26.01.14 Spring, Fame at last, Operation dynamo (Dunkirk rescue) boots not made for walking.

I have an announcement to make!

It’s here……………….and can be seen in our North West Norfolk Valley………………… Spring, it may not actually have sprung buts it’s on the starting block.

I’ll set the scene; yesterday was a shoot day, so in order not to ‘put up’ any game before the shoot began I walked the dogs down to the lake and back……………….. and I experienced a truly magical moment …………. the pink foot geese flying overhead, skein after skein, honking away – hundreds of them……………….and there below my feet a carpet of aconites and further on another carpet, this time of snowdrops………… oh joy……………………

 

Aconites in Hall wood

Aconites in Hall wood

Snowdrops 2014

Snowdrops 2014

 

Spring in a vase

Spring in a vase

There’s also a fair number of trees blown over into the lake which will at some point have to be dealt with, but they can wait, meanwhile I’ll just enjoy the moment………………the magic of the seasons.

Memo - to be dealt with!

Memo – to be dealt with!

 

In the garden, grape hyacinths and wallflowers are in bloom, and in the valley the sticky buds on the chestnut trees are swelling…………………….this amazing world…………………

Having said that, I have to spare a thought and a prayer for the people struggling in the flood waters in Dorset (and everywhere else) it will be a long time before they see their spring.

I’ve made it – well not quite, but one of my patterns has been selected for The Knitter Magazine………….February issue…………in “The Knitter Loves” section, a child’s cardigan named Alice after my dear daughter-in-law, Alice; (there’s an adult version too – go to my website address below).

Alice cardigan

Alice cardigan

 

Our visit north to Durham last weekend, brought back a thousand memories, our little northern family were, sadly, struck down with what I think was the winter vomiting virus – not good company!

So off we went to renew our acquaintance with Durham Cathedral, our son Charlie valiantly pushing B up a very, very, steep hill in his wheel chair……………..phew, but how worth the climb. This is perhaps one of my favourite cathedrals……………. solid Norman arches, staunch and seemingly indestructible like Christianity itself……….

B once gave a lecture to Durham University and after he and I were given a room in the castle for the night………..how cool was that (cool? quite cold actually)……………………..

On then to my father’s birthplace; Seaham Harbour, the harbour still looking much the same as ever………….it’s rather a traditional harbour, solid stone arms reaching out to the sea and a lighthouse to guide the ships home. The day we were there the sun was shining but a more unwelcoming sea could not be imagined, with huge (north sea) waves crashing over the sea walls………… but the town has certainly changed; for the start it’s clean ………………. my young memories speak of blackness……………..coal dust everywhere…………even men one met in the street had faces permanently impregnated with coal dust. Now the town houses the Durham County Council Offices and the sea front is spruced up and benches have been placed along the promenade. No longer are women and children collecting coal washed up on the beach, indeed the beaches are clean and golden yellow.

But back to my father, son of a coal miner (the Seaham mines ran miles under the sea (a fact that I find quite terrifying) his first job was leading the pit ponies into the mine. These poor animals lived in the dark and, as a result, became quite blind, hence their need to be led everywhere. It was a job he hated………………

Then came the biggest adventure of his whole life, when at the end of May 1940, a family friend announced he was taking his fishing boat to the south coast and needed a ‘boy’ to help crew the vessel, my father was fourteen years old.

From the south coast they set forth across the English Channel and spent four days and nights amidst shelling and, in chaotic conditions, they ferried the Allied troops from the Dunkirk beaches to the big ships waiting off-shore.

One soldier gave my father his cap-badge, oddly enough he was from a Northamptonshire regiment and ten years later my father met and married my mother – a Northamptonshire girl. I still have the badge somewhere in my belongings. Of the 311 small boats that went to Dunkirk 170 were sunk. A total of 338,226 men were evacuated, 68,000, were lost (dead, wounded, missing, or captured).

The following year, my father ‘borrowed’ his elder brother’s birth certificate and joined the Royal Navy, he spent the entire war tracking German U-boats in the North Atlantic. Except to visit his mother, he never again lived in Seaham Harbour ………….. ……………….

Today B and I are going to open our Christmas presents! Having spent Christmas in France with our daughter. We entirely forgot that we had gifts waiting here. It’s quite embarrassing, especially as a good friend has hinted that I’ve already lost a twelfth of her present – a calendar perhaps? Watch this space………………

And finally my current project……………

Beautiful boots……………….

 

These boots aren't made for walking

These boots aren’t made for walking

For beautiful babies

No trips planned, so back again next Sunday……………

Don’t forget the website www.susancampbelldesigns.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in children, Country Life, HIstory, New designs, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 26.01.14 Spring, Fame at last, Operation dynamo (Dunkirk rescue) boots not made for walking.

  1. ehlittlefield . says:

    Most dear Susan,

    One of your best “musings” so far. January has been such an icy/snowy/frigid month here. But these thoughts and photos of yours remind us that spring results at some point. So many thanks!

    Word from you and Bernard always brings delight.

    Always with great affection,

    Liz

    Like

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