Hi, I’ve been thinking about how I could find the words to write this post for months. Life has been incredibly difficult since New Year for us as a family. At times it’s felt like we’d slipped into a parallel universe thinking at some point I’d wake up and be back in my ‘old’ life.
I don’t want to go into details about what’s happened, suffice to say it’s been health related and we have lost a very special person in our lives. Grief is a tricky thing to navigate and I’m on that road now with my boys. Life will never be the same for us but we have to look to the future now.
I have always been a passionate advocate for creativity helping me in tough times, and it truly has in the past. This time though, perhaps my feelings were too big so my creativity and need to make just slipped away. I ‘had’ to make a few crochet items for a commission I was working on and that forced me to get lost (temporarily) in the mindless rhythm of crocheting, but I can honestly say that in the past six months I have probably crocheted for pleasure a couple of times – the most recent of which was last night, which got my thinking about my blog & podcast.
I had big plans for the podcast this year – which haven’t happened. In fact there is still an episode which was due to be published in early January just as our difficulties first arose. I have felt a bit guilty at times because I have a lovely audience out there (some of whom have contacted me directly to check on me – which is lovely) and I always prided myself on being reliable and regular in my podcast episodes. I don’t like to let people down.
In addition to what we’ve been dealing with emotionally, I have had to take on more paying work recently to support my family and that has eaten into my spare time which in the past would have been spent having lovely chats with fabulous creative people about their lives for the podcast. The impact this additional pressure would have on the podcast going forwards has worried me, as it’s a big part of who I am, but the podcast doesn’t bring any financial reward – only emotional and in fact, it actually costs me money to make.
With this in mind, I think the time has come to face up to the future of Making Stitches. The plain facts are that my time is a lot more limited nowadays and will be for the foreseeable future but I would like to continue with my podcast and blogging adventures albeit in a reduced manner. So hopefully, in the next few days, that outstanding episode of Making Stitches Podcast due out in January will make a late appearance and some more ‘stand alone’ episodes will follow later in the year.
If there is still anyone out there still following my blog who hasn’t disappeared since I hung up my blogging hat in January, thank you for hanging on. And to everyone who has been checking on me in my absence – thank you, it’s nice to know I wasn’t forgotten. Please bear with me, and I will pop back again from time to time, hopefully with happier news and some colorful crochet…
Hello there! I hope this finds you well. It’s November – eek! How did that happen??
Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past month…
October began and ended in a blaze of orange! The first photo is of one of my little Acers which took on a great colour at the beginning of the month, we also enjoyed this sky of fire at the start of October (below) – the second sunset was taken on Saturday evening before the clocks went back to put us on Winter time….. the last hurrah of the summer that was…
Last month, you may have noticed that there were some changes on this blog from Postcard from Gibraltar to Making Stitches Blog. I won’t go into all the reasons behind it, as you may well have already read the previous post, but if you have just landed here and are wondering why Postcard from Gibraltar is no more, you can read why here.
Last month I decided the time had come to finally dig out my knitting needles and have another go at knitting some socks! About a year ago, I was inspired by Christine Perry of Winwick Mum, to have a go at knitting socks for the first time. Now I learned to knit well before I learned to crochet, but apart from an odd cardigan here and there over the years I haven’t done too much so the prospect of knitting in the round, turning a heel and using double pointed needles sent me running for the hills. (It turns out you don’t need to used DPNs after all – hurrah!) After interviewing Christine for Making Stitches Podcast, we got together for a brew and with her help I actually managed to knit a pair!
At Yarndale this year, I picked up a ball of Yarndale sock yarn called Hope (I have admired this colourway for a while). I have done non-stop crochet for so long, I fancied a change and early in October I cast on the first sock. Determined that it wouldn’t take me months to complete this project (as happened last time) I powered on through and had my first sock finished in less than a week!! I’m very pleased to say that on Monday (31st) (with the help of Christine’s fabulous book “Super Socks“) I Kitchener Stitched the toes of my second sock and I own a second pair of hand knitted socks made by me!
Up the Garden Path friends
Two new friends joined the Up the Garden Path gang in October, Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite and Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom. I had loads of fun making these – they had both been in my head since last autumn, and finally I was able to complete the patterns in time to get them out for this autumn. Oakley and Agatha should actually have a couple of other autumnal companions but I’m afraid other things got in the way of getting to the finishing line with them, so they will need to stay under wraps (or maybe that should be hibernation) until next autumn.
I took them with me to the gorgeous Dunham Massey National Trust parkland for a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago on a bright sunny morning. It was so lovely to have the perfect excuse to get out of the house and enjoy nature for a few hours. It was great fun finding suitable spots for them to pose with the gorgeous natural backdrop. The only issue is that as it is a deer park, there are lots of lovely areas you can’t go into because they are exclusively for the deer. Any parts where you are allowed to stray a little from the path are generally rather well populated so there’s a ready made audience for a crazy middle aged lady arranging crocheted little people on tree stumps or next to fungi.
I tried to keep my head down and not make too much of a spectacle of myself but I was sniffed out by a rather lovely little spaniel on a super long lead at one point, and at another, I was asked by an amateur photographer if he could photograph my little people too. Those were just the passers-by I engaged with – with many others I just ducked down behind the ferns and tree stumps and hoped for the best! I think most people were just glad to give me a wide berth as I was clearly barmy.
Downloadable PDF patterns for Agatha and Oakley are available now in my Etsy Shop if you fancy making either of them and if you would like to make both, you can buy the pair as a bundle with a bit of a saving.
As you can see below, it was a truly stunning morning at Dunham Massey when I went for my photo shoot….
The first Great Northern Textile Show
A week or so ago it was the first ever Great Northern Textile Show, just down the road from where I live in Manchester. I stumbled across the event on Instagram and reached out to the show’s organiser Tracy Fox to ask for more details. Once I’d spoken to Tracy it became apparent that not only did I have to go to the show, but that I also had to go to meet Tracy and hear more about her story. Tracy is an artist working with textiles, she dyes fabric to create art cloth for art quilts and can use anything from leaves from her back garden to rusty saw blades to create the most amazing patterns. I interviewed Tracy for Episode 52 of Making Stitches Podcast which you can listen to below. Then, on 23rd October I found myself at my second big show in a month by going to the Great Northern Textile Show. It was fab – I met some really lovely people. I shared my experience of the day in the latest episode of the podcast which went out last week – you can also listen to that below too.
In other podcast news, I got a rather lovely surprise at the weekend. I noticed that there had been a rather big upward surge in my listener figures so thought I’d check on the Apple Podcast charts to see if the numbers had had an impact there – and they did! I found Making Stitches Podcast at the Number 1 spot in the craft podcast charts in the UK, Canada and New Zealand, at Number 2 (then up to Number 1) in Australia and at Number 5 in the USA!! What a thrill! The podcast has made it to number 1 several times in the past but never in so many places at once or for so long. Thank you to everyone who has listened to it, recommended it to a friend or left a review – I am a very happy podcaster!
A return to ABBA Voyage!
If you read my August Postcard, you may remember that I made the trip down to London with a couple of school friends to see Abba Voyage. The trip had originally been meant to be for my parents to join me but their holiday which had been booked for 2020 and had been rearranged so many times ended up clashing with the ticket dates. I was able to return to London this month with my lovely Mum, the person responsible for introducing me to ABBA in the first place. It was super to be able to share the experience with her. (It also meant that I was able to meet up with Eldest – who is now a London based Uni student – for the briefest of times for a quick cuddle before hopping onto the train back home).
Half term football fun
Last week was half term week for the two youngest Little Postcards. Youngest is back in love with football after breaking his thumb and really enjoyed being able to take part in the local soccer school for the week. There was some rain, but they were really very lucky with the weather. The pitches, despite appearances, were rather muddy so I spent a week with the washing machine going almost constantly!
After a busy half term week and a weekend grass roots football match, it was rather nice to have some time at home on Sunday. Sunday afternoon meant there was time for a session of pumpkin carving and pumpkin soup making with the innards. I may have been a little heavy handed with the chilli flakes – the soup is in need of yogurt to make it palatable but never mind. It was fun to do.
And that, is that. October ticked off. It’s been a pretty good month all in all and the icing on my cake was the arrival of Eldest home late on Halloween night for a reading week break from Uni. It was so lovely to be able to get him back home again and look after him. He has been very sorely missed these last six weeks.
That’s all from me for this time, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my October ramble!
Way back in the summer of 2015, I set off on a blogging adventure. Inspired by the likes of Lucy at Attic24 and several other craft bloggers, I decided that I would have a go at sharing a few snap shots of my life on the Rock. At the time, I had a the unique selling point that I was based in Gibraltar, and at that time, there were no other craft bloggers active on the Rock. I thought that even if no one was interested in what I was making, at least I could share beautiful photos of my sunny surroundings way down in the south of Europe.
I felt compelled to share some of the quirks and beauty of where I was living at the time – a much misunderstood place from the outside. There is so much more to Gibraltar than the day trips from cruise ships and bus tours from along the Costa would have you believe. There’s much more than red phone boxes and fish & chips, British bobbies and Marks and Spencer in the sun. It’s home to a diverse group of people with origins from far and wide, the fortunate byproduct of it’s geographical location at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsular and just a short distance across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco and the African continent beyond.
Soon I began sharing a series of blog posts called ‘A stroll around Gibraltar’ as I took my camera and later my phone along on walks around the narrow streets and back alleys of Upper Town and into the Nature Reserve of the Upper Rock – in fact my post about the ‘facts and figures of the Med Steps’ remains my most read post to date. I posted more than 200 Sunday Sevens posts and hosted a Friday Photo Challenge on Instagram one year as well.
I also used Postcard from Gibraltar to share what I was making, from the dressmaking and watercolour classes which I was able to attend once all three Little Postcards (my three sons) were old enough to all go to school, as well as a number of community crochet projects I joined in with from Yarndale worldwide appeals for crocheted bunting and mandalas to Eleonora from Coastal Crochet‘s Seaside Stashbusting blanket and Changing Tides blanket crochet-alongs.
As our family went on trips around the place I would blog about our travels in my ‘A Postcard from…’ posts which included Rome, The Algarve, Carcassonne, and skiing in the Dolomites, as well as UK destinations like Manchester, Cheshire, and Suffolk.
Postcard from Gibraltar also opened doors for me and I began writing for an online parenting magazine in Gibraltar which now no longer exists sadly, I also got articles published in print for the Calentita! Gibraltarian food festival magazine. In short, Postcard from Gibraltar gave me the confidence to venture back out of my domestic set-up after many years being a stay-at-home Mum.
In 2020, along with everything else which was happening in the world, close to home for us, change was afoot. We found ourselves moving back to the UK after 11 very happy years in Gibraltar. It was a big adjustment, which wasn’t made any easier by the pandemic, but we survived! At the time, I wondered whether I should continue with Postcard from Gibraltar as it would no longer be ‘from Gibraltar’. I had begun my new podcast project ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ by then, and whilst it brought me very welcome creative distraction – especially during lockdown, I felt I would miss Postcard too much if I just finished it, so I kept it going in a slightly less regular, less sunny and blue skies kind of a way!
More than 2 years on from our move though, I think the time is right to say goodbye to Postcard from Gibraltar. I won’t be saying goodbye to it completely though. This blog and all of the previous posts will still be available to read and if you should search for Postcard from Gibraltar online, it will still lead you here. Postcard from Gibraltar is evolving, just as I have, and from now on, will be known as Making Stitches.
It felt right to adapt what I’m already doing to compliment what I have been working on with Making Stitches Podcast. In the last two years, that has gone from strength to strength and is now in it’s 6th Series with more than 50 episodes featuring interviews with creative people from many different disciplines including crochet and knitting (including my old friend Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet), dressmaking, embroidery, textile art, weaving, yarn dying and more. In addition to this, I have made a foray into crochet design myself with the launch of my amigurumi crochet patterns. My life has changed quite a bit from what I was doing back in Gibraltar and it’s time this blog caught up with me.
I will still post my monthly Postcards (because I would miss writing them too much) although I can’t guarantee I’ll be any more prompt with posting them (!) and I’m pretty sure I will have another go at a Summer Craft Challenge again next year, so in a way nothing has changed, just the name.
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts, liked them or commented through the years and a special thank you to those of you who have become friends through this medium too. Your support, although virtual, has been very much appreciated over the years and it’s that which has kept me going. Who knows what lies ahead?
Well here we are again, in the midst of October and slowly inching towards the October half term holidays…. Roll on Monday and no early alarm!
I hope October’s been kind to you thus far. I have some news for you coming soon, but before then, here’s my Postcard from September. It was a busy month, but blimey it feels like a long time ago already! Here goes…
End of summer
The beginning of the month fell in the last few days of the school summer holidays. A group of friends from Youngest’s old primary school got together for a final hurrah before they went their separate ways to their new secondary schools. The venue for the meet up was Manley Mere Country Park in Cheshire.
It’s a super place with a huge lake for water sports, and an adventure trail which we went to….
There were tunnels, woodland walks…
….and lots and lots of mud. Thankfully we were forewarned and Youngest was dressed in old clothes – just as well as he went swimming in a pool of mud!! I think I’ve just about got him clean now!
New season of football… or not
The football season got back into gear at the start of the month too with some pre-season friendlies and assessment matches but not for us. In his first week of school, Youngest managed to break a bone in his thumb whilst in goal playing football at school – not the most auspicious start to his secondary school career, although he was very proud of the fact he did save the goal in spite of the injury. No contact sport for 6 weeks meant no football of course. I’m pleased to say that the thumb is now healed and he has restarted PE and training at last.
Of course last month was dominated by the news that HM Queen Elizabeth died, so it wasn’t your average September. When the Royal Proclamation was made in Manchester, I went along to witness history being made. I’m glad I was there.
Eldest off to Uni
September was also significant for us as Eldest flew the nest down south to University. I didn’t fancy my chances driving down to central London to drop him off, so we had to be packing ninjas and fit as much as we possibly could into suitcases ready for the train. I’m not sure how we did it but all bedding, pots and pans, food and clothes were squeezed in and we got him there! He got the keys to his accomodation on the evening before the Queen’s funeral – it was an auspicious time to be in London. I wrote a post about that time if you are interested in reading more, you can find it here.
Once Eldest was safely ensconced in his lodgings I headed off for a walk to soak up a bit of the atmosphere and made it to Parliament Square in time for the National minutes silence. You could have heard a pin drop.
Happy birthday Yarndale!
I managed to get to Yarndale again this year in time for the festival’s 10th birthday and it was great fun. There was so much lovely yarn to squish and bucket loads of inspiration. It’s such a lovely festival. You can read all about my trip to Yarndale 2022 in this post.
One of the benefits of being out in the Yorkshire countryside while visiting Yarndale was that I was finally able to find the perfect spot to do a photo shoot with my latest Up the Garden Path dolls – Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite and Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom. I may have had a few funny looks from passers-by but I don’t care! The light and location were perfect!
Making Stitches Podcast came back for a new series in September. The first episode featured my trip to Yarndale. You can listen to it here….
The last weekend in September is Yarndale, and this year, the yarn festival celebrated its 10th birthday. A week ago today, I jumped into my car and headed across the Pennines to make my third visit to Yarndale and it didn’t disappoint. Here’s what I got up to….
As always, the front entrance to the festival was decorated with metres and metres of Yarndale bunting, made by crocheters around the world (including one by me!) and sent to Skipton back in the early days of the festival. Another annual tradition was the introduction of a new Yarndale sheep… this year’s new addition to the flock was Tristen to mark the tenth birthday – do you get it? TrisTEN….
With his brightly coloured mandala body he was a colourful addition to the flock! I think they will need to look for a bigger display area for the sheep soon as they will run out of space to display them all!
Tristen and friends weren’t the only woolly creatures at Yarndale this year, as usual, a number of ‘live’ woolly critters had come along to charm the visitors!
Yarndale can be a little bit overwhelming at times, there is so much to see and do and buy. I followed my plan for last years visit which was to do a full circuit of all the stands first before getting my purse out. On my initial wander I was fascinated to see this amazing yarny Shrek and pals created by the Hawes Yarnbombers. Isn’t it fabulous? So many hours of work must’ve gone into creating that – just brilliant! The stall was collecting donations for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which was one of the charities being supported by Yarndale this year.
There was lots of bright crocheted and knitted bunting decorating the auction mart this year too and it certainly gave the place a lift.
Now to the yarn, well what can I say? There was so much of it, and it was gorgeous…
There was inspiration at every turn. The Cuddlebums hand dyed yarn was a riot of colour. I can’t resist a rainbow so a couple of skeins may have fallen into my bag (paid for of course!) to come home with me…
The highlight of my time at Yarndale this year has to be getting to hear Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet speak about her journey as a crochet designer as well as to meet her ‘in real life’. For those who don’t know Eleonora, she lives on the south coast of England and is inspired by her coastal surroundings – which is abundantly clear in her beautiful work.
It was lovely to be able to hear the way Eleonora goes from an idea, to choosing yarn colours and techniques to ending up with a new blanket design. It’s been a thrill to be able to watch Eleonora’s designs develop over the years and I clearly remember the day when she launched her first ever CAL (Crochet-ALong). It was her Seaside Stashbuster Blanket, and although I had about a gazillion other WIPs on the go at the time, I found myself digging into my stash to join in with it. That blanket became my Sandy Bay Blanket which I blogged about at the time – named after Sandy Bay in Gibraltar.
Later on came the Changing Tides blanket, another design inspired by Eleonora’s coastal surroundings. I thought it was time another blanket was added to my collection, so I had a go at that one too, but chose the colours to represent Catalan Bay in Gibraltar. That blanket became my Catalan Bay Blanket.
Although I’m no longer in Gibraltar, I will always have my Sandy Bay & Catalan Bay blankets to snuggle up in when it’s cold up north and I’m missing the Gibraltar heat! It also means that I feel linked to Eleonora and her crochet journey too as I was part of the community around the world which took part in the CALs – and it really was a special experience.
I genuinely never thought the day would come when our paths would cross. Back when we first began our blogs about 7 years ago, with me in Gibraltar and Eleonora on the south coast of England, but thanks to Yarndale it happened!
Before I knew it it, it was time to head home. The Auction Mart was looking decidedly empty and I thought I had better head off before I was thrown out!
Outside the Auction Mart were a few yarn bombs on the grass. I have to say that this woolly representation of country fields is my favourite!
Standing at the top of the Yarn Walk steps and looking out across the valley. It really is in a beautiful spot. No wonder there is so much yarny inspiration in theses parts!
I remember on my first visit to Yarndale back in 2016, I set off along the Yarn Walk on the way into the venue and was blown away by the yarny lamppost covers. There don’t seem to be many of the original covers left from back then, but the new ones are equally as cheery!
The path through Aireville Park leads down to the Leeds to Liverpool canal, and that is where the Yarn Walk comes to an end.
I crossed over the canal on the bunting adorned footbridge and back into the Skipton town centre.
Thank you Yarndale, and thank you Skipton! It was fun. Goodbye until next time…
Thanks so much for joining me for my trip, if you would like to hear a bit of the atmosphere, you can listen to my latest episode of Making Stitches Podcast which features 10 chats I had with exhibitors at Yarndale, including a lovely conversation I had with Eleonora from Coastal Crochet. You can listen to it via this link or by searching for Making Stitches Podcast on your favourite podcast app.
Hello! Postcard from Gibraltar is 5 years old today!
When I first launched this blog back in 2015, I had no idea where it would lead. It was an outlet for a slightly stir-crazy stay-at-home Mum with a desire to do more but unable at that time to go back to work, even on a part-time basis.
Little did I know the doors it would open or the confidence it would give me. It has brought me the opportunity to write for magazines; both online and in print. It gave me the confidence to return to the world of work after many years at home with children and now there is a new podcast ‘Making Stitches’.
It all started with this first blog post. Little did I know then, where it would lead and even if it would last as long as that first summer!
It has also brought me connections with many friends near and far. Friends I have never met and probably won’t ever meet, but friends nonetheless in ‘real life’ and living in my phone!
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts and cheered me from the sidelines over the past five years. I am very grateful for your support.
It seems rather appropriate that this milestone should happen now while things are in a state of flux for us. Not just because of the issues going on on the world stage but also those a little closer to home.
Next month we will be leaving Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here. Life is leading us back to the UK and a new life in the north of England. We leave with mixed emotions; great affection for Gibraltar and it’s people who have made us feel very welcome and sadness to be saying goodbye to good friends and this beautiful place.
However, looking forward we are thrilled to be heading back home to be close to family and friends (some of which I have known since primary school). Living so far from family has its limitations and that has been brought home more than ever during the past few months of lockdown.
I have thought long and hard about what to do about Postcard from Gibraltar after the move. Can there even be a Postcard from Gibraltar if I’m not in Gibraltar anymore?
But I would miss the community I have met online too much if I packed it all in. I also can’t quite face starting a new blog and going back to square one with it alongside the enormity of moving a family and all our belongings from one end of Europe to the other during a global pandemic, so Postcard from Gibraltar will continue after our move.
I can’t guarantee as many photos of blue skies or sea views. I’m not sure whether our sunsets will be quite as picturesque in the suburbs as they are across the Bay of Gibraltar but I will do my best.
I understand that a good proportion of readers of this blog will be doing so because of the Gibraltar connection, and if it no longer interests you in the future (in its UK based form) I won’t be offended if you fall away. Many readers though, I believe, do so because we have a shared interest in crafty things and trying to find a little bit of beauty in everyday.
And so, at the end of Postcard from Gibraltar’s first five years, I look back feeling proud of what it’s become and excited for the future and what it holds in store. Thank you for coming along on my journey with me, it’s been a pleasure to have your company on the ride!
Hello there, I hope that wherever you are reading this, you are well. It would appear that of late we have slipped into a parallel dimension where everything feels rather odd.
I’m sitting on our balcony at Postcard Towers looking across the Bay of Gibraltar to our neighbour, Spain. It’s terribly quiet over there. Under a State of Emergency there are very few boats out in the bay and none at the normally bustling port of Algeciras (which is normally still working on a Sunday).
Restrictions are coming into force here in Gibraltar, from tomorrow bars & restaurants will close, churches and other places of worship are closed until further notice, the planned referendum on abortion due next week is postponed and all sporting activities are off. Even the Drama Festival which was meant to happen behind closed doors next weekend is being suspended for now. At the moment, schools will remain open, but everyone is being encouraged to stay at home if they can.
It’s going to be a long and difficult road ahead for many, but thank goodness we have a way to communicate with the outside world through the wonders of technology and even in the adversity the best of humanity shines through with volunteers offering to help those isolated by the virus and of course the wonderful healthcare workers and staff who keep everything else going. Thank you to all our essential staff who will keep going to keep us all safe.
Hello there, I hope you’re well. I just wanted to explain my absence of late… life has rather got in the way of blogging recently. I’m still here, but my focus has been elsewhere. I will be back when the time is right, but for now I’ll leave you with this rather lovely photo from yesterday’s sunset.
Well here we are at the end of another year, it’s been a year of crafty and photo challenges, and on the whole a good one for the Postcard clan. It’s only now I’ve taken a look back at what we’ve done that I realised that we’ve packed a lot in! Here are some of my highlights from 2018…
I started the year off with a lovely walk up the Rock, those paperwhite narcissi were photographed on New Year’s Day. After enjoying participating in a photo challenge in 2017 under the stewardship of Sandra at Wild Daffodil, I decided to have a go at running one in 2018, so #postcardfromgibfridayphoto was born on Instagram and in Blogland. I also embarked on the Seaside Stash Busting Blanket CAL in January too. Little did I know what fun it would become.
February saw plenty more crochet and a fair bit of watercolour painting, along with the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth to Gibraltar. The huge Royal Naval aircraft carrier was quite a sight to behold.
March, very fortunately for us was a month for travel, first to attempt skiing for the very first time in the Italian Dolomites – it was amazing, and second to take the Little Postcards on an Easter trip to the South of England.
We began April on Easter Sunday on the Jurassic Coast in Devon, then headed to London for a few days before heading home. It was a fun trip.
May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge, Gibraltar’s Comic Con and some lovely spring weather.
June brought with it the Calentita! food festival and my very first printed article in the Calentita! magazine. We celebrated World Environment Day and I had a go at Yarnbombing the Alameda Gardens!
Summer holidays we the order of the day in July (along with my now traditional annual Summer Craft Challenge). We headed off to Suffolk to help celebrate a big birthday for a member of the Postcard family. We traveled by plane, old trains and kayak! Which reminds me, we went to a fabulous country fair at Worstead, I really should get a post written about that…
August was spent in Suffolk, Gibraltar and visiting my family in Manchester. We watched acrobats and magicians in Gib and followed the Bee trail around Manchester.
At midterm in October we headed off for a short break in Portugal. We’re so lucky to be able to drive to so many lovely places from where we live. This was also the month that I finished my Sandy Bay blanket.
November began for us in Portugal and ended with the Christmas light switch on with the fabulous Gibraltar Literary Festival in between. It’s a truly wonderful festival which happens right on our doorstep.
Thank you to everyone who has followed and read my posts this year, it’s been lovely to know that there’s someone out there actually reading them! I hope that 2018 has been a good year for you and that 2019 is too!
Crumbs, it’s looking awfully like we are on the cusp of another New Year, it surely can’t be a whole year since the last one, it’s gone far too fast. I guess now’s as good a time as any to have a look back at some of my Postcard from Gibraltar highlights from the past 12 months….
A new year meant a new challenge for me this year, a photo challenge. Last year I read Nana Cathy’s blog and was intrigued by her weekly photo challenge. When January came around I thought I’d join in myself. It’s been such fun and quite inspiring throughout the year to have weekly prompts to find pictures for. If you fancy joining in check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information.
Also in January I joined forces with my friend Kate of H and FlossieDoodle to start the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. We did meet weekly to crochet and chat over coffee although our meetings have got less and less frequent due to other commitments lately. Our mascots Gib and Rocksy went for a bit of an adventure.
Another new project for me this month was my podcast, you can find my blogposts and the related podcasts here.
In February I ran my Creative Gibraltar series looking at some of the very talented craftspeople who live in Gibraltar. I began with my lovely watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson and ended with local craftswoman and up-cycling guru Sue Orfila. February also brought us the 2017 installment of Gib Talks. I was also fortunate to be able to speak to Gib Talks organiser Julian Felice before the event for one of my podcasts.
March was a month for Lenten crochet (far easier than giving up chocolate) which helped support the Sixty Million Trebles effort, a beautiful Suffolk family wedding and a sad goodbye to our rescue bunny Snowflake.
April began for us in Southwold in Suffolk, one of our favourite places and involved a lot of Med Steps training, which was very handy for burning off those seaside fish and chips! I was also able to finish another Sixty Million Trebles blanket – this one from the Gibraltar Crochet Collective.
May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge again this year and I even managed to beat my time from last year! You can hear my podcast about it here. We also flew back to the UK for our second family wedding of the year.
June started for us in Wigan in Lancashire, the location of our latest wedding and the perfect setting for a lovely walk. It was also the Calentita! food festival in Gibraltar. (For some reason the same aerial photo of Gibraltar appeared in May and June’s collages – not sure why that was. It is a good photo though don’t you think?).
This has got to be my most cosmopolitan of all months, featuring travel in Portugal, Rome, France and of course good old Gibraltar. Which reminds me, I have loads of holiday photos on my phone and camera SD card which are crying out to become blog posts – watch this space in the New Year.
September is a big month on the Rock, this year more than most as Gibraltarians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum when they voted overwhelmingly to remain British. Gibraltar National Day on 10th September coincidentally happened to be the day of my 100th Sunday Sevens. We also had a fabulous music festival.
October brought with it some interesting weather, beautiful sunshine, murky mists and exciting lightning storms.
November was a good crochet month for me as I finally got around to making last year’s Little Box of Crochet autumn wreath. I also greatly enjoyed this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival with talks by Nicholas Parsons, Patrick Gale and local photographers and naturalists Clive, Geraldine and Stewart Finlayson.
December seems to have rushed by in a flurry of end of term carol concerts and panicked making of Christmas presents (some of which failed to get finished in time). There have been some opportunities for peace and quiet though, namely the last Saturday before Christmas when we avoided the shops and headed for the beach for peace and tranquility.
Summer craft challenge
For the second year running, during the long summer holiday we get in Gibraltar, I decided to set aside a little time each day to do something crafty and I documented this with my Summer Craft Challenge. Each day I featured a photo on Instagram and each week I wrote a blog post on my progress.
At the beginning of the challenge I made a little amigurumi unicorn which I got the kit for in an edition of Simply Crochet magazine. I christened her Europa and she became my Summer Craft Challenge mascot and came on our travels with us. There were several occasions when the Little Postcards thought Mummy had lost her marbles posing a crocheted unicorn in various European locations for photographs…
This year, I returned to work part-time after 13 years as a full-time, stay at home Mum. I have to admit that during the last few months I have found it hard to make time for Postcard from Gibraltar alongside my new commitments and at times I’ve wondered whether I can actually keep it up. I have had some really lovely comments and support from my online friends and that’s kept me going. Thank goodness I have Sunday Sevens and the weekly photo challenge to keep me ticking over during ‘dry’ spells.
I think I would really miss the community I have ‘met’ through Postcard from Gibraltar, and if I’m honest, it’s you and the support you’ve given me which gave me the confidence to apply for the job in the first place. Thank you very much to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts over the past 2 and a half years, and for the virtual friendship you have given me too – it’s not taken for granted. Every comment and like is very much appreciated.
Here’s to 2018 and all the wonderful challenges it may bring!