Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Houichepotte de' Noue

Now Christmas has been and gone, so I feel I can now share this years card with you.  Had to wait till I knew everyone had received theirs!  As you can see its a Christmas pudding, but look closer.....
Underneath it says 'Houichepotte de' Noue' which is Guernsey Patois for the said pud, and isn't that a fantastic word for pudding?  When I first found it, it didn't have a pronunciation, and I though it might sound something like Who-chi-potty!!
Well I was wrong.
Its a Wish-pot!!!
Love good words.
Well I hope you all had a great Christmas and hope you have a fantastic New Year.

Friday, 27 December 2013

A Traditional Guernsey Christmas

If I am at home for Christmas I always try to partake of an old Guernsey tradition
that is believed to have started in 1886. 
That is the Polar Bear Swim!!!!
 Having been to midnight mass, it really is a most exhilarating way to start the day before heading in decadence before finally falling a sleep on the sofa.
After the storms earlier in the week, Christmas morning was bright and
 sunny though still windy down at the Victorian bathing pools. 
 That with a high tide was going to be interesting!

My lovely friend Vicky joined me, and as we stood looking at the sea with apprehension, it dawned on me that the waves were actually going to make getting in easier as getting past the giggle line is always the hardest part!

It doesn't matter how far you swim, but swim you must, hair doesn't need to get wet,
 but wetsuits are definitely cheating.

a few strokes done and a quick and undignified climb out

and straight into our wrap for a restorative swig of sloe gin from Chris's hip flask.
Now the strange thing is we were definitely colder before we got in than when we got out, something to do with the blood vessels rising to the skins surface, so I am told.

Two proud girls with their certificates as proof and ready to go and celebrate Christmas :-)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


The last of my Paris posts.
While Chris was in his meetings, I treated my self to some stitching decadence,
 in the form of Lesage haut couture embroidery atelier.  Its an amazing place in the heart of Paris, with its birth in 1853, they produced work for Charles Worth, Madam Vionnet and Elsa Schiaparelli. Then in 2002 they came under the wing of Channel, who are actively working to protected these specialist Ateliers.  It really is an awe-inspiring place.

Was actually very nervous going, don't know why, and still was in the midst of a horrid cold.
Arrived abit early and the teachers were in the midst of lunch and
 typically French said so and to come back in 10 mins! 
It was a real mixed bunch of students, a lot of Japanese, a smattering of Americans, a heavily pierced chap from New York who loved sequins, a fashion designer from London, a beautiful French girl and me, unable to breath, surrounded by nasal sprays, tablets and hankies.....
Really not feeling glamorous at all, actually rather provincial, but I loved it!
We were all working on different projects from Professional courses that take 150 hours and cost a small fortune, to me doing 6 hours of sequin work.
 I had a lovely tutor called Annie who was from French Canada and so had very good English,
she was fascinated by Guernsey ( I was the first student from here!),
 she had friends who had been to the Iles Chausey , which is the French Channel Island.

It was so peaceful sitting in the studio just stitching, the attention to detail was amazing, getting the direction of the tiny bugle beads all heading the same way. The finished effect was gorgeous.
 Only got a quarter done there, half way through now.  Am looking forward to having a go at doing my own designs, as would love to do something really colourful, loved the pieces the 150 hour students were working on, layers of Japanese fans. But you have to walk before you run don't you?

Best of all it felt good being in Paris as a student not a tourist!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tour Effiel

And back to our weekend away!
Chris was working in Paris, so it seemed wrong not to tag along, and maybe do a course while there (but more of that later)
We only had one morning together, and seeing as we were up by the Trocodero I wanted to take Chris to Museum of Modern Art to see Matisses 'Dance', a stunning collage that I always make a pilgrimage too, as I first went there with my Mum.  It was done for a Museum in America in the 1930's too fit in a series of arches, but some one got the measurements wrong! So it was done again, and the first one lives in Paris
But I got my days wrong, and it was closed on Monday mornings, really should have checked my guide book.......
Well the only other thing in walking distance was the Effiel Tower
 and decades since I last went up it 

Even in November the queue to get up in the lift was large and we didn't have time.

But the queue for the stairs was non existent....
So up we went, and was fine till we got close to the first level and then my legs started to shake.

Good views though, hope some fire engines were heading towards that smoke?

Sacre Coeur

Now we could have gone on up t the next level, but my jelly legs weren't feeling brave enough.
It was actually worse going back down, very wobbly, had to consentrate very hard, couldn't talk (yes it was that bad), vertigo always takes me by surprise. Was very glad to be back on terra ferma.


Well we got that far, and it was worth it

Will always love Paris, gorgeous city.