Pub outings just aren’t the same these days

Robin Hood pub outing to Great Yarmouth

I’ve just been sent this photo from the Walsingham History Society. Looks like an outing to Great Yarmouth from the Robin Hood Inn, late ‘40s or early ‘50s maybe?

I’m loving the smiles and eager expectation of a joyous day, and the evident care taken to be sure they look their very best. Gentler times with simpler pleasures. Looking at this, I’d be happy to join them.

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Sparrow Hawk in the Kitchen

Sparrow Hawk visits Walsingham kitchen

Can you believe our extraordinary wildlife encounter today?

A glorious sunny spring day, and as I walked from the garden into the courtyard I saw a bird swoop purposefully into the kitchen. Our black lab Izzy was instantly on the alert, but since enthusiastic barking was unlikely to soothe our visitor, I locked the dog in the garden, asked the kids to stay back, and stepped inside.

First thing I saw was a blackbird tucked into the farthest corner… Continue reading

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Stable Cottage is ready!

Stable CottageIt has taken just over four months of intensive work, but at last a beautiful cottage has emerged from the old stable. It is full of character, it’s light and airy, its lovely and warm, and we are absolutely thrilled.

John is just finishing the decoration, waxing wooden floors with huge energy and planting out the courtyard. This weekend we will get the furniture in and enjoy all those finishing touches that really make a home. And then we’ll be ready.

May the bookings roll in!

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Pancakes for tea

At last, the fine spring weather we all crave, with genuine warmth in the sun. The children are gleefully discarding winter coats and actually volunteering to walk the dog.

After a good beach tramp, we were tempted by pancakes aboard the Albatros at Wells-next-the-Sea – couldn’t be bettered!

The Albatros at Wells

 

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Izzy amid the sun-kissed snowdrops

Izzy in the snowdropsA profusion of snowdrops still spreads across the woodland glades of Walsingham Abbey grounds.

Folk come from miles away to see the spectacle – a true harbinger of spring right here on our doorstep. Here is a playful Izzy, enjoying the display.

 

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Communing with the tigers at Thrigby Hall

A hectic half term with Felix doing his first solo trip to London and our first B&B guests. On Wednesday it was beautifully sunny so we headed east towards Yarmouth to visit Thrigby Hall wildlife gardens.

This is a delightful place, small in scale so it’s easy to do in an afternoon. Wonderful collection of big cats, including an elevated walk across the tiger enclosure so you look down on them – just like when John and I spent the day in a hide up a tall sal tree in Corbett National park in India, perched precariously above a water hole visited by wild tigers and elephants.

Thrigby Hall, Norfolk

It’s a thrilling way to view them. Most of the walkways are open, with caging only where the tiger comes up to sit on a platform. I love this photo of Jess – looks like she’s in the cage and the tiger has come to see her!

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Sunlight stirs in Little Snoring

A delicate winter sun crosses the graveyard at Little Snoring church, mysterious and beautiful, with its round tower standing detached from the rest of the church, topped by a little 18th century conical cap.

The church sits next to what was a WWII air base used by British fighter aircraft, mainly spitfires and hurricanes. St Andrew is still a place of pilgrimage for those who flew from there and for those who remember them. Large boards up at the back record hits on German aircraft and awards received by the airmen.

Little Snoring Church, Norfolk

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You don’t see that very often

 

The beach at Wells covered in snowHow far away does the heat of summer seem now? Here are the beach huts at Wells-next-the-Sea, huddled in the silence of snow drifts and bereft of people in an Arctic landscape.

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Hare in his element

John and Izzy (our beautiful black labrador) caught sight of this lonesome hare as they walked the Holy Mile this afternoon – a monarch surveys his kingdom.

We are so lucky to see so many hares here. They are the most glorious uplifting creatures.

A hare in the snow, Walsingham, Norfolk

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Magic of early snow

A Walsingham Winter SunsetA big snowfall today – the earliest in years. It seems that snow in winter is a given once again, just like I remember from childhood.

John caught the magic of sunset through the snow-covered trees of the Abbey Grounds as he walked the dog in the stillness of late afternoon. Utter perfection!

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