Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Celebrating a Great Queen

A beautifully still and clear today so I would make the most of it and go up Victoria Tower.
But first headed to Candie Museum to pick up the very impressive key,
 it free, you just have to sign the key out and you get half an hour..
The tower was built in 1848 to commemorate Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's visit in 1846, which was the first time a reigning monarch had visited the island.
The Tower is situated high up in St Peter Port and actually has no other purpose at all, just provided a fantastic view point and a forms a important part of the Towns dramatic sky line.

a suitably impressive door for an impressive key!!

the interior of the Tower simple but beautiful, a small tight spiral staircase

heading up to two floors each with vaulted chambers.
Then up one last wooden staircase and bam
you are out to one of the best views in the island.
Looking east to Herm and Sark over the harbour and castle

then north to St Sampson and the Vale with Alderney on the horizon

alittle further and you can see the north west coast, over the arsenal which is now the Fire Station

and south to my part of town, the copper spire is St Josephs, and Pugin who designed the Houses of Parliament was involved in its design.

and lastly back round to the sea and Elizabeth College,
 did you know P.G.Wodehouse of Jeeves and Wooster fame went to school there?

Rumour has it that Victor Hugo carved his name and that of his mistress into the parapets, but no one has ever found it.  But realistically the Towers is made of Guernsey Granite (Cobo pink) which is famed for its hardness, so he couldn't have just have scraped it in like you could with limestone, would have needed a chisel and a good few days, so its very unlikely.
And while I was up there decided to do a quick selfie!!!!

Beautiful sky as I was leaving
Then back to hand in the key, and by the time I got home it was blue skies, and a beautiful, beautiful day.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Folding Frantically!!!

A wet Sunday morning, so Imogen and I decided to tackle the Japanese art of origami!
We started with a simple 16 point star,
which I think turned out really well, though on second look it was actually 15 points!

Jill (Immies Mum), we thought these would make fab Christmas decorations to go down your stair case for next year? What do you think?

Or even a picture or mirror frame?

We also attempted swans (easy) and frogs (not easy).  Didn't know it was possible to fold paper as much as we did for the frogs?  Think I will get some proper origami paper tomorrow, as its thinner so should make the folding easier.  Great fun, definitely worth having a play with.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

stitching ladies

Well I just finished this winters series of WEA classes
'Learning how to design your own embroidery'
Every one had a small frame and either 14 or 18 holes per inch canvas and the brief of using the stitches featured in the Guernsey Tapestry, and then with some guidance from yours truly, we started experimenting with different designs patterns and ideas.
and it really was amazing to see how different every ones pieces turned out, from beautifully geometric
to beach hut realism.

Some used local buildings as their inspiration

others took their ideas from from paintings.

Some started with a basic shape and then evolved from there, 
and personally I think the 
end result looks rather Mexican.

Its been a great way to spend Wednesday mornings,
 coffee, piles of beautiful yarn
 and lots of lovely ladies to chat to.

Right so now I have to start thinking about what to do for next years course, 
and have a few ideas bubbling away.....

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Spring cleaning Petit Port

Last night I saw a call out on Face Book for volunteers to go down and help clean up the beautiful beach of Petit Port.  As we all know we have been battered by some pretty horrid storms this winter, and for us alot were Southerlies which meant that the flotsam and jetsam in the ocean was 
been washed into this south coast beach.
So waking to a sunny Sunday, thats where Imogen and I headed.  It really is amazing what gets washed into the ocean, Immie found a tooth brush and a high heal from a stiletto, for me it was just a lot of rope, nets, bits of plastic and a lot of the remembers of bags that you grow oysters in.  All rather sad really. 

But what makes cleaning this beach a challenge is the 265 steps down and
 the fact all the rubbish has to go back up the same way!!!

 no rock was left unturned!

After one and a half hours we were knackered, my back hurt and we we getting cold, so Immie had a paddle and I went and pleaded patheticness to Jan!

So we grabbed a rubbish sack each and with a deep breath headed back up the 265 steps, and what a surprise Immie beat me....

 Stopping for a breather it was great to look back on the bay and see what a difference we had made.  Its one of my favourites, but I dont brave those steps as much as I did when I was a kid, maybe that should be another New Years resolution?
Imogen waiting for me at the top with the rubbish carried up so far, and we think there was the same again to come up......

Think we all need to stop letting rubbish getting dumped at sea.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

walking in the winter sunshine

Well its been a miserable afternoon, so I thought I would share some photos of
 a beautiful walk last weekend.....
A gorgeous view heading round to Moulin Huet (pronounced Moolan Wet just to confuse you all!)

So so mild, you could almost smell spring in the air, well almost...

looking back towards Jerbourg and the Pea Stacks


Then coming inland, and the lovely surprise of a rare new build that I actually like!  There seems to be more and more thatched roofs appearing around the island which I think is brilliant, there is just such a beautiful softness to those houses.

Then up the Jerbourg road to Doyle Monument, built in memory of Sir John Doyle, Governor of the island between 1803-1816.  Not sure what he did to deserve this, but the original was demolished by the Germans as it got in the way of their guns.  And this replacement way put up by the islanders in 1953.
Its worth climbing up to it as the views are fantastic.

Down over Castle Cornet and up to the Vale.

Out over Herm,

then right abit to Sark,

back left of Herm and you can just make out Alderney on the horizon,

and it was so clear that we could even make out the buildings on France behind Herm.  
But think they might be Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant, so that's not so great........

Well hope to see the sun soon, not keen on the rain, though it does mean its a fire and stew tonight, yummm

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Victor versus Victoria

I thought I would tell you the story of two of our famous visitors and their respective statues.

Victor Hugo was in exile in Guernsey between 1855 and 1870, it was here that he wrote 'Les Miserable' and 'Toilers of the Sea' (all about the island).
But first he went to Brussels and then on to Jersey but he was rude about Queen Victoria and chucked out of there too, and so ended up in Guernsey.  Here he had the foresight to buy a house (the only one he was ever to own) this made it very hard for the island Government to chuck him out, if they ever felt like it!

He was very fond of the island and its people and so after his death his children gave the house to France and it is still owned by Paris and run as a popular (especially with our french visitors) museum to Hugo.

And in 1917 the French Government donated this impressive statue to the island.
I think he would have approved of its location with its splendid view, just ignore the crane!!!!

There was one problem thought which did cause some consternation to loyal Royalist Islanders!
At the top of Candie Gardens where he was positioned is a statue to Queen Victoria to mark her visit.

And some people felt that it wasn't right that after he had been rude about her, that she had to look at his derriere for eternity!!!!!

I am not amused!!
Luckily a few decades later Candie Museum was built in between the two and so for ever blocking her view.
And thank you Richard for sorting out my uploading problem which was putting me out of action for the last week or so, much appreciated  :-)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Watch out Paul Hollywood!

New Year Resolutions
Caro to give up artificial sweetener.
Chris to learn how to make bread.
Well mine isn't going to make an interesting blog now is it?
And this afternoon with the wind and rain was a perfect bread baking day, and with a little help from Paul Hollywood, Chris got going on a classic Cob loaf.

Well I must say I was very impressed
(carrots were for supper not for bread!)

 Then it was slicing the top, do think we need a sharper knife for that,
 our bread knife is rather old and cheap!
Then 30 mins later ... et voila ...

And oh does it taste and smell delicious, especially smothered in Guernsey butter.
I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow (if there's any left) !!!!