Friday, 28 November 2014

Please only go down these!!! Don't say I didn't warn you!!!

If you are wondering around the top of St Peter Port 'New Town' you might stumble across signs to Constitution Steps, and they are definitely worth exploring for their views alone.
You head down the step narrow granite steps and when you get to the first corner you will see this strange bulge in the wall.  Well get this, its to stop men peeing in corners!  That angle causes splash back!!!
Then peak over the wall and enjoy what I think is one of best secret views of St Peter Port and the islands

It especially gives you a fantastic look at the glass roof of the old Market Building 
which is now my local Co-Op

Then keep heading down
(looking back up at the bulge)

As you get to the bottom of these stop and think of the thousands of people through out history have walked this way to curve the granite this way.

Now you could turn left and climb, but don't as its private..... 

Turn right and head down to the market

Now don't say I didn't warn you, if you want to see this view, please go down from the top!
Climbing from the bottom is knackering!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

a little lane with a big history

At the end of October a great little book came out, 
'A short history of Guernsey' by Peter Johnston, published by the Guernsey Society.
(You can get it in The Press Shop and the Lexicon)
Its well written and easy to read, and last night it explained a little mystery for me.

Up at the top of town are Havilland and St Johns Street, just off The Grange opposite Elizabeth College.  These two streets are parallel, the same length and both end in Union Street.  They are also short, it only takes a minute, two if you are feeling very lazy to walk them. So why on earth is there a tiny snicket connecting the two?  Ok, there are two small houses on it, so that is probably just the weird way towns evolve ( reason why I love old cities and find cities on grid formations strange).

But the really big question is why has such a tiny lane got such a big name as
 'Battle Lane' or to give its proper name 'La Rue de la Bataille'

So to explain this I am going to quote straight from 'A short history of Guernsey', about an attempted invasion of the island by the French in the middle ages.
'A well-documented invasion took place in May 1372 as told in a ballad entitled
 La Descente des Arougousais.  
Charles V of France sent a force of 4,000 men under the command of Evan or Owen Prince of Wales, and Morelet de Montmaur. Evan had gone over to the French to avenge the beheading of his father by Edward III.  The attacking force landed at Vazon Bay where islanders were awaiting them, having been warned, so the story goes, by Jean Le Tocq, an early riser who had been tending his sheep.  The first battle took place near La Carriere not far from La Houguette, in the Catel.  The invaders proved too strong and the Guernsey men retreated towards Town, making a last stand on the plateau between Clifton and Vauvert then wooded country side.
 Here a bloody battle was fought somewhere near a lane now known
 as La Rue de la Baitaille
 between Havilland and St Johns Streets.  Apparently there were so many dead on the battlefield 
that it was possible to walk over them and blood ran down the valleys into town.
  The islanders lost some 500 men out of 800, before retreating to Castle Cornet. 
 The ballad does not mention French losses but they must have been considerable.'

So next time you walk past, stop and have a think......

Monday, 10 November 2014

Burt, the little blue baby

I am a stitcher, not a knitter.
I can do rectangles, have a fantastic collection of scarfs and finger-less gloves (a sewn up rectangle!).
So I felt rather brave taking on this little project, a simple project it said.
It was ment to be cream dish cloth cotton, but I had a few balls of a lovely Rowan denim cotton, which fades gently like jeans.
So Burt ended up alittle bigger.
I quite successfully managed to do the body and arms, 
but the instructions on how to knit the heals on the legs, totally foxed me.....
Luckily last Thursday there was a knitting morning at Creaseys in town 
(absolute bargain, advise, coffee and biscuits for £3!)  And the lovely ladies there got me sorted. Thank you.  

Last bit of the pattern was the fingers, but felt they looked a bit spooky, so off they came.
 I settled for the mitten look like the feet.

Final finish, a pair of blue gingham knickers!

Rather pleased with Burt.