Friday photo challenge (Week 48) Wild

Our rather famous ‘wild’ inhabitants here in Gibraltar just had to feature in this week’s photo challenge! What are they talking about I wonder?

My favourite place here has to be the Med Steps, and they are covered with ‘wild’ flowers in Spring.

Gibraltar Candytuft

It’s not just the Rock which has ‘wild’ inhabitants, we have beautiful dolphins in our waters too…

Next week’s Postcard from Gibraltar Friday Photo Challenge is ‘sunset’.

May Monthly meet-up: Flower

This beautiful lily is flowering, as I type, beside my front door. May is such a beautiful month for blooms. These ‘trumpet flowers’, as we call them in our house, were glorious at a place we visited in Spain at the weekend.

Isn’t this floral wall display I saw in Spain on Tuesday delightful? They were all genuine geraniums and they were gorgeous.

And of course, the Med Steps is gearing up to be in full bloom any moment…

Which reminds me of my attempts to translate them into yarny creations

I’m linking with Sandra at Wild Daffodil for this monthly meet up.

Sunday Sevens #132 22.4.18

Hello there, welcome to the latest Sunday Sevens, a week which began in bright sunshine and ended with grey cloudy skies….

Don’t go into the water!

There were reports in the media last week that lots of Portuguese Man-o-war were being washed up on Gibrataltar’s beaches. Not wishing to miss out on seeing them, I headed down to Camp Bay with the Little Postcards last Sunday to see if we could see any. We weren’t disappointed. I had never seen them before and found them rather mesmerising with their bright blue colour and tentacles drifting below the waves.

We kept our distance though, as they can be very dangerous, even lethal in some cases. I thought it best to show the children what they looked like in case they should ever encounter them again. Now they will know to avoid them in future.

I’ve got a beach!

This week I managed to keep up with the Coastal Crochet CAL (Crochet along) and now have the beginnings of a beach on my Seaside Stash-busting Blanket. It was very nautical for a while there, but now I have wet sand, seaweed and pebbles.

3 times round

I can’t quite believe I am writing this, but although I didn’t plan it, I managed three times round the Med Steps this week. I had intended to do twice round but something Mr Postcard said as he went to work (along the lines of “two not three?”) planted the seed and once I’d completed number 2, thought, why not? I went for it. It was very difficult. This photo was taken at the bottom of the final set of steps. I was sitting on the bottom step at the time! I’ve got less than a month to go now before the Med Steps 5 Challenge, so there’s no time to waste!

Princess line seams

This week’s dressmaking class was all about the princess line seams. Boring photo I’m afraid.

Double daffs

I went crazy and splashed out £2 on a bunch of daffodils for myself this week. They had beautiful double heads and made me smile.

More stepping

The beautiful sunny weather we had at the start of the week had disappeared by Friday. I headed back up the steps. It was very blustery up there and just a little bit scary as I turned the corner onto the east side. It was blowing me backwards as if I wasn’t allowed to go up. Once I was properly round onto the eastern side, it was much more sheltered and not a problem at all.

Seeing as I can’t show you blue skies on this one, I took a few pictures of the beautiful wild flowers up there, including the Gibraltar national flower (the Gibraltar Candytuft: bottom right) which is in flower in a few sheltered spots now.

Gib Rocks

There is a phenomenon sweeping Gibraltar at the moment, especially for families with young children, called Gib Rocks. It started just a few short weeks ago, and the idea is to paint rocks and stones with bright colours, a message or a picture, then hide them somewhere in Gibraltar for someone else to find. It was sparked by one Gibraltar-based family’s trip to Battle in the South of England at Easter, where a similar scheme is in operation. On their return, they set up a Facebook page called Gib Rocks and at the last count it had over 3,600 members. It’s kind of mushroomed!

Anyway, we decided to join in too. I shan’t show you what the Little Postcards painted, as they wanted to keep it a secret, but I’m rather partial to rainbows so I could only paint one thing couldn’t I? It’s drying off nicely now ready for it’s final touches, I’ll keep you posted on where it ends up…. watch this space!

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

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 17) Nature

I love the great outdoors. Living in such a tiny, densely populated place as Gibraltar there is a very special place which I love to escape to from time to time; the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.

It’s looking at its best up there at the moment. The bees are buzzing about the wildflowers and the butterflies are fluttering about. 

If I need peace and quiet to think things through (plus excercise – it’s quite a hike up to the top) that’s the first place I head to.

The wildflowers are gorgeous at the moment…


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

If you would like to see more of my posts on the Med Steps and Upper Rock Nature Reserve, and you haven’t already come across them, you can see a few of them here:

The Med Steps; a few facts and figures

Wild flowers of the Med Steps

A stroll around Gibraltar No 13: The Windsor Suspension Bridge

On a walk over Christmas, Gibraltar gave to me…

Sunday Sevens #64 1.1.17

Happy New Year! Is it really only a week ago that we were celebrating Christmas? It feels like much longer!

Christmas Day Lunch


Mr Postcard reprised his role as Christmas Day chef and was so proud of his turkey, I was called into the kitchen to take a photo for Sunday Sevens! It was delicious.

We had a lovely day at home, joined by my parents. We were all very lucky and got lots of lovely things. Among my favourites were a new lens for my camera from Mr Postcard – watch out for loads more Postcard from Gibraltar sunsets… and some lovely fluffy yarn and an Amigurumi book from my little brother.

This year’s Christmas makes


I can share a few of my festive makes,  now they have been gifted. I was asked by a friend to make a mermaid blanket for her daughter. I made a couple of ring cushions ahead of two weddings next year and the wreath was a request for my Mum.

Polar bear swim


Boxing Day for us was dominated by turkey leftovers and the Catalan Bay Polar Bear Swim. If you haven’t already, you can read all about it in my post here. I’m so glad I did it – I was wavering until about two hours before hand and I just thought what the heck, life’s short and one day I may look back and regret not doing it.

Crochet, rosé & Dirty Dancing 


So in the space of a few days, we lost two people who played a big part in my formative years (and those of countless others) albeit via the silver screen and the radio airwaves. I think an awful lot of people from my generation really felt the loss of George Michael and Carrie Fisher this week. Sometimes only crochet, wine and Dirty Dancing on the telly will do… Thank you Channel 5 – I really needed that.

Legotastic 


Despite all the new toys which appeared in this house over Christmas, the trusty box of Lego featured heavily over the last week. We have had vehicle races and competitions and all sorts of creative fun. The lounge floor was awash with those sharp little bricks but it was a small price to pay for fraternal harmony (for a few hours) and a break from TV and gadget screens.

Beach walk


We revisited Catalan Bay on Thursday afternoon to stretch our legs. It was somewhat quieter than it had been on Monday… and I resisted the temptation to jump into the crashing waves and stayed on the sand. 😉

Shopping in Spain


On Friday we took a drive up the Costa del Sol coast for a brief shopping trip and lunch. We were away from the Rock for less than 6 hours but we enjoyed our mini-mini break!

New Year’s Eve Med Stepping


Yesterday, I ventured up the Med Steps for the first time in weeks. What a change those weeks have meant for the vegetation and wildlife up there. There were loads of delicate white narcissi lining the paths and on the roof of this old army look out post. There was also a lot of these wild clematis type of plants…


It was so pretty up there. The beautiful flowers took my mind off the fact I was out of breath!

One last sunset of 2016

I know I have gone way over the normal seven photos for a Sunday Sevens post, but there has been such a lot going on this week. As Gibraltar was gearing up for a big night of celebrations (see photo below) we headed home for a quiet celebration. Here’s a couple of shots of the last sunset of 2016 as seen in Gibraltar – can you see a sliver of moon among the clouds?


This photo shows the lights in Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar from here we live. It’s slightly blurry (apologies for that) but it gives you a sense of just how close we are.

I do hope that you have a wonderful new year and that 2017 is a happy and healthy one for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for all the lovely comments I’ve received over the past year, it’s so nice to know that there are actually people out there (apart from my Mum and Dad) who want to read what I have to write. Thank you!

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

Sunday Sevens #57 13.11.16

Hello again, wow, it’s been quite a week with everything that’s been going on on the global political scene. I can’t help but feel uneasy about what the future may hold for us all, but I’m staying away from politics and looking at the smaller, positives that have happened this week for us. Here goes….

Med Steps in the November Sunshine

View across the Strait of Gibraltar from the start of the Med Steps
On Sunday afternoon after we had returned from our mid-term break up the coast, and after I had finished unpacking and got the first load in the washing machine, I headed off on my own for a lovely walk up the Med Steps. It was such a stunningly beautiful November day and it was a crime to stay indoors. The younger Postcards were more content to stay at home and reacquaint themselves with all their stuff after a week away so I made the most of the peace and quiet.

It was the first time I’d attempted the Med Steps for ages and it took me a while longer than on previous occasions because I kept stopping to look at everything. Unlike back in the spring, when everything looked so luscious and green, a lot of the vegetation was crisp and brown after the long, hot Mediterranean summer days but here and there there were little shoots of fresh green sprouting through and even some dwarf narcissi.

As I reached the midway point, I was greeted with this stunning view back towards the north.

 

Crochet-on-the-go

Monday meant one of the Little Postcards returned to school but the two other had an in-service day. The lovely sunny weather continued on from Sunday and after the joys of ironing and putting away of clean laundry, we headed down to Europa Point for a bit of fresh air. After a scoot around the park, they found a new friend to play football with. While they were happy having a kick around on what could be the most southerly football court in Europe, I enjoyed a spot of crochet in the sunshine. (I can’t call it a pitch because it’s made of concrete and surrounded by chain link fencing…. so surely it’s a court?)

Dressmaking class

Tuesday morning and all three of the Little Postcards were in school for the first time in two weeks (thanks to  a virus and then mid-term) and I headed back to my dressmaking class. At last, after weeks of planning, pattern cutting, fabric cutting, pinning and tacking, I got the sewing machine out! I completed the princess-line seams on the lining and then promptly ironed the bust seam flat and reduced it from a 3D piece of fabric to a 2D one…. whoops.

The morning after the night before.

So, on Wednesday morning, we awoke to the news the America had nearly elected a new President. By the time we were on the school run, the result was pretty much sealed. In tumultuous times, I find it’s sometimes good to just stop and take a deep breath and realise that life goes on. The world kept turning and the boats were still out in the Bay.

Watercolour class

It’s been three weeks since my last watercolour class and I’ve missed it a lot. Us students often joke that our teacher should charge us more for the therapy we get from her classes. Work continued on my interpretation of the beach huts in Southwold. Slowly but surely I’m getting there…

Blue skies

We really have been blessed with the weather this week. You can’t help but feel positive when the sky is as blue as this can you?

Stunning sunsets


The lovely clear weather has resulted in some lovely sunsets for us too. This one was last night. Although the sun’s been shining away, you can’t help but notice it’s November as there’s a distinct chill in the air once you are out of the sunshine. 

We often joke that you can very rarely sit out on our balcony because it’s either too hot or too cold. In the summer time it’s like sitting on a spit roast when the sun’s shining on the front of the building, in autumn and winter, once the sun drops it’s suddenly really chilly. I know, I know, I’ve turned into a softy… you wouldn’t think I’d been brought up and spent the first 30-odd years of my life in the north of England would you?

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog. Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you have a good week ahead.

A Postcard birthday

 

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It’s been a whole 12 months since my first blog post on Postcard from Gibraltar and what a fun and busy year it has been. I started out publishing my first post and wondering if anyone out there in cyberspace would actually read it but I soon discovered a lovely community who share my interest in craft and want to hear about this lovely Rock I live on.

Thank you very much for all the lovely comments and likes over the past year, I appreciate you taking the time to leave them. I read them all although sometimes it can take me a while to reply.

I know that an important part of being in this community is that it’s not just a one way street and we should all take the time to read each others posts and sometimes I’m not too great at that as life tends to get in the way a bit. Please know that I always mean to, and I usually get around to taking a look at my fellow bloggers posts eventually!

I’m afraid I’m being very lazy this week with my midweek post and I’m just going to share a few of my highlights from the last year with you. I hope you enjoy this trip down Memory Lane 🙂

 

Expat life:

Moving countries with two small children and leaving all our family and friends behind was no small feat. I have to admit that when I was faced with the prospect of moving here (due to Mr Postcard’s work relocating) I wasn’t impressed. I had my life sorted and was happy where I was, the prospect of having to start all over again didn’t fill me with joy.

Back in September last year the annual cardboard boat race in Ocean Village reminded me of what life was like back when we first arrived and that the warm welcome we received as a family helped us on the road to settling in: Cardboard boats and memories of moving

Apart from arriving here and making a fresh start, one of the hardest things about being an ‘expat’ is that many of our community are transient. For those who come with work or their partner’s job, rather than just making the choice to move here for good, their tenure in Gibraltar can be short.

However short that stay may be, friendships can develop fast. In the absence of family nearby friends very soon become each other’s support network and that makes saying goodbye all the harder: Saying goodbye…

 

Crafty highlights

I love, love, love making things. If you’ve caught any of my Sunday Sevens posts you’ll know that most of my weeks are dominated by crafty things including watercolour lessons, dressmaking lessons and of course, my love of crochet. In May, I was inspired to make a wreath celebrating the wild flowers I’d seen this Spring while I trained for the Med Steps 5 Challenge : Wild flowers of the Med Steps

 

Along with the Med Steps I have become very fond of the Alameda Botanical gardens during our almost seven years here in Gibraltar.  International Yarnbombing Day 2016 proved too much of an opportunity to miss paying homage to the Alameda Gardens bicentennial celebrations.

 

Gibraltar highlights

Last Saturday was the Convent Garden Party, an annual event which the Postcard family usually attends. It’s the one chance in the year for ‘normal’ folk to have a wander around the beautiful back garden which belongs to the Governor of Gibraltar. My post about last year’s event ended up being my first ever blog post based on a walk (a theme which has featured heavily in the last few months): A stroll up the garden path…

As I mentioned earlier, I am a bit of a fan of the Med Steps. So much so that I climbed them five times in the one day last month as part of the Med Steps 5 Challenge. If you have never had the pleasure of climbing them yourself, here’s what you’re missing! The Med Steps: a few facts & figures

 

On 9th June, Gibraltar woke to find itself wrapped up with a blanket of fog. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to climb the Med Steps again (as it had been getting a bit warm to do it in recent weeks). On that walk I experienced the most amazing view (the one you can see above). I had been misguided in thinking that the fog would help me with its cool damp air, as I climbed the steps I soon realised that I had, in fact, climbed up out of the fog and was viewing it from above.

At one of my many rest points on that morning, I witnessed this stunning view of the Rock swathed in fog. It was otherworldly and truly mesmerising. I was also only one of a handful of people who had braved the Med Steps that morning, we were incredibly lucky to see this weather phenomenon from such an elevated vantage point.

As soon as I got home I posted this photo online and got the most amazing response. So far, more than 12,000 people have viewed it on Facebook! I also wrote a post about my foggy walk and featured a lot more photos: A mini stroll in the mist

 

A year on the Rock

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One of the great things about living in Gibraltar is that despite it’s size (which is really quite tiny) there is so much to do. The social calendar includes the Three Kings Cavalcade, the Calentita food festival, the Gibraltar Fair, National Day, the Gibraltar Music Festival, the Gibraltar Literary Festival, and the Christmas Light switch on to name just a few.

Here are a couple of my highlights from the last 12 months: Rock stars & heart throbs: Gibraltar Music Festival 2015 & So many books, so little time… Gibraltar Literary Festival 2015

Looking back at all that makes me realize we’ve packed a lot into our last year on the Rock. I know we are very lucky to live in such a great place and to have the opportunity to experience all we have. 

I first started this blog after being encouraged to do so by friends and family and I’m really glad I did. Postcard from Gibraltar has opened doors for me both virtually and in real life, it’s been a great adventure so far, here’s hoping the next 12 months are as good if not better!

Thank you for dropping by!

 

A mini stroll in the mist


I don’t usually post on a Thursday but I’ve just had a lovely (if hot) walk and I wanted to share it with you.

This morning we awoke to hear the fog horns singing to each other across the bay – we are in the sea mist season now. The mornings begin grey and misty but as the day progresses the clouds and fog burn off to leave blue skies and hot sunshine.


‘Perfect opportunity to climb the Med Steps again’ I thought – it would be nice and cool. It’s been rather warm the past couple of weeks so I’ve wimped out on going up for about 3 weeks.


Off I went enjoying the cool most blowing in my face and the wet plants whacking my legs as I walked along. I really thought I’d struck lucky!


But then just as I reached the bottom of the first climb things started to brighten up – I looked up…


Oh dear, it got hot all of a sudden – I’d climbed up through the mist and it was gloriously sunny above it all!


The Mediterranean Sea’s under all that blanket of foggyness!

And here’s Gibraltar poking her head up through it all. It looks like a foamy sea has hit high tide!


This gull didn’t look impressed that the fog had stolen his usual view!


So much for a cool climb up! Never mind, at least the wild flowers looked good.


I spotted one I’d never seen before:

Do you know what it is? It reminds me of an acquilegia but also has a hint of orchid about it I think. It has little spiky seed pods further down it’s stems.

What ever it is I think it’s gorgeous, like little purple pixie hats!

It took my mind off the climb for a bit at least.

Blimey, it was hot!

I won’t be fooled by the fog again so easily, that’s for sure!

At the top you could see the fog stretched all the way across to Morocco:

It also consumed the Bay of Gibraltar:

Still I guess if it hadn’t have arrived overnight I would never have contemplated going up the steps and seen those lovely purple flowers! 

I’m off for a lie down now I think ;-).