Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Two Go On Holiday With Lashings of Ginger Beer

Well, here we are. Deep in the North-East Norfolk country, on Day 4 of our holiday. Heather et pals are chez nous, house/cat/hen/plant sitting (that was for the benefit of any burglars reading, and our insurance company). And this is what we have done so far...

1) visited two National Trust houses - Blickling Hall (excellent second had book shop, and a textile exhibition that as inspired me to have a go at doing something textiley) and Fellbrigg Hall which has THE most amazing walled garden I have ever seen. Plus all the associated Jacobean history of intrigue, plotting and extravagant ceilings, tapestries and bed-hangings.

2) driven along the coast from Cromer to Cley, in a sad attempt to locate what appears to be the only vegetarian eatery in the whole of North Norfolk. We failed. We have also failed to find a decent-sized supermarket despite being sure we spotted a single Sainsbugs lorry about three days ago. So we have been dancing from one teeny food shop to another buying odds and sods here and there and eating some very strange food combinations on picnics and in the evening.

3) racked up an amazing list of 'Animals We Have Spotted' including: hares, hens, hundreds of teeny-tiny froglets making their hazardous way from a wood to a lake, a hedgehog that turned out to be a pheasant, a bat (unfortunately deceased), sheep, horses and goats, and many, many cows which could explain why North Norfolk doesn't entertain weirdo vegetarians, because it has an awful lot of beef to get through. Also, gazillions of butterflies, dragonflies and birds. And a very cute scruffy sort-of -terrier called Elka who is, like us, also on holiday with the people who look after the cottage in which we are staying.

4) visited some odd little towns full of odd little shops (no supermarkets or branches of chain stores), locals who care nothing about how traffic works and who appear to have an average age of 87, and teeny, twisty, narrow streets where you wouldn't want to be three different bus drivers driving three different buses meeting a lorry and a big van coming the other way, like they did yesterday in Aylsham. Better than any TV programme, I can tell you. And no beeping horns or lost tempers. They must be used to it...

5) lots of walking, which is good as it is, in some small way, counteracting some of the effect of the vast amounts of National Trust cake we are consuming.

I have also got a little sunburned, but only in a mildly pink way and not in a raw, blistering way, and Andy has cracked his head a few times on the various low and wonky ceilings in our 300 year old cottage. Actually, it is part of a manor house. It has beams and uppy-downy floors, twisty narrow staircases and an odd collection of furniture in what I believe interior designers call the 'distressed' style which means I want to get out the sandpaper and a paintbrush and give it a jolly good tidy up. But it is a lovely cottage, nonetheless, and so very, very, very quiet. Rush hour consists of two cars and a bunch of house martins nesting under the eaves. And we have our own, private walled garden. Noisy bees, though. 

And today we are off to the Norfolk Lavender Farm. It's about an hour's drive away, but the countryside is so lovely in these parts that there is always something to look at, like cows for example, and surprising dog-leg bends in the road to keep one alert. 

Lavender Day it is then! By this evening I shall be in an even more docile haze than I am now!


Vera said...

Sounds lovely. Hope you continue to enjoy your holiday, and that it gives you a nice rest.

doodles n daydreams said...

Lucky you, summer has finally arrived. Enjoy your holiday, it sounds like fun.


Countryside Tales said...

How does a person confuse a hedgehog with a pheasant? I'm now seriously doubting all your other animal sight-seeing claims, and I'm even wondering about all those cows. You could be like that girl on the Apprentice who confused them with first sheep and then horses. Hope you have a lovely week in Norfolk (or did you mean Suffolk?) x

MissTeacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rusty duck said...

CT beat me to the obvious question..
Lack of suitable nourishment can, of course, lead to delusions. If I hear about the hijacking of a Sainsbury's lorry in Norfolk fear not, your secret will be safe with me.

Denise said...

Hi Vera! Thanks, it is lovely and we are enjoying the peace and quiet. It is soooooo quiet....listen....can you hear that? No, neither can we!

Thanks, Diana. It is certainly very, very sunny here, and hot, too.

Now, look CT and Jessica...in my defence, when I was wildlife spotting it was 6 in the morning AND I wasn't wearing my glasses AND I was three floors up hanging from an attic bedroom window. AND as soon as I saw its tail I thought, 'That ain't an 'edge 'og. That's a pheasant.'

You can't mooooooove for cows here (ahahahahahaha!) and we actually found a Sainsbugs in Hunstanton today, but couldn't be a**sed to go in it. Bought stuff from the Lavender Farm farmshop instead. Supporting local economy, don't you know. Aren't we good?!

Countryside Tales said...

I didn't know you could eat Lavender, or is that a vegetarian thing?

Denise said...

Indeed you can eat lavender. Best to use the round headed augustiflora stuff in cooking as the long headed pointy stuff can taste a bit camphory which I suppose is okay if you've got a stuffy cold.

Luckily, the farmshop did mucho other stuff beyond lavender so we came away with cauliflower, broccoli and spinach soup and an Eccles cake for me, and a Norfolk pasty and egg, bacon and cheese quiche for Andy. Plus corn bread and focaccia. And some strawberries. And onion chutney, only don't tell my daughter because it is a present for her for looking after the animals and the plants!