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 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? 🙂

A Sandy Bay Blanket story

Way back in January, when I already had several different crochet projects on the go, I spotted that one of my favourite bloggers was starting a new CAL (Crochet-Along). That blogger was Eleonora at Coastal Crochet. In my experience up to this point CALs usually involve purchasing a wool pack to accompany the project (which is absolutely fine) but the thing that made me want to join was that this was completely open to interpretation. You could use any coloured yarn from your stash, which meant I could start right away! So I did.

Another great attraction for me was that Eleonora released the pattern for just a couple of rows twice a week, so it was really easy to keep up with, and if I fell a few weeks behind, I soon caught up! At no point did I feel overwhelmed.

I decided early on that as the name was ‘seaside’ related it had to have marine inspired colours to begin with;

But I also wanted it somehow to have a connection to Gibraltar. But how? The western side of the Rock is its best known angle but that’s a bit complicated, so I opted for the eastern side. But Catalan Bay has so many colours that I couldn’t envisage how to include them all.

Then it hit me, Sandy Bay! It has one long developement across the whole of the Bay, with white apartments, terracotta roofing and yellow sun canopies!

The blanket became my companion and came away with us on holiday…

I soon found myself chosing colours to reflect the surroundings in Sandy Bay; beach umbrellas and paddle boards, the houses and the spring flowers growing on the Rock behind.

Above the houses are the old water catchments, which in spring are green and covered with wild flowers…

I chose yarn colours to reflect the yellow and pink flowers, then the greys and dark greens of the rocky face and shrubs above.

Last of all, it was time for the sky, and well, Gibraltar can often be found wearing its cloudy Levanter hat, so that had to feature too!

Before I knew it, I was completing the last few rows and it was almost time for the border. But first, there was the messy/boring job of weaving in all my endy bits… this was about a third of them!!

Then time for the border…

So, are you ready for the big reveal?

Can you see it? That’s my Dad humouring my silliness and holding it up for me on Sandy Bay beach!

Thanks Dad!

For the border I used grey (for the Rock), dark green for the shrubs on the Rock and blue with white wiggles which could represent the cloudy sky or the waves.

I’m really happy with it now it’s all finished and a bit sorry this lovely project has come to an end. A lovely community of crocheters from around the globe came together on Instagram and in Blogland, all united by this project – thank you Eleonora for taking us all along for the Seaside Stashbusting Blanket ride!

Sunday Sevens #156 30.9.18

Sunday again, I was supposed to post midweek all about the Music Festival last weekend but unfortunately time got the better of me, perhaps I’ll manage it this week…. here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

And relax…

It’s been quite a week for me this week, we have had visitors over – which has been lovely (and I couldn’t have managed without their help), I’ve been doing a bit of extra work too this week and it’s been a bit non-stop at times. It has made realise that there’s no way I could work full-time. I take my hat off to all those parents out there who hold down a full-time job as well has looking after children.

Pattern making

There wasn’t a lot of sewing going on at my dressmaking class this week but my jacket pattern is moving on apace.

Under a cloud…

The hot and sweaty Levanter weather conditions have continued for most of this week. As you can see, up above the thick cloud (which sits above Gibraltar at the minute) there’s some lovely blue sky. Everyone’s complaining about the humidity at the moment, I hope it comes to an end soon.

A lovely lunch

As I alluded to before, we have special visitors over at the minute, my parents are here for a visit. That gave us the perfect excuse to go out to lunch while the Little Postcards are at school. It’s amazing being able to hold uninterrupted conversations!!

Whoops!

I’m on the final push for my Coastal Crochet CAL. The Seaside Stash Busting Blanket has seen a bit of action this week, but as you can see, I got it a bit wrong…. it took me 4 rows to realise that I’d made a mistake – whoops! Thankfully it’s sorted now!

The end of summer…

It looks like summer beach season is over… I was at Sandy Bay on Friday and although there were quite a few people on the beach and in the sea, work was underway removing the net from the family end of the beach. It doesn’t feel like autumn yet, that’s for sure!

A new arrival in Gibraltar

There’s much excitement in our household about the arrival of a new eatery in Gibraltar. When we visited Sidmouth and Lyme Regis on our Easter trip to the south coast of England, we first encountered the delights of the Cornish Bakery. Then, on our trip to Southwold in Suffolk, we discovered a branch had just opened there too. Imagine our surprise when this signage appeared in Casemates Square… is this an anti-diet conspiracy??!! Is the Cornish Bakery stalking the Postcard family? Methinks a few pasties may be consumed…

Thanks for stopping by to visit this week, that’s all for this Sunday Sevens. As always, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.