A Postcard birthday





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


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!


Sunday Sevens #37 26.6.16

Well then, that was quite a week on all sorts of levels. I shall refrain from mentioning anything political in this post as it makes references to mundane everyday stuff, well err mundane and perhaps a little irrelevant. So here goes, it feels like a lot longer than seven days since my last Sunday Sevens, but it’s not. Who knew this time last week what was about to happen?

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. If you fancy joining in, pop over to her blog and find out how to have a go.


A crafty paradise

Last Sunday was Father’s Day in the UK and I spent it in England with my lovely Dad for the first time in years. My little Postcards took good care of their Dad when I was away and I think they really enjoyed their time with just Daddy. My Sunday was completely different from the usual routine. I wasn’t woken early with the pitter patter of small feet coming into the bedroom to ask for a cuddle/juice/breakfast/the TV remote. I had a lie-in (bliss) and after breakfast we jumped into the car and headed out into the Cheshire countryside to the fabulous Black Sheep Wools at Culcheth in Warrington.

It was wonderful to be surrounded with all this wool of every colour imaginable, there were fantastic books, fabric, sewing kits and all sorts of crafty delights. I was in heaven. We stopped for a tasty lunch in the cafe there aptly named ‘Tea Bags Full’ and before heading to our next destination I made use of the facilities.

On the way to the loo, I spotted these cute pompom sheep (above) and a fascinating series of maps on the wall. The maps were of the British Isles and also the world. People had written their names and where they were visiting from on tags. It was such a good idea as it showed how far their customers had travelled from. In the scheme of things Gibraltar wasn’t that far. South Africa and New Zealand featured tags from customers as well as many other exotic destinations. There were no spare tags for me to write on and say I was visiting from Gibraltar so this is my tag. Hello Black Sheep Wools, my crafty stash grew quite a bit thanks to you. I hope to be back again one day!

Back home

Monday meant time to head back home to Gibraltar. I had a really great time with my parents and was also able to see my little brother and his lovely fiancee. My weekend away flew by so quickly that I was on my way back to the airport before I knew it. On the flight I was blessed with a window seat on the right hand side which gave me a wonderful view as we circled the Rock. As we approached along the Spanish Mediterranean coast from Malaga, Gibraltar was shrouded in cloud caused by the levanter winds. Moments later, after we came around the southern tip of Europa Point I got this great view of the Rock  with it’s cloudy hat on. It’s amazing to think that these two pictures were taken just moments apart.

Dressmaking class

I’m growing to love this fabric. After buying it I was worried it was a bit too Hawaiian shirt-esque but it’s so bright and summery it’s really growing on me. This week the side seams of my final skirt project were stitched, the lining was attached to the skirt and front pleats stitched into place. In theory there’s just a waistband and hem standing between me and a finished garment. It doesn’t sound a lot if you just say it quickly but I have a feeling it may not be straightforward…

Another dinosaur gets a new home

Meet Wonkysaurus. He’s my fourth dinosaur crocheted from a pattern in Simply Crochet magazine. I do rather like him, he’s got slightly wonky spikes, hence the name. This week he went to his new home to meet his new owner. I’m not sure what his new owner makes of him yet (he’s just 4 weeks old) but his Mummy approves.

Time for another one…

No sooner had one dinosaur left me and I received a request for another one. This one’s for a baby not yet born so I have a little while yet to make him, however as the little Postcards are on summer hours at school (i.e. they finish at lunchtime) my crafting time is vastly reduced so I’m making hay while the sun shines, or should that be making heads while the sun shines? (Sorry – couldn’t resist that one 😉 )

Convent Garden Open Day

Saturday saw the annual Convent Garden Open Day in Gibraltar. It’s a regular event on the Gibraltar social calendar and gives us mere mortals the chance to wander round the Govenor’s back garden. The planting is gorgeous and a riot of colour beneath the lovely shade giving trees – many of which were planted by visiting Royals in years gone by. It was hot hot hot so that shade was very welcome. I’ll share a few more photos of this soon.

Postcard birthday


I’m amazed to be saying this but yesterday Postcard from Gibraltar had it’s first birthday. I can’t believe a whole year has gone by since I made my first post. It’s been such fun. I have come into contact with so many lovely, encouraging people during the past 12 months both online and in person. Thank you to all of my new friends as well as my old friends and family who have supported my fledgling blogging adventure so far. Here’s to the next 12 months! Now it’s time for cake don’t you think?

Where do we go from here? 


Wow I really didn’t see that coming. I went to bed last night expecting to wake up a fully paid up member of the EU. I feel so shocked and sad that things have turned out the way they have.

Gibraltar got a bit of coverage during the Referendum campaigning with major international news organisations coming over to gauge the mood here. Even I got interviewed by the BBC (not an everyday occurrence in my world). For those of you who live beyond the shores of Gibraltar, you may already know that for us the impact of a Brexit is huge, but here’s a brief outline of what concerns us at the moment.

Apart from voters in Northern Ireland, we are closer than most other UK citizens to Europe. We can see it from our windows, it’s literally on our doorstep in the form of our nearest neighbour, Spain. By staying in the EU, Gibraltarians believed their rights would be much better protected by European law – particularly in relation to the border. In recent weeks there have been threats in the Spanish media that if Brexit were to happen, the land border we share with Spain would be closed. We are now left wondering whether that will become a reality?

The Rock of Gibraltar with Spain behind

For Gibraltarians it isn’t an idle threat, the border was closed by General Franco in 1969 and remained blocked for 13 years. During the time of the frontier closure families were split up and kept apart. The only way to get over to Spain was to catch a ferry to another continent (Africa)  and then get a second one across to Spain.

If a border closure were to happen again it would impact on all of us living here and a great many on the other side of the border. Thousands of people who work in Gibraltar live in Spain. Plus there’s the everyday basics like how do you get food into the shops if your only land border is closed?


Europa Point Lighthouse with Morocco in the distance

During the years of the closed border, Morocco came to the aid of the people of Gibraltar. Many Moroccans came here to work and filled the gaps left by the cross-border Spanish workers. Morocco also became a major source of food and supplies during the years of the closed frontier. A lot of the families who came here remain in Gibraltar and add to the diverse and tolerant community we enjoy today.

In the hours since the news of the Leave result broke there has been much debate about what will happen next, some of it coming from across the border. Spain is reported to be reinforcing it’s belief that sovereignty of the Rock belongs to them and not Britain.

Last week, David Cameron felt it important enough to give Gibraltar it’s first Prime Ministerial visit since 1968. One week before polling day, he became the first serving British Prime Minister to visit the Rock since Harold Wilson. What’s more significant is that he is the first one ever to come specifically to discuss an issue which directly affects Gibraltar.


Over 24,100 Gibraltar residents registered to vote in the EU referendum and many turned out last week to see the Prime Minister and hear what he had to say. He flew in by private jet and held talks with local decision makers. A reasonably large press pack came too.


There was a real buzz in the air and many people from all walks of life turned out to see what the PM had to say about Gibraltar and about Europe. The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo called on everyone to come down to Casemates Square and give our visitor “the greatest ever Gibraltarian welcome”.


Very sadly, the rally which we had all turned up for was cancelled at the last minute due to the awful attack on Labour MP Jo Cox in the north of England. As news filtered through about the shocking events in West Yorkshire and the fact that campaigning was to be suspended as a mark of respect, the crowds began to drift away from Casemates Square. The fizzing excitement of moments before gave way to a stunned disappointment and shock.

During his visit, David Cameron met with senior local politicians and it’s reported that discussions covered both possible referendum outcomes and what it would mean for the UK’s responsibilities to Gibraltar. Whether those assurances still hold once he has left his post in October remains to be seen.


One week on and 84% of the Gibraltar electorate turned out to vote in the EU Referendum. 96% of those voters chose the option to remain in the EU. Last night I thought it was a marvellous example of democracy at work, not that it helped us a great deal.

This morning on the school run many of the parents were bleary eyed after staying up much of the night to watch the results come in. Clutching strong coffees and shaking their heads in disbelief there was a real air of despondency and worry about what the future holds for us here on the Rock.

One father joked that he might as well just sell his car as trips to Spain could be about to get tricky. A mother who works for a UK gaming company said that her firm’s HR department were holding emergency talks this morning to try and figure out how to help their many cross-border workers should there be tensions at the border. They didn’t have a plan in place because they didn’t believe it would happen. Fears about the local job market were voiced, while others discussed whether their summer holidays to Europe would now require them to have a visa.


No one knows what the future holds for the UK as a whole following this referendum result but for those of us at the southern most tip of Europe, we feel we are very much at the sharp end. Gibraltar woke up under a cloud this morning, and for once it wasn’t caused by the usual levanter winds, this one was sent by the UK electorate.


Sunday Sevens #36 19.6.16

Queen’s Birthday bank holiday

We had an extra bank holiday on Monday which you don’t get in the UK. To celebrate the Queen’s official birthday in June, we get a day off. It’s not just because it was a special birthday this year – we always get one. It also marked the beginning of summer hours at school. On Tuesday the little Postcards finished at lunchtime and will continue to do so until term ends in four weeks’ time – that means my crafting time has been severely depleted but the plus side is I don’t need to make any more packed lunches until September! 

Dressmaking class

The invisible zip is IN. I’m really enjoying making this skirt, firstly because it’s to be worn at two family weddings next year (nice occasions which are a long way off – so no pressure) and the fabric’s so easy to sew. It’s crisp and the seams look so neat plus it doesn’t fray. The lining on the other hand…. the less said about that the better!!

#7000 woolly hearts for Yarndale challenge

You may remember a few months back I hooked up some woolly hearts and sent them to a lovely lady known as @bonnies_little_crafts on Instagram. She lives in the town of Skipton which plays host to the Yarndale festival each September. This year she has set herself (and anyone else who wants to get involved) the task of crocheting 7000 little woolly hearts to give away to visitors to her home town when they attend the yarny festival this year. I started my second stash this week while the little Postcards were splashing about in the pool.

A prime ministerial visit

Thursday saw an historic moment in Gibraltar’s history, David Cameron became the first serving Prime Minister to visit since Harold Wilson. Sadly a huge rally which had been planned to raise the issues facing Gibraltar with regards to the EU Referendum had to be cancelled following the horrific events in Leeds which led to the death of mother and MP, Jo Cox. 

Security was extremely tight around town for the few hours he spent on the Rock with police officers stationed on most road junctions. This was the scene outside the Rock Hotel where the PM held talks with the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo and other local politicians. I never knew there were so many machine guns in Gibraltar before this!

A bit of painting

It has been ages since I got my paints out and I had a spare few minutes on Friday before picking the boys up from school, so had a go at a few more freesias. This is going on a special birthday card for a very special lady. 

A weekend away

On Friday I did something I’ve been looking forward to for ages, I got on a plane on my own and came to visit my Mum and Dad. I’ve not been back to England since August last year and I’ve really missed seeing my family. The trip had been on the cards since January but kept being put back for various reasons. Finally the day arrived. It was worth the wait! It also coincided with Father’s Day. I am able to spend it with my Dad for the first time in years. 


Nothing says home to me like my Dad’s aquarium. It’s been bubbling away in the my parents’ dining room since before I sat at the dining table studying for my A-Levels. Once home to tropical fish and beautiful blue striped Neon Tetras (my favourites) these lovely goldfish are now in residence. The noise of the pump has been a constant soundtrack to mealtimes back in my childhood home. 

Wherever you are this Father’s Day, I hope it is a happy one for you.

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

Mr Bumble free crochet pattern

Since the Alameda Gardens Yarnbombing at the weekend I’ve had loads of lovely comments about Mr Bumble. He was obviously so popular that he’d actually buzzed off home with someone else by the time I went back to take the yarnbomb down (either that or he’d checked into the Bee Hotel).

To make your own Mr Bumble, you’ll need a small amount of yellow, black and grey double knitting yarn (and a little bit of white for the eyes), a 3mm crochet hook and a stitch marker. The pattern is worked in a spiral like amigurumi and uses UK crochet terms. 

(If you are a seasoned crocheter, apologies if these instructions are a little basic – this is my first attempt at writing a pattern of my own!)

Body (make 1)

Using black yarn, make a magic circle and crochet 6 double crochets (DC) into the circle. 

Pull the tail of the yarn to close the magic circle – row 1 is now complete.

Row 2: 2 DC into each of the stitches on the previous row = 12 stitches 

(It can be useful to mark the first stitch in each row with a stitch marker so you can keep track of where your rows begin and end).

Row 3: (1 DC into the first stitch, 2 DC into the second stitch) and repeat to the end of the row = 18 stitches 

Row 4: (1 DC in first stitch, 1 DC in second stitch, 2 DC in third stitch), and repeat to the end of the row = 24 stitches.

Row 5: (1 DC in first stitch, 1 DC in second stitch, 1 DC in third stitch, 2 DC in fourth stitch) and repeat to the end of the row = 30 stitches

Row 6: 1 DC into each stitch = 30 stitches (At this point the flat piece of crochet will begin to be 3-dimensional)

Row 7: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches. It’s starting to look a little bee-like now!

Continue the stripes in this fashion:

Row 8: Change to black yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 9: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches 

Row 10: Change to black yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 11: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 12: Change to black yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 13: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 14: Change to black yarn. (1 DC in first stitch, DC next two stitches together) and repeat to the end of the row = 18 stitches

Row 15: (1 DC in first stitch, DC next two stitches together) and repeat to the last stitch of the row DC into the final stitch = 13 stitches. 

Now is a good time to stuff the body of your bee with toy filling before the opening in his tail end gets too small to fill him. 

Row 16: DC next 2 stitches together 6 times 

Row 17: DC next 2 stitches together 3 times

The hole in the end of your bee should now be closed, cut the yarn leaving a tail. Pull the tail through the loop on your hook and tighten. You should have a little point on your bee’s bottom a bit like a sting. 

Darn in the yarn end being careful not to flatten the sting.

Wings (make 2)

Row 1: Make a magic circle and DC 5 stitches into it. Pull the tail of the yarn to tighten the magic circle before beginning row 2.

Row 2: Crochet 2 DC into each of the 5 stitches in the previous row = 10 stitches.

Row 3 : (1 DC into the first stitch, 2 DC into the second stitch) and repeat until you reach the end of the row = 15 stitches

Fasten off.

Then make another.

Attach your wings securely to the top of your bee’s body using the tails of yarn. 

Using the white wool embroider two eyes onto the face with French knots.

And there you have it, your own Mr Bumble!

He does look rather at home amongst the flowers don’t you think?

Please feel free to make your own Mr Bumble, but I would greatly appreciate it if you were to credit Postcard from Gibraltar with the pattern of you do. Happy hooking!  🙂

Sunday Sevens #35 12.6.16

Wow, it’s been quite a week for me, it started off quietly but built to a crescendo after I posted a photo I took on a walk up the Rock. More on that later…


I’m sure I’m not the only Mum to be swamped with Panini football stickers at the moment. In a family of five I’m the only one without an album. Somehow that doesn’t excuse me from the delights of having to try to peel the backs off the awkward ones! 

A sunset walk

When I escaped one evening this week for a walk after the little Postcards were in bed, I saw this gorgeous sunset. The tower in the photo is the Royal Naval dockyard here in Gibraltar, it looked so pretty lit from behind. 

New skirt

Work has commenced on my final skirt for my dressmaking course. I took a drive across the border to La Linea last week and bought some rather bright floral fabric (think pink and orange orchids). I’ll save the delights of the fabric choice until next week, as I don’t think I’ll have too many other crafty things going on. 

Anyway, the design was drawn, the pattern made and now the fabric’s been cut and sewing the seams has begun – I do hope it turns out ok! 

Sports Day part 1

This week we have experienced the first of two school sports days we have on the calendar. Because there’s no such thing as large school playgrounds or school sports fields in Gibraltar, the teachers, pupils and parents all decamp to the Victoria Stadium for the event. There can’t be too many places in the world where school sports days take place in the national stadium can there?

That photo…

On Thursday morning I set off for a walk as soon as the little Postcards were safely deposited at school. As I set off I wasn’t necessarily intending on climbing up the Rock but my feet just took me there (force of habit perhaps). It appeared to be a perfect morning for the Med Steps, cool and foggy. If you’ve read my Mini stroll in the mist post you’ll know my reading of the weather conditions were way off the mark, as I climbed higher I climbed out of the fog and into the baking sunshine! 

One positive from that predicament was this view. I snapped it and then posted it as I got home. That’s when the crazy stuff happened… As I write it’s been seen by more than 12,000 people on Facebook and a good few more on Twitter. That sort of thing doesn’t happen to me everyday!!! 

Summer’s here

In between the foggy and misty days we have enjoyed some high temperatures and sunshine. The municipal areas like parks, traffic roundabouts and flower beds are looking glorious in town. Perhaps at their best, as they are not yet wilting under the intense heat of the mid-summer sun. This plant (it’s name is a mystery to me) grows close to a car park I frequent regularly and it’s blooms are looking glorious at the minute. It looks rather tropical don’t you think?

International Yarnbombing Day 2016

In case you missed my post yesterday on my little Yarnbomb, well I did one. It was my homage to one of the most beautiful places in Gibraltar, the Alameda Botanical Gardens, which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. 

I have had a truly amazing week in the world of blogging. All of a sudden my tiny corner of the Internet came to the attention of many people who’d never heard of Postcard from Gibraltar before. It’s been incredibly flattering and I’m very grateful for all the lovely comments I’ve read over the last few days. 

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog and features seven photos from the last seven days. 

International Yarnbombing Day 2016

Being a big fan of crochet and pretty colours I have found my head turned of late by yarnbombing. To the uninitiated Yarnbombing is also known as guerrilla knitting and yarn graffiti, and is growing in popularity across the globe. Of the accounts I follow on Instagram, one of my favourites is @queen_babs. She is a well established and rather well known yarn bomber who’s based in Sydney, Australia, the following photo (used with @queen_babs’ permission) features one of her latest creations, a series of yarn bombed trees. Aren’t they stunning? She’s  inspired me to have a go myself.


Today, Saturday 11th June, is International Yarnbombing Day – so what better time to dip my toe in the colourful pool of yarnbombing. After a bit of research it became clear to me that most yarn bombs are put together by a collective of people. I decided to have a go just 2 weeks before the big day. That didn’t really give me the time to find a team of people to join me, so I decided to go it alone for the first time, perhaps it would raise awareness about the event for next year and a team of us could have a crack at it together in 12 months time?

So what to Yarnbomb? As it’s all a bit last minute, I couldn’t attempt anything too big. One friend suggested yarnbombing all of Gibraltar’s cannons – errr perhaps not this year. I didn’t want to go for the most common yarn bombs of a tree or a lamppost as that would require some planning – like how do you stop it slipping down the lamppost and ending up like an unloved Christmas jumper in a pile at the bottom. It had to be quick and easy to make and it had to be reasonably small and easy to attach.

I thought perhaps the back of a park bench would be a good start. I could sit on it while measuring it, and later while attaching it so I didn’t look like a complete loony. Ok then, we have a bench idea. But which one and where? Main Street is an obvious choice but is REALLY public and noticeable. Then a germ of an idea came to me as I was editing my recent post  A stroll around Gibraltar No.11 : Alameda Gardens Part 2. This year is the 200th Anniversary of the Alameda Gardens – what better than to make a special yarn bomb to commemorate this big birthday.

This gardens connection also meant I had an obvious colour scheme (green) and decoration theme of flowers. It was time to get hooking!

In order for this mini granny stripe blanket to look more than just a granny stripe blanket I thought it needed a bit of Gibraltar incorporated. What’s more obvious than the flag? So I set about trying to design an intarsia pattern for the castle on the flag. It turned out terribly, I unravelled it and tried again, that was rubbish. I gave up on that and embroidered the towers on later.

To balance out the Gibraltar flag on one side I thought I’d better knock out a union jack flag as well. That was much easier!

Next came the message – I thought just putting 200 on it wasn’t enough so I settled on the dates, 1816 – 2016 and to make them in orange so that they really stood out against the green background. It also needed a label saying it was made for the Alameda Gardens too.

Then it was time for the flowers – these were so quick and fun to make. I was able to carry a bag with me on after school activities and surreptitiously produce bloom after bloom. I don’t think the other parents thought I was too crazy….

The time came for me to go for a recce to find the exact destination for the yarn bomb. An evening walk to the Alameda Gardens was in order. I waited until the smallest Postcards were in bed before heading out, silly me I managed to get myself locked in!!! Well at one end of the park anyway – I had to walk the long way around to get out and back home again!! Anyway, I did settle up on a bench, both physically and metaphorically. This one looked perfect. It’s on the main avenue at the top of the gardens and is just below the beautiful new glass house which was built to commemorate the bicentenary.


As I continued on my walk, a couple of other things caught my eye which were calling out to be yarn bombed….

 The Molly Bloom statue

The Guiseppe Codali bust

The Alameda Gardening Club garden

They have a Bee Hotel  – it really needs a yarn bee don’t you think? That’s the first thing I did on my return home. I was late to bed that night!!

Ta dah! I think I’m a little bit in love with Mr Bumble.

So do you want to see what I did? Here goes…

Mr Bumble’s just waiting to check into the Bee Hotel.

Giuseppe Codali’s neckwear has got more of a Gibraltar flavor today.

Molly Bloom’s got a necklace of rainbow blooms to brighten her outfit a little.

And finally this bench has been given a woolly makeover.

I gave each yarnbomb a label explaining that it’s International Yarnbombing Day, so people ‘get’ what it’s all about. They won’t be there for long though, so if you want to see them for real, you’ll have to be quick. If you do visit them, please let me know what you think.

So who’s going to join me for International Yarnbombing Day 2017?

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 ;-).


A stroll around Gibraltar No. 12 : Rosia Road to Camp Bay

There is a walking route which I do fairly regularly which isn’t really on the tourist map. It’s a really popular route for walkers, dog walkers and joggers especially in the evening. It starts just south of the end of Main Street and takes you almost to Europa Point (well you can carry on going if you want to, but on this stroll we end up at the seaside of Camp Bay). Care to join me?

The walk starts at the northern most end of Rosia Road and follows the line of the old sea wall until you reach the sea and the popular summertime destination for many Gibraltarians of Camp Bay. It begins with the lovely pedestrianised area you can see above – pedestrianised areas and even pavements can be few and far between here in Gibraltar – so it’s quite a big deal! The railings you can see on the left mark the edge of the old sea wall, and there’s a considerable drop on the other side. It’s hard to believe that once upon a time, the sea once lapped the base of this wall and the naval dockyard (below) wasn’t there!

The dockyard often hosts visiting Royal Naval ships and submarines, some of which the public are allowed to visit. A couple of years ago, we all went onto HMS Bulwark when it was in visiting. The little postcards loved exploring the bowels of the ship and even got to sit inside a helicopter and wear a helicopter pilot’s helmet. I’m not sure whether they will be signing up to join though, they were happy with a look around, less so about disappearing off to sea for months on end! 

Looking south from this point you can see the path continues for quite a distance, it also features a lovely Italian restaurant which we have been known to frequent occasionally.

It’s not that terribly long ago that this area was home to many families housed in Nissen Huts. They must have been incredibly hot to live in during the summer months.

A short walk along from here is Whitham’s Road on the left, at this point I am going to take you on a slight detour…

We had lived in Gibraltar for almost 5 years before I had the need to walk up Whitham’s Road towards St Josephs’s Church and I was amazed with what I discovered. Not only a derelict Middle School (which is now being converted into luxury housing) but also a cemetery. A cemetery which looked like it had been completely forgotten about.

(Old St Josephs school in the background)

The cemetery which is also described as Sand Pits Cemetery in some documents (due to it’s proximity to the Sand Pits area) is the final resting place of around 300 people, many of whom were the wives and children of military personnel based here between 1765 and 1850.

A large proportion of those who are buried here lost their lives in a small pox epidemic in 1787. The graveyard has been largely abandoned over the years although there have been several attempts by volunteers to clean up the area. At the moment the Gibraltar Heritage Trust are organising a programme of works which began in March when a visiting squadron began clearing the vegetation and improving the paths. There is a sponsorship programme underway to restore some of the headstones which have been damaged as well as plans to open up a pathway through the cemetery.

As you can see from the photos, it’s in a very poor state right now and is bordered on most sides by blocks of flats. It’s such a shame it has been left to rack and ruin in the past, but at least now it’s getting some attention. It is a really atmospheric place, although I’m not sure I’d like to spend too long there at nighttime!!


Retracing our steps and heading back on to Rosia Road you can soon see the top of the church tower of St Joseph’s poking out above the housing here. The view of the other side of the road is a little uninspiring (hence the lack of photos) as there’s an industrial estate here. The estate backs up to the GibDock dry docks. It’s here that ships from all over the world come to be repaired. It’s interesting to see where they have come from, I’ve seen ships from Panama, Scandinavia and Africa.

The docks are dominated by this lovely clock tower.

Also in this area is the main police headquarters for the Royal Gibraltar Police. If you watched the UK Channel 5 programme Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun, you may recognise it as the location of some of the interviews.

A little further on and you reach the 100 ton Victorian Supergun. Which is one of two which were based Gibraltar (the other one is no longer there but stood on the site of the City Fire Station). The 100 Ton Gun is a tourist attraction and quite an interesting summer holiday visit with bored children for half an hour or so! We may be going this summer, so I’ll tell you more about it if we do!

The huge cannon sits right beside Rosia Bay, which you can see in the photo below. It has an important part in the story of the Battle of Trafalgar as it’s where Nelson’s ship HMS Victory was moored after the victorious battle. It is a lovely spot, but in need of a little tlc – there are plans to smarten it up and make it more than just a fishing and diving destination as it is now. Sitting guard above the bay is Parson’s Lodge, a Victorian bastion which is now a field centre for the Gibraltar Museum.

Also above the bay is the 200 year old Naval Victualling Yard, and the home to one of Gibraltar’s veterinary practices.

The crest above the entrance to the yard was restored in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Here the road narrows considerably around the yard and sandwiched between that and Parson’s Lodge appears a little tunnel – the narrow tunnel offers one of the two routes south to Europa Point on the western side of the Rock. It sees a fair amount of traffic and can be a little treacherous for pedestrians at busy times.

It’s worth taking the walk though because it opens up into Camp Bay, the end of our stroll. Here you can smell the ozone from the waves lapping on the pebble shore and see the huge boats close by in the Bay of Gibraltar.

This spot, with it’s access to the sea and couple of swimming and paddling pools for children is incredibly busy in the summer months. Whole families decamp here for long days of relaxing, swimming, eating and having fun.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this little stroll, thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday sevens #34 5.6.16

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

Bank holiday Monday

We had a very quiet non-eventful bank holiday Monday. The tiniest Postcard was a bit off colour so we didn’t ‘do’ a great deal. There was a spot of gardening and general tidying up along with a trip to the tip (non-stop glamour round ours) but I did get out for a nice walk on Monday evening. We’d had mixed weather over the weekend but Monday was warmer and sunnier even though it was a bit blowy. I went out to take few photos for an up-coming Stroll around Gibraltar, I thought I’d make the most of the nice evening and get ahead with my planned posts. I was treated to this lovely view on my wanderings.

Tuesday evening making up session

These little dinosaurs weren’t going to make themselves. I felt sorry for them lying at the bottom of a bag in bits… Here’s a sneaky peak of my progress so far… Will they be finished by the end of the week??

A trip to the Museum

Wednesday was a bit unusual for me as our eldest had a teacher training day at school so I enjoyed his company while the other two were in school. It was a rare chance for the two of us to do what we wanted.

We decided to pay a visit to the Gibraltar Museum. We hadn’t been for a while and quite a bit has changed there. A lot of work has been done focusing on the Rock’s ancient past and it’s first known inhabitants, the Neanderthals. We really enjoyed it.

That moment when you really need to be somewhere but a plane’s about to land…. #onlyingibraltar

Thursday saw a mad panic trying to find somewhere to park as I had to get a small postcard to an after school event at the Victoria Stadium. Unfortunately there was a school sports day there at the same time so my usual parking space had been taken, in fact the entire car park was full. Then just as you think you can still make it in time, the plane from Morocco comes in to land, closing the road and everything comes to a stand still. #onlyingibraltar 

Yarnbomb anyone?

Did you know that it’s International Yarnbomb Day next Saturday 11th June? I’ve done a little bit of research and as far as I can tell Gibraltar hasn’t experienced a yarnbomb yet. I think it’s about time – don’t you?

Gastronomy event 

Yesterday saw a Gastronomy event being held in Queensway Quay marina. There were cooking demonstrations by the marina’s restaurants as well as craft and charity stalls and live music. We went along and the boys met up with some friends from school. We sat in the sunshine, had a good chat with friends and ate good food. The perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon!


Meet Spike & Stripe… They are complete…at last! They have a little pal too but he’s a gift which hasn’t yet been given so he’s being shy ;-). I really enjoyed making them and I have a feeling they won’t be the last I make.
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a good week!