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.

Sunday Sevens #149 12.8.18

We’ve had one full week back in Gibraltar after our trip to England, and blimey it’s hot here. The weather has been so humid that everything’s so exhausting and wearisome. I’m counting down the days to my next trip back to England!!! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Back home

It’s been a few weeks since a sunset view like this has appeared in Sunday Sevens… the humid weather has brought with it lots of murky misty days and this evening last Sunday was no different.

Street Art

A new Government initiative to have legally created street art is underway in Gibraltar at the moment. Apparently a number of different murals will be appearing over the coming weeks and months. This one is being painted by a local artist and is meant to signify her childhood memories growing up in Gibraltar. It certainly brightens up this gloomy underpass, I’ll include an ‘after’ shot once it’s completed.

Gecko watch

Nothing represents hot steamy Gibraltar summer nights to me more than geckos on our kitchen windows. We’re having these windows replaced soon, so I do hope they still visit us on the new ones!

Sandblasted

Fancy having the beach to yourself in August?? Well the secret is to go on the windiest day of the summer… we didn’t last long. We looked like sand monsters when we gave up and packed up our stuff to head home, every exposed piece of skin had sand stuck to the suncream…. delightful!

Fun in the sun

The sandy beach day was rounded off nicely though, we were invited to a barbecue at some friends’ villa in Spain. It was a lovely evening and the Little Postcards loved the use of the pool!

Summer nights

Every summer for a night or two each week, the Government in Gibraltar lays on free performances with bands, local dancers and so on. For the first time in the nine years I have lived on the Rock, I attended one of these ‘Summer Nights’. There’s no particular reason why we haven’t gone before, it just hasn’t happened.

The event was great. Entitled Magic Circus, it featured acrobats and magicians and was fab for the children and grownups alike.

Dinner with a view

Last night, we were very fortunate to be invited to our second barbecue of the week. This time it was in Gibraltar on a roof terrace with this fabulous view! How lucky are we?

So that’s it for this week’s Sunday Sevens. I hope it’s been a decent week for you. Thank you to everyone who has commented on my recent posts, I haven’t had the chance to respond to several of them, but I will as soon as I can. Things have been a bit hectic with the boys off school and windows of peace and quiet seem to be few and far between at the moment!

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

Sunday Sevens #145 15.7.18

That week went fast! First week of the school holidays over already, and we got through unscathed! It’s been a week of sporting activities for the children and lazy beach trips, and a fair bit of eating… the diet starts tomorrow 😉

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens …

Things didn’t go to plan

Last Sunday, we did something we don’t normally do, we took a drive out into Spain to go for lunch. Unfortunately our trip got slightly scuppered by long tailbacks on the motorway very soon after joining it. We took the executive decision to cut our trip short, not fancying spending longer than necessary in a hot car with children in the back. Fortunately for us, the next motorway exit was in sight, so we turned round and came back to Gibraltar for lunch. If we hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been able to gorge myself on this lovely chocolatey dessert….

Getting nowhere fast

More traffic problems happened on Monday, this time in Gibraltar. After almost 9 years living here you would have thought by now I’d learn to avoid the roads around the airport when there are planes due to land! (For those unfamiliar with Gibraltar: the main road to the border with Spain cuts across the airport runway, so when a plane’s due to land or takeoff, that road has to be closed and it has an impact on traffic nearby bringing it to a standstill).

A summer stroll

Bearing in mind my recent traffic problems, I opted for walking for much of the rest of the week! You certainly get to see and experience a lot more, even if you are a bit sweaty when you get to your destination!

Got enough toppings on that?!

So, at the end of that walk (above) there was this lovely pizza waiting for my lunch! It was super tasty but I had to opt for a knife and fork to eat it with all those toppings!!

Stargazing

I’m rather pleased with my lillies from last year, I think they’re call stargazer lillies. They have come back again, and flowered this week and are even better than last year!

School holiday sports programme

We are very lucky here in Gibraltar to have a comprehensive summer sports and leisure programme set up for school children during the summer holidays. There are all sorts of things from summer training for different sports, art and design classes and even history walks around the town. It gives the 8 week-long summer holiday a bit of structure and in many cases is free, or requires a small fee to be paid.

Sanctuary

One of the few benefits of visiting the beach on a windy day, is that the chiringuito was empty! We popped to the beach at Sandy Bay on Friday morning not realising quite how windy it was going to be. After half an hour of being sand blasted, we headed to the beach bar/cafe for refuge and coffee. Normally packed out with beach goers seeking shade and refreshment, we almost had the place to ourselves!we’ve enjoyed a couple of beach days this week, it would be rude not to seeing as we have so many beaches nearby! (You can read all about Gibraltar’s beaches here.)

Thanks for stopping by to read my Sunday Sevens, I’ve noticed I have a few new people following my blog lately, thank you for that! I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series, and I’ll be back again next week!