Happy Easter 2021

Happy Easter.  

I’m a little late but I’ve been having a few WordPress issues.

For some reason I couldn’t edit posts in the usual way.  I’m writing this post as a test, though I really hope it works!  I think I’ve found a work around.

So, I’m linking into the weekly prompts weekend colour challenge too and hope that works too!

Today, Tuesday 6th April 2021 we’ve had snow, hail and strong winds.  Our poor primroses are suffering.

  

https://weeklyprompts.com/2021/04/03/weekly-prompts-colour-challenge-easter-yellow/

I shall wear purple

There’s a poem called ‘Warning’ by a British poet Jenny Joseph that became her best known work.  It’s a funny poem about getting old and wearing purple clothes.  Seems to me that I am heading (maybe already arrived!) that way with my walking clothes in particular but also walking accessories.  

Socks

Purple walking socks

Fleece

Bird watching along the river Thurne, Norfolk

Hat and jacket

Norwich Cathedral at night

The hat I’m wearing was a long time favourite.  It was woolly and peaked but starting to look a bit tatty.  I lost that hat on a trip to the supermarket just before Christmas as it fell from my lap as I got out of the car in the car park.  I only missed it once I was back home and then quickly returned to find it had been picked up and placed near the entrance.  However someone else must have taken a liking to it as it had disappeared.  I’m still sad about that.  Isn’t it funny how you can get so attached to something like that.

I’m fairly sure this purple thing has come with age.  Or maybe I’m just getting in touch with my birth stone colour (amethyst)? 

Thanks to Sue and GC for this challenge. 

Weekly Prompts Colour Challenge – Purple

 

 

 

Legal eating out in lockdown

2021 birthday picnic

I took the day off work and had a birthday lunch picnic this week.

Tim and I walked up the coast through a snow covered landscape, stopping for leek & potato soup and a ham sandwich in the dunes. It was wonderful. A few days of snowy weather has transformed Norfolk into a winter wonderland.

Some people (probably most people) would think we were a bit mad to want to sit out in all weathers eating.  Most people would prefer to eat pub food and drink.  But for us it’s quite normal, adds to a walk and is very convenient.  It means we can pick a time and place that feels best.  A packed lunch is better than a packed pub ….though of course there isn’t a choice at the moment!

Out of our packs we pull our faithful sandwich boxes and drink bottles. In winter we also have thermos flasks or even a camp stove to heat water but these are relative newcomers to our packs. It’s the same plastic boxes and drinks bottles that have been around for about 20 years or more.

So we celebrated this week with alfresco food & drink and we thank our plastic friends who have travelled with us on just about every walk we do, never letting us down.  

All of the following photos include our picnic boxes and/or bottles.

A quick drink before it snows again!

A very comfortable tree picnic

Somewhere along the south west coast path picnic with a view

A mountain top picnic

A cliff top boat filming picnic

Forest walk bench picnic

An inversion in the Lake District drink

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Plastic

Green green grass of home

This weekend it’s hard to think of green.  We are being blasted with gales and storms with snow, hail and sleet – from the east.  This weather is coming from the east to us on the east coast of the U.K. and is always coldest – we haven’t ventured far these last two days.  Not that we can go too far anyway being in the midst of lockdown.

So thanks to Sue and GC for their weekend challenge it has been a joy to scroll through my photos for ‘green’ themed shots.  Here are a few photos taken during sunny spring and summer days, something to look forward to.

A view of the marsh near Minsmere, Suffolk

Somewhere along the south west coast path in Devon

East Ruston Gardens, Norfolk

Growing our greens in our garden

 

Weekly Prompts Colour Challenge – Greenery

 

A deer close encounter – our paths crossed

At this time of the year, to avoid slipping and squelching along muddy paths, we often head to the beach.  Luckily we can still enjoy our bracing winter walks and sea air in these lockdown days as we live only a mile away.  I haven’t actually looked it up but I’m sure it’s classed as a local walk.

Sunday 17th January 2021

There were some people way ahead of us in the distance walking along the shore and then there was this animal.  A dog maybe?  Their pet?  It wasn’t far behind them but looking out to sea.  We stopped and squinted and then, to our amazement, realised it was a small deer. 

A deer on the shore

We walked on after seeing it take a direct line to the dunes.  Then it ran back again, to the sea.  Then it returned to the dune, skipping, almost playfully. What on earth was it doing and why was it here?

At the spot where we had seen it we stopped and checked the tracks. Definitely deer.  We crossed many tracks close together.

Deer tracks

I decided to crouch down while Tim walked on and within seconds it appeared. Heading straight to me I could not believe my eyes.  It broke into a trot, ears up, looking at me as if it recognised me. My camera was ready and so was I – I took about six photos as it got closer and closer.  

A deer heading my way

When it got within 10 feet it slowed and I held my breath.  I was looking at a wild animal and I was frightened.  Hard to believe now but it was such a strange experience it unnerved me.  I gradually stood up – really slowly.  The deer stopped, turned and ran.

My last photo before I got scared and stood up

This was a fully grown (probably female Muntjac Deer.  A non native deer species about the size of a large dog.  They are slightly hunched in appearance.  Generally timid they live in shrubbery and woodlands, that sort of area – not on the beach.   I won’t forget crossing paths with that animal.

If anyone can tell me why this animal behaved in this way I would love to know.

 

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Path

 

 

Early to rise to catch the sun rise

I have never been a good morning person.  I haven’t really been an evening person either so what can I make of that?  I have a tendency to be a bit lazy.

My serious personality had me frowning and grumbling and dragging myself out of bed from as far back as I can remember.  I used to run to school and drive swiftly to work because I’d left myself just enough time to get to where I needed to be.

My Tim, on the other hand, positively bounces out of bed whistling.  A plan to get up before 7am used to have me raising my eyebrows in our early days.  I used to say ‘what, you mean leave before tea and breakfast?’.

As the years have passed I have learnt to love the early hours.  Our weekends, holidays and walks together changed my ways, though it’s still best to not expect too much from me til I’ve had my breakfast.

Just this week I noticed a warm red glow though the bathroom window whilst getting ready for work.  I rushed out mid-way through brushing teeth to grab my camera and, in dressing gown and slippers and wet hair, went out into the garden to stand on a chair and photograph the sky.  

Some things are worth it.

Sunrise over the garden wall

Oh and since our first lockdown in March 2020 I have been making earlier starts for work as I have been working from home and don’t need to travel so I am quite proud of that.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Morning

 

 

 

A local walk from the door (again)

The sun was shining and we decided to stop and sit below a row of Alder trees in a meadow surrounded by boggy grass and ice covered waterways.  Such a silent peaceful spot you could almost forget about all the bad and sad news.

‘Right, pass the hand sanitiser’, said Tim. ‘Oh, have I got it?’ I asked.

‘Yes, in your pack’, Tim replied.  ‘Ah yes, here it is’ I said, after a quick rummage.  ‘Just under my emergency (just in case) face mask.’

We have a constant reminder of how things are, no matter where we are!

Better safe than sorry. Always use a sanitiser if you are not able to wash them.

We are now restricted to local walks.  Once again our village is full of strollers of all shapes and dog walkers of all sizes and we do our best to avoid them! Keeping our distance, dodging into people’s driveways if necessary and sidestepping into roads – it’s a dangerous game out there.

Last weekend we ventured to our neighbouring village Hemsby.  And I know we shouldn’t actually have done this but I feel that crossing fields and meadows puts no risk to anyone.

Saturday 9th January 2021 – Ormesby St Margaret, Norfolk

On foot, from our home, from our village and back.

Five minutes from the front door a footpath runs out to a small wood and fields beyond.  It starts alongside Station House on Station Road.

Station House, Ormesby

From 1877 trains ran from the Midlands bringing holidaymakers and day trippers to the Norfolk Coastline.  The station of Great Ormesby (as our village used to be called) was one stop away from the beach.  Unfortunately it really wasn’t profitable enough and closed in 1959, as did the whole line.

Remnants of that past life still exist, as the photo above shows, and around the back there is a ‘hidden’ platform, surrounded by garden. It’s certainly a unique place to live and we always stare at it as we go past and think about what we would do to the place if it were ours.

From here we passed through the wood and onto a footpath running next to fields.  The sharp frost of the night before meant muddy pathways were icy and crisp.

How did this sheet of ice end up sticking up like this?

This lane had to be walked along with some care.

An icy back lane

There are three large arable fields are between us and our nearest neighbouring village to the north.  The fields were all muddy and bare having hard their crops harvested but as we got close to Hemsby we passed a small flock of nervous sheep huddled together on their grassy patch. I assumed they were worried about something but it’s hard to tell how sheep are feeling – their expressions don’t give much away!

Sheep near Hemsby

Hemsby is a good sized seaside village with holiday makers increasing the general feel of the place in the summer months.  The true centre of the village is about a mile inland which is where we headed, to the parish church.

The church from the pavement

Medieval churches still stand in almost every village in Norfolk and Hemsby is no different. We decided to stroll slowly through the churchyard and around the 14th century St Mary’s, reading some of the headstones. 

In the land where there were newer graves Christmas decorations had been placed with flowers at several headstones. There were two people paying their respects.

Out on the street and we could see a small masked queue outside the local pharmacy. Swiftly we went through the quiet village to the footpath leading through marshy meadows.  

Often there’s an element of extra excitement here with grazing and nosey cattle but not this time.  Perhaps they’d all fallen in the dykes?

Note on a gate

Half way across the meadows we found a dry sheltered spot to sit and really enjoy the warm winter sun. And get the hand sanitiser out.  Joking aside, it is always important to clean your hands – and we had pushed open two gateways along our route.

After a little bit of fun with the cameras we headed for home.

Reflecting in a reflection

We crunched our way across surprisingly still frozen grass to a lane to exit the meadows.  Farmland on either side looked flooded and roaming quacking ducks enjoyed a bit more swimming space. 

A glimpse of Ormesby Broad makes us pause every time we go along this lane.  From where we stood the end of the broad was still frozen.

The closest we can get to Ormesby Broad

A little way along from here we spotted a deer but it was too far away to photograph.  Then we passed two stray sheep.  Where had they escaped from?  Perhaps the small holding behind them or a farm?  They were brave looking and too busy eating to worry about.

Oh, hello you two

We are perfectly happy thank you

We were home in 15 minutes from here.  It’s a 7 mile walk that we will probably repeat more than once over the next month or so.

 

Snowdonia mini-break part 2 – Happy next to water

This is a second post about a 4 day last minute break to Snowdonia, North Wales in September.  In any normal year we would have taken a two week holiday at this time but this has not been a normal year has it?  

The 4 days were probably the best we’ve experienced in this part of the world.  Maybe that was because we were just so grateful to have time away, in the mountains and in good weather.  It’s fair to say we were in our happy place.

If you’d like to check out Part 1 please click on the link below.  Part 1 describes a mountain adventure. 

Snowdonia mini-break Part 1 – Crib Goch (Red Ridge)

The following describes watery lower level places :- 

14th to 18th September 2020

‘But this sign seems to say that we shouldn’t go down there’ I said quietly reading the words.  No response from Tim.  He was crouched down and getting through a gap in the wall behind me.  Then, seconds later, he’d stretched his legs down to the river boulders below.

It’s a sign

Sometimes I wonder whether Tim, who is becoming a little bit deaf, really can’t hear me or whether he’s ignoring me.  No he hasn’t ignored me (well not this time!) its the thunderous ‘dangerous current’ that he is now much closer to which is drowning my quiet voice!

Oh well, nothing for it, I followed him down.

Close to our picnic spot amongst the boulders

Snowdonia has some impressive spots.  For a few years we were peak bagging the mountains over 3,000 feet in this area of North Wales.  Getting up to these 14 summits was challenging as was pronouncing their names.  Names such as the tongue twisting Garnedd Uchaf and Elidir Fawr.  But once bagged we moved onto other challenges, elsewhere.

This post is a part 2 of our short stay back in September 2020 – when we managed a 4 day escape from our Covid world.   Its about a couple of wonderful places and some impressive waterways missed on previous visits.

Conwy Falls

On our 4 day break this was our first real stop since leaving home at 5am some six hours earlier. Park at the Conwy Falls Cafe on the road into Betws-y-Coed and follow the route suggested on the board around the back of the building.  Just watch your step on the stone stairway.  You can hear the falls before seeing it.

Here are just a couple of photos from where the warning sign (mentioned above) is positioned.  The lower riverside level is probably best avoided or attempted unless you are irresponsible have decent walking boots and are without small children.

The safest viewing spot of the falls

Always a thrill when you see a waterfall like this

Beddgelert

A lovely village to visit, have a wander and eat an ice cream. 

When I first started writing this post (in October) it was impossible to travel in and to Wales from England. The Welsh Government set this up as an effort to slow the spread and protect the elderly and vulnerable from Covid-19 – we got to have our visit just before that time.  Various parts of the country now have different rules and its best to find out what you can do, where, before travelling.  This will be the story of our lives until the vaccination programmes kick in.

When we were there we witnessed good hygiene almost everywhere, including at our wonderful b&b.  However we avoided cafes, pubs and restaurants simply because, as middle aged folk with elderly parents, we have to be sensible, protect ourselves, them and our population in general. We enjoyed picnic lunches and dinners everyday.

Back to the lovely place called Beddgelert.  Folklore associates Beddgelert village with a faithful dog called Gelert but is more likely to be linked to an 8th century missionary called Celert.  Either way it’s an old settlement in a very beautiful spot, in a junction of two large rivers surrounded by high mountains.

Unfortunately rivers do occasionally flood and when we were there we saw signs on a few buildings telling visitors that they were closed and still recovering from recent summer floods.

Shop with a carved bench closed due to flooding

Rainbow sign

I love old stone bridges and can’t take enough photographs of them.  This bridge handles all the road traffic going through the village.  It’s tricky to stand on it and admire it without causing an accident unless you can make it to the bay’s as Tim is doing in the second photo below.

Tim on the bridge at Beddgelert

Then we decided to take a chance and buy an ice cream.  We had watched to see how this shop dealt with the whole process of ordering, paying for and delivering ice creams and thought it was worth the risk.  This may sound ridiculous but, as mentioned above, we are being careful.

By the way, this shop sells the best ice creams – anywhere.  And I have tasted a few.

Ice creams at Beddgelert

Glaslyn River and Aberglaslyn Gorge

The river Glaslyn flows away from Beddgelert and within a short walk alongside it you reach the small path that leads through the gorge.  We visited twice – once as part of a 7 mile walk and again on another day because we loved it so much.  Here are just a couple of photos.

The river and gorge taken from the bridge – Pont Aberglaslyn

The path is relatively flat near Beddgelert

Then it has a few tricky bits where wooden boardwalks have been placed or metal hand holds put into the rock. This might be a bit hairy when the river is full.

We saw people turn around at this point

Hang onto the metal hand holds if need be

It was so nice we had our picnic on the rocks.

Picnic lunch on the river

 Pont-y-Pair Bridge, Betws-y-Coed

Walk along through Betws-y-Coed passing the church and small shops you reach an impressive ancient stone bridge crossing the River Llugwy. Originally built in 1500s for pack horses it was later enlarged for more traffic.  That’s such a shame because it’s so busy now you are likely to be run over just taking a photo from it.  

Even though it is such a magnet for visitors and impossible to find a quiet spot anywhere near it we perched ourselves on the rocks below and, in the warm afternoon sun, dozed off.  Never before have I dropped off in such a spot and on rocks too, I must be getting old.  By the time we came to it was tea time and we almost had the place to ourselves.  With only the sound of water moving over rock we took to scrambling about like a couple of kids.

Tim near the bridge

Pont-y-Pair with no one in sight

My recommendation is to visit early or late in the day and walk up stream to Swallow Falls.  It’s a real treat.

Finally here is an image taken from a bridge at the start of a walk.  It’s a view of the river Glaslyn close to the Sygun Copper Mine, near Beddgelert.  A great view at the  start/end of any walk. 

Hope this encourages anyone reading this to visit Snowdonia and North Wales.  It doesn’t always rain and when the sun shines is quite beautiful.

 

Linked to Weekly Prompts challlenge ‘Happy’ – thanks to Sue and GC

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Happy

The Lake District in Autumn – 2020

Just enjoying a few days in the Lake District.  It’s a long seven hour drive from home but worth it.

We never take a break in October but this year, well this year it’s different. We have been so lucky to see as much colour as we have as the wind and rain can shorten the time of these wonderful displays.

 

 

Linked to the Weekly Pormpts Wednesday Challenge. Thanks GC and SueW.

 

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge – Autumn Strolls