Summer craft challenge 2018 (week 1)

School’s out for summer! As I stare down the barrel of another 8 week-long summer break from school, yet again, I thought there was only one way I would survive it with my sanity intact; to craft every day.

As in the past two previous years, I have set myself the challenge to do something crafty each day (even if it’s just 10 minutes). Each day I will put a crafty photo up on my Instagram account and at the end of each week (probably on Saturdays), I’ll publish a post about my crafty week. It’ll be as much to encourage me to keep at it as much as it is to share my crafty summer and it’s worked before (twice).

Here goes…

Day 1 (Saturday 7th July)

Life has been rather hectic in the past couple of weeks and my ability to take a few moments out for crochet or anything else crafty has been severely restricted. So now I intend to put that right, and I started with a bit of a catch up on my Seaside Stash Busting Blanket from the Coastal Crochet CAL by the lovely Eleonora. I’m about 3 weeks behind… but I’m catching up!

Day 2 (Sunday 8th July)

On Sunday we took a drive into Spain and I brought my crochet with me in case there was a long queue getting back into Gib. As you can see there wasn’t, as it happens, but at least I was prepared just in case!

Day 3 Monday 9th July

I know I really should finish some of my existing projects, but I happen to know that a little baby girl is due to be born very soon, and I thought she might like to have her own Little Donovan Lamb. This Little Box of Crochet has been waiting patiently since it arrived back in March.

Day 4 Tuesday 10th July

One Donovan head completed!

Day 5 Wednesday 11th July

And now he has a body.

Day 6 Thursday 12th July

Much of the day was spent at the beach and as this is a gift for a new born, I didn’t want to take it out with me. The busy day out and about only allowed time for a little bit of arm-making!

Day 7 Friday 13th July

And now he has arms! One comment on Instagram, when I posted this, was that it looks like he’s sunken in a field of clover – I like that image.

So there you have it, one week done already, I can hardly believe it’s gone so quickly! Seven left to go on this Summer Craft Challenge.

Sunday Sevens #144 8.7.18

It’s scorchio in Gibraltar today, I’m sitting by my open window out of the sun, slowly melting… here’s this week’s slightly sticky edition of Sunday Sevens…

Sunday lunch

Last Sunday we took an impromptu trip into Ocean Village for a lovely lunch. It wasn’t planned and it just worked to perfection; the food was lovely, everyone behaved well and we went home contented!

Party time

There was a birthday party this week… one of the Little Postcards is due to have his birthday in the summer holidays when many of his classmates are on holiday, so we brought the birthday celebrations forwards a bit so he could spend it with his friends. I find (my) children’s parties very stressful as a rule and approach them with great dread. I’m thrilled to say that on this occasion it went off without incident and the play zone we hired for the party had hardly anyone else in there at the same time so we almost had it to ourselves – which was bliss!

A floral rainbow

There seems to be a plethora of bright blousy blooms about at the moment in Gibraltar’s municipal flower beds. Here’s just a small selection.

Sewing school’s out for summer

My sewing lessons have come to an end for the summer break, I shall miss my morning sessions with sewing and banter with the girls. As it’s the end of term, I can now show you my finished dress… it’s taken almost a whole academic year to draft the pattern, make a cotton version to check for fitting and get the correct drape on the frill before making the actual dress.

I’m very pleased with it, especially as the fabric cost about €20 from La Linea market!! I just need the right occasion to wear it!

Happy post!

I have been watching Instagram enviously over the past few weeks seeing people announce that their latest Little Box of Crochet had arrived through the post. As usual mine arrived much later, as it has a longer distance to travel, on Thursday it finally arrived.

As I was in Catalan Bay anyway and the box has a special summer seaside theme, it seemed the perfect photo opportunity. I swear the folk watching me position it on an upturned boat and getting my focus right though I was bonkers…

Anyway, it arrived just in time for my annual summer craft challenge, which I started yesterday. My aim this year, as in the last two, is to do something crafty everyday throughout the school holidays in a bid to carve out a little bit of tranquil creativity while the world is going wild around me.

Last breakfast

Also on Thursday (in fact just before the above photo was taken) I popped out for one last moment of calm and tranquility before the end of term chaos ensued. The eggs Benedict I had was truly lovely! (Schools broke up on Friday and I had too many jobs to take care of to have my last breakfast then.)

A curry before kick off

Please excuse the repetitive food theme to these photos…. yesterday we decided to make a meal of it (well of a certain football match). It’s not every day England gets to the quarter finals of the World Cup is it? We headed out for a lovely curry before kick off and then stayed in the restaurant to watch the match. It was a perfect place – not too rowdy – as we had the Little Postcards with us.

Now, thanks to Messrs Maguire and Dele Alli we need to think of how we are going to spend the next semi-final match. I’m not sure my nerves can take it….

I wonder what I will be writing about England’s progress in next week’s Sunday Sevens??

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week and that the one ahead is kind to you too. Until next time, bye for now.

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

Sunday Sevens #143 1.7.18

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens. The first of July… how on earth did we get to this point already? I feel full of excitement about what the summer might have in store for us.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s round up of what I’ve been up to…

Enforced tidy up!

It’s been needed for a long time, but at last, thanks to the arrival of tradesmen to sort out our rather old fashioned floor tiles, I was forced to sort out my sewing/ crafty broom cupboard. I can just fit a chair in when the door’s open to sew at my machine. Let’s see how long this new tidy arrangement lasts…

Sports day season

So as time marches on towards the end of term, sports day season is well underway. This week I had one to go to. It’s a rather warm affair as you sit on the stand at the Victoria Stadium in direct sunlight toasting nicely like a rotisserie chicken. At least the view is stunning, even if you can’t make out which one of those many children actually belong to you!! There can’t be too many places in the world with a more impressive setting for their school sports days…

Morning sun, again

I realise that this photo is rather a lot like the last one, in that it features the Rock and the morning sunshine. I was parking my car one morning and glanced up to see the sunshine casting long shadows formed by the chimneys across Casemates Square from where I was and thought it worthy of a photograph. I was en-route to my sewing class, unfortunately as I am working on something which is a surprise for someone who may see this, I can’t share it just yet. I will though, later on in the summer.

Bright bougainvillea

The bougainvillea is looking fab throughout Gibraltar at the moment and it looks at its best set off against a cloudless blue sky. This great swathe of red / pink blossom caught my eye as I was walking in South District this week, it looked lovely against Parsons Lodge.

Last watercolour lesson

It’s approaching the end of the academic year for children in Gibraltar and this week, I went to my last watercolour class until September. I spent the lesson working on an exercise by William Newton. It didn’t quite turn out like the picture in the book, but it was good fun. I’ll miss my lessons over the summer break, but am determined that I will find time to pick up my brushes at some point before September.

A new perspective

One evening this week, I visited a building I hadn’t been to before – one of the towers at Brympton. I find it amazing that despite Gibraltar being so small, it can be quite easy to find yourself face to face with a view of Gib that’s completely new to you. My trip coincided with a meteorological phenomenon which is rather unusual for this part of the world. The cotton wool ball effect strip of clouds are called Altocumulus Floccus, and looked rather fantastic.

Happy birthday Postcard from Gibraltar!

I didn’t actually realise it on the day, but this Tuesday Postcard from Gibraltar turned three! In some ways it feels like Postcard from Gib has been with me for a lot longer than that. It has opened doors for me, like giving me the opportunity to write for a couple of publications and websites but most important of all, it’s introduced me to a whole host of lovely people around the world, for which I am most grateful for.

Thanks so much for stopping by this weekend, I hope that wherever you are in the world, you are having a lovely weekend. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Calentita! 2018

Calentita, Gibraltar’s annual food festival came to town on Saturday. Started back in 2007 (before we arrived on the Rock), the festival just gets better and better, and this year, attracted chefs from much further afield.

In our early years on the Rock, we attempted to ‘do’ Calentita on a few occasions, but found it tricky with small children. Now, with older children and a bigger, more spacious format for the festival, it’s much more do-able for us as family. (You can read about our experience of last year’s festival here.)

This year’s Calentita was a special one for me, as an article I wrote featured in the specially published Calentita Press magazine.

Anyway, down to business… Calentita. Being English and having kids with us, we turned up early. Over the years turning up early for events hasn’t always gone our way (like when it seemed like the rest of Gibraltar got the memo to come half an hour to an hour later for something), on this occasion though, we were in luck. We found a prime location for a base (one of the Casemates pubs which allowed us to buy drinks from them, but bring our own food from the stalls to the table) and we managed to get served at a few of the stalls before the, at times, humongous queues formed. Win, win!

Another perk of being early meant we could have a good nosey around at everything before it got too crowded.

There was so much variety to choose from. From the biggest barbecue I had ever seen…

To gorgeous cakes…

…And lots more besides, like craft gins and food from all four corners of the globe.

And so to the food… first stop for us was the cake stall (above), unfortunately I forgot to photograph the Oreo and Black Forest cupcakes I bought. I went there early before they sold out and saved them until we got home. You’ll have to take my word for it that they were beautiful both to look at and eat!!

For our first foray into the stalls we went for meat, (the huge barbecue hadn’t yet begun serving so we headed to another barbecue stall) the Iberian Secreto of pork (above) was just melt in the mouth and these mini burgers were lovely too. They came from the Gourmet Grill stall in Casemates.

Next came the taste of Asia with Chicken biryani and kebabs cooked by the Gibraltar Hindu Community.

The Little Postcards sampled hot dogs (which were available from a number of different stalls) and these rather tasty hot waffles smothered in Nutella….

As you can see, the food came on paper plates (you could bring your own plates and cutlery if you were organised – I wasn’t) and the cutlery was wooden. This year, Calentita was free from disposable single use plastic items in a bid to help the environment.

A few drinks may have been drunk too… ;-).

The atmosphere was brilliant, busy but not overly so, and it was very friendly and there were lots of families about. Among the non-edible attractions was the Casemates stage which had performances from local dance and musical groups, although this hadn’t properly got going while we were there… I did spot a couple of rather snazzily dressed witches behind the scenes…

And in Market Place, there was a stage for chefs (some local and others from further afield like Malta and London) to carry out demonstrations for the audience of diners sitting at the nearby tables and the people queueing at the stalls.

Calentita, yet again was a really well organised event and drew large crowds to come along and sample some of the many different foods on offer.

We only stayed for about 2 hours, as by that time tummies were full and we had played Top Trumps several times so the younger members of the party were ready to head home. If we had been there without children, we would most definitely have stayed longer. I can imagine the atmosphere being lovely after sunset, as the stalls began to light up. Maybe next year…

And finally, confession time. I have lived in Gibraltar for almost 9 years and until Saturday, I had never before tasted the Gibraltarian national dish of calentita (after which the food festival is named). It’s a kind of flan made with chickpeas, and was probably brought over to Gibraltar by the Genoese fishermen who migrated here (it’s known as farinata there, although a similar dish, known as karantita is served in nearby Northern Africa).

I decided the time had come to finally sample this local delicacy. Now, I’m not sure whether I will have to return my ID card and pack up and head back to England, but I’m afraid it wasn’t for me. I’m a fan of flans and custards and quiches and this was kind of a savoury combination of all of the above, but no, I’m not sure I’d go in for another slice. I don’t know what I was expecting, but perhaps after the lovely spices of the Hindu community’s gorgeous biryani it was a bit bland. Sorry!

And so that was our experience of Calentita 2018. A great evening, a lovely atmosphere and lots of tasty treats to eat. I think it may be time to hit the Med Steps again though to burn off those extra calories, it’s beach season again after all!!!

Sunday Sevens #142 24.6.18

Hello there, it’s been a busy week for us here in Gibraltar with two festivals, one for world music and another one for food. The weather’s been rather interesting too! Here goes…

Sea mist

Last Sunday we were still in the grips of sea mist which enveloped the Rock and caused flights to be cancelled. For those of us lucky enough to not to be traveling it was quite fun to sit and watch it changing shape out in the Bay. (Photo credit Mr Postcard).

We’re having babies!

We have had a pair of collared doves house hunting in our neighbourhood recently and it would appear that they have moved into our roof to have their little family. It looks like Mum is sitting on some eggs, I will keep you posted as to their progress.

GWMF

Mid week this week, we had the Gibraltar World Music Festival in full swing. There were a number of different events including talks for school children, a concert inside St Michael’s Cave and this musical street party on Castle Steps. It was a great venue for the choirs and band, with space for us to sit on the steps and look down on the performers. The atmosphere was fabulous.

Stormy night

In the early hours of Thursday morning I was woken by a Little Postcard. When I settled him back into bed, the room lit up and there was an almighty rumble of thunder (that’s what probably disturbed him in the first place).

I thought I’d try and grab a dramatic photo of the lightning, so I headed out onto the balcony in my pjs at about 4:20am (just as well no one was passing). Needless to say I failed on the photo, just got this blurry one. I decided after about 10 minutes that I really should go back to bed!!

I’m in print!

For the first time ever, I have had an article published in print! It’s in the Calentita Press, a magazine compiled for the annual Calentita food festival. In my article I talked about growing your own food, even in small spaces (as most of us in Gibraltar have no outside space to speak of). I interviewed Andrew Abrines from the Alameda Gardens ahead of writing the piece and he gave lots of great tips for getting started. I even learned that you can grow your own pea shoots using dried marrow fat peas… and so I did…

Pea shoots!

….here they are! They took just about two weeks to grow on my kitchen windowsill and they taste lovely – very pea-ish if you get what I mean!

Now that’s what you call a barbecue…

That’s one heck of a lot of meat! This was just one of the food stalls at last night’s Calentita Festival. It was a great event, yet again and I came home with a very full tummy! I hope to write a blog post all about it in the next few days, time permitting.

So there you have it, Sunday Sevens done for another week. I hope it’s been a good one for you. Until next time, bye for now.

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

Sunday Sevens #140 10.6.18

Hello there! We are in the middle of yet another lovely bank holiday weekend here in Gibraltar, this time it’s to commemorate the Queen’s birthday. Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens:

Birthday cake and sewing

It was my friend’s birthday this week and it coincided with our sewing class. I wasn’t expecting a generous slice of this gorgeous plate of chocolatey heaven when I turned up! As you can probably tell from the photo, it was divine. I was very careful not to drop any crumb on my dress I’m sewing!!

World Environment Day

World Environment Day was celebrated in Gibraltar on Tuesday in Commonwealth Park. Local school choirs performed on the bandstand and organisations and companies with an interest in the environment like the Alameda Wildlife & Conservation Park and the Nautilus Project had stalls to raise awareness about environmental concerns. It was a lovely afternoon in a beautiful setting.

Alameda Gardens

We are in the midst of a bit of home improvement Chez Postcard at present. The place is in utter chaos with stuff moved from it’s normal locations, floor tiles lifted, power tool noise and lots and lots of dust. I ran away one morning to escape the noise and mess and sat for half an hour in the tranquility of the Alameda Gardens. While I was there, these beautiful day lillies caught my eye. Aren’t they beautiful with their deep purple edges?

Sunny Catalan Bay

In another bid to escape the work at home I took a walk through Catalan Bay one lunchtime. It was beautifully sunny and quiet! It won’t be long before this place is full of deck chairs and sun umbrellas cheek by jowl on the beach. Until then, it’s such a peaceful place to be!

Cock a doodle doo to you too!

You can often hear cockerels crowing in the South District of Gibraltar, but until recently, I had never actually seen who was making all the noise! A couple of months ago on an early morning walk I came face to face with a rather impressive black cockerel, but he ran away too fast for me to catch him on camera. This week though, as I walked along Europa Road, I not only heard, but saw two cockerels crowing. They were oblivious to the traffic whizzing by them just a metre or so below them.

Sunny walk on the costa

Yesterday we took a drive along the coast to Puerto Banus near Marbella. It’s a rather swanky place full of designer shops, very (and I mean very) posh cars and mahooosive yatchs in the marina. I quite like going there to people watch and to see how the other half lives. Away from the razzmatazz there’s a lovely promenade where you can walk all the way to Marbella. We had a very pleasant walk there yesterday (not as far as Marbs though) the Little Postcards enjoyed jumping from rock to rock along the wall at the side of the path.

International Yarnbombing Day preparations

Did you know it’s International Yarnbombing Day tomorrow? Well it is, and I may be working on a little yarnbomb of my own… watch this space!

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