over a decade, there are still some things I didn’t manage to achieve, like visiting the Lower St Michaels Cave and exploring the Jungle and the Northern Defences. I hope one day I will be able to do those things.

In the meantime, when I’m in my new home in the UK I have some truly wonderful memories of our time in Gib, and feel truly blessed that we had our time there, and that the Little Postcards could enjoy some of their childhood there too.

Thank you Gibraltar and happy National Day 2020! 🇬🇮

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #004 23.8.20

Hello there! My word it’s been a busy week this week as you will see. I hope it’s been a good one for you. Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard…

Stormy skies

Last Sunday we headed out to our local field to play frisbee. It seemed like a great idea at the time – we had a brief frisbee session the day before and the Little Postcards loved it – so we headed back for a longer session on Sunday. It was fun, I’ll give you that, but blimey I didn’t half ache afterwards!! My neck, shoulders, arms, back legs…. I’m showing my age!

Rainy day

After a bright Monday morning, the afternoon was a rather damp affair in our part of the world. Despite that, I thought the rain drops on this spiders web looked rather pretty.

Leaving on a jet plane

Eldest and I had an early start on Wednesday morning…. we were Gibraltar bound for the small matter of picking up GCSE results.

And there she is…

A seat with a view

A postcard from Gibraltar

It had to be done… we left the two youngest Little Postcards behind under the care of grandparents, so we simply had to send a postcard back home on Wednesday when we arrived. I’m amazed to be able to tell you that it arrived in Manchester on Saturday just 4 days later!

Sunrise on results day

We were up early on Thursday so we could collect Eldest’s GCSE results (the reason for our visit). As we were staying on the East side of the Rock this time we were able to witness sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea. It was a lovely moment as we anticipated what might be coming that day.

I’m thrilled to be able to tell you the results were as sunny as the skies above us. I have been having a proud Mum moment ever since.

Friends reunited

Friday evening meant meeting up with some old friends who I only said goodbye to last month! It was great to see them, tell them all our news and hear theirs.

Making waves on the beach

Our trip back to Gibraltar hasn’t exactly been a holiday, there have been things which needed to be sorted following our move back to the UK. A few admin jobs which had slipped through the net before we left and such like. Yesterday though, in the afternoon, I found myself alone and my to-do list was complete so I took my crochet hook, yarn & deckchair down to the beach at Sandy Bay.

I had a few blissful hours crocheting, watching the world go by and also had a solo dip in the sea. I can’t remember if I have ever been to the beach alone before. I normally always have young people with me. I can highly recommend it! It may only have been a few hours but it felt like a holiday after months of planning, packing, unpacking and everything else that moving countries with a family entails. I feel very lucky to have had this time away.

And that brings this week’s postcard to an end. We are now back in Manchester after a very long day of travel – more on that next week!

Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by.

Lindsay x

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.

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 #227 21.6.20

Hello and welcome to Sunday Sevens again! It’s been a glorious day here, truly midsummery in every way. I hope it’s been a good one for you too. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

A Sunday jaunt up the Rock

Last Sunday I headed up the Rock for a trip to the Windsor Suspension bridge with the Little Postcards. It was beautiful but a little windy. I nearly lost my hat in a gust while crossing the bridge! There were so many butterflies out and about. I only managed to snap one though.

Noisy neighbours

We have 2 sparrow families nesting on our balcony at the moment. It’s the second lot of chicks in both nests so far this year. They are rather a noisy and raucous bunch. They may be small but they are loud! They get rather annoyed when they see me sitting on the balcony and chirp loudly at me as if to say I’m trespassing on their property!!

Pretty balconies

Speaking of balconies, this is one of the prettiest in Gibraltar. It was looking lovely as I walked past this week.

Last rays of sunshine

I spent all day at home on Wednesday doing jobs which had to be done. It was frustrating because I wanted to get out. I managed a short walk at sunset and it did the job. A beautiful pick me up at the end of the day.

Catching up on pandemonium

I managed to find a tiny bit of time one afternoon to dig out my Pandemonium CAL for a short while. It felt good to get back to it. I’m a good few weeks behind schedule but I’ll get there in the end!

It’s finished

Last Sunday night I managed to get this finished! My Entrelac Tunisian crochet purse from Little Box of Crochet. I’m really pleased with it, although I’m not sure I would do it again. I found it really quite tricky and couldn’t do it while watching telly!

Podcast update

This week episode 9 of Making Stitches went online and it featured my first international interview with Esther from Essie Birdies. Esther and I had a chat all about how crochet became a passion for her about 10 years ago. She designs the most beautiful shawls as well as amigurumi and other things. You can find the show notes for the episode here and listen by searching for ‘Making Stitches’ on your favourite podcast app.

That’s all for this week, I hope to be back with another blog post mid week this week (all being well). Until then, take care and thanks for stopping by.

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

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.

Sunday Sevens #215 5.1.20

Hello and happy New Year! I hope you had a good celebration. Are you still sticking to your resolutions or have you decided not to bother? I’m trying to get a bit fitter and have a few plans up my sleeve for projects this year… watch this space!

In fact, I’ve even been for a run this morning so I’m feeling rather virtuous!

Here’s the first Sunday Sevens of 2020:

Leaving on a jet plane…

On Sunday we waved goodbye to Mr Postcard and Gibraltar and hopped on a plane to visit my family in Manchester. It was a nice smooth flight filled almost entirely with the task of attempting to untangle the humungous knot I’d managed to get tangled in my Scheepjes Whirl. It took until New Year’s Eve to get sorted and required help from my brother and my Dad!!

A late afternoon stroll

On Monday afternoon we took a trip to one of my favourite places, Dunham Massey National Trust Park. I was rather stunned by the early dusk compared to Gibraltar – this is my first midwinter visit to Manchester in about 9 years!! The sunset did make for a lovely backdrop for the deer though!

New Year’s Day – starting as I mean to go on…

I impressed myself for getting out for a run on New Year’s Day – not my usual view of the Bay of Gibraltar but it’ll do just the same!

A wander around Manchester

Later on on New Year’s Day I jumped on the train into town and had a wander around in the cold! I even bumped into Miss Pankhurst which was a thrill!

Hitting those New Year goals!

I have so many unfinished craft projects on the go that I’m determined to get some finished this year. First one completed was this leaf pattern scarf from My Picot. I’m ashamed to say it’s been on the go for about 18 months and been calling me from the sidelines for ages. Well it’s done, and I love it!

Homeward bound

We flew back home to Gibraltar on Friday after a lovely, if brief, trip to Manchester. It was a fabulous few days and so nice to be able to catch up with friends and family. It was a stress free flight home, and I even got time to start work on my second WIP (work in progress) of 2020 en route!

After much squinting at Google Maps, me & Eldest think it’s the Devon coastline you can see in the photo above and Dartmouth in particular.

Home!

It was a corker of a day yesterday. Just look at that late afternoon sun reflecting off the water. Just the weather for getting my washing dried (oh the glamour!).

And that is Sunday Sevens done for another week. I hope it’s been a kind one to you. Back to school normality begins at some point next week for us, which is good in some ways and less so in others. Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

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

My 2019 Review of the Year

Well, it’s a bit last minute for a retrospective post, but here goes….

January

I had a great start to the year, I enjoyed my watercolour classes attempting to paint a picture of the ceiling in one of the most beautiful churches in Gibraltar – Sacred Heart. I also made a quick trip back to Manchester to visit my parents and it snowed!

February

February was lots of fun – and I had an amazing trip with Eldest to Stockholm, we visited the ABBA museum, ate meatballs and had a real adventure. You can read about it here in Part 1 and in Part 2.

March

Spring had sprung in March, and I went on an expedition to see some of the beautiful street art which has appeared in Gibraltar lately.

April

Easter fell in April and we headed to Padstow in Cornwall for a fabulous hot and sunny week’s holiday. It was wonderful to share some beautiful fun experiences with the Little Postcards.

May

May felt like the start of summer with the Med Steps 5 Challenge & family fun weekend and long sunny days.

June

Gibraltar made a contribution to the Flags of Thanks project supporting Veterans, I attended my last watercolour class after about 5 years of going (time constraints were the issue) and progress was made on my Changing Tides Blanket.

July

July kicked off in style with the Calentita food festival in Gibraltar, it was quickly followed by the Island Games a truly amazing week of sport, it was also the school holidays.

August

During August, Postcard from Gibraltar celebrated the 200th edition of Sunday Sevens, we had a trip to Portugal and another one to England and there were lazy days on the beach.

September

In September Take That came to Gibraltar… Liam Gallagher did too. It was amazing!

October

October brought us sunshine, sunsets & a lovely midterm break.

November

And in November GIbraltar played host to the International Literary Festival, it lit up the Christmas lights in the Festival of Lights.

December

Amazingly we enjoyed some beautiful hot sunny moments in the depths of winter in Gibraltar this year, even bringing the geckos out of hibernation! I also tried and failed to finish my Changing Tides Blanket before the end of the year! There’s always next year!!

I hope 2019 has been as kind to you as it has been to our family. I have to admit to being rather trepidatious as to what 2020 will bring with Brexit and all, but that aside I wish you a very happy, healthy & prosperous New Year.

Thank you so much for your support this year x

Sunday Sevens #214 29.12.19

Hello and welcome to the final Sunday Sevens of 2019. (Sunday Sevens for those who haven’t visited Postcard from Gibraltar before is a selection of photos – usually seven, from the past seven days).

We were traveling yesterday so this is more of a Monday Sevens this week! I hope you have had a good week and a fun Christmas. Here goes…

Sunday lunch in the sun

Last Sunday we had a lovely family meal at Queensway Quay. After lunch we went for a bit of a walk to look at the fish and the boats.

Monday morning run

I managed to motivate myself enough on Monday morning to go out for a run (it took quite a bit of will power!). As I ran past the beach at Camp Bay, I couldn’t help but notice that there was rather a lot of plastic washed up on the sand. As I took a breather I thought I’d pick up some rubbish. I was rather shocked with what I gathered in just a couple of minutes (below).

Sunny Christmas Eve

We had a lovely Christmas Eve lunch at one of our favourite Gibraltar restaurants. It was a beautiful day and I managed to order the biggest lamb dish I have ever seen. Thankfully, I had help to finish it!

Christmas Day walk

On Christmas late afternoon, I went out for a walk with Eldest to burn off a few of the calories I’d consumed. We walked south to the lighthouse at Europa Point and then back up north towards town and home again. As we walked along we met the Governor of Gibraltar who was also out for a Christmas Day stroll!

Boxing Day Polar Bear Swim

On Boxing Day I managed to get out for another run – I was doing so well last week (not doing so well of late though). Whilst I ran past Camp Bay, a group of brave souls were taking part in the Polar Bear swim in aid of Cancer Relief Gibraltar.

Wander with the Little Postcards

Later on on Boxing Day as Mr Postcard had to work, I headed into Spain with the Little Postcards and we had a lovely walk by the seaside. We spotted a few four legged friends on our travels.

Will I or won’t I finish this by the end of the year?

So on Friday I was determined to have a good go at finishing my changing tides blanket (pattern from Eleonora at Coastal Crochet) but unfortunately I have been beaten in my quest. I tried and failed to get it done before the end of the year – I can say that because we have now left Gibraltar for a New Year stay in England and I have left the blanket behind – there wasn’t room for it in my case.

I have, however made a lot of progress and the end is in sight, so it won’t be too long I hope. I have also brought a WIP with me to try and finish that instead while I’m away.

Grey day

That lovely sunshine we had over Christmas was long gone by Saturday. The sky was the same colour as the Rock! Never mind, we had a very good spell of weather over Christmas so I’m not complaining.

And that brings Sunday Sevens to an end for another week. I do hope that you enjoyed this week if you celebrate Christmas.

Thanks very much for sticking with me this year, it’s been a bit of a quiet one for Postcard from Gibraltar as I’ve been rather busy doing other things this year. I hope to be around a bit more in 2020.

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

Sunday Sevens #213 22.12.19

Hello and seasons greetings on this Christmassy Sunday Sevens. I hope you are well, and not too frazzled by the pre Christmas prep.

Sunny Sunday

The weather last Sunday was truly glorious, even the cold blooded ones among us came out of from indoors to enjoy some December rays!

No, it’s not our tree

On Monday, I found myself in a beautiful Colonial building in town for a meeting. I was bowled over with this lovely tree in the entrance hall. It looked very much at home in the grand entrance.

Keep on running…

I’m on week two of my running plan, attempting to get a bit fitter. I only managed one run this week, which I’m annoyed with myself about, I was busy at the start of the week but by the end of the week the weather was pretty grim – think gale force winds and driving rain. This was taken on Wednesday morning on my walk down to the sea shore to begin my run/stumble along!

Sharing on behalf of a friend

A good friend of ours was staying over on the East side of the Rock this week and she sent me this lovely photo of the sun rising up over the horizon. What a spectacular start to the day!

Decorations are up – at last!

After much nagging from the Little Postcards, I finally got round to putting up the Christmas decorations and the tree. I wasn’t really feeling Christmassy at all and I couldn’t bring myself to put the tree up when I hadn’t completed all my pre decoration jobs, like tidying up and washing the windows. On Thursday I made a promise to Littlest that I would get the tree up and ready for him to decorate while he was at school. He was happy with that! I treated myself to some little star lights for the hallway – they are battery operated and I think they look rather nice over the mirror.

Carol singing

Also this week, we had a few of the obligatory carol singing events for school choirs. It was lovely to see Littlest singing with his school at the Artisan Christmas market in town.

Friday morning rain

That bad weather I told you about… it was a bit grim. In a break in the rain on Friday I popped quickly into town to pick up a few Christmas things I needed, before school finished at lunch time – my last proper opportunity. I just took the photo to make those of you reading this up north in the UK who might be experiencing a bit of bad weather too, realise that you are not alone! Also, that while I was feeling smug last Sunday watching the gecko sunbathing over on the East side of the Rock, that gorgeous weather was short lived!

And that, as they say is that. Sunday Sevens done for another week. Not the most inspiring set of photos I’ll grant you, but it’s been a good week for us with some fun times and a few meetings with lovely friends, which I forgot to capture in photos – probably because I was too busy talking!!

If you are celebrating Christmas I hope it is a very happy one for you. I send every good wish from Gibraltar for a lovely time with friends and family, and thank you for stopping by!

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