Thursday, 21 August 2014

Guernsey - a complicated history!

Our history seems to confuse a lot of visitors and locals too!  
So I thought I would give a quick summary.

We became part of Normandy in 935 ish, before that we had been part of Brittany.
So in 1066 we invaded England with our Duke William, 
or as most people know him William the Conquer! 
It was his ancestor King John, Magna Carta chap, who lost Normandy to the French in 1205, 
which is why we have never been French.  
In the ensuing battles we stayed loyal to the British Crown and so in 1215, he awarded us the right to govern ourselves.  Very convenient to have a friendly port just of the enemies coast! 
And that is still the statues quo today.
So that is why we are Crown Dependencies, loyal to the Crown, but with no political connections to Britain.  And also when the Queen visits us and goes to the States, our Parliament, 
her official title is the Duke of Normandy.

Oh and one last interesting fact, English didnt become our official language till about 1919.
It was Guernesiais in the country, English for the traders and French for the legal proffesion.
In the 1850s there were 4 newspapers, 2 in English and 2 in French!
Duke William

Monday, 18 August 2014

My Dr Dolittle shirt!

Its been a summer of swimming, but also of shirts! 
I have at last found some patterns that actually suit me, 
well I must admit to fiddling it,
 so shirt top right with sleeves from bottom right, for my first attempt. 
Actually, left out the collar all together. And was very pleased with it.  
Oh, got it from our local department store, Creasys.
Especially as found the alicecaroline site for a fantastic range of Liberty lawn,
 not a cheap fabric £22 a metre but for this pattern that was all I would need, 
and please tell me where you could get a Liberty shirt for £22??????

Absolutely feel in love with this print, the colours are brilliant, 
and adore the subtle sense of humour, I mean giraffes in trainers!!!
 So my trusty pattern came out again, but this time I lowered the neckline, 
and did the facings in pale blue gingham. 
 Absolutely thrilled with it, its so great to be actually making things that I can wear 
(that hasnt always been the case......)

But one of the best things was that it gave me a chance to use these beautiful antique bone elephant buttons that Chris brought me years ago, and I have been waiting for the right thing to put them on.
I mean what could be more perfect for my Dr Dolittle fabric than elephant buttons!

One thing, I hate using the button hole foot etc on my sewing machine,
 so I do them all the old fashioned way.

And a baby elephant to finish off the pleat on the sleeve.
Very proud of my Dolittle shirt!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

30 Bays - part 4

July 21, Havelet
Sorry, very busy week, so another swim at my local
July 22 Havelet
and again! but both beautiful swims, refreshes the parts others cant reach (!) after a day at work!
July 23 Rousse
My step son is over and I have the day off, so headed up to Port Grat (that I discovered last week) and had a beautiful day lying on the soft white sun, while the boys pottered in the kayake.  But Port Grat had been done, so we walked across the head land and had a good swim at Rousse, along the pier to the post and back. An added bonus is the great kiosk for delicious crab sandwiches and home made cake, yummmm!

July 24 lazy
Working, then an exhibition opening, then out for super, so no time for swimming, feel something is missing...
July 25 Grand Havre
a very civilized swim up and down the bay while the boys tested out new snorkel and masks.  I know this sounds pathetic, but I don't like getting my face wet, salt water in eyes is not good, and goggles not attractive!
 July 26 busy - work and out to super, will make up for it tomorrow
July 27 Pembroke and L'Ancresse
The boys were out fishing yesterday, so while I did my longest swim, from L'Ancresse to Pembroke, Chris got cooking the mackerel and turbot for our lunch, with his parents as our guests. Totally delicious
July 28
lunch in Herm, very low tide, so no swim, but totally on top of the list.
July 29 Baie de Jaonneuse
Had never been here either, beautiful bay and beautiful swim, little whiffy of methane from the tip the other side of the headland, maybe you need to take wind direction into account when visiting this one!!!!

 July 30 Cobo
Ta da, we have made it, its the last swim, and every one is down here, its now over 500 of us, fantastic!!!
Its been so brilliant doing this, have explored parts of the island I didnt know very well, and have swam more than any other summer, and the weather has been so kind to us.
Thank you Claire for suggesting we do this, and I hope Les Bourg raise loads of money, pretty sure they will!!!!

Friday, 8 August 2014

30 Bays - part 3

July 15th, Perelle (17)
a beautiful evening down at Perelle, watching the tide creep up the beach and over the pier

July 16th, La Jaonnet (18) 
This was the bay that put the fear of God into 30 Bayers!!!  Well that might be abit over the top, but it is definitely the hardest to get too, and the fact it has the reputation of being the local nudist beach!  Well lets correct that first, the nudist beach isnt Jaonnet, its the one next door eastwards, but you have to walk round to it at low tide from Jaonnet, so there might be some over lap!!!!

And yes it is an effort to get down, but these cliff paths keep us fit don't they!!!!
Would rather walk the cliffs and hills than waste time in a gym any day .

But at least the rickety old ladder has now been replaced with a brand new shinny one, and it was a gorgeous swim, really really worth it. So go on go and explore La Jaonnet again.

 July 17th, no swim
Lazy day, tired, couldnt be bothered, sorry

July 18th, Bourdeaux Harbour (19)
the most industrial of our swims, but beautiful none the less, as long as you get the tides right,
we really should have been there an hour earlier.
Thats Vale Castle on the left

 July 19th, no swim
Sorry lazy again

July 20th, Moulin Huet (20)
This was an amazing early morning swim
Down at Renoirs favorite Guernsey beach, the tides are perfect, there was no wind at all, the sea was like glass, and it was a heavenly swim, I could out there for ages.

And there is a fantastic little beach cafe for well deserved tea and cakes after!

Le Crocq (21)
Then Claire and I decided to knock 3 of the small west coast beaches on their heads in one afternoon
Le Crocq was a revelation, 
a beautiful shingle beach, but with the most amazing 3 pronged slip way, haven't seen that before over here.

Richmond (22)
Then Richmond, at the south end of Vazon, lovely and sandy.

Port Grat (23)
And then the second revelation of the day Port Grat, a good fishing/swimming pier at the south end and a beautiful soft sandy beach at the other end (top right of the photo)
Gorgeous swimming, and the sea is now 18 degrees, an absolute record and no more jelly fish!
We didn't both to change between swims so fetchingly modeled our wraps, not a flattering garment, but oh so useful for preserving dignity! 

Monday, 4 August 2014

30 Bays - part 2

July 8th, Havelet again
Working, and busy, so just a quick dip down on the slip way on the way home, so refreshing
July 9th, Divette (9)
Claire and I decided to get two done this afternoon, Marble and Divette are next to each other on the east coast, rather a hike down the cliff path, but oh so worth it.

must admit that what I had always thought was Marble was actually Divette!
Marble (10)

They both really were little hidden gems, I will be back, especially Divette

July 10th, Portnifer (11)
Then a few more under our belt, not so sure about Portnifer, abit too rocky and seaweedy
Port Soif (12)
Port Soif as always a perfect beach, a little horse shoe cove 
but this time slightly inundated with purple jelly fish
nothing to worry about, they dont have long tentacles and if you do get stung,
its like a stinging nettle, so be brave!
Saline (13)
And last for today, Saline at the top of Cobo, probably the coldest today, 
but not bad as the temperature at the mo is 16 degrees, warmest sea temp on record for July!
July 11th, Portlet (14)
Then down at the bottom of the west coast with Chris, a lovely evening swim, though we were put to shame by the swimming club swimming from there to Fort Grey and back
 in preparation for the Guernsey Hem swim, ouch!

July 12th, L'Eree (15)
over cast and rather grotty day, so no photos, but glad we did it
July 13th, Fontenelle (16)
Up on the north coast, Fontenelle really as a lovely surprise, rocky, but a great swim
 July 14th, Ladies Bay (17)
Another grey day, but a good swim, its always worth it, you feel so invigorated once you are in