Saturday, 24 October 2015

un week-end en France

It was SIL's birthday this week and my lovely daughter wanted to surprise him with a little trip, so last Saturday morning we jumped in the car and headed off to the Chunnel and over (or should that be under?) to France (as you do)

Our destination was to be the D Day beaches - about a 3 hour drive from Calais.

The most impressive bridge that spans the Seine from Picardy into Normandy 

The weather was not its best but we drove past Caen and onto visit Omaha Beach - one of the American landing points.  There is a beautiful memorial sculpture on the beach, and despite the weather there was also a large number of visitors

The view east and west - this beach is some 8 miles long.

Each of the beaches has a large engraved stone memorial

We drove up onto the cliff top where there are still German gun placements

And I wonder what those German soldiers were thinking as they looked out to sea to see hundreds of Allied ships on the horizon

From the cliff top (that had to be scaled under heavy gunfire) you can see the remains of the man made harbour at Gold Beach (one of the British landings)  that was constructed within three days of the landings.

We spent the night at a very pleasant hotel on the outskirts of Caen and after a good meal and early night was called for.

We began our expedition early Sunday morning with a visit to more Gun turrets between Omaha and Gold beaches, these are known locally as
"Le Chaos"

still very much intact

the noise inside these constructions must have been deafening

And so onto Gold beach

This is one of the concrete piers that were towed across the Channel to make the harbour
These things are HUGE and it is hard to believe that they actually floated!!

Once they were in position the lower parts of the constructions were flooded to anchor them to the sea bed.

A naughty visit to a Boulangerie for a bite of breakfast.
A huge Pan au Raisin
And the baguette was purchased for lunch - but didn't last very long!!
some people never change....

The Museum had some brilliant exhibits and a film and slide show showing footage from the time. A lovely French guide talked us through a Diorama  showing how Mulberry Harbour was constructed.
We spent most of the morning at the Museum, a very moving place.  

Photo from d-day
 Records show that 700 lorries were loaded with supplies in ONE HOUR on this harbour!

We also visited Juno Beach (the Canadian landing) and Sword Beach (another British landing)

the Memorial Garden at Sword

 We did not Visit Utah beach, this is much further west and time would not allow on this trip.

As you can see, the weather had improved as the day went on.
We then had the return journey to Calais and the ride home.

I think that the surprise trip went down well with L and we all would like to return - maybe in the spring - for a longer visit to this lovely part of France where there is so much to see, we only just skimmed the surface.

 Thank you to my dear man for driving most of the One thousand miles in two days - as much golf as you like next week.  xxx

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


Its been ages since I got around to updating my little Blog!

I've not been slacking, just had loads on and other things taking up my time.

I have spent 6 days at the Knitting and Stitching Exhibition at
Alexandra Palace. Great time spent with Kids Quilts and was thoroughly exhausted by the end!
All to be unpacked
Starting to take shape

Last bit of tidying
A new project brought home.....

We did meet some lovely new friends
My friend L bought some super yarn from Home Farm Wensleydales, and (she who does not knit) made up a pair of fingers mitts in one evening!
such fabulous colours
 I did resist purchasing some of this lovely yarn as I have so much at home to knit up!

Alexandra Palace is a beautiful building, walking up (the VERY steep) hill leaves you somewhat breathless, but walking into the Palm Court just takes what's left of your breath away!  

And what could be better than to have a view of the beautiful Rose Window whilst you work?

I have to confess that I did leave the show mid afternoon on Sunday ( so I was not involved in the take down - phew!) as I had a previously booked event to attend.
I drove (through the London traffic!!) along to Leigh on Sea to attend a friend's 40th Wedding Anniversary celebrations.  There was much food an dancing and I will not comment on which I participated in and which I did not...

The following morning was spent dropping pebbles into the sea with my own personal fountain of youth.
she collects pebbles so big decisions made as to which to throw!!
Got home to find a parcel had been delivered - My Around The World Craft Swap goody . A bright and cheery crochet bag !
already filled with my current crochet project

and lots of extras that the lovely Elaine had put together 


I cannot show the craft that I have made yet as it has not been received by my partner,

So then we had a week of catching up with chores and getting ready for a little surprise trip. 
And of course a bit of home making.  I thought that I would give mincemeat a go. Don't know why I haven't tried it before because it was so easy!  These jars have been put away for a few weeks to let the mixture mature.

I will tell you the rest of my exploits in a short while.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Mini Mania No 8 Reveal

September has been a busy month with preparations for the
Higham Piecemakers Exhibition - which went extremely smoothly and we raised nearly £2200 which will be distributed between local charities.

And making sample quilts ready for when L and I go off to London next week to help out on the Kids Quilts stand at the
Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexander Palace. 
The samples are done (except for the last bit of quilting on one - which is the next task today). That's three quilts in two weeks - not bad going!
 So I feel calm, cool and collected......... really!!

Yesterday was our Mini Mania Challenge Group reveal day. This months Challenge was to make 12 blocks either three and a half or four and a half inches in Log Cabin or Courthouse Steps, using 1" strips.

I got on with mine straight away as I knew that the time latter parts of the month would be taken up.
I chose solid fabrics, quite by chance really, I was tidying up my scrap box when I spied some colours and thought "that's it".
I played around with the layout - do you realise HOW many ways you can make patterns with these blocks?
      Anyway, I chose an Asymmetrical design  and added some teeny Prairie Points before binding in white. Those points started as 1" squares . I quilted on the white fabrics only, which seemed to make the colours pop out .                          
I'm pleased how it has turned out
Everyone in the Group posted their photos onto the Flickr platform

Sandy's Blue Waves
Blogged here
Becca's quilting makes her blocks look wonky don't you think?
(blogged here)
Angie's Autumnal shades. Still impressed that she has joined!!

Dee had quite a different take on her piece.
Clever idea
And has made hers into a cushion. You can read about Dee's here

Jo went potty Dotty with her fabrics this month

Blogged here

Ann used lots of little squares with her design and I love her colour choices
Sew Gentle had used some lovely Kaffe Fassett fabrics

And this month we have snared attracted a new member, Carol,  who just couldn't resist us any longer!
Maybe because she had a great idea for her layout?
Blogged here

I am off to post the details of October's Challenge , come over if you would like to join us.
It's just for fun
You keep what you make
You can miss a month if you want
No Pressure!!