Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sailors from Soldiers

On Wednesday just gone, Chris took the afternoon off, so we were able to get out on our kayak, launching from the slip way by the Half Moon Café
Am always a bit flumoxeted by this slip way as it very quickly turns into a  few narrow steps, not very helpful for launching boats other than at high tide!!!!
As you paddle along La Vallette you really get the chance to admire the skill and craftsman ship of the stonemasons that built this road, the raised gardens and the myriad of quirky little builds, walls, piers and steps back in the mid 1800's.
Have never worked out what these steps are for, the sloping wall would make it very hard to off load passengers from a small boat
 and with all the bathing pools why would you build steps for swimming?

Men's bathing pools, still looking very sad after the storms two years ago.

As is the Horseshoe pool, this is where Victor Hugo bathed and I have recently read Monet did too, but as I have never heard of him visiting the island
 and cant find any evidence of that, I would take it with a pinch of salt!

A rather out of focus (sorry) contrast of boats of different eras,
 on the left is the cruise boat Crystal Serenity.

Children's pool busy with families enjoying their summer holidays

Then heading of round Clarence Battery on Les Terres Point and just the other side you find a very rocky bay which is a bit of a mess

I believe that it is partly where in the late 1800s they tried to build a tunnel through the headland and continue the La Vallette Road along the shore line all the way to Fermain!!!!
This failed.
The Aquarium now occupies the St Peter Port end of the tunnel.
Looking closer, I think the Germans must have had a bash as well.
Then to our destination, Soldiers Bay, the steps down aren't safe any more except for the fool hardy access is only by boat, and often you will have the place to your self.

We nearly did, but there is enough space that you can feel like you do!

But first swim before lunch!

looking back at Soliders and a rather mysterious cave that I forgot to explore, next time.

Then Lunch
And I must say I am very proud of my first Focaccia,
and it was delicious,
will definitely make that again

As we watched Minerva head off to La Coruna,
we saw HMS Northumberland approaching on the horizon.
One of our favourite war films is Guns of Navarone (1961) staring Gregory Peck,
and the way she was steaming to wards us I just wanted to hear her siren go,
 just like the flotilla does at the end of the film.
Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time!

She seemed to be going a very indirect route to St Peter Port, and then suddenly appeared again from behind Clarence Battery, rather close to shore

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Catherine Cauche

Last night Chris and I joined a crowd of locals and visitors to watch a group of actors bring to life a very sad and turbulent period of our history. The reformation.
Warned its not a nice story.

It was in 1556 that Catherine Cauche and her daughters Guillemine Guilbert and Perotine Massey were charged with handling stolen goods, they were let off this charge but during the investigation it came to the authorities attention that they had not been attending catholic Mass on Sundays.
At this point I must say Perotine was pregnant.

This was not good, Queen Mary was on the throne and had re introduced the Catholic faith after her father Henry VIII has made the country Protestant.
The authorities here were very keen to show their loyalty to the new Queen, and so came down very hard on this family for not being good Catholics

They were sentenced to be hung and then burnt at the stake.
So they should have been dead by the time they fell into the flames,
 but tragically this did not happen.
The shock of the flames induced labour and the baby boy was born, the surgeon at the castle rescued the child, but for some reason we will never understand the child was thrown back into the flames.
It was a fascinating piece of street theatre, but with that story I cant say enjoyable.
We finished up at the top of Cornet Street roughly were this all happened,
 and there is now a plaque at the top of Tower Steps in memory of these Martyrs.
 The play will happen again on the 27th July, this is because on the original parchment no one can decide if it is a 1 or a 2, so this happens every year (for the last 10 years) on the 17th and 27th July.
In 1563 with Elizabeth now on the throne and the country being Protestant again,  
Foxes Book of Martyrs was published.
 I am think I am right in saying that it was the first book published in England that was not a bible?  This book listed and described some of the worst atrocities that happened during Queen Mary's time on the throne and unsurprisingly the case in Guernsey appears. 
The authorities responsible were arrested and charged with murder once Queen Elizabeth was in power, but for some reason after 18 months they were pardoned.......

This tragedy also appears in the Tapestries
But as we have a lot of children visit, the full horror of the story is not delved into on the audio guide.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Hurrah for La Hougette

Back in May we had a group of Year 5s (9-10 year olds) in from La Hougette Primary School, which is out on the west coast of the island.
They are regular visitors to us, mixing coming to the Tapestry with their end of year local history project, and it is always lovely to see them.
But this year was a little different as one of their teachers was Emma, an old school friend of mine, and she has very kindly sent me photos of the embroidery/art project they did after their visit
and has let me share it on here.
I think they are amazing
they follow the poem
'Dog in the playground'
by Allan Ahlberg

Hope you enjoy them as much as I have and
 thank you once again Emma and threading all those needles and tying all those knots!!!!

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Every one who know me knows I am not into tennis, which is a bit pants when your birthday clashes with Wimbledon every year, and your husband loves it and plays it well! 
Well I say I am not interested in it, well there is an exception to the rule
A proud Guernsey girl
And I was along with the rest of the island was glued to Wimbledon last night with her match again Serena Williams, she was amazing and we all are so incredibly proud of her.
Heather you rock!!!!!
from the Express
 Love this picture taken of Heather, four years ago, down at the bathing pools where I swim.
Tom Warry 2011
what a girl ;-)