This site is the bee's knees

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Avoir du pain sur la planche

Althou we are across the water, am happy Mr Macron is France’s new President and hope he will get good guidance and support to run his beautiful country. Vive la France!

A little worried about new speeding fines for British drivers in France – no more speeding to catch the ferry. Clueless  what the speed limit is but (promise) will check this out before next journey

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Flanders field

Flanders Field -


This is my tribute to Claude Monet’s painting – “Poppies near Argenteuil” but also a summer field of poppies has become an internationally recognized symbol of remembrance

Blank Greeting Cards available from Smallwoollyelephant on Etsy or from Fine Art America

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‘Sand in Our Shoes’ – Tote Bag –

'Sand in Our Shoes' - Tote Bag -

‘Sand in Our Shoes’ – Tote Bag –

(also Duvet Covers, Shower Curtains, Prints and Greeting Cards)

This is a favorite because as a family we have spent lovely windy days
on this beach that seems to stretch forever

and brought home seashells

also (almost) lyrics from a song

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There are no winners

Just thinking about what is happening in Calais and feel for the many people who are caught up in it – the people and their children themselves who are fleeing from countrys at war and their familys back home – hoping for them to have an opportunity somewhere safer but reallising the risks of what they are doing. The problems they have faced and are facing – are so many and so huge. It is impressive in the temporary area in Calais they have organised schools, shops, phone charging points and churches. Desperate but often very educated people.

We have heard some people are walking from the Mediterannean ports where they arrive – all the way to Calais.


les jungles à Calais -

les jungles à Calais -

Le camps de Tioxide.Plusieurs nationalités étaient rassemblées ici (Soudanais, Erythréens, Pakistanais). La plus grande jungle de Calais, qui a rassemblé plus de 700 migrants à été complètement évacuée. Ne restent plus que quelques tentes encore debout, des déchets. Deux migrants démontent la mosquée pour la reconstruire dans les dunes.Tous les migrants des différentes jungles se voient contraints d’évacuer ces zones pour aller s’installer dans les dunes, ou les standards minimums d’urgence ne sont pas respectés, malgré l’insistance des associations d’aide aux migrants. Ces nouveaux camps se construisent aux alentour de Jules Ferry, nouveau centre d’accueil de jour pour les migrants qui ouvrira définitivement ses portes mi-avril.
Le gymnase où étaient logés femmes et enfants. Médecin du Monde y avait installé des cabines d’hygiène et toilettes.

 Photographs by-


Others caught up in this – are lorrys drivers,  waiting outside the ports with loads they cant leave, parked up besides the roads either over here in UK or over in France in the ferry or tunnel terminals and also their familys who they are away from longer than normal.

How do the lorry drivers manage with food and washing or if they have health problems?

Haulage companys are loosing money and businesses whose food and products are being tranported and will possibly go to waste. Hopefully there are not animals in these lorrys.

Ferry ports and the tunnel, are also losing money and credability and familys on both sides of the Channel looking forward to their holidays probably are also spending hours hauled up outside the ports, frightened of being caught up with their familys in what is happening there, maybe older people frightened of being hurt by desperate people.

Other collateral damage – familys living in houses not far from the motorways where trucks are parked up for days in ‘Operation Stack’

There are no winners. Many of us originally came from somewhere else – so how can you not help?

Population Density and Applications for Asylum:

UK267/km2 (population of over 62 million) and applications for asylum: 30,000
Sweden 24/km2 (population of 9 million) and applications for asylum: 50,000
Germany232/km2 and applications for asylum: ~110,000
US35/km2  and applications for asylum: ~90,000

(to put population density in perspective – the population density in India is 426/km2)

World Bank Population Density (figures above are for 2010-2014)
Asylum seekers graphics

Perhaps it is about investing in the countrys where the problems are – so people wont want to run – but in the short term perhaps it is just about the EU sitting down or a bigger organisation involving countrys outside Europe and working out a solution for offering asylum in all countrys – maybe even beyond Europe, taking into account population densitys and economy of all countrys.

Have no other answers or suggestions sadly but with most big problems – you can’t firefight – you need to find real workable solutions with compassion for all the people involved and we need to help resolve and discuss whatever the problems are in the countrys from which people are fleeing.

Wonder about the vaccumn left behind in a country where the young, fit and strong leave.


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Sand Castles and Cherrys

Sand Castles -
Unexpected lovely weekend, day trip to France thru the tunnel, although delays – not too bad – then croissants, visit to very small chocolate factory, crepes, beautiful french countryside and medieval towns on hill tops and always somehow find our way back to the sandy beach at Wissant where there always seems to be low tide..

and today picked maybe 18kgs of cherrys from one small tree renting on a farm near Bodiam Castle. People picking nearby had a schnauzer who liked cherrys too

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Tour de Yorkshire

This completly passed me by – the first three stages of the Tour de France are in England this year and begin in Leeds to Harrogate on the 5th July (York to Sheffield on the 6th and Cambridge to London on the 7th).

This is a link to a competition to win one of 38 ‘Tours de France or just dream about travelling around France (the competition is for UK residents only but a good site for information about France).

My favorite things about visiting France – watching the white cliffs disappear on a ferry heading for France, small bakerys everywhere selling croissants, wide beaches, outdoor markets, pavement cafes, chateaux, gardens south of Paris then long roads leading to the south…..