Saturday 30 April 2011

Tour One booked out!!! Tour Two by demand!

Oh my gosh........or some sort of expletive like that!! Can you believe the William Morris Tour is booked out in less than a week!!! As we say in Australia...."crikey"!! Helen has just emailed me with the exciting news - so due to the popularity of our friend Morris she is going to organise a second tour from September  23rd. So if you missed out on the first one I suggest you hurry for the second!

Thankyou to those of you that I know personally who are coming - won't it be sensational?!
We are in the middle of chaos and mess at home much sentimental stuff that I simply can't take, so I am taking photos of it all before it goes to another home. I will miss my William Morris blooms (above) and I have not been able to order a new one from my usual Rose nursery, so I do hope I can source it elsewhere.
 I hope you are resting in peace William Morris - we certainly aren't!! I am sure you are wondering what all the fuss is about!!
 When I had lunch at Kelmscott last year this is where I sat - you could even touch the curtains!! I can't wait to return and share it all with you

Thursday 28 April 2011

The Tour - its official!!

Well I can finally tell you it is time to sign up!! This is a quick run down on just some of the places we will be seeing....but first of all this is where we will be staying in the Cotswolds - Dormy House Hotel a 17th century restored farmhouse - how divine:

Check out the website;

Now to just some of what we will be seeing.....the images below are mine unless otherwise noted where I have put a link underneath to show where they have come from - do visit the websites for more info;
 The V&A - up close and personal with William Morris textiles
and below the William Morris tea rooms

Above: Rodmarton Manor;

 Above: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
 Kelmscott Church, and Kelmscott Manor

 Above: Kelmscott House 
 Oxford and Exeter College
(Exeter College was closed when I was there last year much to my disappointment!)
Wightwick Manor

It is very exciting and Helen has done an incredible job organising it all - we have been able to correspond from the other side of the world on the internet - just amazing ......thankyou Helen! She tells me there are also a number of 'secret surprises'!!
For more information go to the page set aside next to 'Home' on this blog.

Monday 25 April 2011

Lest we forget - Anzac Day 2011

Today is the day Australian and New Zealand people remember those who served during wartime. My late Dad was one of them. He was a navigator with one of the elite Pathfinder force squadrons of Bomber Command - Squadron 582:

Dad often spoke of "his war" and was proud of the fact he survived almost 55 operations - he told me survival rate was just 5, so I cannot begin to imagine the burden and memories he carried throughout his life. He spoke fondly of his squadron leader Captain Ted Swales who received a posthumous VC on their final fateful night - Dad knew that Ted saved his and his crew's lives at the expense of his own. I still have a piece of the very parachute that saved Dad's life that very night.
Dad is the tall one second from the far right
Swales' VC citation reads :

“ Captain Swales was 'Master Bomber' of a force of aircraft which attacked Pforzheim on the night of February 23, 1945. As Master Bomber he had the task of locating the target area with precision and of giving aiming instructions to the main force of bombers in his wake.

Soon after he reached the target area he was engaged by an enemy aircraft and one of his engines was put out of action. His rear guns failed. His crippled aircraft was an easy prey for further attacks. Unperturbed, he carried on with his allotted task; clearly and precisely he issued aiming instructions to the main force. Meanwhile the enemy fighter closed the range and fired again. A second engine of Captain Swales’ aircraft was put out of action. Almost defenceless, he stayed over the target area issuing his aiming instructions until he was satisfied that the attack had achieved its purpose.

It is now known that the attack was one of the most concentrated and successful of the war. Captain Swales did not, however, regard his mission as completed. His aircraft was damaged. Its speed had been so much reduced that it could only with difficulty be kept in the air. The blind-flying instruments were no longer working. Determined at all costs to prevent his aircraft and crew from falling into enemy hands, he set course for home. After an hour he flew into thin-layered cloud. He kept his course by skilful flying between the layers, but later heavy cloud and turbulent air conditions were met. The aircraft, by now over friendly territory, became more and more difficult to control; it was losing height steadily. Realising that the situation was desperate Captain Swales ordered his crew to bail out. Time was very short and it required all his exertions to keep the aircraft steady while each of his crew moved in turn to the escape hatch and parachuted to safety. Hardly had the last crew-member jumped when the aircraft plunged to earth. Captain Swales was found dead at the controls. Intrepid in the attack, courageous in the face of danger, he did his duty to the last, giving his life that his comrades might live”

Dad told me he was that "last crew member". Dad received a 'DFC" for his services -
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy". (courtesy of wikipedia)

It was wonderful to see the grand Lancaster "G for George" in Canberra last year at the war memorial.

Our daughters miss their Pa terribly and their was evidence of this a year ago when our eldest daughter Emily was married. On her wedding bouquet she had a Lancaster aircraft brooch and her Pa's Caterpillar badge.
The small gold caterpillar badge on the left of the photo was given to airman by the Irvin company who manufactured the parachutes. They were only awarded to airmen whose lives were saved by their parachute - so Dad is a part of that club forever. The photos below are displayed on a piece of that silk parachute that saved Dad's life........

We all miss you Dad, Ross and Pa XX

Monday 18 April 2011

Where have I been?

Whew!........I have had only 6 days at home in the last 30 and I am probably about to hit the wall. It has been wonderful meeting quilters at workshops and at the recent Quilt Convention in Melbourne but it is time for a 'breather'. Thankyou to those of you that I met and thanks for helping to keep that "genius of Morris alive"! It is lovely to be home again and now time to pack the house to move..... and yes - we have finally sold our house after nearly 6 months on the market, but sadly we had to reduce our price by $40,000. Adelaide house prices have dropped 10% but at least we have a roof over our heads.

So I am still "here"..........thanks for saying Hi and asking! I will share with you a little secret....this is a video I watch whenever I am ready to "chuck it all in"!! You might think it quirky but it works for me - enjoy XX