2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 5) Happy

This week’s photo challenge has taken more of a personal turn rather than a look at Gibraltar. So here goes… in no particular order, here are some of the things which make me ‘happy’:

My Family (when they’re all getting on!)

Where I live (such a beautiful place and wonderful community)

Blue skies



The Med Steps (when I get to the top!)

I’m linking with Nana Cathy’s blog for this weekly photo challenge. To find out more or to join in yourself, pop over to her page to find out more.

Sunday Sevens #68 29.1.17

Hello there! Welcome to Sunday Sevens number 68… here’s a round up of what I’ve been up to this week 😊.

Sunday beach walk

If you saw my post midweek, you will know that last Sunday afternoon, we made the most of the lovely weather and went for a lovely walk along Catalan Bay beach. The beach in winter is a really special place I think, all that wonderful nature and no one else there to spoil it for you! Here’s my post in case you missed it.

Med Steps

I made it up the Med Steps this week at long last. There has been talk that our Med Steps 5 team from last year may have another attempt at 5 times round in one day again this year…. if that’s the case, we need to get an awful lot of practice in!

Little Box of Crochet

I have long been an admirer of Little Box of Crochet from afar. The monthly subscription box looks like a fab idea, but my experience of monthly magazine subscriptions coming out to Gibraltar put me off (like issues going missing or several all arriving at the same time). I recently saw that there were some one off purchases available on Etsy so I bought a box. 

This week I got the card in my letter box to tell me a parcel had arrived for me at the post office- it was my Little Box of Crochet. I’m thrilled with it, but am saving it until I have some free time to enjoy it properly :-).

On the subject of Crochet…

There’s a new crochet group starting in Gibraltar. Remember Gib the crochet ape from last week’s Sunday Sevens? Well he’s now the mascot of the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. If you are in Gib and want to join in, please have a look at the Facebook page to find out more.

Watercolour lesson

I have really missed my watercolour lessons. I hadn’t been able to make it to one since before Christmas as I was poorly one week, then I had a poorly Little Postcard off school the next. This week I managed to get there at last! I really enjoyed having a go at painting these primulas.

A Saturday staple

Every Saturday lunchtime something happens here in Gibraltar… we almost always seem to be on Main Street or in Casemates  and we get to see the historical reenactment of the Ceremony of the Keys. Former service men parade down Main Street in historical uniforms and the tourists love it. Here they are in action.

Sunset from my window

We had a lovely sunset last night, and this is the view I had looking at it from our dining room window. Isn’t it lovely? Sometimes I have to pinch myself about how lucky we are to have this magnificent view.

Looking ahead…

This is something for next week, well next month actually. There is so much wonderful creativity going on in Gibraltar that I have decided to dedicate a whole month of posts on my blog to creativity here on the Rock… I can’t wait to get started – February I’m ready for you!

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

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 003: Baby Stepps Postnatal Depression Support

Are you, or is someone you know finding things hard after having a baby? A support group to help new mothers deal with trauma and post natal depression is looking for new members in Gibraltar.

Run by the parent support charity, ‘Baby STEPPS’, the group hopes to give new mothers confidence in their abilities and help them through a difficult period.

In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast, the group leader and psychotherapist Elaine Caetano told me all about the service the charity offers.

Baby STEPPS psychotherapist Elaine Caetano

Click on this link to hear the Podcast : Episode 003: Post Natal Depression Support

If you would like to know more about the support group, you can contact Elaine in confidence via Facebook or call her on 54001138. You can also find out more information from the Baby STEPPS charity.

You can subscribe to this Podcast on iTunes and on the PodOmatic App for iOS and Android.

You can also find this blog on Facebook as Postcard from Gibraltar. On Instagram and Twitter I’m @postcardfromgib

Theme music: Happy Me by Twisterium

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 20 : Catalan Bay beach

Last Sunday was such a beautiful day we just had to get out and soak up a few rays. We aren’t huge beach-goers during the summertime but we do like a nice walk along the sand off season. One of the benefits of beach visits in winter is that it’s usually very quiet!

Unlike my other ‘strolls’ this one doesn’t have much text, I shall let the photos speak for themselves…

We spotted the large waves were crashing onto the rocks at the far end of the beach so we went to have a closer look…

We got a bit close…

Quick! Get out of the way!

I think we gave the folk watching from the road a laugh as we jumped out of the way. I almost went backwards over a rock but I managed to right myself and I think I carried it off with panache 😉

We do know how lucky we are to have this on our doorstep… very lucky indeed.

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 4) Gate

For a place which doesn’t have many gardens, Gibraltar has a fair few gates and rather impressive ones at that!

As with many other ancient cities and towns, Gibraltar’s town centre is ringed by old defensive walls. The entrances to these walls are known as ‘gates’. The one above is at Landport Tunnel, which at one time was the only way you could access Gibraltar from Spain by land (hence the name). It’s a pedestrian entrance and you can still see the chains to operate the drawbridge.

Each evening the soldiers would go around locking all the gates, and in this case, pull up the drawbridge to protect Gibraltar from any unwanted nocturnal visitors.

Grand Casemates Gates are at the entrance to Casemates Square. Casemates is the hub where all big community events happen in Gibraltar. Behind this impressive set of gates lies the area where New Year’s Eve, National Day, Calentita and Summer Nights events are all celebrated. The most impressive event though has to be the Ceremony of the Keys, where every six months the act of locking the gates to secure Gibraltar from it’s adversaries is reenacted.

As you can see on the sign, it was once the site of ‘Water Gate’. Boats used to moor up outside these gates and merchants would trade their wares. Hard to believe that the area where thousands of people live, work and pass through each day used to be under seawater.

At the southern end of Queensway and approximately half way down the western side of Gibraltar, lies Ragged Staff Gates. This wall was also a seawall not that terribly long ago.

Just a short walk through Ragged Staff gates and you can see Southport gates, close to the Trafalgar Cemetery and our statue of Lord Nelson.

It once just had a much smaller pair of openings, but it was widened in the 1960s to allow two lanes of traffic through this new arch.

The two original gates now cater for traffic heading north into Main Street and pedestrians.

The strong wooden gates with their metal bars to lock them shut still hang in the archways.

The archway is rather tight for today’s traffic, I always breathe in when I go through in the car, but amazingly Gibraltar’s very talented bus drivers whizz through, some hardly slow down!

The final historic gate I’m sharing with you lies above the beautiful Trafalgar Cemetery:

Prince Edward’s Gate gives motorists access to Upper Town along Prince Edward’s Road.

It is named after Prince Edward, the fourth son of George III, who later became the Duke of Kent and father to Queen Victoria. He was serving in Gibraltar in 1790, when the gate was cut into the King Charles V wall.

The current Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex was driven through the gate and along the name which bears his name when he visited Gibraltar in 2012 with his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex. They visited the Rock as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour.

I hope you have enjoyed this peak at Gibraltar’s gates!

I’m linking with Nana Cathy for this photo challenge. If you fancy joining in, pop over to her blog to find out more.

Sunday Sevens #67 22.01.16

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens. It’s been a funny week weather wise here in Gibraltar, it started off gloriously sunny and relatively warm for January and then the rain and the cold came…

Sunny Sunday afternoon

The weather last Sunday was truly glorious. We had a lot of stuff to do so we couldn’t properly get out but we popped to Commonwealth Park for an hour to let the Little Postcards run off a bit of steam. It was so lovely to sit on a bench in the sunshine for a while.

Dressmaking class

After two weeks of drawing out a pattern, rubbing out, remeasuring, then cutting and sticking, I finally have a paper pattern for a DRESS! I’m really excited about starting this one. It’s based on the pattern I used for my princess-line top but has been lengthened to become a dress. Sorry for the uninspiring photo… you can’t really jazz up pattern paper on a grey desk!

Crochet fun

May I introduce Gib, the amigurumi ape. I hope you will be able to see a bit more of him in the future, as he’s going to help a friend of mine and I do something crochety (if that’s a word?!). I will keep you posted on Gib and his upcoming adventures.

I forgot to include this photo last week… it’s the crochet project I completed before beginning Gib. These shark slippers were made for a friend.

A cold snap

The sunshine of the weekend and early part of the week ran off and left us midweek. The rain came and brought the cold with it too. For those of you up north in the British Isles, 4.5 degrees C may not sound cold but for us southern softies it’s a tad nippy. This was the temperature when I got into the car at 8am one morning.

I was talking to one of the granddads outside school one afternoon and he was saying he was shocked to see his dashboard tell him to beware of black ice! That is something you really don’t expect to see living in Gibraltar. The cold weather did bring snow to the region. Sadly not to Gibraltar (much to our disappointment) but you could see the snow on the tops of the hills along the coast from up the Rock. There was a lot of snow in Malaga, and along the Costa del Sol. It was the first time Marbella had seen snow for decades.


I don’t make a habit of wearing skirts, tights or heeled shoes but I had an important meeting to attend this week and I needed to be smart. Feeling very far out of my comfort zone I headed off up the street to my meeting when – squelch – I stood on one of those really annoying wonky paving slabs with dirty water hiding underneath.

Dirty water sprayed right up the front of one leg, and another load up the back of the other one. Fortunately I managed to clean myself up and headed onwards. Help my goodness if I didn’t stand on exactly the same paving slab on the return journey (photo is of the second dowsing which wasn’t as bad). To any passers-by on the outward trip when an expletive may have slipped from my lips, you have my utmost apology.


Thursday evening’s cold repaid us with the most beautiful sunset. I was rather trapped between buildings at the time for football training, but even so, you can see it was a belter.

Seagull sentries

I went for a bit of a wander one afternoon this week and ended up climbing up into Upper Town. I passed this sentry box which had been claimed as an ideal lookout for these two seagulls.

Final make of the week

I was a bit crochet crazy this week, after a long hiatus without my hook. This ‘Bunny Ballerina’ was made using the same pattern book as Gib, the ape. It was a Christmas gift from my lovely little brother. The book’s called ‘Amigurumi’ and is by Lan-Anh Bui & Josephine Wan. It’s full of lovely patterns of all sorts of animals. I think I’ll be making a few more of these…. This one is off to her new home shortly to live with a newborn baby girl.

That’s all for this week, I hope it has been a good one for you. You may have noticed I haven’t done any painting for a long time (since well before Christmas). I have missed my first two watercolour lessons of 2017 by being poorly last week, and then this week I had a poorly Little Postcard off sick on watercolour day… Everyone is fit and healthy now (touch wood) so hopefully I’ll get the chance to get my paintbrushes out again next week!

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

Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast Episode 002 : Gib Talks

In this episode of the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast we hear from the organiser of the Gib Talks 2017 event. School teacher and playwright, Julian Felice hosted the first Gib Talks two years ago.

Julian Felice on stage at Gib Talks
Now in it’s third edition, the series of short talks, based on the TED Talks model, is going from strength to strength. Former speakers have included politicians, historians, writers and artists. For more information on Gib Talks, please check out the website.

Podcast Episode: 002 Gib Talks

If you would like to read my post from last year’s Gib Talks event, you can find it here.

Theme Music: Happy Me by Twisterium

You can subscribe to the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast on iTunes and PodOmatic app for Apple and Android.

You can also find the Postcard from Gibraltar blog on Facebook as well as on Twitter and Instagram as @postcardfromgib


A stroll around Gibraltar No.19 : Whithams Cemetery

I may be had up for trade descriptions on this one, it’s more of a dig around Whithams Cemetery than a walk… (and no, it’s not what you think!).

If you have followed Postcard from Gibraltar for a while, you may remember that last year I took you for a stroll along Rosia Road and down to the sea; A stroll around Gibraltar No. 12. During that walk I went slightly off piste and showed you the fascinating place that is Whithams Cenetery.

I’ve become rather bewitched by this atmospheric place since the first time I happened to look over the wall which stands above it. The large abandoned graveyard is boxed in on all sides by buildings and looked so unloved and sad yet mesmerizing to me.

Since that first time I laid eyes on it a year or two ago, I have pressed my nose up to the cemetery gates many times craning to see more of what lay inside. Over the months, it became obvious that it hadn’t been completely forgotten about as the trees were pruned back and there was evidence that some work was underway to clear the area and attempt to restore it to its former glory.

A chance conversation with a friend of mine back in November revealed that she was one of the team of volunteers who are currently trying their best to wrestle the graveyard back from the brink of ruin. I went along one morning to lend a hand and join in.

I arrived dressed for the job, in old clothes and boots, brought my own spade and gardening gloves – which are necessary as there are lots of nettles and prickly weeds (the Heritage Trust did have a supply of gloves and tools for volunteers too).

We worked for just over 2 hours in the cool morning light. Thankfully, because of it’s position, it was only starting to get really sunny as we packed up. My grave digging (joke) pal and I made great progress clearing a stretch of about 3 metres across to about 6 rows of graves deep.

The team of volunteers bagged up a large pile of sacks containing weeds and unwanted shrubs to be taken away off site. A lot of progress was made, but as it’s such a large plot and the weeds keep coming back, it’s going to take quite a few more mornings like this one.

Sadly, a lot of the graves are in a very poor state of repair and some have been vandalised in the years that the cemetery was left abandoned. The Trust is planning to use a grant to repair some of them once the clearance work has been completed.

It really is a beautiful, atmospheric place, and not at all eery.

If you are in Gibraltar, are free on Monday mornings and fancy joining in with the rescue work going on at Whithams Cemetery, please get in touch with Gibraltar Heritage. You can get hold of them on: (+350) 20042844 or at their headquarters at the Main Guard in John Mackintosh Square – they would love to hear from you. 




2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 3) Awkward

I say this with deep affection, but there are a few things about Gibraltar which are ‘awkward’:

Narrow steep roads with suspect parking to negotiate…

Just imagine that dreaded moment you have been trying to avoid when you realise there is no alternative but to drive your new (to you) car around Upper Town  – eek. Will you survive the experience intact or will you get home with new scratches and perhaps one less wing mirror.

How do you furnish such an ‘awkward’ shaped house? (See above)

Did I mention that we live on a great big Rock?? 

Awkward is carrying heavy bags up copious steps… for many residents there is no vehicular access to their homes. Imagine lugging the weekly shop up all these in the baking summer sun.

It may be awkward at times but I think that adds to the charm of the place. There are no call centres or online price comparison websites here so when you need to renew your insurance you actually have to visit the individual insurance companies or go to a broker in order to get quotes. Awkward and annoying.

However, the silver lining to this cloud is that you get no junk mail or annoying phone calls at dinner time trying to sell you mis-sold PPI compensation, double glazing, new roofing etc etc. So yes, for all it’s awkwardness Gibraltar really is a special place.

Remember that suspect parking I mentioned? I reckon it’ll be a bit ‘awkward’ getting out of these parking spaces don’t you? 

Driving in Gibraltar means you need to be good at hill starts, parallel parking and know how to move any motorbikes which have been deposited in your maneuvering space (a skill I’m yet to acquire).

I’m linking with Nana Cathy for this photo challenge. If you would like to join in, pop over to her blog for more information.

Sunday Sevens #66 15.01.16

Hello there, I hope your week has been good. It’s been good to get back into a routine here as school started again in Gibraltar on Monday, although just as normality was restored I was struck down with a bad cold. The photos for this week are rather underwhelming as a result and were mainly taken at home! Here goes…

Barbary partridge

The photo credit for this one goes to Mr Postcard. He went for a walk up the Med Steps on Sunday last week (I didn’t have the oomph) and on his walk he saw a Barbary Partridge. These partridges are native to Gibraltar and were reintroduced on the Upper Rock recently. You quite often see them but so far I have failed to capture one with my camera because as soon as you realise you have seen one it’s vanished into the undergrowth. Hats off to Mr Postcard for managing to be quick enough to snap this shy creature.

Orchids at golden hour

There has been very little crafting going on this week, I did make it to my first dressmaking class of the year on Tuesday but as I’m pattern drawing at the moment for my next project there aren’t any pretty pictures of fabric to share yet. Will these orchids do? They looked so pretty in the golden light just as the sun was going down.

Morning Moonlight

As I opened the front door to see Eldest off to school one morning, I was struck by the bright full moon in the sky. This was less than an hour before daylight came but it looked magical as the moonlight lit up the water of the Bay.

Pink sky in the morning 

Another moonlight in the morning photo, this time it was on Friday when I saw the pretty pink sky at sunrise. We don’t get to see the sunrise as such as we face west but you still get the gorgeous colours lighting up the sky.

Poorly bunny

I haven’t mentioned before now, but our rescue bunny, Snowflake, has been rather poorly of late. In fact at New Year we were worried we might lose her. It turned out that she had mange. Perhaps she had it when we found her, perhaps she caught it from our newest addition, Diamond (although he shows no signs) we don’t know.

While she was laid low with the mange, an X-ray revealed that she had a chest infection, plus she had an eye infection. I spent the past week giving her children’s banana flavoured antibiotics and administering eye drops and sinus massages (I kid you not) to try and get her well again.

Here she is at the vets (again) on Friday morning. She was just about to have her final mange injection. I’m pleased to say that she has completely recovered from her chest infection and eye infection and the final signs of mange should disappear in the next few weeks.

The amazing climbing bunny


Diamond, on the other hand has shown no signs of ill health, in fact he’s positively bouncing. It turns out he’s quite a handful. On Friday I put him into his ‘run’ in the hall to give him a bit more space. It’s made out of an old fire guard and is attached to Snowflake’s run (an old play pen). I never in my wildest dreams thought he’d be able to get out – I was wrong. 

He was discovered wandering around the lounge. He must have climbed up out of the run, went for a wander in the hall (there were poos and straw marking his route) and then went for a run about in the lounge. I’m just relieved he decided to give the wide open front door a miss.

I thought that as Snowflake is having a bit of time post injection in her cage, I’d move him into her run (it’s taller and has chicken wire around it so it’ll be harder to climb out). Wrong again. When I went to check on him later, he’d climbed out of that and back into his original run. 

He now has a lid on it, rather fetchingly made out of old oven shelves and washing line… not the most attractive thing but until we think of an alternative it will have to do… honestly he’s worse than a toddler!!



By the end of the week I was feeling well enough to pick up a crochet hook again and managed to finish a project I’d been working on since before Christmas. This meant I was free to get on with something new. I’ve been looking forward to getting started on this, and it’s taking shape quickly – one of the joys of amigurumi I guess. 

The lovely book I am using for the pattern was a Christmas gift from my ‘little’ brother and I have got the perfect opportunity to make a little creature. I’m being a bit mysterious aren’t I? All will be revealed soon….


That’s all from Sunday Sevens this week, not the most inspiring one I know. Hopefully I’ll be back to full form next week and I’ll be able to tell you about more interesting things! Until then, I hope you have a good week and thanks for stopping by.


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