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I hope you will enjoy my place and my photos, I am looking forward to visits from friends, old and new.

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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year 2017

End of the Year 2016 Part 1

Here I am again uploading photos for the last blogs of the year, a selection of photos taken by me, which have special meaning for me for various reasons. Every year I think I haven't done much during the year until I look through my photos, and, without fail I am reminded of the lovely times I have had during the previous twelve months. I love doing these two blogs for that reason. I hope you enjoy them :)

The photo above was taken in a friends garden, where a duck had decided to hatch hers eggs, even though the garden is quite a way from water. This little family gave my friend, her lovely Mum and me a lot of pleasure, and eventually they were moved to the river where they thrived :)


An amazing sunsets as seen from my front door. 

My two lovely little cats, Merlin on the left, Loki on the right. They are now 18 months old, adorable little rascals. We have had so much fun with them this year :)


Anyone who knows me will know that I love swans, this is one of the Kearsney Abbey swans, beautiful.

The Barbican or Toll Bridge in Sandwich, the lovely town where I work.


Loki helping me to put my patchwork quilt together.

The always lovely view of Deal from the pier.

The amazing Tudor House in Margate, my friend and I had a lovely afternoon looking round this and the Shell Grotto, which is just down the road from here.


Boats on the Stour at Sandwich.

Another lovely sunset as seen from my front door.


Bluebells in the wood at Walmer Castle, so lovely to see.

Who remembers Gypsy Tart? A recipe for you from the 'Life Tree' outside the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, where I was attending a course.

This was the most gorgeous poppy which grew in my garden this year, it grew to about 5 feet high, and flowered for a long time. I have saved the seeds, so hopefully I will get another plant next year.


Beautiful Canterbury Cathedral, one of my favourite places to visit.

Wonderful display of candles, Canterbury Cathedral again.

Finally finished after about 30 years! All hand sewn, measuring 90x90 inches, this is now keeping us beautifully warm in bed :D

More photos to come in Part 2....

End of the Year Blog 2016 Part 2

Russell Gardens, Dover, always a great place to take photos.


Very nice of this bee to pose on a Begonia flower in my garden.

The amazing bells in the tower of St. Mary's Church, Rye.


Glorious sunflowers in the Library garden :)

Wonderful 'sea horses' finial on the new boat building, the Quay, Sandwich.

Dear old Sandwich! My workplace (Library) as seen from St. Peter's Church tower


Ruins of Walmer Place, I will blog about this very soon :)

Wonderful morning making lace in my friends garden :D

A Sky Dog, only the second time I have ever seen one of these.


Rough sea at Deal, as seen from the Pier.

Boats at dusk on the River Stour at Sandwich.

Boats on Walmer beach.


Merlin hiding :)

Tyne Cot Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium, such a moving sight.

Canterbury Cathedral again, I never get tired of walking round there.


Fantastic red sun peeping through the trees, seen on my way to work one day.

A hand made Angel on one of the decorated Christmas Trees in St. Peter's Church, Sandwich.

And finally to finish the year.....

Another sunrise taken on my way to work, taken at the same place as the last one. One of my favourite photos this year.

Wishing everyone reading this a very happy and peaceful 2017, take care all of you :D

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Ypres 11/11/2016

The Cross in the Tyne Cot Cemetery near Ypres, Belgium. The cross in relief against the beautiful sunset was a lovely sight.

This year to commemorate Armistice Day we went on a coach trip to visit some of the First World war cemeteries, and to attend the Last Post Ceremony which is held every evening at 8pm at the Menin Gate, Ypres. We travelled from Kent via the Channel Tunnel, and below is the first cemetery we visited.

A beautiful cemetery whose name I don't know, this one is situated on the outskirts of a small village. It is very sobering to see the ranks of gravestones, knowing that each one represents a young man who fought, and gave his life for his country.

All the cemeteries we visited were beautifully kept by The War Graves Commission, except for one, which I will talk about later in this blog.

The Yorkshire trench built in 1917, situated at Boezinge, near the Essex Farm ADS (Advance Dressing Station.) Just a few yards away at ground level are a series of duck board paths, these show the position of the earlier 1915 trenches. It was great to to be able to go down into the trench, but it was very narrow, and the thought of men 'going over the top' from trenches like these certainly made me think. 

The photo below shows one of the 'dug-outs', which were shelters for the men in the trenches. As you can see this one is full of water. The water table in this area is very high, one of the reasons many of the trenches were so muddy during the First World War.

Below is the Memorial to the Welsh Soldiers who lost their lives in this area. The coach stopped very briefly here to allow the photographers among us to pop out very quickly and get some photos :)

A lovely memorial to the many Welsh men and women who lost their lives during World War l.

It was quite difficult to photo the detail of the magnificent Welsh Dragon, with the sun shining behind it, so I deliberately under exposed the shot below to show the detail.

The Welsh Memorial is situated in Langemark and was unveiled on 16th August 2014.

Still in the Langemark area is this monument next to the German Cemetery.

Langemark Cemetery

After the end of the First World War the Germans were given a small piece of land by the Belgians to be used as a cemetery for the German dead. The Belgians insisted that the grave stones were not upright, but flat on the ground, and the whole site was surrounded by high hedges or walls. Oak trees were planted as this is the national tree of Germany. Various alterations have been made to the site over the years, including the addition of the Basalt crosses shown in the photo above, which were erected in the 1950's. 

There are almost 45,000 men buried here, with varying numbers of men buried in each grave, their names inscribed on the square stones as shown in the photo above, there are 16 names shown on this particular stone. Thousands of unidentified men are also here, buried in a mass grave known as the 'Comrades Grave'.

Hitler is known to have visited this site during the Second World War, our guide showed us a photo of him, standing very close to where we were.

This site is cared for by Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraber Fursorge (the VDK) and, as you can see is very different to the sites which are looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It is actually a very peaceful and calm site, the oak trees are now nearly 100 years old, their presence gives the whole site a very different and distinctive atmosphere. 

The St. Julien Memorial which is dedicated to Canadian Soldiers, 2000 of whom lost their lives here as the result of the Germans using Chlorine Gas for the first time.  

Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in the world, with nearly 12,000 men buried or commemorated here. We arrived at dusk, which bathed the whole site in an incredible light. I don't know that you can call a cemetery beautiful, but if you could this would be the one.

The super moon rising over the cemetery.

Our last visit of the day was to the Menin Gate in Ypres. Ypres is a lovely little town, and the Menin Gate is on the site of one of the original gates into the town. 

Our guide told us to get into the gate by 7pm, the ceremony was due to start at 8pm. We found a much needed bar/restaurant and did not get back to the gate until about 7.20pm, to find there were thousands of people inside, and outside the gate, so we did not actually get to see the ceremony. We were standing right beside the gate, and saw the bands march in. We could also hear the whole ceremony, the music was wonderful, and very stirring. If we manage to go to Ypres again next year we will try our best to be under the gate early!

Part of one of the panels inside the Menin Gate.

And finally, the reason why we were there, to honour the thousands upon thousands who gave their lives so that we could live in peace. I thank them all for the ultimate sacrifice they made.