Athens time

Monday, 31 May 2010

Another grey start to the day...

Early this morning, it was still grey and gloomy

even the streetlights were still on....

a lone dog walker was the only one awake..

We did meet a couple of nice birds (unidentified) who seemed to follow us, curious as to why we were out there. And just as I put the camera away, a pied wagtail came and said 'hi' and a shellduck (which I haven't seen in the bay before) flew over our heads really low to settle into the waves and bob about.

Even on a grey and gloomy day there is always something to see!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

By popular demand...

I thought that by now you all would have enough of seascapes and weather pictures, but I have had so many lovely emails from people saying they are really really enjoying them and could I please continue, that (also by absence of any crafty posts for a while as I am going to be very busy for the next month or so..) I have decided to put some more on for you... Hope you enjoy it.

This morning I woke to a leaden sky.. very quiet out, the weather did not tempt many dogwalkers apart from the diehard regulars. As a leaden sky is not very interesting, I started out with some flowers..

I had wanted to take pictures of the flowers in bloom at the moment for a while and realized the ones above were at their last, so it was now or nothing!

A while further, right on the cliffs edge there was a curious display of what looks like a type of lilly. I don't know whether this is a wild variety, or something brought in.. although one wonders how they would grow right at the cliff edge if that were the case... I don't really see anyone tethering on the edge planting a few bulbs !! (or are lillies seeds? not too up to date with that...)

After about an hour's walk, there was a little break in the clouds...

Half an hour further and is that the sun I see coming out? Hurrah !

But I had rejoiced too early.....and soon this cloud gathered behind Ramsgate Pavillion.....

We made it home just in time and once again it was proven that certainly weatherwise, the early bird catches the worm!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

This morning...

The sun was hiding....

Friday, 28 May 2010

A brighter morning..

The little ships of the Operation Dynamo Memorial Fleet have safely arrived in Dunkirk, where they have met veterans who were saved from the beaches and settled into a programme of evening festivities.

Although the first original crossing is also said to have taken place in the rain, todays weather would have been altogether more suitable for a lovely crossing.

The sun beat me to it this morning and I dare say will from now on as I am not prepared to get up THAT early to greet it every morning!

A beautiful morning wakes up on the beach

sailboats leaving on the early tide and the beginning of the whites cliffs of Dover are clearly visible

and of course a jolly swim and splash is compulsory!

Hope you all have (or have had, as the case may be..)a nice day!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dynamo anniversary fleet has departed for Dunkirk

Early this morning, at 7am, the first few boats prepared to leave for Dunkirk

Soon there was a steady stream leaving Ramsgate Royal Harbour

In spite of the weather (pouring down with rain!) there was a large supportive crowd

who, even though it was thoroughly wet and freezing...

cheered on each little ship with waving, clapping and the occasional shout of 'Hurrah' !

ship owners and crew themselves waved also and frequently hooted their horns

two flagbearers were standing in a silent salute (the entire hour it took for all the ships to leave!)

Thames Barge 'Greta' lowered her flags..

and cast off her moorings whilst MTB102 (see previous post) is leading the way. The place where the man in yellow stands is where Churchill sat in 1944 whilst overseeing the D-Day landings (there are two grey airvents there with a little bench inbetween)

The stream of those departing went on and on..

Duly filmed by the man from ITN (here filming the Greta leave the harbour)

Our modern Ramsgate based RNLI rescue joined the flotilla

as well as the old style rescue boat 'William & Kate Johnston' which is now in trust and teaching young sailors to sail

Last but not least, Rafael, who was there with me, was looking at a little friend on a higher tier, and I could not resist snapping her sweet little face...

It was extremely wet and quite cold but the atmosphere was fantastic, the sailors in good spirit, the public generous in their support. A worthy occassion.

Update: Local historian and bookshop owner Michael Child has been out and about taking an enormous lot of pictures, to which he has several links on his website. He kindly commented here and gave permission for a link to his site to be posted;
Thanks Michael!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Operation Dynamo

70 years ago today, saw the birth of Operation Dynamo (27 May -4 June 1940). The Allied Forces were fighting in France and being beaten back onto the beaches of Dunkirk where they became trapped. Winston Churchill called for all available craft to assemble and go to Dunkirk on a rescue mission.

The little ships left from Ramsgate Royal Harbour in the morning of the 27th May 1940 on their way to Dunkirk. They rescued over 7000 troups on that first journey but many of them dropped those rescued onto English soil and returned again and again. In total well over 300.000 troops were rescued. It was an amazing achievement considering that these were all kinds of little ships, not warships but river launches, sailing boats, old life boats, yachts, pleasure steamers (The Medway Queen), fishing boats and sailing barges, many of which are coastal vessels and had not been to sea before so crossing the Channel amidst being bombarded from the air was a big deal and an amazing feat! They were accompanied by tugboats who could go into more shallow waters than the deeper draft boats and helped ferry soldiers from the beaches onto the craft. They did pull it off however although around 100 of the 700 vessels crossing were eventually lost.

Under Dover Castle, a network of tunnels is dug out under the cliff and it is from there the government masterminded Operation Dynamo under command of Admiral Ramsay.

This was Ramsgate Royal Harbour Marina today. On the far pontoon, you can see several of the little ships, ready to set off tomorrow early on the morning tide (weather permitting). Some of the have veterans on board and they will be met by more veterans when arriving in Dunkirk. It promises to be an emotional day... Guests of honour are Cynthia Sandys, the granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill, and Major General Charles Ramsay, the son of Admiral Ramsay.

You can see a big mast(with a brown sail), belonging to a Thames Barge. In front of that, a little grey boat with the number 102. This is a Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB). They were developed to provide a quick response to threats from warships or submarines. MTB was built and launched in 1937. She crossed the Channel 8 times during Operation Dynamo and was the third to last vessel to leave Dunkirk. Rear Admiral Wake-Walker transferred to the MTB102 when his Destroyer (HMS Keith) was disabled by a bomb and directed operations from the bridge. In 1944 she carried Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower on their review of the ships assembled on the south coast for the D-Day landings

A few photos of little ships in Ramsgate after their crossing to Dunkirk in 2005, on the 65th anniversary;

Winston Churchill went on to make his famous 'we shall fight on the beaches' speech, part of which went like this;

(4th June 1940)
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender,

It is a historic day today as we rejoice in all those saved but also remember those who lost their life to defend their country.

There were 5 lovely pears...

sitting on a wall...

5 lovely pears... sitting on a wall,
and if one lovely pear, should accidently fall... ( get posted off...)

there would only be...

From 2010-05-26

takes me back to when my teens were toddlers!

Which one is your favourite?

I am still looking for the perfect combination...


And your daily weather forecast... NE wind (strong!!), blustery and grey, much colder.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

For Dana...

Dana asked us on her blog 'Old Red Barn Co' (she's got a giveaway going, quick go look!) to tell her something funny...

I thought long and hard and then remembered gettting this email.. It is one of those that goes via, via, via, via so by the time you get it there is no knowing who actually wrote it ! But all credit to the unknown person who did, and as it has been half way round the world by now, I thought I would be safe in posting it...

This in no way implies that the following applies to Dana herself of course, ... but I do hope it makes you laugh Dana... it did me!!

Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better,even though I have it!!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. -
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the waste basket under the table,
And notice that the basket is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the rubbish first.

But then I think,
Since I'm going to be near the mailbox
When I take out the rubbish anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table,
And see that there is only one cheque left.

My extra cheques are in my desk in the study,
So I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my cheques,
But first I need to push the Coke aside
So that I don't accidentally knock it over..

The Coke is getting warm ,
And I decide to put it in the fridge to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke,
A vase of flowers on the counter
Catches my eye--they need water.

I put the Coke on the counter and
Discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk,
But first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter,
Fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote,
But I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
But first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table,
Get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
The car isn't washed
The bills aren't paid
There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
The flowers don't have enough water,
There is still only 1 cheque in my cheque book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all darn day,
And I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
And I'll try to get some help for it,
But first I'll check my e-mail...

Do me a favour.
Forward this message to everyone you know,
Because I don't remember who the heck I've sent it to.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming

and Summer went again......

Sea Fog this morning... brrrr.....

From Blog pictures

Monday, 24 May 2010

It's finally summer!

even though this photo was taken last year.. it is one of those days today! YAY!!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

My new blog format.....

Thanks to the wonderful LIZZIE... who is a genius in this sort of thing (obviously) I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and changed my format successfully ! (Thanks again Lizzie... this blog will look wonderful before long!!)

So not only can I now upload my photos from Picasa, I have also got the right blog format to accomodate the bigger photos.

This means that from now on, photos are not being cut off in the middle anymore! YAY !!

It also means that the formatting of the posts below is a little strange ... but...if you bear with me that will soon be in the past and all future posts will be perfect !

Hope you all have a nice sunny weekend! (I don't think you still have snow anywhere... no? Lisa?...)

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Quiltie's day at the beach and Thank you Lizzie!!

HURRAH !!!! Another Super Exciting thing today....

Lizzie of A House in the Country sent me a HUGE tutorial on how to do this and I now CAN post my pictures from Picasa to Blogger!!!

Thank you SO much Lizzie and thanks to Cathy of Cabbage Quilts who also emailed me with advice.

You have no idea what a trouble I have had trying to find this out by myself... and seeing how it is done, I would not have found that in a million years!

No too hard once you know.... if you don't... impossible!!

What a day... both winning EQ7 AND getting the use of my photos back... YAY!!

Update: It seems my lovely large photo gets cut off... will work on that another day folks.. so far so good :-)

update 2; Yay! Thanks again Lizzie!

Remember the EQ7 contests from a while back...?

(image from Google images, I could not find a reference to the owner, I will gladly acknowledge source if found)

Yesterday I came home after a long hot weary afternoon of foodshopping... opened my email... and......

Fireworks went off all around me!!

Or.... well.... not literally... but it felt like it because there was an email from Ann of Prairie Primrose Stitches blog sending me mail headed;

You win EQ7 !!

All my weariness was gone and I exploded with excitement!! (see pic to get an idea!) I immediately emailed Ann, who being on the other side of the ocean, had somewhat different hours so I have patiently waited telling you till she had announced it on her blog.

Go and visit Prairie Primrose Stitches ! Ann not only has a lovely blog, she did the draw with help from her dad who drew my lucky winning number from a wooden bowl he had made himself! Lovely inlay work and what a privilege to have my number drawn from such a piece of wonderful craftmanship! Thanks Ann's dad!! You done good!! :-)

I am SO excited!! being still a relative beginner (yeah, yeah... I know, I will be starting to call myself the next stage soon... intermediate?? still feel like a beginner though...) I have not designed quilts yet (made a start on the babyquilt), nor have I ever used EQ but seen it everywhere and lusted after it!!

Thank you Ann, and thank you Electric Quilt Company !! For more information on EQ7, go to their page here ! They also have their own blog with examples of work, info and news.
Dream, Design, Create with EQ7
Thank you both. I can't wait for it to be released and to be winging its way to my postbox!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Very nearly, I did not take part in the quilt festival this year.... Having recently loaded Picasa, I have now all my photo's in Picasa, but I don't know how to get them out!! Until I resolve this problem, I won't be able to post any of the photo's on my computer, so was almost resigned (after trying several new ways to get my pictures posted...) to not take part this year...

The day wore on and all of a sudden I had a brainwave. I can take NEW pictures as I still have this quilt I want to tell you about! and I CAN load straight from my USB stick!

So here I proudly present;

My very first quilt where I did everything myself! I chose the fabrics, ordered them, cut them, sewn them together, even machine quilted it (a first!) and then did the binding.

I so love this quilt as it has started a new era in my quilting!

Last year this time, I was quilting alone, by myself, at home, making mistakes, getting frustrated, and no lesson anywhere in the neighbourhood...

Then, one day, I typed in quilt in Google Image and found that a picture I liked was on a blog... something new to me! I started to read blogs, and was looking for a way to make a list online of the blogs I followed... and so stumbled into my own and the blogworld!

A new world opened and almost immediately I found the Old Red Barn Company, where Dana had put up excellent tutorials to teach us and jolly us along to (what was for many of us) our first quilt!
It was to be the start of the best Flickr group on the internet! All us ORBC peeps are sooo friendly and if you need help, there is always someone with the wisdom to point you in the right direction. This group has been invaluable and a life saver quilting wise! I have learned so much, and made so many fantastic friends!

This month is the 1 year anniversary of the Old Red Barn Quilting Group and what is more appropriate than to show you the quilt it all started with!

(Quality control has approved the stitching after close inspection)

There are over a hundred quilts in the Festival, all the links on Amy, ParkCityGirl's site, called Amy's Creative Side

I hope this button works for you but if it doesn't, the link on the name does as does the button on the sideline.

A lot of very special quilts on show! Enjoy!

(and thank you Amy for organising this again, it was great fun last year and promises the same this year!!)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Charm Swap

I am taking part in a charm swap at the Old Red Barn Co quilt group. The swap being affectionately known as 'Pork Chop Swap' (as apparently this is what Flossie has hanging around her neck all day so we come and play with her....).

This is the second instalment and I resisted the first but saw the guys having such fun that I relented and signed up for the second one!

And I am jolly glad I did too! It was such fun selecting fabrics and cutting them all in (nearly) identical packages !

Here are they all cut and ready to send!

And here is the selection of fabrics I chose...

A little bit of everything, bit of batiks, bit of floral, bit of romantic, bit of very colourful, bit of designer, bit of staple, bit of dots, bit of Laura Ashley, FMF, Moda, Benartex, 30's, African, I spy print, Laurel Burch etc etc...

I hope I chose well and my seven partners (don't I sound like Snow white are happy with it!!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Beeblocks and pincushions

Another few little finishes. Firstly the May bee blocks;

Katharina wanted us to make ovals for her quilt a la Denyse Schmidt, with lovely cheery fabrics!

Ulla sent some Japanese fabrics for her 9-patch quilt and had the marvellous idea of exchanging charms to make a friendship quilt..

After my apple adventure, using Heather Bailey's fruit pincusion pattern, I finished a pear. I think it looks more like a pear than my apple looked like an apple...

After advice and some hard thinking, I both filled the apple some more and tucked in the middle harder. I think it looks a wee bit better now..

- After


My small finishes for the week, next up the ORBC charmswap Flossieblossie is organising!

I am hoping to wrap it all and put it in the post on monday.