Sunday Sevens #75 19.3.17

This week’s Sunday Sevens begins with a look back at our Commonwealth weekend trip up the coast…

A Sunday morning walk

Making the most of our bank holiday weekend last weekend we headed out for a lovely walk on Sunday morning. It was so lovely and bright and we walked a loop from where we were staying (near Marbella), along the beach and then back inland.

Breakfast with a view of home


On Monday morning we enjoyed this gorgeous view from our breakfast table. Never before have I seen so much on the horizon from this part of the world. 

The bumps on the right hand side of the horizon are the hills and mountains between Marbella and Gibraltar. The bump on it’s own above the street lamp is Gibraltar and the one to the left of the boat mast is Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar. 

You could also see a lot more of Morocco’s mountains but sadly they could only be seen by the naked eye and didn’t show up on my phone camera.

It was a fab end to our last minute getaway. 

Stormy weather 


My word it’s been stormy – at the beginning of the week (back in Gibraltar) we had gale force winds. Our plant pots got blown over and there were chunks of trees and debris in the road. The authorities had a big cleanup operation on Wednesday morning. 

It certainly wasn’t the kind of weather when I’d like to be out in a boat. One day I parked on the edge of the new small boat marina and it effectively takes you out into the harbour. I got an up close and personal view of some of the boats without leaving dry land.  The pilots and tugs which work in Gibraltar’s waters have a heck of a job to do.

Franks for the post

I got this locally posted envelope in our mailbox this week. I have never seen a postmark like this before. We share our home with “wild Barbary Macaque Monkeys” in case you didn’t know that…

HMS Ocean

The Navy’s largest warship called into the port of Gibraltar this week. HMS Ocean is the flagship of the Royal Navy. 

Med Steps

I’ve been too busy this week to make a trip up the Med Steps while the Little Postcards were at school, but I managed to fit a trip in yesterday afternoon. It was glorious. I even managed to spot my first sighting of Gibraltar Candytuft (one of Gibraltar’s National flowers) for this year. 

Snowflake 


Unfortunately we have lost our rescue bunny, Snowflake. She hadn’t been well for a few weeks and seemed to be making improvements but she went downhill again and she was put to sleep by the vet. We only had her with us since autumn last year, when we found her abandoned at the Alameda Gardens, but she soon became part of our family. 

If you missed the tale of how she came to live with us, you can read all about it here.

We still have little Diamond, who we got just before Christmas. He is missing his pal but is getting lots of attention and cuddles.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins blog

Sunday Sevens #73 5.3.17

Hello and welcome to another edition of Sunday Sevens. It’s not quite turned out to be the week I expected, plans went out of the window as I nursed a sick child and two sick bunnies… so here are my seven, oh ok, eight photos from the last seven days.

Citrus blossom scents the air

The citrus trees in our patio are covered in blossom at the moment. The lemon and orange trees are laden with the beautifully scented flowers. As soon as you head out the door you can smell it. In fact if you bring your nose right up close to the screen you may even be able to smell it it’s so strong!

Sunset 

This is the lovely sunset we saw on Monday night. Monday didn’t quite pan out as I expected as I got a call from school at 10 am to go and collect a Little Postcard from school who had suddenly fallen ill. I’m pleased to report that he is completely recovered now and he only missed two days of school. It did mean that no sewing got done this week though.

Poor little bunny

We’ve had a bit of a week as far as the Postcard Bunnies are concerned (four visits to the vet in total for me!). This little chap had to have an op. I won’t go into details but as we have a boy and a girl rabbit and we don’t want to be over run with rabbit babies, Diamond needed a ‘procedure’. 

He is normally a tad crazy and bounces from one side of his cage to the other when you walk in the room. After his trip to the vet, he was a sorry little soul and didn’t move much for two days.

I’m pleased to say that he has recovered well and is due for a post op check next week. He is eating voraciously and is bouncing again. He’s back to his crazy self.

Welcome back blue skies!!


Wednesday brought us some gorgeous blue skies. I had a trip into town and took this lovely photo from the ICC multi story car park. You can just make out Morocco in the distance peaking out above the buildings in the distance.

Tranquility


On Thursday morning I felt like I’d got a bit of normality back and headed off up the Med Steps before going to my watercolour class. It was so tranquil up there. It was very cloudy but the shafts of sunlight on the sea looked magical.

Painting…


If you’ve seen the last few Sunday Sevens you’ll know that we’ve been slapping the paint about all over and been looking for our ‘inner abstract’ at watercolour class. This week we’ve been developing those abstracts into something a bit more recognizable. So here’s my flamingo and citrus blossom…

Another poor rabbit


So, since last weekend our other bunny, Snowflake who we rescued from the Alameda Gardens, has been a bit off. She hasn’t been eating her food – in fact I had to empty her bowl at the end of the day on Wednesday because she had barely touched her carrots and kale. I finally decided to take her to the vet on Thursday. It turned out after an x-ray that she had an intestinal blockage caused by eating her winter fur coat.

As we are heading into spring, she is losing some of her fur and like cats, rabbits lick themselves to make themselves presentable. Unlike cats, rabbits don’t bring up fur balls, and this one is having trouble passing said fur the only other way. She is currently having four different medicines at different times of the day and is being fed a syringe of baby food every two hours. Honestly I thought it was hard looking after sick children….Anyway I am pleased to say that we have had results, the treatment is working! 

This photo was of her at the vet on Friday. You might notice the missing patches of fur on her ears and nose. That’s from the mange she must have had when she first came to us – that’s all cleared up and her fur is slowly growing back. Check out the EasyJet tail fin going past in the background. There can’t be too many vet consulting rooms in the world with a runway at the end of the road!!

Happy post

I had a real treat yesterday morning. I had to collect two parcels from the Post Office on Friday but was too busy to open them. I knew what was inside and wanted to take my time and enjoy opening them. It was like Christmas morning unwrapping this gorgeous bundle of fabric and my February subscription to the Little Box of Crochet. 🙂 It was a grim old day weatherise yesterday, so it was a real highlight to have these before heading out in the wind and rain!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #66 15.01.16

Hello there, I hope your week has been good. It’s been good to get back into a routine here as school started again in Gibraltar on Monday, although just as normality was restored I was struck down with a bad cold. The photos for this week are rather underwhelming as a result and were mainly taken at home! Here goes…

Barbary partridge

The photo credit for this one goes to Mr Postcard. He went for a walk up the Med Steps on Sunday last week (I didn’t have the oomph) and on his walk he saw a Barbary Partridge. These partridges are native to Gibraltar and were reintroduced on the Upper Rock recently. You quite often see them but so far I have failed to capture one with my camera because as soon as you realise you have seen one it’s vanished into the undergrowth. Hats off to Mr Postcard for managing to be quick enough to snap this shy creature.

Orchids at golden hour

There has been very little crafting going on this week, I did make it to my first dressmaking class of the year on Tuesday but as I’m pattern drawing at the moment for my next project there aren’t any pretty pictures of fabric to share yet. Will these orchids do? They looked so pretty in the golden light just as the sun was going down.

Morning Moonlight


As I opened the front door to see Eldest off to school one morning, I was struck by the bright full moon in the sky. This was less than an hour before daylight came but it looked magical as the moonlight lit up the water of the Bay.

Pink sky in the morning 

Another moonlight in the morning photo, this time it was on Friday when I saw the pretty pink sky at sunrise. We don’t get to see the sunrise as such as we face west but you still get the gorgeous colours lighting up the sky.

Poorly bunny


I haven’t mentioned before now, but our rescue bunny, Snowflake, has been rather poorly of late. In fact at New Year we were worried we might lose her. It turned out that she had mange. Perhaps she had it when we found her, perhaps she caught it from our newest addition, Diamond (although he shows no signs) we don’t know.

While she was laid low with the mange, an X-ray revealed that she had a chest infection, plus she had an eye infection. I spent the past week giving her children’s banana flavoured antibiotics and administering eye drops and sinus massages (I kid you not) to try and get her well again.

Here she is at the vets (again) on Friday morning. She was just about to have her final mange injection. I’m pleased to say that she has completely recovered from her chest infection and eye infection and the final signs of mange should disappear in the next few weeks.

The amazing climbing bunny

 

Diamond, on the other hand has shown no signs of ill health, in fact he’s positively bouncing. It turns out he’s quite a handful. On Friday I put him into his ‘run’ in the hall to give him a bit more space. It’s made out of an old fire guard and is attached to Snowflake’s run (an old play pen). I never in my wildest dreams thought he’d be able to get out – I was wrong. 

He was discovered wandering around the lounge. He must have climbed up out of the run, went for a wander in the hall (there were poos and straw marking his route) and then went for a run about in the lounge. I’m just relieved he decided to give the wide open front door a miss.

I thought that as Snowflake is having a bit of time post injection in her cage, I’d move him into her run (it’s taller and has chicken wire around it so it’ll be harder to climb out). Wrong again. When I went to check on him later, he’d climbed out of that and back into his original run. 

He now has a lid on it, rather fetchingly made out of old oven shelves and washing line… not the most attractive thing but until we think of an alternative it will have to do… honestly he’s worse than a toddler!!

Crochet

 

By the end of the week I was feeling well enough to pick up a crochet hook again and managed to finish a project I’d been working on since before Christmas. This meant I was free to get on with something new. I’ve been looking forward to getting started on this, and it’s taking shape quickly – one of the joys of amigurumi I guess. 

The lovely book I am using for the pattern was a Christmas gift from my ‘little’ brother and I have got the perfect opportunity to make a little creature. I’m being a bit mysterious aren’t I? All will be revealed soon….

 

That’s all from Sunday Sevens this week, not the most inspiring one I know. Hopefully I’ll be back to full form next week and I’ll be able to tell you about more interesting things! Until then, I hope you have a good week and thanks for stopping by.

 

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins

Review of the year : 2016

As the clock ticks inexorably towards midnight on 31st December and we close the door on 2016, I thought it was time to take a look back at the year we have just had. Most of the newspaper reviews I’ve read so far have focussed on the negative aspects, celebrity deaths, the seismic political changes afoot both in Europe, America and the rest of the world, and general doom and gloom.

I am very fortunate in that for us, in our little corner of the world, apart from the uncertainties of Brexit and what that could mean for us in the years to come, we’ve had a pretty good year. Looking back at all the interesting things we’ve done makes me think about how fortunate we are. If your 2016 has been a difficult one, I sincerely hope that 2017 will be better for you and your loved ones.

January 2016

The New Year saw us spending a few days up the coast from Gibraltar on the Costa del Sol, but we were back on the Rock in plenty of time to see the Three Kings Cavalcade. It was also back in January when I went for the first of my strolls around Gibraltar the first one was an homage to the many beautiful balconies, the second one paid tribute to the many steps we ‘enjoy’ here!

February 2016

February brought us some misty and stormy weather, but there was plenty of indoors activities to keep us busy here in Gibraltar. The second annual Gib Talks event saw speakers from all walks of life take to the stage for short talks on a huge range of subjects. Later in the month, the extraordinary Gibraltar Womens Association celebrated their 50th Anniversary, I found  their story fascinating.

March 2016

In March, we were blessed with some beautiful sunny days with bright blue skies. Along with completing a tin man outfit for World Book Day, I finally managed to finish my Attic 24 Cosy Stripe Blanket after a year of hooking! We made the most of the lovely spring weather and took a dolphin trip out into the Bay of Gibraltar. There was also a beautiful exhibition in Gib celebrating  women’s creativity.

April 2016

During April we made another short trip up the coast and headed inland to Ronda a beautiful Andalucian town. I was very productive at my dressmaking and home furnishing courses inserting my first invisible zip and producing curtain tie-backs for the public transport fan in my life. A tall ship called into port at Gibraltar and members of the public had the chance to go on board and have a snoop around.

May 2016

May meant Med Steps for me big time as I completed my final training sessions for, and then finished, the Med Steps 5 Challenge with my two stepping buddies. It was a rather intense day but we were so proud of ourselves for climbing to the top of the Rock five times in quick succession. We also managed to raise a fair amount of sponsorship money for the brilliant Cancer Relief Gibraltar. Some of my sponsors are readers of this blog and I am so touched that you took the time and effort to support our fundraising efforts – thank you.

As I spent so long prattling on about the Med Steps during my training, I figured I should tell you all about it:  The Med Steps: a few facts & figures . May also meant saying goodbye to a good friend to me and my blogging adventures. One of the sad things about living an expat life is that many of the friends you make are in the same boat as you and therefore may not be around for long Saying goodbye…

June 2016

June was a very eventful month not only for me but for Gibraltar and the rest of the UK as a whole as BREXIT loomed large (this post was my most read of all time and by a very long way). Six months on, we are still no further forward knowing what it all means.

Another unexpected thing to happen to me in June, was when I chose to go back up the Med Steps one foggy morning. I thought that the mist would make the climb cool as the summer heat had begun to build. I was wrong. As I climbed up the Rock, I climbed out of the mist and fog. I was nearly roasted alive, but I did manage to take a rather good photo of the Rock emerging out of the mist below (see second left image on the bottom row above). I got loads of likes and shares and retweets with that picture taken on  A mini stroll in the mist!

11th June 2016 marked International Yarnbombing Day 2016 and I had a little go myself with my first guerrilla crochet project as I attempted to Yarnbomb the Alameda Gardens to celebrate the park’s 200th anniversary.

July 2016

July equals the beginning of the very long school summer holiday in Gibraltar. As I stared down the barrel of 8 weeks of no school and the prospect of entertaining the three Little Postcards I felt a little overwhelmed. In an effort to find some way of surviving (with my marbles intact) I decided on day one that I would set myself the challenge of doing something crafty every single day of the holidays…. and the Summer Craft Challenge was born. One of our summer holiday outings took us up into the Upper Rock Nature Reserve to visit one of Gibraltar’s newest attractions, the  Windsor Suspension Bridge .

August 2016

August, for us, was mainly spent in England. I travelled back with the Little Postcards to spend two weeks based in the North West with my parents (with a lovely trip down to Berkshire to visit friends) and then two weeks with Mr Postcard visiting his family in East Anglia. We were blessed with the best of English summer weather. When the sun shines – there really is no better place to be. Our East Anglia holiday base was Southwold in Suffolk, it gave us the perfect opportunity for multiple visits to a special place for us Southwold Pier .

The end of the month brought the school summer holidays to an end. After eight weeks of full-time kiddiwinks and eight weeks of the summer craft challenge, I was very proud to still be in full possession of my marbles (I think) and I also managed to do something crafty on every day except for one (the day we travelled back to Gibraltar). The final instalment of my challenge is here.

September 2016

September is always a very busy month in Gibtraltar. Just after the children return to school, we all have a day off for Gibraltar National Day on 10th September. Around this time we now have the Gibraltar Music Festival to enjoy too. This year saw the Stereophonics headline and Europe played the air guitarist’s dream of The Final Countdown live on the Rock.

Towards the end of the month, I was able to fulfil an ambition of mine to visit the Yarn Festival of Yarndale. It was everything I had expected and more, with bells on. My absolute highlight was meeting my crochet hero Lucy from Attic 24 and being able to give her one of my Llanitas (Llanita, the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep that is). The sheep were made to raise funds to support a children’s hospice in North Yorkshire, I made two and they have both gone to live in Yorkshire!  My Yarndale 2016 (featuring Llanita’s Yorkshire adventures)

October 2016

In October I was still determined to keep up some of the crochet momentum I had achieved during the summertime and finished off my contribution to the Sixty Million Trebles project. I made a rainbow granny square blanket which will go towards the World Record breaking attempt to create a huge crochet blanket made up of sixty million treble stitches. Each treble stitch represents a displaced person or refugee. After the world record attempt the giant blanket will be made into smaller blankets and handed out to charities in the UK and those helping Syrian refugees. The organisers also hope to raise a considerable amount of funds too to help Syrian refugees.

A big event locally was the fourth annual Gibraltar Literary Festival 2016 I was lucky enough to be able to attend several events this year and really loved it.

November 2016

At the beginning of November we had just one Bunny in the Postcard household, then one Sunday afternoon during a walk through the Alameda Gardens, we found some abandoned rabbits. One of them, Blizzard, came home with us (Blizzard turned out to be a girl and she is now known as Snowflake). It was back in November when I had my first attempt at Podcasting I had such fun making it, and hope to be able to share another one with you soon.

December

In December we sadly said goodbye to Bunny Postcard. She had only been with us for 11 months but she’d quickly become a much loved member of the family.

This month I also headed out for my most recent stroll, to see some of the Christmas lights  we have on the Rock – amazingly it was the 16th stroll post I’ve written this year. I also took the plunge (literally) and joined with the annual Boxing Day Polar Bear Swim at Catalan Bay – I’m still feeling proud of myself for doing it!

 

Thank you so much for joining me this year, I have loved having your company and enjoy reading all the lovely comments. Here’s to next year, who knows what it will have in store for us all, here’s hoping it will be a good one.

Sunday Sevens #62 18.12.16

Well Christmas is literally round the corner and all the associated events are stacking up. This week I have had one Christmas party and a school nativity – which was incredibly cute. My parents arrived from England to spend Christmas with us just in time to see the school performance, so for once I Littlest wasn’t craning his neck to see just me in the audience.

Here’s this week’s rather rushed Sunday Sevens – there hasn’t been a great deal of spare time this week to put too much thought into it. I’m not sure whether next week, as the schools close it will improve matters for me or not! Still I have a few more child free days to attempt to get organised before the big day….

It’s up

It would appear that I am the meanest Mum on the planet for not allowing the Little Postcards to put up the Christmas tree in November or indeed the first week of December. But at last it is up. We got a real tree this year (unusual for us). As my parents are over visiting for Christmas it’s a bit more special this year and warranted a real tree I thought.

All change

There have been so many changes in Gibraltar since we arrived a little over 7 years ago. It’s even grown quite considerably as more land was reclaimed from the sea and several large buildings have sprung up along with three large government housing estates. This is the latest development near the centre of town and it’s huge. I wonder if the powers that be realised it would be so tall when they agreed to it?

It’s finished!


Just in time for the end of term, my top was finished in dressmaking class this week. I’m really pleased with it. It’s fully lined and will be very useful in the summertime.

Bunny vet trip


Snowflake, our newest furry companion, went to the vets for her second scan to check for baby bunnies along with her jabs. As we found her abandoned we had no idea as to her age, health or whether she was expecting the pitter patter of tiny paws.

We were relieved to find out that she isn’t in the family way and she’s perfectly healthy. Did you know that rabbits can give birth to a litter of 12 baby bunnies? Eek!

If you missed my post about how Snowflake came to join our family, you can see it here.

All posted!


This was my last Christmas card being posted. Phew what a relief! I sent around 60 and spent a small fortune on stamps but I like to do it still. It’s a weight off knowing that’s one pre-Christmas job ticked off the list!

Christmas Jumper Day


We all did our bit for Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. On seeing me on Friday morning Littlest said “Ooh Mummy I love your sparkly pigeon jumper!”

Saturday night giggle


I must have walked past this shop dozens, if not hundreds of times since we’ve lived here and I never really read the sign properly. It caught my eye when I was out last night and it really made me chuckle. You can’t beat a bit of frish frut.

So there you have it, I had my last watercolour lesson of 2016 this week too, but as I only got part way through a painting which isn’t wonderful I shall save showing that one until it’s properly finished.

Where ever you are and whatever you are doing next week, I hope it isn’t too hectic for you. I’m just taking one day at a time and doing my best to remember which school function, special outfit, party, event I am supposed to be ready for at a time too – there’s so much going on! Take care and have a good week!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #61 11.12.16

Morning all, I cannot believe we are on 11th December already! Can someone please have a word and get time to slow down a bit – there’s too much still to do…

It’s Sunday Sevens time again, here’s a little look back at my week:

Stormy skies

If you caught my last blog post on Wednesday about the weather we’ve been having lately (Nice weather for ducks…) you will know it’s been a bit stormy and wet of late in Gibraltar. I’m relieved to report that we are currently enjoying a dry spell, although it is very grey here most of the time at the minute. This was the scene on Monday between showers. I’m so glad I’ve been able to temporarily retire my wellies for a bit.

Christmas gift crochet

I can’t show you any more of this because it’s a gift, but I’m thrilled to say that I managed to finish a mermaid tail blanket for a friend in just over a week. She came with me to choose and buy the wool and we managed to have a lunch out too into the bargain – we had a great giggle. She asked me to make it for her daughter and I actually met my self imposed deadline… as for everything else I need to make for Christmas, well that’s not faring so well!

Zip’s in… thank goodness!

It’s in… It’s taken the best part of two dressmaking lessons to get this blighter of an invisible zip into this top. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like zips. Perhaps I need to insert a few more before they come easy to me.

Christmas Parties get underway 

Christmas party season has arrived. I had my first party this week – a great night out with friends. I have learned something from the whole experience – dancing after eating a big bowl of Christmas Pudding and brandy sauce isn’t a good idea. I couldn’t sleep for ages when I got home!

Present making flurry


Holy moly, the time’s rushing away with me and I can’t seem to make any headway with all of my Christmas makes. This is a work-in-progress. I can’t divulge any more as, well err, it’s a gift. I just hope I can make the last posting date in time…

Happy bunnies

On Thursday this week, there was no school in Gibraltar as it was a religious holiday (Immaculate Conception) and then on Friday two of the Little Postcards enjoyed an in-service day. I put Littlest to work helping me build an indoor run for our newest addition Snowflake. I now know the reason why I bought that fire guard when it was on special offer at Morrisons three years ago…. Snowflake loved her new freedom.

How pretty is this?

I was thrilled to be given a beautiful Christmas card this week made by a very talented friend who can ‘do’ felting. This gorgeous card featuring snowdrops was made by her. She told me the whole process of how it was created and it sounds like an awful lot of hard work – but well worth it. Lots of layering of wool and soap and water and throwing! Then stitching on top of the whole piece of felt. I certainly appreciate all the hard work which went into making this gorgeous card and feel honoured to be one of the select few who received one. Thank you V x

 

Just one more thing… I don’t normally mention much about my kids for fear of exposing them to the big wide world before they’re ready but this little gem is just too good not to share.

On collecting Littlest from school the other day, I asked how his day was.”Good – we went to the desert” was his reply. “Which desert?” I asked. “The Sahara, we went on the school plane and we found dinosaur fossils and one came alive! It tried to eat me so I had to kill it.”

Who knew when I sent him off to school that morning that such excitement lay ahead? Hats off to the Gibraltar Education Department for not only having a school plane at their disposal but also safely getting Littlest and his classmates home from such an adventure in one piece and on time. Perhaps a warning note may be advisable next time? 😂

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for all the lovely comments I receive through the blog, on Instagram, on Facebook or wherever, it’s lovely to hear from you.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog. If you would like to join in, pop over to see how to do it.