2018 Friday Photo Challenge (Week 1) New Beginnings

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Hello there and welcome to this, the first 2018 Friday Photo Challenge.

Last year I really enjoyed being part of a weekly photo challenge which was organised by Wild Daffodil and Nana Cathy. Each week, we were given a one word prompt to use to inspire a photograph based blog post. This year (after several years spent organising other photo challenges) they have decided not to carry on with this on a weekly basis. Sandra at Wild Daffodil is now hosting a Monthly Meet-Up instead.

That left me with a yearning for a weekly photo challenge for this year, so I decided to come up with my own. It will (all being well) happen on a Friday – hence the name, and I would love it if you would like to join in too. At the end of this post, you will find the list of prompts for each of the 52 weeks of the year. All you need to do is publish your post and tag me in it. That way I can keep track of anyone who’s joining in and I can share your lovely posts with everyone else. If you don’t have a blog and want to join in on Instagram, just use the hashtag #postcardfromgibfridayphoto

There’s absolutely no pressure, if you don’t want to commit to every week, that’s fine. Just dip in and out as you fancy.

So here’s my first entry for the 2018 Friday Photo Challenge. It’s the photo I took as we drove back home towards Gibraltar after a few lovely days along the coast in Spain. We drove back on New Year’s Day morning full of enthusiasm and raring to go. A fresh start and a New Year.

If you aren’t familiar with this part of the world, Gibraltar is the great big rock standing in the distance to the right hand-side of the photo, the mountains in the back ground stand across the Strait of Gibraltar in Morocco in northern Africa.

Here’s the list of prompts for the 2018 Friday Photo Challenge:

Sunday Sevens #96 13.8.17

Hello there! I’m sending this Sunday Sevens from the beautiful city of Rome…

Gibraltar sunset


We haven’t had a Gibraltar sunset for a while in Sunday Sevens and as last Sunday I did nothing of note, due to being under the weather, that’s my photo of the day. 

A windy, Sandy Bay


At the start of the week we had some very breezy weather. We had planned to go down the beach at Sandy Bay for a few hours but the conditions were so windy we aborted the plan for fear of being sandblasted.

Clear view across the Strait


Wednesday was a beautiful evening and the view across the Strait to Morocco was really clear.

Another trip away!


Thursday saw us getting onto another plane, this one from Malaga airport and bound for the eternal city of Rome. We were so excited for this holiday, I have wanted to visit Italy for a long time (as a big fan of pizza, pasta, ice cream and coffee) aside from the gastronomic adventure, I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the sights and sounds of the place.

Now that’s what I call a ceiling


Our first full day in Rome was dominated by a guided tour of the Vatican. We had an amazing guide and we all learned so much. I was amazed by how much Middle Postcard knew about the Sistine Chapel before hand. He answered so many questions posed by our guide. I guess he must be paying attention at school after all!

It’s the Collosseum!


I can’t do our Ancient Roman experience yesterday justice in a paragraph. Suffice to say it was utterly amazing to discover how sophisticated the Romans were, so long ago. What a day!

I have taken a few (ahem a lot) of photos of our holiday in Rome, look out for a future postcard from this amazing place!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. It features seven (or perhaps more) photos from the last seven days of your week. If you are a blogger and would like to join in with the Sunday Sevens community, then pop over to Natalie’s blog to find out how you can get involved.

Weekly photo challenge 2017 (Week 32) Point

There can only be one for me, bearing in mind where we live….

… Europa Point of course!

The Trinity Lighthouse stands guard over the Strait of Gibraltar, at the Rock’s southernmost tip – Europa Point. On a clear day the mountains across the Strait in Morocco look almost close enough to touch.

I still find it amazing that I can see northern Africa from my home!

Perhaps this shot (below) puts it into more perspective, taken from the Med Steps.

The Lighthouse had a makeover recently and is now looking better than ever (see top picture).

You can get a bird’s eye view of Europa Point as you take off fromor come in to land at Gibraltar airport. Sadly the murky conditions when I took this photo meant the Lighthouse isn’t clear, but you can see the Mosque…

Here’s the Mosque on a clearer day standing beside the Lighthouse and looking north along the Mediterranean coast.


I’m joining with Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.

Sunday Sevens #92 16.7.17

This week’s Sunday Sevens sees our summer break beginning in earnest…

So long Gibraltar 

Last Sunday, myself and the three Little Postcards boarded a plane bound for Manchester. The summer holidays got off to a flying start in every sense of the word. As we left, we got this great view of the Rock and the Spanish Mediterranean coast before taking an unusual flight path along the Strait of Gibraltar hugging the Moroccan coastline before heading north. I have never flown that way before and it was interesting to see the Moroccan mountains complete with lakes and winding roads so closely.

Looking for colour on a grey day


I am a great lover of Manchester, having been born and brought up there. Marrying a southerner, I had to put up with years of abuse about it raining constantly in Manchester (it doesn’t by the way). Anyway, just to prove me wrong we have had a bit of iffy weather at the start and end of the week. To divert my attention away from the grey skies, I found tons of beautiful colour in the front gardens close to my parents’ house.

Cinema time


Another sketchy weather day on Tuesday saw us head to the cinema in the Trafford Centre to see Despicable Me 3. We try to go to the multiplex most summers when we visit. Being used to just 2 small screens at the cinema in Gibraltar, it’s a rather grand affair here in comparison. 

A trip to the country


Wednesday, and we took a trip to a very familiar place for me, Dunham Massey. This National Trust property featured heavily on my childhood Sunday afternoons. It’s beautiful deer are always a treat to see.

Harvest time

Back in June, I made a quick trip home to visit my parents and we stopped for a pub lunch on the outskirts of Warrington. At the time, I posted a photo of the beautiful field next door in my Sunday Sevens. We revisited the pub with the Little Postcards on Thursday as it was a warm and dry day and the pub had a great kids play area and football nets too. As we ate our lunch, we spotted some activity in the next door field – it was harvest time. That’s something we don’t get to see in Gibraltar!



Old and new

On Friday I took the Little Postcards into town to visit the fantastic Museum of Science and  Industry. We have been before, but not for a few years and felt it was due at return visit. The boys loved all the hands-on experiments. After the museum, we took a walk into the centre of Manchester. It has changed so much in recent years, but amongst all the new modern developments there are still some reach architectural jewels.

An astronomical trip


Yesterday we took a drive out to the Cheshire Plain to see the Jodrell Bank radio telescope and visitor centre. The venue for stargazing tv extravaganzas with the likes of Dr Brian Cox and Dara O’Brien, it’s certainly undergone a bit of a transformation since our last visit around 8 years ago. It was another hit with the Little Postcards for the hands-on exhibits. 


Thanks for joining me for this week’s Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog.

Sunday Sevens #90 2.7.17

Sunday Sevens number 90?? Crumbs have I really been doing it that long? I hope I’m not boring you! Thanks for coming along for the ride! 😊

So here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens…

Another beautiful evening sky

I thought the clouds looked particularly pretty on Sunday evening last week. Unfortunately the camera on my phone didn’t quite do them justice. We are being really spoiled with gorgeous sunsets this summer.

End of term for dressmaking class

I can hardly believe that I have reached the end of my second year of dressmaking classes with the immensely clever Dorcas Hammond (you can read all about Dorcas in this post). It may seem a silly thing to do to end the year with the beginnings of a new project, but for various reasons I got a bit behind with my work this year.

I am now all ready to get cracking in September stitching this gorgeous Kafe Fassett fabric into a blouse.

Last watercolour lesson of the term

Similar to dressmaking I had my last watercolour lesson this week and again I spent my lesson working on a new project. I am attempting to paint a sunset I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed playing with the colours to find the right tones for the sky and sea. I do fear that the trial run may turn out better than the real thing though!! You can also see my post about my hugely talented watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson here.

Crochet therapy

Life seems to be very hectic at the moment, it shouldn’t surprise me but it always is at this time of year. As the school year draws to a close and we are inundated with notes and emails detailing special days and meetings and a flurry of birthday party invitations for children whose birthdays fall during the long summer break. 

There have been days when I am sure I have had steam coming out of my ears and I’ve been contemplating running away and locking myself in a darkened room until September. However, I did make it to the weekend and next week is the last week of term for the Little Postcards. I did realise this week that I need to keep crafting to retain my sanity, so whenever I could, I grabbed a crochet hook and got busy on the border for this blanket. 

Poniente breezes

Something which has gone in our favour this week is is the fact that the wind direction changed. Of late we have ‘enjoyed’ a Levante (easterly) wind which has brought with it hot and humid weather, this week we received a welcome break with Poniente (westerly) breezes bringing much cooler weather. 

You could see the North Moroccan coast really clearly on Friday but blimey the water in the Strait was choppy. I don’t fancy being on that little boat! 

Another blanket finished

TA-dah! The latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket is completed. This one is the result of a collaboration and was created by the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, I just joined it and added the border. This is a slightly smaller baby blanket and will go with two others to a drop off point in England when I am over visiting family this summer. For more on Sixty Million Trebles, you can see their website here

Yesterday the organisation revealed the big news that they have reached the 3/4 point in their goal of reaching 60 million treble stitches. Hopefully they will hit 60 by the time the blankets are shipped to help Syrian refugee children in September.

Summer craft challenge 2017

Last year during the school summer holidays I challenged myself to do a little bit of craft every day in order to maintain my sanity. I amazed myself at managing to fulfill the challenge on all bar one day over the eight week long school break. 

This year, I have decided to do the same thing. I began my challenge yesterday seeing as it was the first of July and it felt like the start of summer proper. I wonder whether I’ll be able to maintain my challenge again this year?  Fancy joining in? If you do, you can follow my progress on Instagram, just use the tag #summercraftchallenge2017 with your creations.

Thanks for joining me this week. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins

Sunday Sevens #82 7.5.17


Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week. All these bank holidays of late have confused me no end, I keep losing track of what day we’re on! 

I know this is definitely Sunday, so here goes for this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Med Steps training : three times round!

We are now just six days away from the Med Steps 5 Challenge. If you listened to my latest podcast, published on Monday, you will know that I managed 3 times round on Sunday last week for the first time this year. 

I’m a bit behind on my training this year, so hopefully adrenaline will give me energy and determination to get round 5 times again next Saturday!

May Day


May Day was beautiful. We had a truly gorgeous day of sunshine, which was very welcome after two days of very heavy rain at the start of the long weekend. As we drove down towards Europa Point the view across to Morocco was so clear I had to stop and take a few pictures.

King of all he surveys 


Mr Postcard went for a midweek walk up the Rock and took this fab picture of an ape perched on the end of a cannon. You can’t blame him really it was a top vantage point. I believe it was International Macaque week or something similar this week, so here’s your topical Barbary Macaque picture!

Watercolour poppies


My current watercolour project at my watercolour class is a painting of the Med Steps. I want to include some of the beautiful spring flowers you can see in the Upper Rock so I’ve been practicing my poppies. The trial runs worked out rather better than the real thing sadly, so I’m going to have to do a bit of fixing at my next lesson.

Touch line Crochet


I’m still working on a corner to corner blanket for the Sixty Million Trebles project. It’s a great one to have in a bag when you are out and about as it’s easy to pick up and do just a bit during a quiet moment. I had a bit of time at football training for the Little Postcards this week so got a couple of rows added.

A quick escape 


I don’t normally go into Spain on a weekday but on Friday I bit the bullet and headed across the border to do a bit of shopping with Mr Postcard. We have been meaning to pop across for ages to get boring stuff for the house and we took the opportunity to go while the Little Postcards were at school. 

It felt a bit adventurous to leave the country while your kids are at school but we didn’t stray far and were back in plenty of time for school pick up! It was a bit wet by the time we were crossing the runway back into town.

Another lovely Saturday sunset


Last Saturday evening we had a lovely sunset, and last night we had another. I’ve noticed, since we moved to this west facing apartment, that we get lots of lovely sunsets in Spring and Autumn, I wonder why that is?

Also this week my crochet buddy Marisa Boselli aka Mariwish on Instagram has launched her first blog. Marisa is a crochet and music teacher, originally from Gibraltar, she now lives with her family in London. Why not pop over and check it out, if you get the chance?

What ever you get up to this week, I hope it’s a good one for you!

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

A stroll through the clouds… 

I wasn’t planning on going for a walk up the Med Steps this morning, but I’m so glad I did. It was beautiful and I also got the chance to climb up through the clouds again. You may remember I took a similar walk like this just under a year ago… A mini stroll in the mist.

The sun was shining as we set off from the western side of the rock but as we walked around to the eastern side it was a bit cloudy. You could still feel the  sunshine beating down through the clouds though.

Looking up the sky immediately above us was so clear and bright!


  

As we climbed and looked out to sea it became obvious the clouds were actually forming a low blanket which the top of Gibraltar was just poking up out of.

From the summit you could just spy the northern tip poking out above the clouds.

Looking north

Looking south towards Morocco, the clouds were creeping around from the Mediterranean and into the Strait of Gibraltar.

Looking south
To the north, on the western side, the airport runway and part of town had been hidden from view as the misty cloud swept around and into the Bay.

Looking north west
We headed back down the Rock after our exertions in the cool shade feeling proud of ourselves for having achieved our goal. Within an hour the two cloudy arms had joined across the Bay and were encircling us in a giant cloudy hug. 

I drove into town to find myself severely underdressed (the T shirt was a bad idea!) and shrouded in cloud…. Can you believe these two photos (above and below) were taken just 10 minutes apart?!

Looking up the Rock from town
I’m pleased to report that the cloud has now burned off and we are basking in bright sunshine and blue skies!

Ahhh that’s better!

Main Street
How many seasons in one morning?! The weather and the micro climates around the Rock are part of the fun of living here.  It’s not just the apes, British Bobbies and red phone boxes that make Gibraltar unique.