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!


Bottle No. 50 Found

bottle no. 50 left at the beach in Skegness

bottle no. 50 left at the beach in Skegness

Last summer, on 15th of July, I left bottle and message no. 50 at the beach in Skegness. Skegness is a typical British Seaside Town with a funfair located directly at the beach. – An idea rather strange to me: Doesn’t the sea provide enough entertainment as it is?! When we were visiting, the summer break had not yet started, and it was surprisingly empty on the beach. Below you can see the children, helping to dig in the bottle, with the top of a ferris wheel from the fair showing in the background.

Letzten Sommer, am 15. Juli, habe ich Flaschenpost  Nummer 50 am Strand von Skegness ausgesetzt. Skegness ist ein typischer britischer Badeort mit einer Art Kirmes direkt am Strand, mit Karussels und Fressbuden. Das ist ja etwas, das ich eher erstaunlich fand: Sind das Meer und der Strand nicht eigentlich Unterhaltung genug? 
Wir haben Skegness in den letzten Tagen der Nebensaison besucht, und es war erstaunlich wenig los da.
Auf dem Bild unten kannst du sehen, wie meine Kinder mir helfen, ein Loch für die Flasche zu buddeln. Im Hintergrund kann man die Spitze vom Riesenrad sehen. Die zwei Masten, die da emporragen sind nicht etwa Schiffsmasten, sondern von so einem Boden-Luft-Bungee-Ding.

children helping to plant a bottle at the beach. Fair (top of ferris wheel) showing in the background.

my children helping to plant a bottle at the beach. Fair (top of ferris wheel) showing in the background. The two masts are not from a ship but one of those from-the-ground-into-the-air-bungee thingies

As I just said, the beach was rather empty, and I was a little worried, about the bottle maybe getting completely submerged in sand by the incoming tide. Much more so than about it being found too early. But other than can be seen in the photo, I piled up sand beside it, for to shield it from the direct view of pedestrians passing by. I thought this was a bottle which might survive the ages. – Wrong! As it turns out, it was found on the same day, by a young woman from Czech Republic on vacation in Skegness. And she wrote me a message the same evening. That message, however, did get lost in vast ocean called the internet for a while, and I only found it the other day, washed ashore in a “might be spam”-folder. Huh, funny how things go.

Wie schon gesagt, war der Strand recht leer an dem Tag (und zu der Zeit), und ich war eher besorgt, dass die aufkommende Flut die Flasche vollständig im Sand vergraben würde, als dass jemand sie vorzeitig finden könnte. Ich dachte, das hier wäre eine Flasche, die vielleicht in ein paar Jahrzehnten gefunden wird. Trotzdem habe ich die Flasche, anders als auf dem Bild ganz oben zu sehen ist, noch Sand drum herum geschaufelt, um sie vor direkten Blicken zu schützen. – Aber natürlich war meine Vermutung falsch, und sie ist noch am gleichen Tag von einer Urlauberin aus Tschechien gefunden worden. Und sie hat mir noch am gleichen Tag eine Nachricht geschrieben. Diese jedoch ging erst einmal in den Weiten des Ozeans mit Namen Internet verloren, und ich habe sie erst gestern gefunden, angespült in einem automatisch befüllten “vielleicht Spam”-Ordner.

Wie üblich wenn eine Nachricht gefunden wird, zeige ich ein bisschen was vom Inhalt vor: Neben der üblichen Information zu meinem Projekt und Blog, enthielt sie so genannte Glückssterne. Das Foto unten zeigt zwei nicht Flasche Nummer 50, sondern 48, aber das ist so zu sagen ein “Zwilling”.

As usual when a bottle is found, I reveil its contents now: Beside the usual explanatory note, it was filled with lucky stars. I don’t have a photo of bottle number 50 but this here is similar:

Bottle Number 48 on my table, a twin to the one found in Skegness

Bottle Number 48 on my table, a twin to the one found in Skegness

star bottles by H. Kurzke

The wrappers of bottles numbered 48, 49, and 50

The “lucky stars” contained within the bottle are folded from a strip of paper, and as you can see, the bottle contains a short description how to fold them. They are thought to bring luck both to the one who gives them away, and to the one who receives them, but they have to be circulated. So the instructions written on the right instruct the finder to match the number of stars contained in the bottle (30 in this case) and then give them all away. If 1,000 stars are given away, a wish comes true – or so they say.

The girl who found the bottle said, it made her day – I am very happy that she enjoyed finding the bottle. As much as I am sorry for not having responded to her earlier. – And finding her message made my day! I am going to make some new bottles this weekend, I guess!

Diese Sterne werden aus einem Streifen Papier gefaltet, und der Einband der Flasche enthielt, wie du auf dem Bild sehen kannst, eine kurze Anleitung dazu. Von den Sternen wird gesagt, dass sie sowohl demjenigen, der sie geschenkt bekommt, als auch dem, der sie verschenkt Glück bringen soll. Ich habe der Finderin daher die Anweisung gegeben, die Sterne zu zählen (es waren 30 Stück), genausoviele selbst zu machen, und dann alle zusammen weiterzuschenken. – Mit der gleichen Anweisung, natürlich. Wenn 1.000 Sterne verschenkt werden, geht ein Wunsch in Erfüllung, so sagt man wenigstens.

Das Mädel, die die Flasche gefunden hat schrieb, es habe sie sehr gefreut und ihr einen schönen Tag beschert. – Mich freut es sehr, dass sie sich gefreut hat, und fühle mich meinerseits nun sehr beschwingt. Ha, vielleicht werde ich das zum Anlass nehmen, ein paar neue Flaschen zu machen.

messages in bottles by H. Kurzke

Here the bottle is still standing in my studio among others. The number 50 is the fourth from left.

It was Cathryn Miller, by the way, who first introduced me to lucky stars by giving me some of hers. She has been making them for various art projects in the past, und currently she is working on a large scale work. Read more about her Wishing Star Project here.

James Ismael Cook, who has (had?) some of my bottles, wrote a cryptic comment about releasing another one. – I guess we’ll have news about that coming up soon, too.

Es war übrigend Cathryn Miller, die mich auf diese Glückssterne gebracht hat, indem sie mir ein paar geschenkt hat. Sie macht sie schon seit einer Weile und hat sie für eine Reihe verschiedener Kunstprojecte und -bücher verwendet. Im Moment hat sie ein rightig großes Glückssternprojekt laufen, vielleicht hast du ja Lust, mal vorbeizuschauen und mitzuhelfen.

James Ismael Cook, der einige meiner Flaschen zum Weiterverbreiten bekommen hat, hat letzte Woche übrigens einen etwas krypischen kommentar hier hinterlassen. – Ich vermute, da wird es auch bald genaueres zu hören geben. – Bis dahin!