Sunday, 22 November 2015

D-Day.

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Back in England again.
The ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven yesterday evening
was pretty rough, I can tell you!!
You know you’re in for a caning 
when the ferry is pulled out of the harbour by a tug, 
to stop it smashing into the harbour wall.

Dave’s theory was to eat something as soon as we boarded.
“Always best to go sea-fishing on a full stomach”.
Two hours later, he was re-inspecting his beef bourguignon.
Yummy.
I, on the other hand, lay down on my bunk, covered my head with a blanket, and didn’t flinch until we docked.
What a caper!

But it had been ├╝ber windy and stormy all along the Normandy coastline all day.
We went up to Arromanches, to see where the D-Day landings
 took place, and I was barely able to open the car-door because of the howling gale blowing in off the sea.


It was where Winston Churchill and Eisenhower
 brought the troups in via the famous Mulberry Harbours.


A potted history lesson again.
In the second World War,
the Nazis had captured all the ports along the Normandy coastline, so the allied forces couldn’t land and certainly couldn’t provide their troops with sustenance, fuel and ammunition.

Therefore, Churchill decided we would build a port. 
Literally construct a harbour in Britain, tow it across the channel, assemble it and install it on the beach at Arromanches.

In other words, build our own, inbetween the occupied ones.

Unbelievable.
But we did it. 
30,000 people in Britain worked together to build parts of this mammoth steel and concrete construction. 
They made a preliminary wall by destroying old ships,
and then pegged a massive bridge/road together.

Look at this.


They worked at night, and created false fog, 
so that the Nazis couldn’t see the lights.
They flew hydrogen barrage balloons above the project at different heights, so that the Nazis couldn’t fly over and bomb them during the daytime. 


There was a terrible storm just as they were putting it all together,
but the men kept going.
It was horrendous, by all accounts.


A portion of the construction was destroyed in the storms, but the Arromanches harbour was repaired and what seemed to be an insane plan actually worked.

6th June, 1944 was D-Day.
In other words, the Designated day, or Decided Day.
The Allied Forces, Americans, British and Canadians,
landed on the beaches of the North of France that day,
despite gale force winds and extreme weather conditions. 


Carnage and death ensued, with huge loss of life on both sides.
Thousands of troops lost their lives that day.
Many thousands.

So yesterday, lying in my bunk on the same water as those poor souls did battle with and in some 70 years ago, 
with the waves crashing and smashing against the boat,
bobbing around like a cork,
I lay quietly, and thought about them, 
and what I had learned at the D-Day Museum in Arromanches.
War, bloody war.
The violence and senseless massacre of young life!
What a way to go.


Very different to the atrocities of Paris just over a week ago,
 but equally disturbing.


There we have it.
Went to France for a holiday,
had a lovely time with our friends,
watched France reel with shock at Paris events,
and came home in a storm via the Normandy beaches. 


Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

Love & peace,

52 comments:

  1. Thanks for the history lesson. I never knew all that. Glad you got home reasonably OK and that you had a great holiday. I enjoyed watching Paul today. Carol

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  2. Glad to hear you're back safe and sound!
    Sometimes it is good to reflect on what happened in history! And I thank the young men who went to war and fought for our freedom! And to the men and women who are still making sacrifices so that we can continue to live in freedom.
    Hope you feel well rested and raring to get back to the world that is Claritystamp! Love and hugs! Xxx

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  3. I love your little historical snippets x
    I am pleased you are both home safe and sound although Dave may need a greasy bacon sarnie to quell the sea sickness.
    Didn't Paul do well today. What with Maria and Paul helping with the tv shows, you will soon be putting your feet up with your new checkered slippers xxx

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  4. Thank you for paying tribute to those who took part in the all the events leading up to and including D Day. My dad was one of the afore-mentioned, a Royal Engineer/Sapper, who joined up in '39, aged 20 and desperately wanted to be in the RAF but his skills - he was a joiner- sent him else where, of times building Bailey Bridges for the tanks and convoys - and he never called it D Day but referred to it always as 'The Invasion.' Snippets of stories were passed on but like most of that era, few of the horrors, but action he certainly did see and in several countries; I have a newspaper cutting where he is pictured dealing with a stash of stick grenades in France. Yet he was such a gentle gentleman!
    On a happier note, fantastic presentations by Mr Church! Well done, Paul, you seem quite at home there. ;~}

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  5. Glad home safely glad you hands good time I between all that Was going on over there sounds like pleased tone on dry land lovely picture thanks for sharing again lots hugs Joy xxx

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  6. Hello Barbara

    Glad you got home safely. What a holiday!

    Love
    Roz.x

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  7. Hi Barbara, glad you are both back safe and sound...sea sickness prevailing!
    Great shows ...just catching up on them....
    History, war, loss of life....we can debate and debate over the terrorism threat we find ourselves in ... yet the wars fought so many many years ago, where as you have rightly said..so many lives lost on both sides, gave us the freedom we enjoy... something I do not forget .... we can balk at what people do in this 'modern' world, can't help feeling we are on the brink of something very major unless some level of common sense prevails... yet so many years ago thousands upon thousands of lives were lost from countries all over the world who fought for a common goal... we hope that lessons are learned, the weapons of mass destruction are not used or manufactured... yet there seems to be a faction of people somewhere in the world who take innocent lives needlessly .... all too sad for words and indeed very frightening.

    Hope Dave has found his land legs and you are warm and cosy indoors.
    Much love

    Kim xx

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  8. Reading your blog Barbara has made me take stock of the atrocities of war
    When I think of all the people that died it always without fail makes me cry
    I try not to dwell on it but am so grateful to those troops without whom I think we would be living in a very different world if indeed we would be here at all .
    I hope you and Dave are now rested ready for your next adventure be it travel , craft or just chilling out
    God bless. T xx

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  9. Glad to hear you are home safe and sound and the boat trip sounds awful, suffer from dreadful sea sickness myself so it would have terrified me tipping to and fro lol! Rest and re-cooperate now other stuff can wait Karen x

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  10. welcome back. hope you are loads better than when you left. take care, hugs xx

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  11. So important that we look to the past to learn lessons that will help us now in this frightening and troubling times. Of the people who were brave enough to stand up and protect those they loved and the brave people who carried on with life despite the constant fear of war on their doorstep.

    Glad you are both home safe and sound. Paul's shows were great today, loved a all his demos and the DT samples were beautiful. Well done! Xx

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  12. Evening Brenda, Sheila, Pam and Diane. Hope you all enjoyed the shows today, did you all fall off the CCA wagon with me? Xx
    Evening Dot, sending you warm hugs. Xx

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    1. Evening Donna I was very good no falling today hope you put your CCA cushions down xxx

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    2. Are you worried you'll be sent to the naughty corner if no one else has succumbed!!!! xx

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    3. Wow Sheila am I reading right, that must be a first for you!!!!!! ;-) xx

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    4. I can't be the only member of the CCA to fall...................... Can I? Xx

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    5. You will both have to put CCA cushions down to get over the shock that I haven't fallen of the wagon yet but I've still got two shows to watch as had to go to bed so there is still time xxxx

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    6. Hi Donna, not fell off the wagon until tomorrow when I order from Clarity. Hope you've recovered from your trip to London.xx

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    7. Oh my halo is soooo shiny and not a bruise in sight! Loved Paul's demos today( I've got a lot of corner stamps and oh yes there's my leaf stamp and stencil, must have had a bump or two in the past!). Hope you had a good trip to London Donna. I've finally made my Christmas cake today - we face timed Emma and twirled the phone over the cake mixture so she got a virtual stir and a wish! What are we like!!!! Sending hugs to you all xxxx

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    8. I can't believe I fell off by myself! My last hope is that Pam and Sheila watch the shows tomorrow and join me or else I will be sent to the corner by Brenda all on my lonesome! Xx

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  13. I went to Normandy beaches last year, very moving especially just after 70th anniversary. What you don't get from the TV or pictures is just how huge the area is or the sheer size of the port they created. Sitting just off the coast is one small piece of the pontoons that made up the harbour. It is blooming big and there were loads of them, can't remember exact number but when you see it you start to realise just how big the operation was and how many were involved. And that was only one of the four (?) beaches! Had enough organising a weekend away for two of us and the dog, had a car full of stuff for that, imagine doing same for the invasion. Wow. There are loads of small commemorations along the coast, not just for the landings but for the other missions that came before, the ones that failed, the guys that flew the reconnaissance missions and lots of others too. Most humbling and moving and well worth seeing for remembering the sacrifices made on both sides. Thank you for reminding me. Love, peace and hugs. Karen xxx.

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    1. Hi Karen, are you having struggles of your own, you don't seem your usual self? xx

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    2. Just been a bit busy recently, rushing to get some things done for Christmas. Not been able to post much in last month or two but still been reading blog every day. Good to see you back again Brenda, your ears must have been burning at NEC as Barbara and I were talking about you when she was demoing, saying about what a great community it is here in blog land, how supportive it is and you are one of the leaders in this with Sheila, Dot, Diane, Donna and Pam, the original CCA. Keep well. Love Karen xxx

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  14. Hi Barbara
    I often think about all the poor souls sent off to war, how they must have felt, what they had to do, the conditions they had to try to survive in, knowing all the time they were likely to lose their life and in a horrendous way. How on earth did any of them do it, I for one know I couldn't have coped, how brave they were. And yes it makes what's happening in this age even more abhorrent, that certain parts of the world /groups of people have no respect for their ancestors who fought so we could all live in peace. No respect for their fellow humans who are only trying to live their lives not harming a soul. Instead seeming hell bent on inciting another world war that’s most likely to wipe out the human race. Why?

    I didn’t know about the building of the harbour, what a feat. Thank you for telling us about it.

    I suffer from very, very bad travel sickness so I can totally empathise with you both. Hope your stomachs have started to settle by now.

    My TV aerial decided to work better so I managed to record all Paul’s shows, hopefully. I saw a wee bit this morning. It was a pleasant surprise to see Hayley as presenter. I like Hayley, I think she’ll make an excellent presenter on Hochanda if she’s doing it permanently. Poor soul seemed a bit nervous, I felt so sorry for her. I bet it reminded you of when you did your first classroom show on your own and how nervous you were. It can’t be easy at all, yet some people seem to think it’s a no skill required job presenting, that anybody could walk in and do it right off. I certainly couldn’t. So well done Hayley and Paul. I’ll catch up on the shows properly soon I hope.

    Thank you Barbara
    big hugs and love Brenda xx

    Thinking of you Dot, up to coming to say a wee hi to us yet?

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    1. Hugs Brenda nice to see you here again xxx

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    2. Evening Brenda, doing well with commenting, keep it up! Xx

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    3. Hi Brenda, well done for keeping up with the commenting, good to hear you.xxx
      Hi Diane, Sheila and Dot hope everyone's we'll and that you all enjoyed the demos from Paul today lol.xxx

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    4. Hi Brenda I thought it was lovely to see Hayley too, I hadn't realised she was at Hochanda. Paul was great wasn't he, I hope your recordings worked xxxxx

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    5. It is good to read your comments about Hayley and her baptism of fire yesterday. You are so right about it not being an easy job to present and I reckon she did very well. By the way, I fell off the wagon big time. Paul had warned me at the NEC that there were lots more Groovi goodies to come before Christmas. xxx

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    6. Thank you everyone for all your lovely replies xx
      Donna will be relieved to hear that Maggie. I think the others must be saving their pennies for Christmas. I'm pretty sure I'll make up for lost time re falling off the wagon if things here start to improve. ;-) xx

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  15. thank you for the history lesson - enlightening and sad. On a brighter note - Paul was "ACE" on all the programmes. I learned some valuable tips. Also had a great day with Debbie and Gill.
    Have a good week.
    Love
    Anne (Reading)

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  16. My father-in-law was at the D-Day landings he was in a ship at sea keeping people as safe as they could. He has been back to Arromanches a few times and one of his uniforms is in the museum there. He was there for the 70th Anniversary too.We have a lot to be grateful for. Hugs Jackie

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  17. These history lessons are a fascinating insight to the past, a different lesson learnt every time. Very pleased you're back safe and sound x

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  18. Pleased to know your home safe and sound
    We have to be so thankful for what we have now because of those brave men and women
    Paul was brilliant today on hochanda the stamps he showcased giving so much inspiration his voice is so calming he draws you in to watch his demonstrations I haven't watched the stencil or groovi yet as had to go to bed but will watch over the next few days looking forward to both shows xxx

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    1. Evening Dorothy sending hugs xx
      Evening Diane
      Evening pam
      Hugs to all on the blog xxx

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  19. Glad you are both home safely, and hope you've recovered from the travel sickness, what a shame you had a bad crossing when the winds have died down here. Heart wrenching seeing the beaches and reading all the information about the landings and the colossal loss of lives of soldiers French and British. We visited one of the beaches on our way home from France in July, also one of the British and American war cemeteries, makes you want to weep, did have a few tears and very choked up. Thank you for the history lesson I must admit I knew nothing of the gigantic construction that was made. Very interesting.

    Paul was brilliant on the shows today. Didn't know that Hayley was presenting now for Hochanda used to like her demos on Create and Craft before I discovered you and your stamps. She's a very nice lady.

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  20. Sorry you had to suffer an horrendous crossing Barbara but they say you feel fine as soon as you set your feet on firm ground so hope that was the case with you both. We went to see the Pegasus Bridge which they moved to it's own museum when they built a new one but we didn't have time to visit the DD beaches unfortunately. The rough crossing notwithstanding I hope you both feel more rested and refreshed. x

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  21. Hi Barbara
    Good to hear you and Dave are home safe and sound. I watched my sister her husband leave on a cruise ship that bumped it's way down the quay wall at Southampton a few years ago, she was very sick and ill, my brother I law ( ex navy) had the run of the ship, a good fry up and watched the stock in the expensive on board shops being destroyed as the boat rolled about! Thank you for today's history lesson, a couple of my dad's brothers were involved in the D Day landings, they never talked about it but dad could remember their nightmares and shouting when they got home. All such brave men who gave their lives for our peace. Thank you for sharing your trip with us, I have enjoyed it.
    Paul was very good today, what a lovely chap
    Take care
    Love Diane xxxxxxx

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  22. Hello Barb, such an insightful blog post, thank you for sharing. Glad you are back home safe and sound. Take care. Bx

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  23. Thank you Barbara, I have visited the D day beaches but did not know about the building of the harbour, not sure why but my history lessons at school only went up to the start of WW2 and I have never learned enough of my own accord, will have to read more.

    Paul was fantastic and Hayley was a natural I thought on Hochanda. Great demonstrations.

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  24. Thank you Barb, your posts have been very poignant.Glad you had a lovely time and welcome home x

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  25. Good to have you both back, safe and sound. Your history lesson, once again a very good read. Guess that's why we're called 'GREAT' Britain.
    Watched Paul - got the makings of a TV star there! He was brilliant. Loved the crafty stuff too, good job it's nearly Christmas.

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  26. Morning Barbara and of course Dave, Glad you are home all safe. I found the time I was in France very moving when I visited the Normandy Beaches, and all the War Memorials. It is something that will stay with me for my life.

    Loved the shows yesterday by the way.

    Crafty hugs Pen x

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  27. Hi Barb,

    Sounds like you had a wonderful day lol!

    Love & hugs

    Jacquie J xxx
    http://jewelscardcraft.blogspot.co.uk/

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  28. Morning Barbara and Dave,
    Glad you're home safe and hope you're feeling rested after the break. Thanks for sharing your travel stories with us.
    You must be so proud of how well Maria and Paul have done on Hochanda, and I thought Hayley was great too.
    The postie has just delivered my latest parcel, so off for a Groovi play now!
    Hugs,
    Ruth x

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  29. Your blog today took me right back to my college days. French was my main subject, although I rarely taught it later, and we spent three weeks at a teacher training college in Northern France. In addition to our normal studies, they took us on trips to places like the American Cemetery, and also to Arromanches. I still have the photos of the Mulberry harbour remains. It actually means far more to me now than it did then as I know more about it. I don't think there was a museum in those days and we were not given much in the way of explanation of what we were seeing. We were rather flattened when we were taken to a hospital in Arromanches, which still exists, where they specialised in rehabilitation for amputees. We were shown a film of an amputation operation, just before serving us rare steak for lunch. Not sure what they thought about the relevance of this for future teachers. During the commemorations for D-Day, I shed buckets of tears for those who lost their lives and for the indomitable survivors who took part in the ceremonies, especially the service in the town square where they were honoured by the residents. Glad you are back safe and sound. Take things more gently, and take warning from this year's events. Spend more time enjoying life together. You have a great team who would do anything for you and are a credit to your Clarity ethos, so make the most of that. xxx Maggie

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  30. Hi Barbara, I'm ashamed to say I don't know my history as well as I should and I'll have to do something about it. Hope you both had a lovely holiday, I've got to catch up with your blog and all the Clarity programmes I missed on Hochanda, I'm hoping they will repeat them, as I got home from my hols yesterday too, next stop... Christmas :-) xxx

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  31. Well every day is a school day! That's taught me more than they did at school. Hope Dave is feeling more human today. Don't get rushing headling back into the madness. Glad you had a nice holiday. Xxx

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  32. What a roller coaster of experiences in one week. Glad you back safely, must admit did not know much about D-day. Hope Dave ok today. xx

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  33. Welcome home you two glad your home safe and sound xxxxx

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  34. You're never too old to learn ! Thats what I have learned ! At the end of a fantastic trip to France ,
    a very poignant moment at Arromanches. Really makes you think of those that have gone before .
    On a lighter note, the bout of 'mal de mer ' was pretty brief , and I think we were lucky to get home at all that night, as the ferry couldn't even get out of Dieppe under its own steam ! Still farmers were never really renowned for having 'sea legs' were they ? xx

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x