Four splashes in Skegness

Skegness Beach, trying to find a spot and moment where I wasn’t watched putting the bottles in

First of June is the birthday of my twins (who are at the beginning of the story of this whole project), and we went to Skegess with them for this weekend to celebrate their big day. Of course I also brought some bottles with me. Now, when you put a bottle into the sea from the shore, chances are it will return to the same shore (most likely the same beach) from where you put it in. But this was the only thing I could do this weekend, and some of the bottles have waited for a dispatch since October, so I figured, I’d just take my chances. And after all, if they get found soon, that also has its advantages: It is likely that the contents are undamaged, and they’ll hopefully make their finders happy, no matter how long they travelled.

Bottles No. 93 and No. 96 shortly before their dispatch at Skegness Central Beach at 2/6/2018

We reached Skegness central beach on Saturday 2/6 at about 4pm. It was a couple of minutes to low tide, and thus an especially bad time to put in a bottle. The beach was rather crowded considering that the weather was far from brilliant. It was foggy, but at least wasn’t raining, and there was a yellow alert of heavy rainfall in place. Thus I figured, I’d rather put them in now, than not being able to dispatch them at all. I chose bottle No. 93, one of those with a monoprint on them, and a more recent bottle, No. 96.

Lot of effort that got my trousers completely wet – but bottles went up too high, and landed maybe 5 meters away from me in the water

I am rather poor at throwing, and they just sat there for a long time.

I brought two more bottles with me to the coast, and I kept those two until the next morning. We went to the pier in the morning, and waited for it to be opened. It was 10 minutes after high tide when we went stairs and walked to the end. Maybe an hour later would have been a better time, current-wise. But the water was already retreating, and thus I figured that the chances for them to wash out of the Lincolnshire bay were positive.

Bottles No. 94 and 95 shortly before their dispatch from Skegness Pier on 3/6/18

I went with my son onto the pier, and he insisted on throwing in one bottle himself.

As you can see, he really just flatly dropped it, and while it did land in the water…

we watched it land while we were standing on the pier. So we went down, picked it up, and he gave it another go.

The other bottle which I put in, looked like a promising dispatch:

a close-up:

Right after returning from the pier (the second time) I found this:

Notts Rocks

On the backside of the pebble it said “FB Notts Rocks”. I looked it up in the meantime, and it is a community of people who decorate rocks and pebbles and leave them at places for others to find. – Wonderful, absolutely wonderful! It will have its own special spot in my studio! Thanks to whoever left it there for me!

That’s it from me from the Skegness dispatches. 3 of the 4 bottles were already found by the time I am typing this blogpost. I’ll speak more about the finds, and the bottles (with contents revealed) in the next days. So stay tuned!


Two new bottles and a dispatch into the River Thames

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Chelsea Bridge in London, near Battersea Park, image via Wikipedia

I needed a new passport, which I need to apply for in person at the German embassy in London. This was the reason I spend a couple of days in London at the beginning of the week. Of course I wanted to dispatch a bottle into the River Thames.

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Bottles No. 86 and 87 waiting for the dispatch

Now I didn’t have any filled bottles left here. You noticed that it got a bit quieter here in the last months, and that has a couple of reasons. For one I was really busy with other stuff. But also I am a bit frustrated with bottles put into the River Trent (I lived at the shores of the River Rhine before, and that was great for dispatching bottles). So I had to come up with new bottles on the eve of leaving. I made a couple of small prints in the last weeks, and thus wrote a little for a bottle, wound up a print (Nightlion, small), and then had to realise that it was too big for the small bottle. So I put it into a larger bottle, which I already colleted for when I run out of small ones (which honestly doesn’t seem likely to happen soon with the current rate of production). And then, because I really would rather stick to small bottles for now, I filled another bottle with two prints from my women with hats series of prints.

On Tuesday we visited Battersea Park (and the children’s zoo), and then dropped in the bottles from Chelsea Bridge. The bigger one was dropped in by my daughter. M. was really quick with the camera and managed to capture the moment:

Dispatch of Bottle No. 86

And Bottle No. 87 was dropped in by my son. Unfortunately I was slower, and the bottle had already dopped with the shutters opened:

Shortly after Dispatch of Bottle No. 87
In the picture below you can see them both floating down the river. If you click on it, you go to an ipernity page, and there you can choose to “see all sizes” to actually see that the tiny white specks in the middle of the circles are actually bottles.

Messages in Bottles No. 86 and 87 floating down the River Thames
Like always I am hoped for a good travel and happy finders for these bottles.

Dispatch into the North Sea from the “King Seaways”

King seaways IJmuiden, December 2011

King Seaways via Wikimedia Commons

I boarded the King of Seaways on the 29th of December in Ijmuiden (near Amsterdam) to go to North Shields (Newcastle) together with my husband and the twins to go home to Nottingham after our Christmas vacation in Germany. After our dinner on board the children got ready for bed and I dropped two of my bottles into the North Sea. I am not quite sure what time it was, maybe 8pm in the Netherlands. If that is true, then we had been sailing for about 2 or 3 hours at the time, in any case we were still much closer to the Dutch than to the English coast.

These were the last two bottles I still had prepared, carrying the numbers 83 and 75.

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a last look at the bottles, still in the cabin

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stepping out onto the promenade deck

We had our cabin on deck 11 which is rather high above the water. I went down as low as possible on the promanade deck, maybe deck 9, and there at the stern I threw the bottles over the star board, hoping that this way they won’t get struck by the propeller. In the ship’s light I could see one of them floating away, obviously surviving the fall. The other sounded o.k., but I failed to see it. – The attempt to make a photo failed, unfortunately but not unexpectedly.

The following picture was taken the next morning: Somewhere there in the East my bottles float.

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Sunrise seen from the stern of the King Seaways

Now it is time to make new bottles. I have no plans yet, so I am myself looking forward to see how the new series will look like.


Last Weekend’s Unusual Dispatch

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Rätselbild: Wo ist das?

Hallo, miteinander! Ich hatte in einem vorherigen Blogpost ja schonmal erzählt, dass ich letztes Wochenende Geburtstag hatte. Und wie angekündigt, hat mich mein lieber Mann auf eine Überraschungsreise eingeladen. Das Bild oben ist in der Garage bei unserem Hotel entstanden. Na, wagt einer einen Tipp wo wir waren? Ich finde ja, es sieht original wie in Hongkong aus (das haben wir vor acht Jahren unsere Hochzeitsreise hin gemacht). Aber wir waren in Manchester. – Das ist auch viel praktischer von Nottingham aus zu erreichen.

Hello everyone! I told you in my last blog post that it – will be, by now was – my birthday last weekend. And as expected, M. took me on a trip. The photo above was made on the parking deck near our hotel. Can you guess where we went? To me it looks so much like Hong Kong (where we spent our honeymoon eight years ago, by the way). But of course it was much nearer: we went to Manchester.

China Town in Manchester

China Town in Manchester

Ich hatte mir zum Geburtstag gewünscht, mal wieder schön Dim Sum essen zu gehen. Hier in Nottingham gibt es zwar hier und da am Wochenende Dim Sum in Restaurants zu bestellen, aber so richtig schön ist es erst in richtigen kantonesischen Restaurants, wo die Kellner mit Wagen zwischen den Tischen hin- und herfahren, und man sich auf den Tisch nimmt, was einem gefällt und was eben so vorbeikommt. Und das gibt es hier leider nicht. – Und so ging die Reise nach Manchester, wo eine größere chinesische Gemeinschaft gibt, und auch die richtige Sorte Restaurant.

I had asked M. for my birthday, to invite me for a real dim sum once again. He got to know and love dim sum restaurants when he lived in Taiwan before we got to know each other. When he later lived in the Minneapolis, USA, he took me to a dim sum place there, in memory of his old times – and I loved it! Since then we went many times whenever was possible, and it it by now mostly me draging him there. Although it is possible in many Chinese restaurants to order dim sum from a menu on Sundays (which we often did), neither Bonn nor Nottingham has one of the cantonese restaurants where they drive the food around on carts and you choose what you want to eat while it is passing by. – And I missed this! Therefore my birthday wish. And so M. took me to China Town in Manchester.

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Kunst in Manchester

We only had little time with two small children on one day in Manchester, and the weather was not really fine, and so we have much more to see and come again. – And I do hope and expect we’ll be back anothe rtime. Manchester seems an exciting city. For example we spotted this metal dragon waiting for something on what seemed like a ruin.

Manchester war überhaupt schön und beeindruckend. Zum Beispiel haben wir im Vorübergehen diesen Metalldrachen lauern sehen. Kinder sind ja von anderen Dingen begeistert als Erwachsene. Unser Sohn fand vor allem die ganzen geschlossenen Ladenfronten in China-Town aufregend, an denen wir vorbei gekommen sind als wir am Samstag Morgen schonmal eine Runde gedreht haben. An jedem Metallrolladen musste er Halt machen, mit den Fingern dagegen klopfen, und feststellen, wie “lustig” das ist. Was daran so amüsant war, haben wir nicht verstanden.

Manchester geschmückt

Manchester geschmückt

Whole Manchester (not just China Town) was decorated because this week in the whole city various things happen in celebration of chinese New Year on Monday. – Very nice!

Weil kommenden Montag chinesisches Neujahrsfest ist, und deshalb an diesem Wochenende in Manchester überall Festlichkeiten stattfinden, war auch letztes Wochenende schon die ganze Stadt (nicht nur China-Town) mit diesen roten chinesischen Laternen geschmückt. – Sehr hübsch!

Dim Sum - Naja, nur leere Bambuskörbe

Dim Sum – Naja, fast nur leere Bambuskörbe

And of course we finally also had dim sum. Unfortunately it was also the weekend of bad photography for me, it seems, and so I don’t have much to show you, I am afraid.

Mein Dim Sum habe ich natürlich auch bekommen. Leider war schlechte-Fotos-Wochenende, so wie’s scheint, und ich habe nicht viel zum Vorzeigen. Aber wir hatten viel Spaß und haben alle so viel gegessen, dass wir fast nicht mehr vom Tisch aufstehen konnten.

Dann war eigentlich Zeit zum Flaschen einwerfen. Ich hatte ja vor, zur Feier des Tages vier Flaschen einzuwerfen. – Und da viel mir auf, dass ich sie in der Hektik des Losfahrens am Freitag Abend vergessen hatte. Oh nein!

And after eating, we were going to go to the city center and dispatch the four bottles that I took with me – oh no! At that moment I realized that I had left them at home. We drove off on Friday evening in a hurry, and I simply forgot to put them in my bag.
There was nothing I could do about that now, of course. But I didn’t want to leave the city without leaving a bottle. And so I bought some lemonade in a glass bottle with a tin screw-on top and prepared the bottle in our hotel room:


ein unschmeichelhaftes Bild von mir mit Flaschenpost

Weil ich so ganz ohne Flaschenpost abschicken dann aber doch nicht wieder nach Hause wollte, habe ich also in einem Supermarkt eine Limonade in Glasflasche mit Schraubverschluss gekauft, ausgetrunken, Etikett abgelöst und nach einen Brief geschrieben. Mein Sohn hat auch was gekritzelt, denn er wollte unbedingt mitmachen. Und dann habe ich noch zwei Bilder aus meinem Skizzenbuch, das ich dabei hatte mit reingelegt, und zugeschraubt.

I put in a letter (of course), and added two pictures from my sketchbook that I carried with me. My son added a letter of his own, because he wanted to be part of this, too.
The next day, we went to the River Irwell, which conveniently flows through the centre of the city, and dispatched the bottle from bridge road. Unfortuantely all photos of the event are blurry so that I have nothing more to show you. But then, you probably know by now how it looks like when I put a bottle in to a river.



Am nächsten Tag habe ich sie dann direkt vor der Abfahrt in den River Irwell geworfen, stilecht von der “Bridge Street” aus. – Leider sind die Fotos auch alle verwackelt und unscharf. Aber naja, ihr wisst ja mittlerweile, wie es aussieht, wenn ich eine Flasche in einen Fluss werfe.

Nun ist eine Woche ins Land gegangen, und ich habe noch nichts gehört. Da die Flasche nur ihren Metallverschluss hatte, bin ich pessimistisch. Aber man kann ja nie wissen. Also dann “Weiter Gute Reise!” wieder ungewöhnlichen Flasche, die deshalb auch keine Nummer in meinem Projekt bekommen hat.

Because this bottle is so different, I didn’t give it a number in this project. It has been a week now, and I have not heard anything. I must admit I am a little bit pessimistic about this bottle. But you never know, and so I wish it another “Farewell and happy finders!”

Christmas Dispatches


The Pride of Rotterdam, Foto By Stefan Scheer [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Like the past two years I spent the Christmas Holidays in Germany, visiting family. And, just like the past years, I brought messages in bottles with me. The first bottle, No. 73, was tossed into a black North Sea in the small hours in the morning from board the Pride of Rotterdam, about an hour before we reached the harbour in Rotterdam.

Wie auch die letzten beiden Jahre habe ich die Weihnachtsferien in Deutschland verbracht. Und, ebenfalls wie in den letzten Jahren auch, habe ich die Gelegenheit genutzt, ein paar Flaschen abzuwerfen. Die erste Flasche trägt die Nummer 73 und den Titel “die Biene”. Ich habe sie in den Morgenstunden vom so genannten Sonnendeck der “Pride of Rotterdam” geworfen, etwa eine Stunde bevor wir in den Hafen in Rotterdam eingelaufen sind.

Es war noch absolut dunkel, kalt und windig draußen. Ich habe noch einen kurzen Blick erhaschen können, und bin sicher, dass die Flasche nicht beim Aufprall aufs Wasser zerschollen oder in unsere eigene Schraube geraten ist. Aber innerhalb von Sekunden wurde sie von der Dunkelheit verschluckt. Das letzte Bild, das ich von ihr habe, ist noch in unserer Kabine entstanden:

It was surprisingly windy on the so called sundeck, although we had had a very steady ride. I was still dark, but I was able to see that the bottle hit the water without taking apparent damage. But we swiftly left it behind, and it was swallowed up in the darkness in seconds. This is the last photo I took of it, still in our cabin:

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Last photo of bottle no. 73 “The Bee” on board the Pride of Rotterdam

The second bottle was dispatched in to the River Ems in Telgte the day before Christmas Eve. The Ems splits into a main and a side arm in Telgte and both rejoin just a little North of the city center, behind the monumental church (well, monumental, given the size of the city). The main arm is slowed down with a weir there, which is where I threw last year’s bottle in. This year we went 10m further down the road and my son put bottle No. 76 “the star” into the smaller side arm there.

Die zweite Flasche, Nummer 76, habe ich am 23. Dezember in Telgte in die Ems geworfen. Naja, eigentlich nicht ich selbst, sondern mein Sohn. Er steht hier und schaut flussaufwärts, seine Schwester schaut in die andere Richtung und hält Ausschau nach der Post. Bis er und ich auf der anderen Brückenseite ware (eigentlich nicht weit), und ich die Kamera für ein letztes Foto bereit hatte, war die Flasche schon davon geschwommen. – Die Ems war recht voll und erstaunlich schnell an dem Tag.

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my son, facing upstream and putting in the message in bottle, my daughter (his twin sister) stood on the other side of the bridge facing downstream watching the bottle

Below you can see how the river looks like there. The water was high and quick, and when I had turned down and tried to make a picture of the floating bottle, I had already lost sight. Maybe one of you can spot it in the photo? I definitely can’t not even when looking at it in full resolution.

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view of the sidearm of the Ems in the city centre of Telgte

In Telgte teilt sich die Ems und fließt gerade durch die Stadt als ein Haupt- und ein Nebenarm, die sich kurz unterhalb des letzten Wehrs in Telgte wieder vereinen. Letztes Jahr habe ich in den Hauptarm geworfen, diesmal haben wir uns für den Seitenarm entschieden.Man kann die Stelle auf dem Foto oben beinahe erahnen. – Aber wahrscheinlich nur, wenn man den Fluss da kennt.Ich wünsche beiden Flaschen glückliche Finder!

I hope both bottles will meet kind and happy finders!


Last Week’s Result: 6 Dispatched, 1 Found

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bottle floating in the sea near Wells-next-the-Sea

We had a big celebration here on Saturday in our house will all our family from Germany visiting, but had arranged everything to go on a brief vacation with my sister and her family for a couple of days, leaving on Sunday. As you might expect, the Saturday and Sunday morning were full of activity and running around. I sat down in the car beside DH, kids in the back, excited to go on a beach vacation with their cousins, heaved a big sigh of relief, and felt ready for vacation indeed. Luckily the drive was not far, a little less than three hours to Wells-Next-The-Sea in North Norfolk.

The beach in Wells is magnificent. There are dunes along the shore, some permanently outside the water, some forming islands while the water is retreating. During low tide, we did not manage to actually walk to the shore line, because our kids would have had to be carried the whole way. Here is a satellite image of the coast (thanks to google):

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satellite image of the coast near Wells-next-the-Sea (via google maps)

Can you see that brighter yellow strip near the pine forrest there, this is the part of the beach that usually stays dry during high tide. The whole rest is covered in water. The water then retreats fast, but there is a stream that remains full of water also during low tide. I am not sure whether this is a river in the sense that it carries sweet water. But there are several springs in and around wells (hence the name) and it might be that it is a “real” river. However, looking at google maps it seems to be connected to the sea at several points, and the tide definitely pushes in mightilty. So I am not sure.

On Monday I unfortunately couldn’t leave the bed (full story on my other blog), but M. and my sister put in a bottle for me. The tide was already fairly low, and with more small children at the beach than adults, it was not possible for them to reach the actual sea. So they tossed two bottles in this stream:

Here goes the bottle with number 69

Here goes the bottle with number 69

and number 71 right after.

and number 71 right after.

It is funny how fast bottles goe seperate ways after having been tossed in at essentially the same time and the same spot. Bottle number 69 was found right after being put into the water. I have not heard anything about the other one.

Two days later. I went to the beach myself. This time the water just started to retreat – ideal conditions.

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I make one photo of the number before putting in bottles to know later which bottle relates to which image.

My sister and I took turns throwing in bottles which were caught by the falling tide and the current that would later be the river and drifted quickly out to sea. You can see the buoys in the photos, marking the waterway to Wells harbour for ships.

Bottle number 66

Bottle number 66

throwing in bottle number 70

throwing in bottle number 70

Bottle number 68

Bottle number 68

Although the bottles drifted away quickly, we could follow them with our eyes for a while, drifting past two smaller boats. The beach was well visited and I feared someone might take the bottles out right after me tossing it in. But at least those four could only have been retrieved from the beach at hight risk, given the speed with which they drifted out to sea. We looked for a less visited corner, and indeed it looked like no-one watched us throwing. And also the people on the boat didn’t seem to notice the floating bottles.

On our way home on Thursday, we took a break to look at King’s Lynn, where the river Ouse flows into the sea. Unfortunately I didn’t have any more bottles on me. M. was surprised that I put in 4 bottles on Wednesday, but my sister and I had just too much fun tossing the bottles to not to. I wish I had brough more.

When I came home, I found a surprise in my mailbox. A boy aged 11 send me the following message:

I found your little message in the bottle at Wells-next-to-sea’s beach on Monday the 17th of August 2015. I was really surprised to find it floating around in the sea. I was just wondering where did you drop the message in from? my number for the bottle is 69.

Of course I already wrote back, gave him some details and asked for more. How did he find it? Was it hard to spot? Easy to open? Everything dry? And who is he? Was he on a vacation? Where is he from? – I hope he’ll answer my email. If he does, I’ll let you know of course.

This is a picture of the bottle still at home:

Message in a Bottle No. 69

Message in a Bottle No. 69, still at home

I named bottle number 69 “jumpping fish”, and as usual for these bottles, I cut the stamp for the fish by hand, and put the stamp in as a gift.

the cover image and the stamp on my worktable

the cover image and the stamp on my worktable

When I point my computer’s camera down, you can see that I curently have six more bottles here waiting for their release. I would like to put at least some of the small worlds into the river Thames. That is because I hope that even wild as it is, the river would be more gentle to the bottles than the open sea, and I know that there is at least one message collector on the Thames shores. Well, I’ll see. And of course I’ll let you know as soon as I can. (Unfortunately that sometimes means after I already put the bottles in. If you are interested in meeting up, taking a look at the bottles before I toss them, or just to join up for a joint tossing event, let me know now so that I we can be in touch closer to the actual event.)

at homeP.S.: I just noticed that for all summer dispatches, on all the photos I was wearing the same pair of pants. I maybe should mention that I do have others, and I also wear them…

Dispatch in Cornwall

cornwall 1 kleinerIn not too beautiful weather, two bottles were submitted to the Celtic Sea yesterday at 11 am at the Welcombe Mouth Beach in Cronwall (GPS said it was at position 50°55’58.3″N, 4°32’49.8“W ). According to my helpers (one of my sisters and her husband) it was almost low tide but the water still recessing a bit. cornwall 3 kleinerGestern um 11 Uhr morgens, am Welcombe Mouth Beach in Cornwall (Südwest England, das GPS gab die Position als 50°55’58.3″N, 4°32’49.8“W an) haben meine Schwester und ihr Mann jeder eine Flasche für mich in die Keltische See geworfen. Ich wünsche ihnen wie immer angenehmes Treiben und Finder, die sich darüber freuen!

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