Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Our last day in Norfolk

The Friday dawned quite a nice day. The election as to whether Britain should stay in the EU had taken place the day before. We were fed up with the TV coverage, we had had a postal vote as our holiday had been booked for so long. All over Norfolk we had seen 'vote leave' posters, except in Norwich where there was one small 'vote remain.'
The night before the BBC news was reporting that it was mostly likely that the vote would go to the 'remain' side, although they had stressed no results were in. I couldn't be bothered to stay up and watch. That morning, I was determined not to turn the TV on. I opened my computer, and decided to go on facebook. After a few minutes my eyes strayed to the 'trending' bar, and I saw that Britain had voted to leave, the EU. After all the hype of the previous evening I was really surprised by this.
What surprised me even more though, was the vitriol, the hatred, the vile comments directed towards those who had voted out. The people behaving like toddlers stamping their feet and saying 'No!', demanding second referendums even. Whatever happened to democracy?
We had decided in view of the weather we had been having that we would use the last Friday as a day of packing up, taking our time, and we would leave on the Friday afternoon as we do when we leave Cornwall. We were near enough to home to not have to worry about a long journey. Our one consolation was that most of the country had suffered the same weather as us.
Husband said he wanted to walk to the church again, and this time go inside if possible. So we planned to walk into the village, and call in at the baker's for a sandwich for lunch. That was until we walked past the fish and chip shop. The smell was quite good. So we went to the church had a good look round, husband reminisced, and he hunted everywhere for the memorial plaque to Pocahontas. or Mrs John Rolfe of Heacham to give her her proper title.
He was unable to find the plaque, but as I wandered into a side chapel, I discovered it. Satisfied, we made our way back out of the church. As we walked along I reasoned that if we bought sandwiches, I would have to cook a meal that evening, not knowing when we would arrive home; but if we had a take away from the chip shop, then we would only need a light meal, so we joined the small queue, and came out with cod and chips for him and fish cake for me.
Back at the cottage, once we had eaten our meal, we began the packing and tidying in earnest. We had already packed most of the clothes the evening before. We loaded up the car, loaded up the bikes, I returned all the keys to their hooks, and got the spare key out of the key safe and locked up.
Soon we were on our way, calling in at the big Sainsbury's at King's Lynn, but all there were no tutus or practice ballet skirts left in Lydia's size.
I rang the owner to say that the cottage would be empty overnight, we drove along past rivers and fens, such a flat landscape, ideal for cycling, but in much better weather than we had had! The GPS refused to work, and husband took a wrong turning, which almost led us back to Kings Lynn. I dug out the map, and guided him to the correct route. Sometimes the old methods are the best.
We stopped on the way for a drink and snack, and made it home in a reasonable time. Back to an overgrown garden, but the lack of ripe fruit testament to the lack of sunshine at home too. Still husband had his wish, and now knows his memories of Norfolk are not always accurate. Distance lends enchantment.
Husband's old boarding house

row of cottages

St Mary's church

Pocahontas memorial

Sunday, 18 September 2016

We didn't meet the man in the moon.

On the Wednesday, face with uncertain weather again, we decide to explore Norwich. As usual it took us a good while to get there, and our first attempt at parking was foiled as the car park we chose was no longer in use. I was glad as it was a dodgy looking area, with loads of graffiti. Eventually we found a better car park, and made our way into the town centre.
We walked up a hill, and found ourselves beside a department store Jarrolds, which had a cafe in the basement.  We had lunch, then had a wander through the store. We found the toy department, and found an insect viewer, ideal for Nathaniel, too go with the ISpy book which husband had found.
the we had a good wander around the nearby market, and up and down the streets we found the castle, but didn't go in, and were trying to find the cathedral. Every time we found signs to it, the signs petered out. Eventually we gave up as husband reckoned it was down a hill. I said 'It will be uphill on the way back', and as we were feeling tired, we had been in one shopping centre,and were unable to find an exit, so had to hike all the way back to the entrance.
I found Debenham's and John Lewis, but we didn't go in, I just went in M&S and bought more trousers. We found the car park, and set of for Heacham again. When I came to check my camera, I found there was no card in it, as I'd had it out to look at pictures, so I have no pictures of Norwich to show.
The Thursday was dull again, so late in the morning we set off to visit Houghton hall, which is quite close to Sandringham. It was a muggy day, we were glad to sit outside the cafe eating lunch, the chairs were comfy and the view so pleasant that we could have sat there all afternoon.
Eventually we made our way to the house, which is now owned by the Cholmondleys from Cheshire.
there were lots of flowers on tables in the entrance, and we were told that the Duchess of Cambridge had hosted a dinner there in aid of her hospice charity, the previous evening. They were giving away the flowers used for decorations, to visitors.
We toured the open rooms of the house, then I took some flowers, donations to the charity were optional. Then we toured the grounds, looking at the modern sculptures, which didn't impress us really. The walled garden was a delight, but it was such a cloudy muggy day that we got pretty tired out. So we went back to the car,and drove back to Heacham, via a village that husband used to cycle round as a teenager.
Houghton hall

Fireplace in main hall where Duchess hosted her dinner

old dining room
setting off to view the sculptures
My flowers from the Duchess's dinner
In the Walled garden

Sweet peas

fire and water 'sculpture'

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Hooray! It's a sunny day!

On the second Tuesday of our holiday, we woke up to a bright day. We decided that as the forecast was good, we would go for a bike ride along the coast to Hunstanton. So off we set. The part of the road that was full of potholes was a real pain, in more ways than one. Of course there had been so much rain that the potholes were all full, but we managed not to fall off.
Eventually the road got smoother, and we arrived in Hunstanton. Then we had to find somewhere to leave the bikes whilst we explored.
There were plenty of car parks and motor cycle spaces, but no cycle racks. We were on our way up to the tourist information centre, when we spotted a rack outside. Husband went in and checked, and they said yes it was ok, no restrictions, so we fastened the bikes securely, and hoped they would be ok. Some of the bars were actually bent where motorists had reversed into them!
We had a good look around the shops, and then looked for somewhere to have lunch. I fancied a crab sandwich, so that narrowed it down a bit. Eventually we found somewhere that looked nice, so went in. we ordered our sandwiches, got our coffee and waited. We were disappointed when a couple who came in after us got their food before us, but they appeared to be friends of the young waitress.
I have to say that when the food did arrive it was disappointing, especially as we had waited so long for it.
We paid up, left, and went our separate ways as husband wanted to walk up to the Sainsbo's. I asked him to get me a Telegraph, and I wandered around, enjoying the sunshine, I felt like buying an ice cream, and got a pistachio one, but after a couple of licks, I started with griping tummy pains again.
I struggled the to eat the ice cream,as I no longer felt hungry, then I rang husband and asked if he could see a pharmacy, he said he could so I asked him to get me some Imodium, my consultant had recommended it. I followed the signs for public toilets, but the signs petered out, so I hiked back to the promenade where I had seen some the previous week. Then I returned to the 'square',and sat on a bench waiting for husband to reappear from his exploring. It was pleasant sitting in the sun, I was amazed at how shallow the Wash is, the tide was out, and sandbanks had appeared.
I idly wondered exactly where King John had dropped the crown jewels, and whether they could be found with a metal detector. Husband reappeared and I dosed myself up with Imodium. We sat for a while people watching, then looked at the sky,and decided that the clouds were gathering, so unlocked the bikes, and headed for the 'road' back to Heacham. The potholed stretch seemed shorter, but was still pretty unpleasant. back at the cottage, we put the bikes in the garage, and I headed straight up the stairs to cool off in the shower. Husband thought it was a good idea, and he cooled off after I'd finished.
Sure enough, it poured down later again, so we were pleased we had made the most of our sunniest day.

Looking over the Wash 
Broken cross