Wednesday, 30 March 2016

John Middleton, The Child of Hale

One of the benefits of retirement is that we can go out for lunch more often and incorporate short trips to places of interest. If the sun shines and we need a treat off we go, and recently when we couldn't decide where to venture, I remembered The Child of Hale. 
It was many years since we had visited this quaint little village on the edge of Liverpool and it has an interesting story to tell. A champion of King James1 lived there who was a giant of a man. 

I am only 5 feet tall.... or 5 feet small next to the statue
There are several thatched cottages in Hale and this is the one where John Middleton lived. We met some Scottish tourists who were staying in this house and they had been told that John slept with a foot out of each of two windows in his room! 
Liverpool John Lennon Airport is just nearby and the flight paths are just overhead.
John Middleton's grave in the churchyard and people throw coins onto it for luck.

Here's the story of how he became the King's Champion and, surprisingly, he was robbed returning from court. It must have taken quite a few men to overcome him. 
At the end of the village there is a path which is a pleasant walk leading down to the banks of the River Mersey to Hale Beach.
We enjoyed a good meal in one of the two village pubs to complete another of our day trips.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Liberty Quilt & Spring Flowers for a Friday Smile

It's that day again when we share happy things, courtesy of 
Join in, or just take a peek at smiles from all over the world to start your weekend on a happy note.

I am so pleased that I managed to make this Liberty Quilt for a beautiful new little girl, who was born last week in Brighton to a special friend of my DD1. 
It's the 4th one I've made this year from Liberty Tana Lawn fabric which is so lovely to handle, a joy to sew and I adore all the colours and exquisite patterns. The fabrics do not even need to be made into fancy blocks to look good so, as I was in a hurry, I kept it simple and cut 5 inch squares. Here's the result. 
 I cut one day, stitched up the next day and to finish I added the batting and binding yesterday.
The quilt is 45 x 54 inches in size.
Here, the backing can be seen and it is a design I love, with delicate peacock feathers.

A multi coloured quilt was requested by my DD so I shaded around 40 different designs from pinks in one corner to blues in the opposite corner
So lovely to hang the quilt on my favourite Camellia tree. Read how special it is to me a previous post. Thanks to my DD2.
Each year I take pictures of our Camellia in blossom and the time varies from year to year.
This pic was taken late February this year, when a smattering of snow can be seen on the grass on the left. It was so cold that I took the pic from a bedroom window.
This next pic was taken in 2014 in April, blossoming two months later than this year.
The Marie Curie Field of Hope daffodils are blooming in Sefton Park, Liverpool
Fully open in some sunny areas.....
but still so many more to come in the surrounding fields of the park. 
A breathtaking, magnificent sight to see.
Spring is struggling to get here with the weather but not with it's flowers. 
In another week I will be going by myself to Germany to see family, leaving DH to his own resources at home (aaah!), and I'm smiling so I hope you are too.