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?
Today is 10th September which is Gibraltar National Day and I wanted to mark the occasion with a special blog post. As our family moved back to the UK this summer after over a decade in Gib, it will be a strange National Day for us. It will also be a ‘different’ one for the people of Gibraltar as this year, the traditional rallies and gatherings have been cancelled due to Covid-19.
This is my tribute to Gibraltar on National Day 2020, a post which I hope, will show my deep affection for the Rock and it’s people. It’s a place which will be forever in my heart, and I dearly hope I will be able to return to frequently in the years to come.
Way back in May, before we made our epic move back to the UK, I got the chance to do something I’d never done before…. walk the whole way round the Rock. It’s not something I’d done before because it takes quite a while and strictly speaking you aren’t allowed to walk through one of the road tunnels to complete the route.
However, during the waning weeks of lockdown while there was very little traffic on the roads many people were walking through and the authorities were turning a blind eye. Being someone who doesn’t like to bend the rules very often, I saw this new development as my opportunity and took it. (FYI it’s very busy on the roads again now, so I really wouldn’t recommend doing it now. PLEASE BE SENSIBLE AND DON’T WALK THROUGH).
I began my walk in South District not far from where we used to live on the (normally busy) Europa Road.
Past the beautiful blooms of bougainvillea and nasturtiums.
Rather than going the long way around via Queensway or Main Street, I walked above the Trafalgar Cemetery and popped through Prince Edward’s Gate and into Gibraltar’s old town that way.
And into town…
I walked along pavements I have walked countless times before over the years. It was strange to think that just a few weeks later, we would be saying goodbye to Gibraltar after 11 very happy years. During that time these streets, which once felt so alien and unlike where we had come from, became our home.
I passed below the beautiful and historic Garrison Library.
…and further on into town along the narrow Governor’s Street north towards Casemates Square.
As you can probably tell from the bright blue skies in the photos – it was a rather warm day!
In the north east corner of Casemates is a tunnel which leads to…
… Landport Tunnel which was, once upon a time, the only way to access Gibraltar by land. All the area beyond the city walls was once sea before a series of land reclamation projects were undertaken. At curfew each evening those big wooden doors would be closed and the drawbridge on the other side would be lifted sealing inhabitants of the Rock inside for the night.
The tunnel is steeped in history – walking through it you can imagine some of the people who must have come through here over the centuries. There is a bend in the middle for defence purposes I believe.
As you come out of Landport Tunnel Gibraltar’s military heritage is in evidence on your right and above your head lies the Northern Defences – a place I would have loved to explore before we left.
Onwards and northwards I headed towards the airport and the sundial roundabout.
My path turned to the East at this point along Devil’s Tower Road.
This road (which is normally very busy but thanks to lockdown was extremely quiet) has a mix of older housing blocks, flashy new developments and industry. The Rock looms above it all.
At Eastern beach you pass the local vehicle licensing and MOT test centre, behind this military pill box.
As I passed by this spot I was rather taken by this little chap!
There are plenty of reminders on the East side of Gibraltar’s military past as well, apart from the spy holes in the Rock above your head is this cairn constructed in memory of the members of the Black Watch who worked here to create some of Gibraltar’s Defences. I wonder what they thought about the heat of the Med after traveling down from the Highlands of Scotland?!
The sun was rather intense at this spot beating down on my head (I’m glad I wore a hat!) and the crickets were chirping in the grass by my side.
All of a sudden after the industrial buildings the developments give way to a huge land reclamation project and on the other side – beautiful Catalan Bay. When we first arrived in Gib, this was our beach of choice in the summer. It’s small-ish and is less easy to lose children when you take your eyes off them for a millisecond! Plus there is ample parking if you arrive early enough in the day. Lately though, we moved to Sandy Bay which is a lot less densely populated and gives you much more space.
Beach protocol in Gib is something which you quickly learn as a newcomer to the Rock. Local families have their traditional pitches where they always set up camp on the beach and it can be quite easy to ruffle feathers if you plonk yourself down in a seemingly empty spot. At the height of summer beach umbrellas, deck chairs and tables appear on the beach at first light many hours before their owners appear to take up residence. It is quite a sight to behold.
Rather than dashing down to the beach to feel the sand and waves on my toes I kept on going along Sir Herbert Miles Road which hugs the back of Catalan Bay village (Sir Herbert Miles was Governor of Gibraltar from 1913-1918).
Catalan Bay was once solely populated by ex-pat Genoese fishermen and their families. Until about 100 years ago the village was cut off at high tide and the only access was via the beach when the tide was low. Genoese was the language spoken here and Caletaños (Catalan Bay villagers) are responsible for a lot of the Genoese words which have become a fixture in the Llanito dialect in Gibraltar.
Traditional wooden boat building is still a skill which is passed down through the generations in this village. The beautiful handcrafted rowing fishing boats are used daily by village fishermen to catch fish, they are also used for a traditional annual boat race in the Bay.
Along Sir Herbert Miles Road is the pretty and colourful development of Little Genoa (can you see what they did there?).
All the while the huge Rock is there above you!
After Catalan Bay is Black Strap Cove, a small stretch of undeveloped land between Catalan Bay and Sandy Bay. As with much of the Gibraltar coastline you can see now abandoned military installations amongst the rocky cliff side. It is a haven for wild flowers in spring and I’ve seen Barbary Partridges here at times too. A lovely spot.
Next stop Sandy Bay…
When we first arrived in Gibraltar 11 years ago, there was a tiny pebble beach here at Sandy Bay. The winter before we arrived brought tremendous storms and sea swells and washed the beach away (as well as running a huge tanker aground by Europa Point and causing damage elsewhere in Gibraltar). Maybe 5 years ago (my memory may be wrong here) the Government completed the project to build a couple of groynes to protect the beach and shipped in tones of sand to replace what had been lost in the storms.
Sandy Bay is now a large beautifully sandy stretch of beach and thanks to the rocky arms stretching out to hug the beach, the water here can be calm where the conditions are choppy elsewhere for swimming. The perfect spot to spend a day with the family! It’s now our beach of choice.
The housing development of Both Worlds which forms a barrier between the main road and the beach was built just over 50 years ago and opened just around the time the border between Gibraltar and Spain was closed by General Franco. Overnight Gibraltarians couldn’t cross over for holidays and trips into Spain, and Both Worlds became a holiday destination for many local people.
When it opened there were shops here, food delivery services (much like what many of us rely on these days) and even a mini buggy taxi service which would give residents a lift along the length of the resort. I happened upon a fabulous newspaper supplement advertising the new Both Worlds development in a 50 year old Gibraltar Chronicle at the National Archives a while ago. It made for fascinating reading!
It is now a residential block, half of which is for over 50s and the rest is sold on the open market. Some of the apartments can be rented as holiday lets.
A short way south of Sandy Bay is Dudley Ward Tunnel. This is the tunnel which isn’t supposed to be used by pedestrians but during lockdown became a regular pedestrian route around the Rock because of the greatly reduced traffic on the roads.
Goodbye sunshine… into the cool darkness. I had my fluorescent gear on so I could be seen clearly walking along the side of the road (fortunately just two cars passed me by). I didn’t hang about for long, it felt very naughty to be in there. I don’t mind telling you that was a bit relieved when I popped out into daylight at the other end!
The coastline here is different to the other end of the tunnel, the cliffs are steeper and go right down to the sea below.
You get a clear view of the clay pigeon shooting range which was built for the Island Games last year.
This section of the Rock is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the photo below you get a true sense of the magesty of the cliffs looking northwards. Down at just above sea-level is the Gorham’s Cave complex which is full of important archaeological research.
It truly is a beautiful spot.
When I could see the lighthouse at Europa Point, I felt like I was on the final leg of my journey. Not long now before I could have a cold drink and a sit down!
Out at sea, as I was walking, I spotted a bit of argy-bargy between a Guardia Civil boat and a Royal Navy rhib. That’s a common sight round these parts as there is an ongoing dispute about who the British Gibraltar Territorial Waters actually belong to. Sometimes skirmishes make the British news, one day I saw a flare being fired by the British after a Spanish vessel continued on a collision course towards a submarine. That was quite a sight I can tell you!
Onwards in the full heat of the sun heading south…
… there she is – Trinity Lighthouse. Doesn’t she look magestic?
The lay-by which offers this stunning view also has a touching memorial for a young soldier.
As you round the bend in the road, in front of you is the dramatic sight of the Mosque.
Between the mosque and the lighthouse, Europa Point is a rather iconic part of the Rock. It’s also home to a fabulous play park for young children, a heritage information centre, Gibraltar University, the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe and the recently built Europa Point stadium which is home to Gibraltar Rugby & Gibraltar Cricket and was used to house the Nightingale facility to cope with Covid-19 patients (although, so far, thankfully, it hasn’t needed to be used).
The road swings round to the north again after Europa Point offering great views of the Rock.
Looking westwards out to see you see both the Moroccan coast (on the left of the photo below) and the Spanish coast (on the right) the strip of water between them is the famous Strait of Gibraltar and the gateway to the Mediterranean.
Europa Road here gets quite narrow as it was once crossed by an archway and policed by an army sentry.
It was a defence point to stop invaders approaching from the south getting access to the town.
And finally I had reached my destination… almost home, I was back in South District!
Two hours on from when I’d set off, I had completed my circuit of the Rock. I am so pleased I managed to tick this walk off on my to-do list in Gibraltar. Despite living there for over a decade, there are still some things I didn’t manage to achieve, like visiting the Lower St Michaels Cave and exploring the Jungle and the Northern Defences. I hope one day I will be able to do those things.
In the meantime, when I’m in my new home in the UK I have some truly wonderful memories of our time in Gib, and feel truly blessed that we had our time there, and that the Little Postcards could enjoy some of their childhood there too.
Thank you Gibraltar and happy National Day 2020! 🇬🇮
I’ll be honest with you, it’s been a long three weeks since my last Sunday Sevens! It’s been exhausting and a tad emotional at times. But we survived it. I have come up for air briefly but am heading back into the realm of the packing boxes for a while…
In the meantime, here goes with a look back at our last 3 weeks in slightly more than seven photos from slightly more than the last seven days…
One last Saharan dust sunset on a Sunday
Our last Sunday in Gibraltar was a lovely day for so many reasons, we said goodbye to friends, and ended it with a lovely meal out by the sea. This gorgeous Calima (Saharan dust laden) sunset was the perfect ending.
Haircuts on Monday
In light of the very recent opening of hairdressers in the UK, I figured we might be waiting a long time for haircuts in England, so all three Little Postcards had one last Gibraltarian short back and sides. I love this spot by Southport Gates, I had to photograph it on the way back to the car.
Goodbye Diamond on Tuesday
Our last Gibraltar Tuesday was A DAY. From early morning until late at night it was full on packing. My Fitbit told me I did 18,000 steps. The Little Postcards were entertained with good friends and we said goodbye to Diamond our bunny. He’s gone off to Spain for a short break on the Costa before heading north by road. We hope to see him again in August, he might be glad of all that fluffy fur up in Manchester!
Removal day on Wednesday
Up at 6am for final bits of packing ahead of the removal men arriving just after 8. Once the trucks were loaded I had to cross into Spain to complete the paperwork and pay the duty on our stuff at customs. Off went our things to be stored until there was enough to fill a big lorry to travel up to the north of England.
Thursday by the sea
The Little Postcards had a final hurrah on the beach with their very good friends, while I ran round finishing off the last admin and cleaning up jobs in Gibraltar. When I arrived at Eastern Beach to pick them up we had tea and ice cream with our friends and it was lovely just to be still and enjoy the moment after all that rushing around.
On our last morning we packed up our final bits and bobs and drove from Gibraltar to Malaga. We had been due to fly from Gib on EasyJet but our flights were cancelled a couple of weeks before and we had to rebook via Malaga. We had to fly to Manchester because at the time of booking we were looking at 2 weeks in quarantine on our arrival and had we flown from Gib to London, we would not have been able to make the trip up north on public transport because of the regulations.
As it turned out, Friday 10th July, which is when we flew, became the first day that travelers didn’t have to quarantine. We were so fortunate.
A new view
This is my new view. Once I looked out on the Bay of Gibraltar one way and up the Rock to the summit of the Med Steps the other way, for now, I have this gorgeous leafy colour instead! We have moved into a rented home as a temporary measure until the sale of our place in Gib goes through. I’ll certainly happily take this view as I stand at the kitchen sink – it’s not too shabby!
Open space!! Something you don’t get much of in Gib. This gorgeous field used to signal torture in my childhood (think school cross country – I wasn’t built for speed) however now I can appreciate how beautiful it is. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from our new home and en route to the park – a place we have visited a lot recently in a bid to get over the loss of the beach!
One of the perks of being back in the UK is the fact we can get our milk delivered to our front door in glass bottles! No more mad dashes to the supermarket for milk to find out there is none, and no more plastic milk bottles going to the recycling.
A not-so-little treat for me
When this special one-off rather large Little Box of Crochet was advertised, I decided to order it to my parent’s house knowing that when I arrived in Manchester, I wouldn’t have any crochet with me until my boxes of stash arrived. What a joy to open it and see all that squishy, yarny goodness.
I thought I’d be able to do a bit each day in my summer craft challenge style of years gone by, but sadly other things have taken precedence. I have dabbled a bit and will share any progress as I go along.
We celebrated a birthday too. A Little Postcard is a year older, this time he was able to share his birthday with grandparents (for our first hugs since arrival in the UK) and a socially distant aunt & uncle! (No home made cake this year – my mixer & cake tins were somewhere on the continent in the back of a truck!).
Our stuff arrived!
It all arrived at the back end of last week. Our spacious rental home is now looking a lot less spacious!!🤣
It’s good to know that all our things made it over ok. Now there’s the small matter of finding everything that we need! Wish me luck!
Thank you for stopping by, I’m not sure when my next post will be as I’m still battling my way through boxes and multiple lost items, not to mention still trying to sort schools and other admin bits and bobs. I’ll pop back when I can though. Until then, take care.
Well here we are. We survived the move. We’re 2000 or so miles further north than we once were. We’ve replaced sea views for trees and greenery and I rather like that.
The sunset was our last one while living in Gibraltar back on Thursday evening. The photo of the green field and sky isn’t the view from our new windows but a short walk from our new home.
I just wanted to pop in and let you know we survived the move, and we are loving living close to family & very old friends again, but I will be having a little while off to get on with what needs to be done over here in England. I look forward to sharing our adventures with you again in a little while.
Alas, it’s been our final full week living here in Gibraltar. A week of goodbyes, packing boxes and parcel tape. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:
Believe it or not, this summer we hadn’t been to the beach as a family until last Saturday. I’ve just been so busy packing boxes and dealing with admin that I couldn’t justify a day off. It was worth the wait though! Just what was needed.
I had been holding off packing my Pandemonium blanket and small bag of yarn until the last minute convinced I’d have the time to crochet in the evening. I was wrong…. I’ve been sitting down at about 11:15pm each night too exhausted to crochet for well over a week.
I gave up and packed my blanket as a consequence. I’m not sure what the removal men will think when they see the name on this box!
Back to the beach
You wait months for a trip to the beach and two beach days come along at once! We went back to the beach on Monday. It was great, and one Little Box of Crochet dodged the packing boxes for now!!
A chilly treat
Ever since Hotel Chocolat started selling ice cream in Gibraltar, I have promised Eldest that I would get him one. This week, that finally happened. It was lovely, but I managed to give myself brain freeze as I ate it too quickly!!
Bright summer days
It was so colourful at the southern end of Main Street when I popped into town to have a farewell coffee with a friend – I couldn’t resist taking a few photos.
I had a wonderful evening on Thursday after a day of admin (mainly to do with schools for the Little Postcards). It was my last book club meeting ‘in person’ for a while.
Book Club was started a few years ago by a friend who had been a member of a group in the UK (who I know sometimes reads this blog – thank you Jackie!) It’s been wonderful, a really lovely group of friends and given me enough impetus to get me reading properly again. Having studied a very literature heavy degree at university, I kind of fell out of love with reading as it became a chore.
My book club ladies helped me rekindle my romance with a good book from true crime to historic fantasy. I will miss my book club nights, but have been told I still have to read the books each time and take part remotely!!
Our last meal together was utterly scrumptious- fish & chips!
I love the walk home from book club too – it’s so nice to walk the quiet streets of Gibraltar after dark. The views out to sea are equally stunning at night! And how about this for an intricate window?
Forgive me, but it has to be done. There won’t be views & sunsets like this where we are going. However I will be replacing the view with beautiful green trees which lose their leaves in autumn, instead of a balcony there will be a garden with grass and I’ll have close family & life-long friends close by so I think that’s a pretty decent trade, don’t you?
It was a humid, grey morning yesterday when Eldest exclaimed – “What’s that?!” What a peculiar looking cruise ship. I’m told it’s a Virgin cruise ship which is normally based on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean. It did look a bit unusual as it passed by our windows!
And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to a close. I’m not sure what state either Sunday Sevens or I will be in this time next week. One thing I can be sure of is it’ll be a few degrees cooler and far easier to unpack than it was to pack!! I’m off now to throw some more things into boxes … wish me luck!
Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.
Hello there and welcome to another Sunday Sevens. If you read my post on Thursday, you will know that sadly we are preparing to leave Gibraltar after 11 very happy years here.
As a consequence of our impending move, it’s been a rather difficult week with lots of boring packing and sorting of belongings and paperwork, but thankfully good friends sprinkled some fun amongst the drudgery!
Here’s what we got up to this week…
Seeing as our days here are numbered I’m reveling in the beautiful view from our apartment as much as I possibly can. I’m always popping out into the balcony to watch the ships or see what the squawking seagulls are up to. This was last Sunday’s sunset.
One of the joys of packing is unearthing treasures at the bottom of drawers and the back of cupboards. This isn’t exactly a treasure but was my first and only attempt at cable knitting. I think perhaps I need to have another go at it.
A treat of a boat trip
Friends of ours have a boat moored in one of Gibraltar’s marinas and they invited us for a trip out to see the dolphins on Wednesday. It was a total delight. We saw a mother and baby and a pod of others hunting fish further off.
What a treat it was and a real boost to escape the never ending to-do list for a few hours. The Little Postcards had such fun with their friends jumping off the boat into the Bay, and trying to spy our home amongst the other buildings. It was just what the doctor ordered.
A blogging birthday
So this week, Postcard from Gibraltar turned 5. I am amazed that this milestone has been reached. When I first started writing it I had no idea if anyone would actually read it! Thankfully you have! 🙂
If you missed my blog birthday post on Thursday, you can find it here.
A trip to the beach
Normally by this point in the summer, we would be regularly popping down to the beach, but unfortunately jobs have prevented that until yesterday. We made our first trip to Sandy Bay and it was glorious. What a great time we had. We’ll really miss having this on our doorstep.
The geraniums are looking super on the balcony at the moment. They look brilliant against the bright blue sky & sea.
I had a most wonderful evening last night with some special friends. I didn’t take any pictures as I was so busy eating and talking!! It was a bit of a going away dinner, and was a real treat. I know it’s sad to be leaving this beautiful place and good friends but it’s not goodbye, just farewell until next time.
This week saw episode 10 and the last part of the first series of Making Stitches Podcast go out. I’m taking a bit of a break over the summer and will be looking forward to recording some new podcast episodes for later in the year. This week, my guest was my wonderful sewing teacher, Dorcas Hammond, who spoke of a lifetime in dressmaking. Just search ‘Making Stitches Podcast’ on your favourite podcast app.
That’s all for this week. I’m not sure whether there will be much for me to write about over the coming seven days, I fear it will be boxes, boxes and more boxes, but I’ll do my best!
Until next time, bye for now and thank you for stopping by.
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 and welcome to Sunday Sevens again! It’s been a glorious day here, truly midsummery in every way. I hope it’s been a good one for you too. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:
A Sunday jaunt up the Rock
Last Sunday I headed up the Rock for a trip to the Windsor Suspension bridge with the Little Postcards. It was beautiful but a little windy. I nearly lost my hat in a gust while crossing the bridge! There were so many butterflies out and about. I only managed to snap one though.
We have 2 sparrow families nesting on our balcony at the moment. It’s the second lot of chicks in both nests so far this year. They are rather a noisy and raucous bunch. They may be small but they are loud! They get rather annoyed when they see me sitting on the balcony and chirp loudly at me as if to say I’m trespassing on their property!!
Speaking of balconies, this is one of the prettiest in Gibraltar. It was looking lovely as I walked past this week.
Last rays of sunshine
I spent all day at home on Wednesday doing jobs which had to be done. It was frustrating because I wanted to get out. I managed a short walk at sunset and it did the job. A beautiful pick me up at the end of the day.
Catching up on pandemonium
I managed to find a tiny bit of time one afternoon to dig out my Pandemonium CAL for a short while. It felt good to get back to it. I’m a good few weeks behind schedule but I’ll get there in the end!
Last Sunday night I managed to get this finished! My Entrelac Tunisian crochet purse from Little Box of Crochet. I’m really pleased with it, although I’m not sure I would do it again. I found it really quite tricky and couldn’t do it while watching telly!
This week episode 9 of Making Stitches went online and it featured my first international interview with Esther from Essie Birdies. Esther and I had a chat all about how crochet became a passion for her about 10 years ago. She designs the most beautiful shawls as well as amigurumi and other things. You can find the show notes for the episode here and listen by searching for ‘Making Stitches’ on your favourite podcast app.
That’s all for this week, I hope to be back with another blog post mid week this week (all being well). Until then, take care and thanks for stopping by.
Hello there! I hope it’s been a good week for you. It’s been pretty warm here in Gibraltar lately, it certainly feels like summer!
Sunday evening stroll
Last Sunday when I realised we hadn’t left our home for a walk for a few days I bundled the Little Postcards out of the door for an evening stroll. It was a lovely (if short) wander. Although lockdown is easing here a lot (restaurants have reopened and many shops) it still feels a bit odd so we are staying close to home.
A lovely spot for a chat
On Monday I had the chance to meet up with a fellow creative, Victoria Peat. Victoria moved to Gibraltar last year with her husband’s job and is now based here. She is a real advocate for sewing and teaches dressmaking, patchwork and other subjects even leading classes on telly! We had a chat, which I recorded for Making Stitches Podcast whilst sitting (at an appropriate distance) in this rather lovely bandstand in the Alameda Gardens. (More on the podcast later…)
I started this project from Little Box of Crochet last weekend. It’s going to be an Entrelac purse. It should have been finished by now, but erm it’s still a work in progress…
I had a walk through town on Wednesday after dropping the car in for a service. It was my first trip along Main Street for a long time. I was thrilled to see how colourful it was, the flowers were looking beautiful.
Talking of flowers, I bought these lilies from the supermarket a few weeks ago and I’m thrilled with them, they are looking beautiful at the moment. I love the vibrant pink colour!
As it’s been a busy but dull week, I ran out of photos to include for Sunday Sevens, so here’s last night’s sunset. For no other reason than that it was rather pretty!
As I mentioned earlier, this is Victoria Peat, my guest on Making Stitches this week. It was fun to chat to her about all manner of sewing from making World Book Day costumes to delightful patchwork quilts. You can listen to her here.
That’s all for this week. Take care and I hope the next 7 days are kind to you.
Hello there, how have you been getting on this week? It’s been a busy one as usual for me. How can life still feel so busy when so many aspects of it are restricted at the moment? I have no idea. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:
Cruise ship calling
In spite of the fact we are still in semi-lockdown here in Gibraltar, there still seems to be a lot of cruise ships calling in. Few of them have passengers though, they are coming in to change crews, fly passengers home or collect supplies. It must be rather strange cruising about the place with very few people on board.
A trip to the beach
At the start of the week Littlest went to the beach for a short while for a socially distanced meet up with a friend. It was lovely and quiet down there and did him the world of good to see someone from outside of our family unit for a change.
I’m so glad that I got the chance to spend one afternoon a week as a work experience helper in a primary school as an A-Level student. It made me realise that I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher and I turned my attention elsewhere. I have to admit I’m struggling with the home schooling during lockdown. My patience levels are at an all time low. I completely understand that the lockdown and school closures are necessary but I will certainly be doing a happy dance when my three all return to school (whenever that may be).
An unexpected delight
I have to thank the ladies at The Crochet Sanctuary for bringing this to my attention – my new podcast, Making Stitches, got a write up in Crochet Now Magazine!! How marvelous is that?! I’m really rather chuffed about it 😊.
Crochet with concentration
I’ve been trying to finish some of my long-standing WiPs during lockdown and this is one of them. It’s an Entrelac Tunisian crochet purse from Little Box of Crochet. I started it and put it away. Upon rediscovering it, I realised the first row of turquoise blue diamonds wasn’t right so ended up unraveling the lot and starting again. This is how far I got yesterday – I’m not quite as far as I was before I ripped it apart.
It takes quite a bit of concentration – something I’m a bit short of at the moment – but as the rows grow it makes more sense and I think I’m back on track now. Hopefully I’ll be able to share a good bit of progress next week!
Also on my hook this week…
I’m still playing catch up on the Pandemonium CAL. It had been going so well but life & boring stuff interrupted my crochet! I think I might need another few rainbow rows…
This week’s podcast episode features Little Box of Crochet’s Amanda Bloom. We had a lovely chat all about her daughter a Jenny, who was instrumental in setting up their subscription box business as well as how the business has grown and the community it’s created. You can find it here, if you fancy a listen.
That’s all from me for this week, I hope the new week is a good one for you. Bye for now 😊.