Athens time

Friday, 26 June 2009

The Glasshouse in the Park

We have a wonderful park nearby and in it is a glasshouse. It is an old Victorian Glasshouse, now council owned and was left to deteriorate for many years. Luckily funding was resolved by effort of Thanet District Council and English Heritage and the glasshouse restored (at a cost of £100.000). I had heard it was to be open at certain times but yesterday was the first time that I personally was there and the gates were open! I had seen it from a distance many times (both before and after restoration) and was really happy to be able to see it first hand at last!

The land that is now the park, was first bought privately in 1794 by a Benjamin Bond Hopkins. It is a very large piece of land with mature trees and big meadows of grass inbetween, bordering on a sheer cliff face (fenced securely... phew... don't fancy my dog surviving that drop!).

The whole plot was walled in with gates at several points and Mr H had a 'beautiful villa in the Gothic taste' (as the history books say) built. "East Cliff Lodge". It was by today's standards a very very large property. It had in its grounds also a gate house, and extensive stable blocks.

The Gate House:

The house changed hands quite a bit, but the most influential family who owned it are the Montefiore family. Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) was an internationally influential Jewish philanthropist and travelled all over the world protecting Jewish interests.He was famous for his generotisty and support of many (also non-Jewish) causes.

It is said that a regular visitor to the Lodge has been Caroline, Princess of Wales, the wife of the future George IV and it is alleged that the greenhouse and planted vines were for her benefit.

The base of the vine... look how thick, old and well established it is!

Also, the young princess (later Queen) Victoria was staying nearby with her mother the Duchess of Kent in 1835 and was given special access to the grounds of East Cliff Lodge , in the form of a golden key, made to Sir Moses' orders.

The Montefiore descendants are still connected to the area. Simon Sebag Montefiore, who is a writer/historian opened our new doctors surgery a couple of years ago. He lives with his wife Santa, who is a novelist, and their children in London.

Of the Lodge, the actual main house, nothing remains. It was sadly demolished in 1954. The King George VI Memorial Park was created from its grounds. Thus today we have a beautiful park to enjoy. The grounds are indeed extensive and varied and are enjoyed by many different groups of people (people playing cricket, toddlers in the playground, dog walkers, people walking or spending leisure time picnicing or reading). I come here a lot with Rafael and it is an outstandingly lovely park!

The Greenhouse:

Above, entrance to the greenhouse.

The greenhouse itself has a construction of lovely scalloped glass, much like a fish's scales, overlapping. It is therefore possible to get the lovely rounded shape, rather than the angular glasshouses you would normally see. There is a lot of craftmanship in this and is rather more labour intensive and therefore expensive. Hasn't the man who restored this done a sterling job?

The ventilation of the greenhouse is served by six opening vents at the top;

and several vents at the bottom, which open outwards like little windows;

Inside apart from the vines there are two large plants of the Agave species and an olive bush as well as several other (smaller) plants.

A small formall garden was planted by Sir Moses around the greenhouse, complete with an ornate fountain which he had imported from Italy. This area then became known as 'The Italian Garden' and the green house sometimes as 'The Italiannate Greenhouse' (or Glasshouse).

(note the party playing cricket in the park!)

On the base of the fountain, there is a little trough;

The inscription reads: " By public subscriptions, assisted by the metropolitan drinking fountain & cattle trough association."

I wonder about this, would there have been cattle grazing around the lodge house? horses needing it maybe ?

Certainly the stables were in the complex close to the gate house and it would have been through these gates;
that Sir Moses Montefiore would roll into the park towards the adjacent stables in his carriage (the carriage still exists and can be seen in the Montefiore museum and settlement 'Mishkenot Sha'ananim' (a place of peace) near Jerusalem.

I will leave you with a picture of the vine looking upwards to the roof, just because I like it.

Reference and acknowledgement: Thanks to Thanet Council and English Heritage, from whose information leaflet I have taken the above information and sometimes quoted verbatim. For more information call 00 44 1843 577141 and you are directed to Thanet District Council who can transfer you to the relevant department.
Music Player

I will have to do something about the music player.. I'll think about it.. After playing along fine for ages, suddenly they have pulled the plug.. "some or all tracks might not have copyright in this country"...

Now I can guess what this is... Adam Lambert again!

First the video gets pulled. Then the music was available on their player, no problem. Have been happily listening to it ever since. And then... they pull it off again. Copyright... yeah...

Copyright is all fine and well, but.... during American Idol, Adam's music was availble on Itunes in the USA. Not in Europe... All this time, you have been able to buy it on the net... Not in Europe... Adam gets more popular... more music surfaces in the USA... more disappears in Europe. Now he has a record deal and is working with various top song writers and artist towards releasing his first album... And his music gets totally pulled out in Europe so we have nothing, nothing at all??? Not even on the internet??

That is ridiculous! I bet that when the album comes out I will have to fly it in from the USA as well... Copyright fine. But heck MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO BUY!

You may pass this on if you happen to know his recordcompany manager/recording studio or whoever is responsible for this nonsense... You don't? Know them? I didn't think so...

Still sucks... No Adam music.... Good job I still have a few Idol performances on the Sky box... just hoping the kids haven't put something else over it.... go check....

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Randommer than Randommest....

I did it! Totally random.. NOT without its problems of course... sigh.....

But doesn't it look totally lovely too...?? ;

After I decided to go on the "randommaximize tour" (okay.. I'll stop there...) I read Dana's instructions through again, and particularly the bit about the seams being one way, then the other, to make the quilt lie flatter. It made sense, and as I had put the blocks on a pile after laying them out (I admit, not so randomly...) I thought that in general, they'd come out ok anyway and concentrated on the back.

I did four rows and the back was perfect!!. Excellent corners, ironed exactly the right way everywhere. Flat as a pancake! When I first started, I found that the blocks were ironed the wrong way and had to iron them again the other way... hard when they are allready 'set', so... as I was doing it random anyway, I just turned the blocks around to match the ironing direction rather than colourmatch on the front....

This I did the night before last (I sew last thing, too busy during the day and otherwise I'd never get it done!), which was a very late night and I was very tired... I turned the four rows over.. and what do you think? 3 of the same blocks in a row... I thought I'd probably added them on the wrong side, so ripped all the long rows (of perfect corner matching,... tears...) and laid them out. Then I realized the trouble had arisen in the first place as I had grabbed two number two blocks and sewn them together... so ripped them too, and laid it out properly again.

Don't you just love the colours?

So last night, I laid them out properly so I could sew them in their proper places and what do you think ? Looking at it for so long (with my tired mind) to find out what the problem was... I had oddly grown used to the 'wrong arrangement of the two no.2 blocks in the corner... So much so, that it wasn't the same having it all straightened out again.... So.. (and you won't believe this) I have sewn them back 'wrong' together again, this time deliberately!

As I had one short of no2 block and extra of no1 block therefore, I added 3 of the no1 blocks together in one of the corners too. I had taken the green out allready (did I tell you that? It was the green that bothered me more than the arrangement... Thank you so much for all your opinions. It was Karen who said "you so do love that pink" that made me realize that I wanted more pastel!!), and replaced the empty green spaces in block2 with fabrics of block 1 and so,as it is now all over the place properly, you don't even see it that much!!

So how is that for random? Block 2 mixed up with block 1. Two blocks the same touching...three the same blocks grouped together and totally random picking AND turning of blocks....

I can tell you, being the organised person that I am, I wasn't convinced... but I oddly enjoyed just letting go!

What do you think? - Can you tell where it went 'wrong'? (I suppose as I did it deliberately I will now refer to it as "wonky right" lol !! I bet you will be hard pushed!

That's my next door neighbour's arm, lending a hand...

Sigh... much happier without the green... Now.. let's see, where are we... school end nearing... and this the last quilting week or is there one more... eeeeek....

Will I ever catch up?? Never having machine quilted before I somehow doubt it....

Now where is that special quilting foot that is still in the packaging....

Sunday, 21 June 2009

A decision - a morning walk

After much deliberation, and a lot of advice of all my quilting blogging friends, I decided to take the green out.... I have replaced it with softer colours, most of which are patterns of set one.

This means that the 'pattern' will be thrown out in so much, that some patterns may be touching and forming a "T", which, in the original pattern, would not be possible. I wondered whether that would matter, but I decided that as I wanted the quilt to look pastel and scrappy, it would possibly only help making it more pastel, and throwing out the uniformity of the pattern.

All this became clear to me after all your comments. It made me look at it from different angles, which meant I learnt a lot. Thank you all who helped!

So.... I am still sitting here with two piles of blocks... be it without the green. I have decided to go with random. And am going to make it so random, I am not even going to lay it out again... I will just blindley grab from one pile or another and sew my rows then sew rows together.. until... "Surprise! I will have a quilt-top !! and it wil be a surprise to me too! Can't wait to start it later on.

First things first of course
, as Rafael reminded me, and off to the park we went. It is a gloomy day here. No rain at the moment, though a lot last night. Billowing clouds blowing over. Not good for the airshow today in neighbouring Margate. Being in the flightpath between there and the nearby airport where they all take off, we sometimes see the planes coming over as they come in to land. Haven't seen any today yet.

In the dark day, I came across a few flowers on the way to the park;

Firstly a tree (shrub?) which I had never seen flowering before with delicate little flowers:

A shrub with flowers like exploding fireworks looks a bit messy from far away:

But close up, it revealed hundreds of little beetles in the flowers;

And a rather delicate flower arrangement;

Broom, allready past its best, but still spreading a lovely scent and dapperly blooming on in patches;

and last but not least, some very luminous roses, brightening up the dark day;

walk over, dog tired, back to work !!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Quilt Top laid out...Can I have your opinions please?

Would you go for using them all totally random? (yes, really... didn't think about it at all!!)

Or would you go for soft centre, strippy sides (with 1" pink little inner border..)..

I am really interested to hear what you all think!
Blocks all cut up

Now the design of the quilt top.... Random you say ?? mmmmmm

Suprise in the Post !!

Thank you so much, Catherine from 'The Sewing Attic' blog.

I was the lucky winner of the redraw of her Mayday giveaway and the parcel arrived at my doorstep quite quickly, all the way from New Zealand!

I opened the airmail plastic and saw a lovingly wrapped parcel.... the suspense!!!

I opened it and what a lovely parcel it was ! Not only had Catherine sent the wonderful wonderful batik FQ's she promised, I also got one of her lovely pinchusions, a great flower brooch, and even some more notions thrown in! I love she included a postcard of where she lives. A very thoughtful and much appreciated touch!

I had been using a pincushion my mother had made for me, handpainted by herself and I love it! However.... it is a tad on the small side so I had been throwing pins in a beaker and an old box leftover from chocolates (those rocher ferrero golden balls, the boxes are rigid plastic and so useful!!). I did really need something bigger and... voila! here it is!!

Catherine says she is looking forward to seeing what I do with the Fat Quarters... You will have to be a bit patient Catherine.. Old Red Barn Sew along is taking all the time at the moment.. and I'm still behind.. I will get to it!

Thank you so much for this wonderful generous giveaway. Those batiks are lovely!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Old Red Barn Co Sew-along Update

I am finally getting underway ! I have been dithering about whether to use my 15 colours, or 12. Whether to make it a big quilt, small quilt, square quilt etc etc. I have been doing math as a bedside lullaby (don't do it.. it doesn't work!) only to discover I had read the wrong end of the ruler and I have 12" blocks, not 12.5".....

So all the math was thrown out again. I then decided to put aside the two brightest colours, make it more pastel, like I intended in the first place, and go with the twice 6 colours.. like Dana proposed in the first place too! Phew.... It was a long way around but I learned a lot on the way!

This is the first sample block;

Then I chose my two groups of 6 colours each.

I hope it is even enough colourwise.. but as we are supposed to be a bit random and not overthink (overthinking definitely my strong point!!) I left it at this and we'll just have to see what happens. If it doesn't work... all part of the learning process....

Then sewn all the strips together;

Going to cut them all into blocks now and the arranging fun can start!
What is your word ?

I found this over at Karen's blog who does the Old Red Barn quilting too. It's fun!

Take the quiz at
and find out what your word is.

My word was "Peace":

Your Word is "Peace"

You see life as precious, and you wish everyone was safe, happy, and taken care of.
Social justice, human rights, and peace for all nations are all important to you.

While you can't stop war, you try to be as calm and compassionate as possible in your everyday life.
You promote harmony and cooperation. You're always willing to meet someone a little more than halfway.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Tia finished off my quilt for
the Bushfire Quilt Project !!!

Look: !!

This is the front, all nicely quilted up and bound.

Marguerite's Quilt for the Bushfire Quilt Project

And this is the back, she added a few bits of leftover fabric and magically came up with a full width backing for the quilt. I tried to make the back but the big star with the borders was not big enough and there wasn't enough left over to go round again... So I said "Tia, Help" and Tia not only made the back work, but also quilted it all up and turned it into a beautiful quilt!

Back of Marguerite's quilt

Thank you so much Tia ! For finishing and coordinating the making of 104 quilts !! For finishing my quilt and for the tireless way you have given all your energy and time to conclude this project in spite of moving continents in ... what is it now? Less than a week I think !!!


Another Giveaway at the Fabric Shopper:

This week's giveaway comes to them from Marcus Fabrics. They are giving away a stack of 6 - 8 fat quarters from their Hippie Chicks by Michele D'Amore collection to one lucky Fabric Shopper reader!

Here is their blog.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

mysteries solved..

I am sad now... my trusty (not so) old camera has had it... we've been together for about 4 years now, most of the day, every day... and apparently... no can fix... Or.. they can, but it is going to be so expensive, it's going to be as much as a new one...

So, for the moment I am using my son's and still have a lot of pictures I took with my camera just waiting to be put on the blog so the blog is not pictureless just yet.

The camera shop man was also at a loss why my cardreader didn't like the SD card. He said he'd bought another sort card reader, and that one was fine. Ok, did that and ..YES... that reader did read the card! So transferred all the photo's emptied it and now using my card in my son's camera. And it worked.. (for now... let's not be hasty here lol !)

So there you are. I am leaving you here, but thought you would like to know. what happened...
Camera problems....

Now I wanted to start this morning with some of the updates I promised you.. but more problems occurred! I borrowed my son's camera (since mine broke on Rafs' birthday) and inserted a new SD card. Took some nice pics of my progress on the quilt, and some more, and then tried to transfer them. You've probably never heard of these problems! The SD card in his camera does not work in mine, and vice versa. What is worse. I used a brandnew one so as not to get my photos mixed with his on the card,and it took the photos fine. you can see them on his camera when reviewing. it's just that when you try to offload them onto the computer, it doesn't get recognised.... And I thought that an SD card was an SD card... apparently not (the new one that works in his camera - but not on the computer - did not work on mine..). The mind boggles. And being a tecnological non-starter in the first place (I'm really of the school; press that button there and it'll be allright lol!)I have given up after 3 hours of trying different things. I am going to do what I should have done in the first place! Go to the camerashop to see what the verdict is on mending mine, and ask them about the card mystery. They should know, shouldn't they? or maybe I am too optimistic...

Ok, I am off to the shop, and to go and get some foodshopping done and if I am very lucky, some sewing... I have all my strips now and found I have wrongly measured (can't believe I did that !) and I have 12" not 12.5" so need to go to 11.5" like Dana has after all that dithering, getting advice and redesigning.... So heck. I have chucked out the stripe and the bright pink (like 'karensc0smos'suggested - my first thought was nooooooo..... but you were right ! thanks!) and am going to be very good from now on and follow Dana to the letter. Twice 6 colours, vary the order, 3 blocks of 11.5" square. That's what it's going to be. But it was good to get all of your advice girls! It made me think and it made me learn! So thanks to everyone at Old Red Barn who helped me!

(Update; my brain is obviously not working ! I have 12" width... so must have 12" squares... with the seam allowance they will come out 11.5" in the end....duh...!!)

I leave you for now with a view from the promenade to the beach, taken on Giveaway day on the way to the park.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Soooo much to blog about.......

I haven't blogged for a while (apart from the giveaway) and this basically is because things have gone mad ! Apart from real life interfering with hobbies (does that happen to you too ?:-) I have been to a Guild meeting, a quilting lecture, gone to an architectural open day and bought more fabric and am planning another quilt too.....!

Also... and this I am really excited about... I WON something !! I hosted the giveaway for the launch of Sewn, I participated in both the Sew Mama Sew and Sewn Giveaways and entered loads and won nothing at all. Then... out of the blue, a private Mayday giveaway could not reach their winner and had to be redrawn ! Hi !! I'm here ! Always !! So excited. 8 lovely batik FQ's and a pincushion. I needed that pincushion, and I love batik !! Can't wait to get it. As I don't know how to get the photo of her blog, I will blog about it when I get it.

I will also still let you know about the other things later, but for now....

I have cut my fabric for the Old Red Barn Sew Along!!

Eeeek...... You know how they say, "think twice, cut once "? We'll I thought about 8 times, blogged about it, got lots of good advice from lots of lovely people, thought about it another 8 times.. finally made that very first cut..... and then was brave and cut it all up!

Don't the stripes look lovely ? Going to sew a sample together for size today and then play with layouts and make all the blocks. I am still behind, but catching up...

Doesn' it look great ? I'm so excited to see what it is going to look like !!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Fabric Giveaway at The Fabric Shopper !

Go and check out this blog. It is the blog of a shop called Whipstitch Fabrics. You design a Fat Quarter bundle according to a theme of your choice. Choose up to 12 fabrics. You have two chances at the draw. One is drawn at random, the other is a set chosen by the shop owner and put in the shop. Either way, you win the 12 fabrics you have chosen. You can also increase your chances by subscribing. This is the link to their etsy shop. They have lovely fabrics in there and it is a delight to play and choose. Give it a go, it's fun, free and you might win something !

Monday, 8 June 2009

A Big Thank You

to everyone who visited my blog and left comments. Especially to those, who took the trouble to tell me a bit about themselves, their crafting and where they live.

I really enjoyed hearing about it and 'meeting' you.

Please do come back, and if you do, I really appreciate it if you leave a comment. I do really like to hear from you so don't be a stranger !

The Results are in !!!

My apologies to all for posting a little later than I said... We had a few technical difficulties !

It's our dog Rafael's birthday today and what better way to involve him than to use him as a Random Number Generator !

It is a beautiful sunny day here, so I picked up my camera, shot a few pictures down to the beach from up the cliff, and arrived at the park.

We set up the "generator", by one son holding Rafa, the other in charge of a pile of balls numbered 0, 1 etc up to 9. The idea was that Raf would collect a ball (as he is used to running after balls) and bring it back. Collect a second ball, and bring it back to me. In case the number was too high (say 52, brought back in order,) we would reverse it.

First problem was that as soon as we got to the park, my camera gave up...I will need to have it mended. I had to use my new mobile (don't know how to use it yet, so different from my old one) so instead of nice clear, closeup images of the choosing, you get something far away and murky (not the same quality I'm afraid.. a little phone for you). But... at least, having come this far and Rafa chomping at the bit, there was some way of recording this. Also had some problems trying to work out how to get it off my phone and into the blog, but finally managed!

Then problem number two.... Our random number generator thought that with ten balls on the grass, all his birthdays had come at once ! and he kept changing his mind which ball was definitely the nicest ! (all new balls, all the same to make it fair). It was a hoot to see him coming halfway back, then realize that there, really, must be, a better ball !! and run back again. He was so overexcited we had a hard job to get him to drop the balls he did get as far as me (that's why I was so far away from the balls) and read the number !

We finally managed... I literally fell about laughing. Rafa is having such a nice birthday ! A you can see on the following (very very bad quality film... but put it on anyway so you can see it is totally random and fair), the number was 35.

The winner is Isabel F, from the Rosa e Chocolate blog in Portugal, who said:

wow!! lovely giveaway!!
count me in, please!!
hugs Isabel

Congratulations Isabel ! I will email you for your address and send you your goodies asap!

Giveaway draw slightly postponed...

Sorry to those who have checked for a winner in vain... we had some technical difficulties I will explain later.

Working on it all now to get you the result asap!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Sewn Giveaway Draw on Monday 8th June

Regarding the timing of the giveaway closing and the draw taking place, Sarah placed the following on her blog:

The SEWN and the Last Piece draws will close at 4pm Eastern Standard Time June 8, that's Sydney time. If you are a blogger in another country I leave it up to you to set a time for your draw to end, so long as it is on Monday, June 8.

This is 4pm Sydney time. Which I looked up and seems to be GMT +10. So, I think, that 4pm in Sydney, therefore is 10 hours earlier over here so that would make it 6am here in the UK! Now as you imagine, 6am I will be awake, but busy with showers, breakfasts and schoolruns.

I will close the draw at 8am in the morning in the UK. Comments received after 8am UK time/6pm Sydney time will not be entered in the draw, even though the actual draw might not yet have taken place. (there gotta be a limit somewhere...). I am sorry this does not give more time to UK readers to enter over monday, but as SEWN is an Australian site, I feel I have to try and approximate roughly the same deadlines. 8pm here would be tuesday in Sydney and that would not be according to the rules !

So I will do the draw (in some random way or another) between 8am and 10am in the morning, in the UK on monday which would make this somewhere between 6pm and 8pm in the evening in Sydney.

For my US readers... they are behind... 4 timezones across as you all know, but you probably will be sleeping (if you are on the west coast and... I think it is 8 hours behind) you will be between midnight and 2 am. You can log on on waking and see what happened !

Another advantage of blogging ! Such fun to find out where everyone is from and learn about timezones.

Good luck to everyone and thank you so much for visiting my blog and all your kind comments !

Saturday, 6 June 2009

"SEWN" Launch Party and Giveaway !

I am all excited about this (even though I am terribly terribly late with my giveaway..). I was a bit shy about doing this as I am new to blogging, but as I was surfing along, finding a those lovely blogs, and finding new friends, I thought I'd throw in my bit too, as, after all... the launch is not the end.. it's only the beginning !!


Here is a bit about the site in Sarah's own words (and I couldn't put it better):

"The website will have just about everything you can think of that you would want online as a sewer. There are forums, online advice from industry experts, conversion charts, colour wheels, free patterns and class listings.

There will be interviews with all your favourite designers, quilters, patterns makers and authors. There will be tutorials with me and with other sewers from here and overseas, podcasts and coverage from shows and articles about all maner of exciting things.

Best of all, there are great unique gadgets - Fabricmatcher, which is an online tool which lets you match patterns to fabrics and see what your project will look like without sewing a stitch, and Find Fabric, which is the niftiest thing that will find the fabric you are looking for without you having to search for it for hours on the internet. It's so clever it even searches shops in your vacinity first to save you on international postage. How cool is that?

Plus there will be an online buy and sell area called SEWiNg, which is where you can sell the stuff you sew to the people out there who don't sew - and some of the ones who do :)"

I am so excited about it and especially about the Fabricmatcher. how cool is that ?

Ok... The thing you are all waiting for is the giveaway :-)

Here it is:

It is a pillow panel of canvas with enough canvas to make a border and a backing to make a pillow (as I am so late didn't have time to make it !). Also thrown in is a nautical Fat Quarter of 100% cotton and good quilting quality. The panel was bought in Holland and so most of my USA and UK readers will not have seen it anywhere !

Just leave me a comment, any comment. It would be nice to hear a bit about you, which craft you are doing, and where you live. As I am just a beginning blogger, I am also curious about your opinions about my blog and what you like and don't like (don't be shy ! constructive criticism welcome!), but I'm not fussy.

Looking forward to meeting many more of you!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My first quilt.

My very first quilt, was made in the quilting group I attended at that time. It was an ongoing workshop, making one block each week, then finishing it at home, led by one very talented lady who is a member of the group. Unfortunately, before it was finished, I stopped coming to the group because, at that time, we had just received our puppy in the home and with him needing to be housetrained etc, al spare time was taken up... (it would take two years before I went back to quilting !! - with one thing and another.. not just the dog!).

Rafael was very active from the beginning, here he is "helping" sail the boat in his very own lifejacket at the tender age of 9 weeks..

At the time, being so young, he was still on the lead when aboard and on deck, lest he fall overboard, but he learnt surprisingly quickly how to balance and it is now safe for him to be off lead. But I digress... (funny how that happens when talking about puppies...). Back to the quilt.

I had made all the blocks but not put them together. So I went and got some fabric, made an amazing find of a 100% cotton french designer sheet, and set about to put it all together. Don't you just love the dot pattern on the sheet (that I used for a border and backing ) ? sort of retro and psychedelic all at once and fitting so well with the blocks. It took me a long time to put it all together. And even longer to quilt it ! (First quilting... massive stitches.. still can't do the little uns...), but it was finally finish last December 2008.