Monday, 16 September 2019

Norfolk week with friends Part 2

As I had already walked 16+ miles over three days, on the third day I decided to go and explore on my own. In fact I went with 'L' and we had a great morning in a very strong wind!

I had booked us on a boat for a 'Seal Trip' so we headed off to Morston Quay an hour earlier than booked in the hopes that we could catch an earlier boat, but our provider was not there but another boat was, so after paying we hopped on just as it was departing.  I hadn't paid the other people!!  What a morning we had.

It was quite calm even at high tide, but we could see the breakers in the distance, looking very stormy!  We passed this moored up, East Coast Sailing Barge,
flocks of gulls fishing,
until we arrived at Blakeney Point and the open sea!  The captain of our boat managed to turn it so that we could get in close to see the seals, but it was rough, with plenty of spray.

So many of them hauled up on the shingle - both common and grey seals - who took no notice of us
except this one who came quite close to the boat.

We saw the old lifeboat station
and then it was announced that we could get off the boat for an hour (and would be picked up later thank goodness!) and we could walk around and explore.  Off we got, the boat left
and I personally wondered it the boat would return because it was a long walk back to the mainland!!

L and I explored the Old Lifeboat Station and discovered that three wardens live there from the Spring until November.  
I loved seeing the little clumps of Sea Thrift clinging close to the ground in this exposed position made up of shingle.
In the Old Lifeboat Station there were boards explaining how Blakeney Point was formed 
Double click to get a bigger picture

and this explains that nature has built up the shingle over hundreds of years and is still doing it.  On the return journey we saw more Turnstones (see last blog) very well camouflaged and taking no notice of us!

While waiting for the boat to return I explored a little and then came to a shallow beach and saw this!
A Common Seal pup about 36 inches long

This made my day and I took so many photos and even a little video of him.  I did show our warden who said he was a quite late pup, in good condition and just sunning itself.  He would keep and eye on it, though I did see a seal quite close in the water so that may have been Mum!

We were picked up by the boat and after lunch we drove back to Wells.  It was mid afternoon and I decided to ride the Wells to Walsingham Railway.  It was delightful
Turning  round to go to the front

if a little drafty as the carriages are open.

That evening most of the group met up in Wells, for our final evening meal before returning home after a memorable week away.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Norfolk week with friends Part 1

Last week the 50+ Adventure Club went away to walk part of the North Norfolk coastal path.  What fun I had!  Laughter, walking and good food with friends; what more could you ask.

With two others I was based at the Quaker House in Wells next the Sea and it was basic accommodation.  Fine as we were only staying there and going out every day, but I was in the main building on my own and when the main front door was closed late at night, the kitchen door was always open, so my bedroom door was always locked!!  

We walked into Wells on Sunday afternoon and I took this iconic picture of the town -
the quay and granary with lots of small children fishing for crabs (which they put back because they are small).  The 'Lifeboat Horse' could be seen as it was low tide

Next morning was not the official start of the walking week as many were driving that day, but some of us met up and went by coastal bus (thank goodness for my 'bus pass' that gives me free travel) to Cromer.  We walked along the front and the pier, bypassing the theatre to visit the Lifeboat Station behind.
Here I had a minor catastrophe in the shop, as my full water bottle fell out of my rucksack, the top came off and the full contents went all over the floor.  The nice ladies behind the till mopped it up with me apologising profusely.  "At least it is only water" they said "we have had worse".  I leave it to your imagination what it was!!  After a brief lunch of Cromer crab sandwiches, a must and delicious, we walked the 4.5 miles back to Sheringham and caught the bus back to Wells.  That evening we went to The Jolly Sailors pub in Brancaster Staithe, where after eating, we watched the Nelson's Shantymen rehearsing ready for the weekend's cider festival and we were mesmerised.
The pub was so busy they had to go outside so thank goodness it was a mild evening.

Tuesday morning we walked into town to catch the bus and the tide was right in over the quay and the poor 'Lifeboat Horse' was just visible -

The whole group met up at Burnham Overy Staithe, a delightful hamlet on the edge of the sea and crossed the marshes on a raised pathway and saw this in the distance which was quite unexpected!
A very long shot!

A chariot pulled by four grey horses and a charioteer in green - could this be a stand-in for Tom Cruise or George Clooney.  No such luck: they were filming a commercial for Haven Holidays to be shown on Boxing Day!!  We pressed on until we came to the new Visitor Centre at Holkham where we had lunch.  The next part of the walk was back to Wells where I cheated for the last part and caught the little Wells Harbour Railway into town and saved myself half a mile in a total of 6.5 miles that day.

I also caught the Lifeboat Horse from another angle
The tide out again.

Next day we were back at Sheringham and before catching the steam train to Holt we walked along the front and saw these birds, but what were they?  A passing lady said they were Turnstones which I have never heard of before.  They over-winter here from Scandinavia and do turn over stones to find little grubs etc.

We arrived at the station and I loved seeing these two together and requested a photo

Very smart station staff!

I love trains and this was my second in two days so I was in my element.  It was on our arrival in Holt that the heavens opened and delayed our start but the sun soon came out and we started to steam!!  A trip on this train is a must if you are ever in the area.

We set out to walk to Sheringham, walking beside the railway at one point and then we heard a toot and our steam train was coming along the track

and then the path rose and we crossed over the railway and in the distance saw this
deer running across the field.  At this point we could see Sheringham in the distance and were told that we could either go over the top or down onto the beach and walk on the sand.  Mmmm, when we got to edge of the cliff the tide was in so no beach walking and all I could see was this climb!!
Keep walking to the top and the little house!!

I nearly asked one of the golfers for a loan of his buggy, but I find it easiest to keep my head down and keep going under these circumstances and my trusty Nordic Walking poles got me to the top, with just a very short walk to the car the other side.  Another 6 miles completed.

That evening our whole party of about twenty went to the 'End of the Pier Show' in Cromer for a night of entertainment.  Good fun and we gave a cheer when our group name was called out by the compere for the evening.  Very, very windy when we came out and nearly blown off the pier!!

So ends part 1  .......  watch this space

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Out and About

This week has been very busy.  After the heatwave that we experienced the week before when I did very little because it was so hot, the weather broke at the weekend, which was just as well because my younger son ran his 100th marathon, in pouring rain.  He was supported by his running friends who were brilliant, and because this run was made up of 5 laps of 5 miles many accompanied him on the final lap including my grandson.  I am so proud of them both.
My son in the white cap

Arriving at the finish, arm aloft

The cake!
His shirt!
We were all drenched by the end but luckily the sun came out in the afternoon and we started to dry out.

A few weeks ago I was asked to accompany someone to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham.   Now I don't usually go to this one but I decided to go so off we went from Northampton station on Friday morning.  A great many very fit young men on the platform and we realised they were on their way to Edgbaston where England were playing Australia in the Ashes.  However we got off before them 

and after walking round the stalls, where I was extremely frugal and only bought a pattern and some sewing machine needles, we looked at the competition quilts.  I took over 70 photos but I am not going to show them all and have just picked out a few.
 I loved this one based on the London Underground map and entitled 'Mind the Gap'.  It was Highly Commended..
What fun this one was - Dame of Australia - based on Dame Edna Everage and an Emu and made by an Australian.
Entitled 'Mary Simon Re-visited' this Baltimore quilt I found stunning.  It is hand quilted and hand appliqued.

Finally (I have not subjected you to too many photos), I was pleased that there were juniors exhibiting because I think it is so important to pass on these sewing skills to the next generation.  I loved this one:-
'I Wore That When'
Second place in the Young Quilter/Embroiderer aged 10-13 years.  This young lady had minimal help and used recycled clothes and buttons.  She used hand and machine quilting.

A good exhibition in good company, so thank you for making me go!!

Sock club was yesterday and I have finished my 'cable' socks that are the current project.  However they will be going off to Yarndale for the Sock Line, with my patchwork socks.
Patchwork socks

Cable socks
I have now started a new pair of socks for a friend, but what will be our next project?

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Crafty at last!!

With June such a busy month at Chester Farm, I have been glad of some time to just sit and finish off a few items and pick up a few UFOs and generally relax.

The first item that I was determined to complete and has been around for 18 months was my Attic24 Woodland blanket.  I was given the pack as a Christmas present in 2017 so my sons will be pleased to see it finished at last.

I have loved making it but I must admit that when I was down to my last few rows I found it was like reading a good book: I didn't want it to end but just go on and on......!  However what to do next?

Well this was a no-brainer because sometime ago I started a High Tea crocheted fusion quilt, using my Mini Mania squares.  

Three down and about 15 to go but as they are all different sizes I am going to have to think outside the box for joining them up so that will be a challenge.

My monthly smocking group still meet and I am currently working on a cover for the Lever Arch file that holds my patterns.  This is picture smocking and I have found it extremely difficult and has certainly stretched me.

These are going to be Bay Trees in blue pots so still some way to go - next will be the tree trunks before I have to do the background.  The pleats must be held together either with smocking on the wrong side (back smocking) or on the front and so that is what I have decided to do.  Something light, easy and quick before I have to complete some Christmas baubles.

Sock club has continued at Purlwise and our latest challenge is to make a pair using proper cables with a cable needle.  Isn't that lucky because I am completing this pair
which is from a Debbie Bliss pattern though the wool is the WI yarn from Hobbycraft.  These are going off to Yarndale for Winwick Mum's sock line for charity along with my Patchwork Socks that I wrote about here.  I have until September but am working on them everyday.

Once again Higham Piecemakers are going to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October but unfortunately I have a previous engagement.  However I did go last year and bought a couple of bag patterns as I thought Piecemakers might like to have a go at this one on an 'All day' session.  
I thought this was interesting because of the woven panel on the front.  I have made it in denim though any fabric heavier than a quilting fabric will do.  I am very pleased how it has worked out and providing the strips for the weaving are cut out beforehand it should be finished in a day.  Note: this is a copyright pattern and I will not be printing it off however if any group members who read my blog want to pay for it that is up to them.

Right that is all so I shall settle down to work on one of my WIPs as I channel hop between the Men's Tennis Final at Wimbledon and the World Cup Cricket Final.  Oh it's a hard life!!!!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Day dreaming on my bike

As my regular readers will know I have an e-bike (electric bike) that I try and ride at least once a week in the summer.  Now the weather is fine I cycle to Higham Piecemakers with my panniers on the side stuffed with what I shall need and think, virtuously, that I am taking up one less car parking space!  It has been helped by having my local 'Greenway' extended almost to the hall, so little cycling on a busy main road, but going home about 4.00pm there are always small groups of school children wandering home completely oblivious to what is going on around them, and when I ring my bell usually make some remark like 'Love the bike' in a sarcastic manner, to which I always reply 'So do I'.  I'll show 'em!!

Anyway after  a party yesterday I decided to get up early and go for a cycle ride this morning.  Well I didn't get up early as planned as my bed beckoned, but I did get out later in the morning and I pottered off.  The villages I passed through or by were having/or had had fêtes that are a very common thing at this time of the year.
Sign behind says 'Cluck Off'!!

Local people are trying to fight having a huge number of chicken sheds being built near their houses.  I don't blame them as the smell and flies + the lorries going in and out would be appalling.  The roads are narrow country lanes. quite suitable for biking but not lorries.

I thought how typical this is in the UK - every village trying to raise money for charity, their church, their church hall etc.  I passed the garden that was open and was quite tempted to stop because there were refreshments! 

Carrying on from my last post about Chester Farm and the awful weather we had, by the middle of week 2 things were improving and so they lifted all the pots from the ditch.
 These two photos show the very large pot, probably used for storage.  The pitting on the outside was deliberate as something (I can't remember what!) was laid on the outside before it was fired and the pitting was the result.  The egg tray is large about 12" square so gives some indication of the size and the pot was very heavy.

 Some very decorative pots above with an indication of size by my finger.  It is on occasions like this I wish I had more than one pair of hands!!
 The photo above is the rim of a vessel painted with this simple pattern and I was told it is 'Rushden ware' so locally made.
A collection of pottery pieces all washed and ready for bagging.  I get great pleasure handling these items that are about 2,000 years old and I am probably only the 2nd person to handle them since then - the 1st being the finder.

A Roman floor tile.

 A Roman coin ( one of many found on the site) though I cannot remember who this was.  Apologies for the blurring of the head.

And finally, a really rare find - Roman glass, from the neck of of a glass vessel.  Apparently, as now, broken glass was often re-cycled.

I decided to go on one of the tours that were arranged whilst the dig was going on and though I didn't learn anything new it was still interesting.
 Our archaeologist on the right with the newly renovated farmhouse in the background.

The dig going on in the Orchard, which as it was a Saturday were minus the students as it was the weekend.  The archaeologist's arm on the right pointing out burial sites and 20 more inhumations were found by the end of the third and final week.

Nothing to report on the craft side at the moment as I am trying to finish many different projects, whether crochet, sewing or knitting as I have so many different projects on the go and they MUST get finished.  However the sunny weather and the garden do beckon and I love being outside.