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 #147 28.7.18

Oh it’s been difficult to choose what to put into Sunday Sevens this week! We’ve had a rather busy time of it on our holiday, although it’s been busy in a very good way. Here’s a photo from each of the last seven days, there will be more posts to come though in the coming weeks with more pictures….

Hollyhocks galore

The flower of the moment in this part of the world (Suffolk/Norfolk) seems to be the hollyhock. They are everywhere and are truly beautiful – the epitome of an English country garden.

A woodland walk

Monday was a special day for one member of the Postcard family, celebrating a milestone birthday of 70 years. We went out as a big family group to visit Fairhaven water gardens on the Norfolk Broads before a big family dinner. It was such a beautiful, green, heavenly place and as the sun was rather hot, the dappled shade offered by all the trees was very welcome.

Aldeburgh

We took a drive along the Suffolk Coast on Tuesday, visiting Orford and Aldeburgh (above). The coastline is so beautiful here.

Messing about in canoes

Wednesday saw us repeating something we did on a visit six years ago. Back then, Littlest was too small to join in, so I stayed on dry land with him. This time, we all went canoeing on the Broads. My only previous experience was on a canal in Cheshire when I was a Venture Scout, that didn’t go too well (think hitting the canal bank with such force the sharp front end got embedded in the mud).

This time, though, it was wonderful – so peaceful and slow. There were literally hundred of beautiful dragonflies buzzing about, and I even got pecked by a swan!

A lovely day for a train ride

Thursday saw us heading north to the north Norfolk coastal town of Sheringham. Central to the town is the beautifully restored train station and the start of the North Norfolk Railway (also known as the Poppy Line). We had hoped for a trip on a steam train, but the sustained dry and hot weather made the steam engines a fire risk, and we had to make do with a Diesel engine. It was still a nice trip though…

Summer Storm

Whilst visiting Aldeburgh earlier this week, we were told that this part of the world hasn’t had any rain at all since May 4th. On Thursday night, that changed. A thunderstorm came in off the sea, and before the rain came, I went for a walk onto Southwold Common to watch the lightning. Seconds before this photo was taken, the sky was pretty dark. The sheet lightning lit up all the clouds with a pinky glow.

Wrestling at a summer fete!

Yesterday, we visited not one, but two summer fairs. The first one, in Worstead, will get a bigger mention in a future post, the second one, was at Gorleston in Norfolk. The Gorleston Clifftop Gala is an annual event, with fair rides, stalls by community groups (backwoodsmanship & a local rugby team’s stalls were enjoyed by the Little Postcards) and live music. We attended specifically to see a member of the family perform on stage with his band. Our attention was drawn to something I’ve never seen before in real life…. wrestling! It was quite a sight!

So that’s this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope you have had a great week.

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

2018 Friday photo challenge (week 30) Seaside

Hmmm Seaside… looks like I planned this week’s Friday photo rather well… this week we’ve been to Aldeburgh’s pebble beach.

Sunny Southwold:

And sandy Sheringham beach…

The home of naughty seagulls who try to steal your chips! The postcard which came with my latest crochet project from Little Box of Crochet is very appropriate:

Review of 2017

Crumbs, it’s looking awfully like we are on the cusp of another New Year, it surely can’t be a whole year since the last one, it’s gone far too fast. I guess now’s as good a time as any to have a look back at some of my Postcard from Gibraltar highlights from the past 12 months….

January 2017

A new year meant a new challenge for me this year, a photo challenge. Last year I read Nana Cathy’s blog and was intrigued by her weekly photo challenge. When January came around I thought I’d join in myself. It’s been such fun and quite inspiring throughout the year to have weekly prompts to find pictures for. If you fancy joining in check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information.

Also in January I joined forces with my friend Kate of H and FlossieDoodle to start the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. We did meet weekly to crochet and chat over coffee although our meetings have got less and less frequent due to other commitments lately. Our mascots Gib and Rocksy went for a bit of an adventure.

Another new project for me this month was my podcast, you can find my blogposts and the related podcasts here.

February 2017

In February I ran my Creative Gibraltar series looking at some of the very talented craftspeople who live in Gibraltar. I began with my lovely watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson and ended with local craftswoman and up-cycling guru Sue Orfila. February also brought us the 2017 installment of Gib Talks. I was also fortunate to be able to speak to Gib Talks organiser Julian Felice before the event for one of my podcasts.

March 2017

March was a month for Lenten crochet (far easier than giving up chocolate) which helped support the Sixty Million Trebles effort, a beautiful Suffolk family wedding and a sad goodbye to our rescue bunny Snowflake.

April 2017

April began for us in Southwold in Suffolk, one of our favourite places and involved a lot of Med Steps training, which was very handy for burning off those seaside fish and chips! I was also able to finish another Sixty Million Trebles blanket – this one from the Gibraltar Crochet Collective.

May 2017

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge again this year and I even managed to beat my time from last year! You can hear my podcast about it here. We also flew back to the UK for our second family wedding of the year.

June 2017

June started for us in Wigan in Lancashire, the location of our latest wedding and the perfect setting for a lovely walk. It was also the Calentita! food festival in Gibraltar. (For some reason the same aerial photo of Gibraltar appeared in May and June’s collages – not sure why that was. It is a good photo though don’t you think?).

July 2017

In July our big summer of travel began with a trip up to the North West of England and a flying visit to North Wales. We also drove to Portugal.

August 2017

This has got to be my most cosmopolitan of all months, featuring travel in Portugal, Rome, France and of course good old Gibraltar. Which reminds me, I have loads of holiday photos on my phone and camera SD card which are crying out to become blog posts – watch this space in the New Year.

September 2017

September is a big month on the Rock, this year more than most as Gibraltarians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum when they voted overwhelmingly to remain British. Gibraltar National Day on 10th September coincidentally happened to be the day of my 100th Sunday Sevens. We also had a fabulous music festival.

October 2017

October brought with it some interesting weather, beautiful sunshine, murky mists and exciting lightning storms.

November 2017

November was a good crochet month for me as I finally got around to making last year’s Little Box of Crochet autumn wreath. I also greatly enjoyed this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival with talks by Nicholas Parsons, Patrick Gale and local photographers and naturalists Clive, Geraldine and Stewart Finlayson.

December 2017

December seems to have rushed by in a flurry of end of term carol concerts and panicked making of Christmas presents (some of which failed to get finished in time). There have been some opportunities for peace and quiet though, namely the last Saturday before Christmas when we avoided the shops and headed for the beach for peace and tranquility.

Summer craft challenge

For the second year running, during the long summer holiday we get in Gibraltar, I decided to set aside a little time each day to do something crafty and I documented this with my Summer Craft Challenge. Each day I featured a photo on Instagram and each week I wrote a blog post on my progress.

At the beginning of the challenge I made a little amigurumi unicorn which I got the kit for in an edition of Simply Crochet magazine. I christened her Europa and she became my Summer Craft Challenge mascot and came on our travels with us. There were several occasions when the Little Postcards thought Mummy had lost her marbles posing a crocheted unicorn in various European locations for photographs…

This year, I returned to work part-time after 13 years as a full-time, stay at home Mum. I have to admit that during the last few months I have found it hard to make time for Postcard from Gibraltar alongside my new commitments and at times I’ve wondered whether I can actually keep it up. I have had some really lovely comments and support from my online friends and that’s kept me going. Thank goodness I have Sunday Sevens and the weekly photo challenge to keep me ticking over during ‘dry’ spells.

I think I would really miss the community I have ‘met’ through Postcard from Gibraltar, and if I’m honest, it’s you and the support you’ve given me which gave me the confidence to apply for the job in the first place. Thank you very much to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts over the past 2 and a half years, and for the virtual friendship you have given me too – it’s not taken for granted. Every comment and like is very much appreciated.

Here’s to 2018 and all the wonderful challenges it may bring!

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year x

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 26) wave

Living in a tiny place which is surrounded on sides by sea makes this week’s photo challenge a cinch. That said though, my first photos feature a rather choppy North Sea taken at one of our favourite places; Southwold in Suffolk. 

Although most of my childhood holidays were spent on the west coast of the British Isles, the temperature and colour of the sea in Southwold are the same as what I was used to as a child. Rarely was it a pleasureable experience to go paddling in the sea, but you still do it when you’re a child!

Now for some waves a little closer to our current home…

Just look at that turquoise water!

Quick! Out of the way!!


Aah that’s better!

Catalan Bay Beach, Gibraltar

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

A Postcard from springtime Suffolk

Two weeks ago, we all hopped on a plane, said goodbye to Gibraltar and headed off to England for a few days.

Our destination…. Suffolk. Southwold to be precise, but also Beccles too for the special day that was to be a Postcard family wedding. More on that later…

It’s eight months since we were last in Southwold. It’s a special place for us which we have visited many times over the years. Regular visitors to this blog may remember my posts from here last summer… A postcard from Southwold & A postcard from Southwold Pier

It was so nice to be back on the pier admiring the view into town and towards the beautifully painted beach huts.

There weren’t as many visitors in town as we’d experienced last August, but there were still some folk around doing the touristy things. Oh, and maybe eating a portion or two of fish & chips…

Southwold is such a pretty place.

There are cute little cottages around every corner.

Oh, and did I mention I have a thing about beach huts?! 

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…

We went crazy and had a go at the two pence penny pushers in the pier amusement arcade.

We swerved the Punch & Judy show, although it did have a decent audience who persisted through the show while being blown by strong sea winds.

It may have been a bit grey at times, but that didn’t spoil our fun.

The roadside verges and people’s gardens were bursting forth with the most beautiful spring displays. Excuse me this indulgence please, I miss seeing spring flowers like this!

Oh the blossom!

And just look at this quaint architect’s office, complete with coordinating car!

I do like a colourfully painted front door…

One evening we set off across the fields behind the town and leaving the grand Victorian homes behind us, headed into the fenland towards the harbour.

Within a short walk we were by the river and tucking into a delicious pub meal. The gorse flowers glowed in the setting sunshine.


So, the reason for this jaunt to England during school termtime? We had a wedding to attend. 

Tucked away in the lush green countryside near Beccles is White Dove Barns. Surrounded by fields of crops and cattle and looking glorious was the venue for the nuptials.

The converted farm buildings were just so English and so, so picturesque.

As the registrar got everything ready for the ceremony I sneaked in to take a peak before the guests arrived.

And after the ceremony, this is the room where the reception took place.

The renovated old barn was so pretty, and the table settings, just gorgeous.

The beautiful flowers on the top table were stunning and so springlike. 

Even the wedding cake was covered in flowers. 

It was a really beautiful venue and the perfect backdrop for a very happy day.

With the happy couple successfully hitched, we had time for one more delicious breakfast at the Adnam’s brewery and another wander around Southwold before heading home.

There she is, our Rock. Thank you, Suffolk, it was lovely to see you again! Until next time…

2017 Photo challenge (Week 15) Lunch

It’s a very tasty photo challenge this week…

Fish and chips always tastes better when you are at the seaside doesn’t it? We enjoyed one or two cheeky portions of fish and chips when we had our recent trip to Southwold. They were so nice, we may have  had to have some more again the next day! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

Here’s a couple of Gibraltar related ‘lunch’ photos from the Postcard from Gibraltar archives…

…a couple of apes enjoying a healthy lunch provided for them in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.

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

Sunday Sevens #78 9.4.17

Hello there and welcome to this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens. A week, when again, Gibraltar has been hitting the headlines. I’ve had a lot more views than normal (presumably because of the Brexit issue and as Gibraltar features in the name of this blog) so hello to any new people. 

If you have just joined us and are hoping for topical newsworthy Gibraltar chat, I’m afraid you may be disappointed. I won’t be offended if you head off elsewhere! 

Without further ado, here’s Sunday Sevens:

Heading home

Last week we were in Suffolk for a family wedding and so last Sunday morning we began our 9 and a half hour journey back home to the Rock. It was a lovely trip back to England for a very special reason, but traveling (especially with children) can be quite tiring. 

We were so relieved when Gibraltar came into view and the pilot had let us know that the weather was calm so we should have a simple and straight forward landing at Gibraltar. My last trip back to the U.K. ended with a diversion to Malaga airport due to strong winds so I was slightly nervous that we may be delayed again, thankfully not. 

A beautiful spring evening

Mr Postcard enjoyed an evening at the Rock Hotel on Monday and sent me this lovely photo. I did nothing worthy of mention so thanks to him for Monday’s picture looking out across the top of the Alameda Gardens and out to the Bay of Gibraltar.

Fiery sky

Tuesday evening brought us the most beautiful sunset. The sky went through every colour of the rainbow (except green!). I caught a glimpse of the colours as I was making school packed lunches for the next day. I quickly grabbed my phone and shot out the front door to enjoy the show.

Dressmaking progress

So far this term, I have managed to miss 3 and a half lessons of my dressmaking course due to sick children being off school and last week’s trip back to England. Needless to say I am very far behind where I should be. For that reason I attended two lessons this week and am pleased to say I have made quite a bit of progress. I am now all ready to begin setting in the sleeves on my dress when we resume lessons after the Easter break.

Watercolour classes

Similar to my dressmaking predicament I’ve missed a lot of watercolour classes too. I’m currently working on a painting of the Med Steps, but it isn’t quite going to plan. While I was doodling on some scrap paper, this little picture appeared. Not bad considering I was mucking about! Shame the picture I was working on isn’t as good!!

Talking of painting…


One of Gibraltar’s historic buildings has been undergoing a bit of a makeover this week and it’s caused a bit of a stir. A façade of the Inces Hall had been brightened up with some officially sanctioned street art. It’s part of an urban regeneration project by the Government but it has angered some who think it’s the wrong location for the artwork.

This time last week…


I have had such a busy week but very little of it was worth recording in a photo, so for my final photo in this week’s Sunday Sevens I’m breaking the rules and including a photo taken last Saturday evening as we walked across the marshes from Southwold town centre to the harbour for our dinner. It was so tranquil (if you focused on the bird song and ignored the sounds of bickering Little Postcards).

I hope this has been a good week for you, thanks so much for stopping by!

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

Sunday Sevens #77 2.4.17

I’ve just about managed to publish this in time to still count as Sunday Sevens, after 9 and a half hours traveling back home to Gibraltar today from beautifully sunny and springlike Suffolk.

So, this time last week it was Mother’s Day… feels like a very long time ago now!

Wisteria


I do love wisteria, such a gorgeous flower! I spotted a bumble bee climbing into this bloom as I walked past last Sunday morning. Despite weather forecasts suggesting dodgy weather for the weekend we were blessed with sunshine and, at times, clear blue skies – how lovely! Just perfect for Mother’s Day.

Scummy Mummies


I treated myself to a Mother’s Day gift this year and it arrived just in time. I listen to the Scummy Mummies podcast when I’m out walking, and can often be spotted howling with laughter like a mad woman as they regale tales of hilarious parenting fails and make their Scummy Mummy confessions of when things go awry… The book didn’t disappoint, I giggled away to myself as we flew out to England later in the week.

Ready for the off!


So Tuesday saw us swerving the school run and heading to the airport instead. The Little Postcards’ only cousin was due to get married this week and we couldn’t miss that! We left the cloudless skies of Gibraltar for the slightly cloudier skies of….

Southwold!

It was so lovely to be back in Southwold on the Suffolk coast again so soon after we our lovely holiday there last summer. If you missed my posts all about the beautiful seaside town and pier, you can find them here for Southwold and here for the pier.

Love is in the air…

We were blessed with the most beautiful weather and venue for the special family wedding we attended. I will share a few more photos of the day in a future post. It was perfect in every way, and the happy couple enjoyed themselves immensely, as did we.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside 


Oh I do love it in Southwold. It feels like coming home to be able to walk along the prom here. We have been visiting since long before the Little Postcards were born and it is just so familiar, like putting an old jumper on! It hasn’t changed that much in the years we’ve been visiting and it’s reassuring to repeat our ritual walks here again and again (they usually involve, chips, ice cream and a visit to the pier!).

Spring has sprung!

It seems appropriate to book end this post with pretty flowers, Gibraltar wisteria at the beginning and some Suffolk blossom at the end. Spring has certainly sprung in the corner of England that we visited, the hedgerows were greening up, there were daffodils by the roadsides and blossom trees galore. I don’t usually visit the U.K. at this time of year and I feel privileged to have been able to witness Spring in all it’s glory on our trip.

And now we’re into April already, the year is just whizzing by so fast! Here are a few pictures from last month, which included a trip to Spain, last week’s to Suffolk and the sad loss of our rescue bunny Snowflake.

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

2017 Weekly photo challenge (Week 11) Spiral

For this week’s photo challenge I have found four ‘spirals’; two man made and two natural. 

The first one is the staircase inside the lovely lighthouse at Southwold in Suffolk which we visited last summer. I wish I had a photo of the interior of the Europa Point lighthouse here in Gibraltar but sadly that’s not open to the public. 

For more on our visit to the Southwold lighthouse, you can read a bit more about it in my Sunday Sevens #45 post

Another man made spiral, and slightly less dramatic is this one on the engine of a plane on the runway at Gibraltar airport (you can just about make out the Rock in the background).

Now for the natural ones…


I tried to find a spiral shell when we were on the beach this weekend but failed, so here are a couple of ammonite fossils we have in our house. The Little Postcards got interested in fossils during their dinosaur phase.

I’m linking with Wild Daffodil and Nana Cathy for this weekly photo challenge.