A Catalan Bay Blanket Story

Once upon a time (about a year ago) a lovely crochet designer called Eleonora published a crochet-along (or CAL) pattern for a new blanket called ‘Changing Tides’. The previous year, Eleonora had published another seaside themed blanket on her Coastal Crochet blog called the ‘Seaside Stash Buster’ which I joined in with and created my Sandy Bay Blanket.

Even though I had approximately 7,248 other crochet projects on the go at the time (well not quite, but it felt like it), I couldn’t resist having a go at Eleonora’s new project, and so it began…

Just like the previous year, Eleonora posted helpful You Tube videos along the way to help with tricky stitches and rows and soon had us all crocheting like pros!

I set off like a bull at a gate and didn’t take the time to plan what my colour choices would be, and decided (resonably early on) that I didn’t like what I had done so started again…

My project came with me on holiday…

…and before I knew it, I had a rather nice ‘changing tides’ sea developing in front of me. The name ‘changing tides’ is very appropriate because at the end of each row you turn your work and travel back the way you came in much the same way the waves do as they land on the beach.

It even made it down to the beach…

…those bobbles are rather time consuming, so I did a spot of bobbling on the bus…

…and still the tide came in.

And look … it even featured on Eleonora’s Instagram feed on one of her weekly round-ups! That made my day I can tell you.

By this point I felt that perhaps it was time to think about something other than just sea and waves…

And inspiration hit me. Last year’s blanket was based on Sandy Bay.

My Sandy Bay blanket from last year

Why not make a blanket based on another of Gibraltar’s lovely beaches…. Catalan Bay?

The brightly coloured houses gave me lots of excuses to use some different vibrant colours.

But what colour should I opt for first? What about the aptly named ‘shrimp’?

Shrimp was just the ticket for another row of bobbles and they could represent the buoys which hold up the nets in the family swimming area.

It felt good to see a pop of colour against all that blue. The buoys were finished during a short break in Spain while sitting under the cool of some trees.

And again, my blanket made it into one of Eleonora’s weekly round ups! What a thrill.

Time for more waves, and then finally dry land and a beach!

Then came the sandy bobbles, a terracotta coloured sea wall, and those brightly coloured houses which populate Catalan Bay. Behind the houses came the green vegetation which then gave way to the grey of the upper Rock and finally the sky and wispy Levanter clouds forming on the crest of the Rock.

I tell you what, those different colours were a bit fiddly and you do not want to see the loose ends that were on the back!

It’s taken an inordinately long amount of time to get to the end, but get to the end I have! It’s time for the big unveiling!

Last year, I was able to do my big ta-dah moment on Sandy Bay beach itself. This year, because of our current situation in lockdown because of the Coronavirus, my big ta-dah is just having to happen on my balcony… at least the sun’s shining!

Thank you very much Eleonora for yet another fabulous crochet-along pattern. Thank goodness I managed to get this one finished before you launch this year’s blanket (just a week before I believe!). The online community which was formed because of these blankets is truly wonderful. It’s so important to feel like you are part of a community, especially at times like this.

Until we meet again, Catalan Bay, thank you for your inspiration!

Sunday Sevens #200 11.8.19

Did you catch the title of this post? Sunday Sevens number 200 – eek how did that happen? Have I really been writing about what’s happened during my weeks for 200 weeks? If you have been with me from the start I reckon you deserve some kind of reward for your stamina! Thank you to everyone who’s been reading my posts for so long whether you’re a newbie to Postcard from Gibraltar or have been dipping in and out for years, I appreciate your company – thank you!

By the way, I had lots of fun walking around the town centre looking for ‘200’s for this photo collage (thank goodness Gibraltar’s dialing code is 200!!).

Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:

Beach day

Last Sunday and Monday were spent doing laundry from our trip to Portugal last week and putting our home back together after having contractors in to do some much needed jobs in our absence. Tuesday, though, was a beach day. It was lovely down at Sandy Bay. I stupidly thought that after a long summer of using factor 50 suncream I could throw caution to the wind and go down to factor 30. I was wrong. a bit of previously unexposed flesh couldn’t cope with it and I got a bit frazzled. That’ll teach me. I’m back on The factor 50.

Market day in La Linea

I’m on the hunt for some fabric to recover our dining room chairs. I have a design in my mind and headed to La Linda’s Wednesday market to try and buy some. Unfortunately the stall holders didn’t have what I wanted. We did have a nice lunch at Cafe Modelo in La Linea town centre (their chips are really rather nice) and had a bit of a walk about – it made a nice change,

Lovely sunset

On Wednesday evening we enjoyed a glorious sunset over the Bay. The photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Thursday swim

I took the Little Postcards to the Europa open air pool on Thursday, it was lovely. I didn’t take any photos in the pool but am always amazed at the waterfall above it.

Bougainvillea blooms

I have included this bougainvillea a few times in Sunday Sevens over the years. It always seems to be in bloom and was laden with flowers when we walk past it this week.

Squeezing the last bit out of the day

On Friday we stayed on the beach until the last rays of sunshine had disappeared over the Rock. The Little Postcards were having so much fun in the sea and burying each other in the sand. It seemed such a shame to leave.

Busy day in the Bay

I happened to look out of the window yesterday and thought it looked really rather busy out in the Bay. There were ferries heading back and to to Morocco and tankers bunkering in Gibraltar waters as well as huge container ships heading to Algeciras port. I think the only day it’s quiet out there is Christmas Day.

And that brings this week’s 200th Sunday Sevens to a close.

I forgot to include this last week… here’s a little compilation of my July highlights.

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

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Sevens #195 7.7.19

First week of the school summer holidays over already! Just another 8 to go…

Saharan dust at sunset

The calm before the busy week ahead…. a Saharan dust sunset last Sunday evening.

We’re watching you!

On Monday we went to the beach – better start the holiday as we mean to go on… it was lovely! While we were there we were watching HMS Echo mapping the sea bed off the East coast of the Rock.

New pool

Gibraltar has a new /old pool. The former MOD Nuffield Pool was handed back to the Gibraltar Government a while back and was left empty and unused (which is a terrible waste). Anyway, a couple of weeks ago it was opened to the public for the first time (previously you had to have MOD connections to get in). It is utterly marvelous and I can see us making use of it a lot this summer – we went twice this week!

Gib in the news

On Thursday morning Gibraltar hit the news, a tanker containing Iranian oil and suspected of heading to Syria (in breach of EU sanctions) was seized by the Gibraltar Government with the help of the Royal Marines. We took a drive around to the Rock to see it, we spied it just off the South West coast beyond the lighthouse.

Another beach day

I’ve got this beach thing sorted I think! It takes me a few attempts to get into my stride with what to take etc. Now the Little Postcards are a bit older I can actually take the risk of looking at a book without fear of them getting into too much bother – this is a very nice development! Next week I think my crochet will have to come too…

Calentita time!

Calentita came to town on Friday night. The annual food festival takes over the main Casemates Square and Market Place (below) with food stalls, tables, musical acts and cookery demonstrations. We always get there early for a quick feed with the Little Postcards before it gets too busy later on.

Island Games

Last night, the NatWest International Island Games kicked off in Gibraltar at the new (not quite finished yet) Europa Point Sports Complex. Teams from 21 visiting islands from St Helena to Greenland, the Isle of Man to Sark arrived. Gibraltar will host them in a number of sports for the next week. Be prepared for a rather sports inspired Sunday Sevens next week!

And that brings this week’s rather busy Sunday Sevens to a close. I hope it’s been a good one for you. Until next time, bye for now!

Sunday Sevens – which features 7 photos from the last 7 days was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #192 23.6.19

Hello there! It’s Sunday Sevens time again. Here we are on our last weekend before School breaks up for summer for 9 loooooong weeks! Not sure what state we’ll all be in by the time September comes around – I feel a another summer craft challenge coming on….

Bank holiday on the beach

It was a bank holiday here in Gibraltar on Monday in honour of the Queen’s birthday. We headed down to the beach for the first time this year, and so did everyone else by the looks of it!! I also indulged in a spot of alfresco crochet, a bit of bank holiday bobbling on the beach!

I managed a bit of bobbling on the bus home too!

Photo of the day!

This photo which I used for my #52fridayphotos photo challenge last week got noticed by an Instagram account which showcases nice photos of Gibraltar… and I won photo of the day this week! What a lovely surprise 😊.

More street art

A few weeks ago I shared a couple of photos of recent additions of street art ( a sloth & a ginger cat). This huge and rather lovely piece of art has appeared on hoardings around the old police station on Irish Town. Much better than a plain old hoarding don’t you think?!

Lunch with friends

I had a lovely afternoon with friends this week on Queensway Quay. It had been too long since our last meet up. We had a lovely chat.

Comedy in a cave.

The Mancunian comedian, Jason Manford, came to Gibraltar this week. He did four shows in St Michael’s Cave in the Upper Rock. We went along to his first show and had a really good giggle. It was fabulous, and the cave is a stunning venue for an event. The evening was rounded off with a lovely sunset as we emerged from the cave…

New old pool

Gibraltar has a new/old pool! The Nuffield Pool, which was owned by the MoD was handed back to the Gibraltar Government a couple of years ago and very sadly it was left unused. This summer it has been smartened up again and this time is open to the public – not just military personnel and their families. It opened on Friday – I’m looking forward to our first trip!

Sunset flight

Last night as we were sitting out on our balcony watching the world go by a plane took off from Gibraltar airport and flew by. What a lovely time to fly!

And there you have it, seven photos from the last seven days (who’s counting?!). Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

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!

Sunday Sevens #166 9.12.18

Hello! Here’s Sunday Sevens again, a great week for us and full of sunshine. Here goes….

High pressure parking maneuvers

As we headed out on Sunday morning, I spied a submarine heading into port. HMS Astute to be precise. On our travels we went down to the waterside to see the sub up close.

If you’ve ever driven in Gibraltar you’ll know that parking can be a bit tricky at times, on hills, against rocky walls and just inches from the passing traffic. That said, I don’t fancy trying to park one of these… even with the help of a couple of tugs!

Dressmaking booboo

Arghh! As I started sewing this week a spied a terrible thing – a hole in one of my back panels which had already been attached to my collar! The hole must’ve been in the fabric when I bought it but as it was cut double I didn’t see it until too late. It had to be unpicked, then another panel cut and reattached. So glad I did it though, no one wants a jacket with a hole in!

Wanderers return

Last weekend we were a bit depleted in the Postcard household. Two members of the family were overseas on school/work trips. I’m pleased to say both came home safe and well.

Watercolour class

I’m making slow progress with my painting of the ceiling at Sacred Heart Church. That said I don’t want to rush at it a make a hash of it… baby steps!

Winter sun

We’ve had a belting week weatherwise. Mornings have been misty but by lunchtime we’ve had beautiful blue skies and sunshine – we’ve been so lucky!

#Elfy

So, we have an elf… up until this point we’d dodged this current fascination but this week, the pester power was too much and #Elfy arrived.

The tree’s up!

Not our personal one of course 😉 We walked past this huge one in Casemates Square last night and saw it lit up for the first time. It looked lovely.

So that’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope it’s been a good week for you. Until next week, bye for now.

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

Sunday Sevens #158 14.10.18

Hello and welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens. We have had some rather windy and wet weather today, although nothing compared to what many people elsewhere have suffered this week. Hurricane Leslie was on a direct collision course with Gibraltar a couple of days ago, but luckily for us (but not for Lisbonites) it took a detour and hit land near Lisbon in Portugal.

As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series. Here’s what’s been going on in my world this week….

Med Steps on a Monday

It was pretty murky on Monday morning when I took a trip up the Med Steps. There were loads of apes about again. This little family group made me smile – there seem to be quite a few babies around at the minute.

Sandy Bay blanket

My Sandy Bay blanket post last week got some truly lovely comments. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and comment on the blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you made my day :-).

Pretty flowers

Before my parents left last weekend, my Mum bought me some lovely roses. This one, with the dark pink edges to its petals was my absolute favourite – it’s so pretty.

Watercolour class

The Busy Lizzie’s are finished. My next project is a little landscape…

A visitor

On Thursday evening Mr Postcard got the shock of his life when, as he was sitting by the open window, a mantis flew in and landed on him! It then moved to the curtains! It’s only the second time in almost 10 years that I’ve seen one up close like this – the last one (which was rather aged and brown coloured) landed on our washing line and stayed there for a few days before it died.

This one was caught and put back outside!

On top of the Rock

It was a stunning morning on Friday when I did the Med Steps, not a cloud in the sky, just vapour trails. It was really rather hot though due to the lack of cloud cover!!

Beautiful Marbella

Yesterday we took a trip along the coast to Marbella for lunch and a wander. It was a beautiful day, we ate tapas in a chiringuito on the beach and meandered through the old town. I stumbled upon this shop…

I wish I’d seen it before my ‘purple’ photo challenge entry last week!!

Thanks for stopping by, Sunday Sevens should be back again next week… I wonder what this week will have in store for us? 🙂