Thursday 31 August 2017

Blanket Coverage

So here is part one of this year's UCF Tree Festival Project;

2017 Christmas Tree Project Instructions
This year’s tree requires knitted, not sewn decorations. Part 1 is very easy, and I hope even basic knitters will manage to produce some of these squares. Furthermore, after Christmas, all the squares will be recycled into blankets, for the Biggin Hill Romanian Trust, which is the Shoebox Charity we are supporting this year. So they will be on display to bless our community – and then sent overseas to bless others!

MATERIALS: A pair needles size 4mm [old UK size 8]  and some green double knitting wool.
NOTE: this can be almost ANY shade of green from pale eau de nil, through jade and emerald to olive or bottle green. But PLEASE do NOT use ‘fancy’ yarns [lurex, eyelash, fluffy, angora, etc] or fluorescent hi-viz  day-glo green shades.

k knit; kf&b knit into the front and back of the same stitch;  k2tog knit 2 stitches together
You are only using knit stitch never purl! You will be knitting a square – but on the diagonal.

XMAS SQUARE. (Knit Diagonally)
Using 4mm Knitting Needles. Cast on 1 stitch.
1st Row: kf&b. [2sts]
2nd Row: K1, kf&b. [3sts]
3rd Row: K1, kf&b, k1. [4sts]
Subsequent rows – K1, Kf&b, K to end of row.
REPEAT this increase row until the bottom sides of your triangle measure 4”/10cm
[measure carefully – it is the length of the sides, not the number of rows which matters]
Now do your decrease rows
K1, K2tog, K to end of row
Repeat this decrease row until you have 2sts on needle
Next row – K2 tog  [leaving 1 st]
Now cut the yarn and pull through that last stitch to fasten off
You should have a square with sides of 4”/10cm

A 25 gram ball of yarn should yield about 4 squares. We need about 450, so please make as many as you can! If you get stuck just ask me for help. There will be a second part to this project, which is for more able knitters – to be explained in September. Thanks again for your help with this  - Angela Almond                    ©AA/UCF/07/17

I am happy to say that I announced this at the end of July - I made quite a lot of squares on holiday - and came back to find dozens more waiting in the church office- we're about halfway there
The centre picture shows the squares I made on holiday arranged in a Xmas Tree Shape. Those 'white' squares are actually a very pale green.
Tomorrow I shall post some more pictures about this...

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Sunny Morning, Bright Knight, Dull Evening

So we began the day with a trip to the Eye Clinic- Bob has finally been 'signed off' and all is well with the retinal repair. We celebrated with  coffee at the nearby shopping centre. It was a beautiful sunny morning.Then home for lunch and pootling about. 
I had some parcels to get to the Post Office, and another to collect from the Hermes Agent at a local Petrol Station. I decided I should go on my bicycle.
Much excitement in the precinct - our newest Charity Shop had just opened. The Dorset Blind Association had moved into vacant premise, and when we left for our hols, they were starting to move stock onto shelves. And when I arrived, I found that inside were Sir Julian and Lady Fellowes [technically Kitchener-Fellowes - on marriage they each added the other's surname, so that the K's wouldn't die out. She is descended from Lord Kitchener, famous for the 'Your Country Needs You' posters]
Now I loved Gosford Park [2001], and Lord Kilwillie in Monarch of the Glen - and then Downton Abbey [2010-2015] so it was lovely to meet this chap in person.
He really is a pleasant bloke - "May I take your photo, please?" "You'll want to be in it too, won't you?" "I'm no good at selfies" "Oh, that's no problem, Emma will take the shot" And so E K-F stepped forward and took my phone. She took three pictures "Just in case- I'm no good either" she said, smiling. Actually, all three were fine!
Then on to the Post Office - with a 30 minute queue, and much muttering by the customers. I walked back to my bike beside a lady complaining about the heat. 
"Better than rain - think of those poor people in Texas" I said. She was concerned, she had just posted her grandson a birthday gift and was worried the floods in the USA might mean it didn't arrive. Further enquiries revealed said lad is in California. I said that was hundreds of of miles away and it would be OK. "I know nothing about the States- I always go to Canada for my holidays" she said. 
I rang Bob, told him I had been delayed and wondered if I should collect parcel later. He said I might as well do it, so I cycled up to the garage. Collected parcel, bought a Birds Trifle [reduced to 20p] and cycled home. Went to put bike away. NO HANDBAG!
We shot back in the car. Bag not in petrol station. Then I spotted it on the ground by the footpath into the woods. In the bag I found house keys, phone, knitting, and a box of trifle - but no purse. All my cards, and some cash etc disappeared.
Spent most of evening cancelling cards [one call to Card Protection People], ordering replacement loyalty cards etc, informing Police and DVLA ...what a hassle. But it is only "stuff" - and so many people in other places have lost everything recently. So I'm being positive and moving on.
I met Sir Julian, and discovered he is a lovely Fellow, and my own knight in shining armour has helped and encouraged me. Who steals my purse steals trash. Tis something, nothing,. Twas mine, tis his, and has been slave to thousands... 

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Chain Links

You are probably unfamiliar with the name Frigyes Karithy - but you may have heard of the theory of Six Degrees Of Separation. In 1929, this Hungarian wrote a play called Chains in which he propounds the idea that everyone in the world is six [or fewer] steps away from every other, and that we can all be connected if only we know the right 'friend of a friend' questions to ask. 
There's a trivia game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where people try and connect another actor to KB in 6 or fewer steps, by linking co-stars of successive films/adverts. KB himself has embraced the concept, and uses it in his EE telecom ads - and has even set up a charitable foundation called Six.Degrees.Org.
I decided to try and link two of my favourite actors [Gregory Peck and Martin Shaw] using the six degrees principle. It's enormous fun.
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favourite books
Gregory Peck is the wonderful Atticus Finch
One GP also stars in Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn
Two- AH is the eponymous star of My Fair Lady, along with Rex Harrison, and young Jeremy Brett, who plays her suitor, Freddie Eynsford Hill
Three- JB is the best ever [imho] Sherlock Holmes, and his excellent sidekick Dr Watson is played by David Burke
Four - DB is the husband of equally gifted actress Ann Calder Marshall [latterly in Midsomer Murders , Poirot, Dalziel and Pascoe...but a brilliant Cathv Earnshaw in the 1970 Wuthering Heights]
Five - ACM is the mother of actor Tom Burke
Five and a Half [totally unnecessary, but I needed an excuse to put in this picture] TB played Athos, leader of the Three Musketeers, in the recent BBC production. I really enjoyed this - even though it was a distance from the original Dumas novels. I was particularly fascinated by the costumes and attention to detail. The men in blue and coppery browns, the women in beautifully stitched dresses...
Six - TB is the new star of Strike. Cormoran Strike is the detective from the pen of Robert Galbraith [aka JK Rowling] and the Bank Holiday story "The Cuckoo's Calling" features Martin Shaw as the Uncle of the deceased girl.
Peck-Hepburn-Brett-CalderMarshall -Burke-Shaw
Technically I guess that counts as only five degrees [four if you go straight from David to his son] Oh never mind...
Can you link your favourite actors like this?

Monday 28 August 2017

Remarkable Women

Time flies, and I just realised I hadn't posted any more pictures from our great day in Manchester three weeks ago. Imperial War Museum North was a little disappointing because we found the lighting a bit dim. I appreciate that you have to keep artefacts away from bright light - but some of the displays had such poorly lit information panels that you couldn't find out what it was you were peering at. However, there was a feature on my Norfolk hero, Edith Cavell. Alongside a photograph of her prison cell in Brussels - where she was incarcerated until her execution in 2015 - was a display of her food tins, her crucifix and a few other pieces. A couple of weeks later Bob was able to enjoy a pint of Edith Cavell beer in Swanton Morley. This was developed 2 years ago, to mark the centenary of her death. Produced by the Wolf Brewery, of Attleborough, Norfolk,  the profits from this go to the Cavell Nurses Trust. 

After the morning at IWM, we met up with Steph and her colleague Jen for lunch. We walked back to their offices in Deansgate. Tangible is upstairs in this amazing building, which was formerly a Congregational 

The entrance plaque reads
This Church House which is intended to serve as a centre of Congregational Activity and is a memorial to the wise and large hearted munificence of the late Mrs Enriqueta Augustina Rylands of Longford Hall in this County, who by the gift of the site, and a donation of half the sum required for the building, made its erection possible 
And here is the redoubtable Mrs Rylands- but this statue is not in the church/office block. It is up the road at The John Rylands Library - the marvellous place she had built in memory of her husband.
Mrs R had a fascinating life, and a strong faith- and was clearly a generous woman.
The JRL is utterly mind blowing - I want to go back and spend more time there
No this isn't my picture! It is from the website. It is a proper working library - not just collections of valuable books and historical artefacts, but also a place where students can still come to read and study.

I am intrigued by a woman born in sub-tropical Cuba [her mother Cuban, her father English] raised in romantic Paris [where her widowed mother remarried, to polymath Julian Fontana, great friend of Chopin] who came to love rainy Manchester. She left her Roman Catholic roots to become a Congregationalist - and married a man 40 years older than herself - Manchester's first multi-millionaire. Rylands had made his money in textiles, but was also involved in the development of the city, including investing in the building of the Canal.  
It seems their marriage was happy, lasting 13 years till his death at the age of 88. His widow's memorial has lasted and his name is remembered, as she wished it to be. The basis of the Rylands library was purchased from Earl Spencer, at Althorp [Diana's ancestor]
John was an amazing philanthropist - establishing orphanages, schools, public baths, homes for gentlewomen and [I love this one] "a home of rest for clergymen of slender means".
Exploring Manchester was great fun- and it was good to learn more about these two determined women who achieved so much. 
I am not sure what I achieved on my day in this fine city, other than meeting Steph's friends, eating lots of good food - and posting a letter in that blue pillar box.

Sunday 27 August 2017

Take Courage

A friend recently mentioned that she'd like to start reading the Bible again, but she didn't have one. I asked if she'd like me to send her one. This is the bookmark I tucked inside - life's been hard for her lately, and I liked these words of friendship and encouragement. Posting them here in case someone is reading this post and needs to know that they are loved...

Saturday 26 August 2017

Getting Ready For School

I haven't done much preparation yet for my new job ["only 10 more sleeps", as the kids say] other than splash out a quid on a new pencil case. But I have been making some school pinafore dresses [that's 'jumpers' to PomPom and Vivien and other friends across the pond] I used the same ancient New Look Pattern which I used for the gingham summer dress back in June. But this time I used 'school suiting polyester' from Fabricland and instead of gathering the skirt, I put in some pleats back and front.
Once again I swapped the zip for a button and loop closure.
The three dresses cost less than £3 each. 
As my young friend has started playing with her American Girl doll again over the summer, I decided Isla needed a new outfit or two.
I made a pinafore from the scraps, and a white shirt to go underneath [both fastened at the back with Velcro] I also used some lightweight nylon with a bunny rabbit print to make a little dress, and bound the neck with a scrap of orange bias binding.
It took almost as long to make these three miniature garments as it did to make the pinafore dresses! The facings on the pinafore were really unwieldy - so for the shirt, I used nappy liners to face the necklines. More details on this technique here. I have certainly had my money's worth from that packet of liners [Mothercare, £2.40 bought in 2008]
I'm not going to rant about gender stereotyping here- except to say that I was in a shop last week which had 'jogging pants' for toddlers - and they were labelled 'boys' and 'girls'. The latter were pale pink or lilac fabric - the former in more practical deep blue or grey, and they had re-inforced knee patches. |'ve just spent a week with a brilliant little toddler - and she is a very messy child [that's genetic] and although she is confidently toddling around, she still spends a fair amount of time on her knees [that may be genetic too...] Just saying...
The machines will have to stay out on the dining table a little longer - Steph's asked me to make some gifts for friends. Bob continues to patiently eat his meals perched at the 'breakfast bar' in the kitchen!

Friday 25 August 2017

Happy Anniversary

August 1979 - our wedding day in Norfolk
August 2017 - enjoying another lovely day in Norfolk
Thank you Bob for 38 wonderful years together.
I'm grateful to God for our happy marriage, and our lovely girls [Liz, Steph and now Rosie] 
And I'm grateful for the rest of our family, and so many good friends who have shared these years with us.
And grateful for Cornerstones - hoping that we can enjoy lots more lovely Norfolk days together in the future.
How good is the God we adoreOur faithful, unchangeable friendHis love is as great as his powerAnd knows neither measure nor endIt's Jesus, the First and the LastWhose Spirit shall guide us safe homeWe'll praise him for all that is pastAnd trust him for all that's to come

Thursday 24 August 2017

Dress Sense

Within 24 hours of getting home, I had turned the dining room into a sewing centre. I will post some pictures later - but I have been pondering on the strangeness of our language when it comes to clothing. One of the patterns I've been using is American.
When they say vest and pants they mean this [waistcoat and trousers]

but in England we mean this [underwear]
When they say jumper it's this [a pinafore dress]

For us Brits, it's a warm woolly top

And as for suspenders [braces]
Well...what can I say?
And this is just us and the Americans. Don't get me started on the Australians, and what they call their flip-flops...

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Let's Just Unpack This...

Having 'got all my ducks in a row' in Norfolk, we are now back in Dorset, and I have unpacked things. I am really not at all fond of the phrase "let's unpack this" as used in business/school/church circles. People mean "let's analyse every component part of what has been said, and extract every last drop of meaning."  And sometimes it is so tedious! I have heard English teachers unpack a poem by conducting an in-depth forensic analysis of it. In a bizarre reversal of the situation in Silent Witness, where the post-mortem follows the crime, here it is the autopsy which kills any interest students may have had in the poem! Similarly I've endured preachers doing the same thing with Bible verses. 
My holiday unpacking is much simpler.
Here are my 10 simple tips which make the job easier.
1; begin by unloading everything from the car as soon as you get home.
2; pick up the post from the mat, put the kettle on, and sit down with a cup of tea to sort it all out. 95% of it is probably junk, put it straight in the recycling bin, and put the 'stuff needing action' in a safe place.
3; now sort any food which is in your luggage and put it away. The leftovers from self catering, the remains of your packed lunch/journey snacks, and any items you purchased whilst on holiday [like fancy jams, interesting bottles of drink...] While you are doing that, think about what you will be eating for your next meal, and defrost something/put the oven on/order a takeaway/whatever.
4; check the answerphone if you have one, just in case there is something which genuinely needs addressing. But in this day and age, people with an urgent need will usually find a way to reach you even when you are on holiday!
5; now empty out the suitcases, and put dirty washing in the laundry bin, and clean washing in the drawers, wardrobe - or maybe the ironing basket [I was able to wash clothes before I left, but prefer to iron when I get back]
6; put all other luggage in the right place- toiletries in the bathroom, electronics stuff in their proper places, with their chargers etc. Return keys, library books, purses, cards to their usual location in the home. Stick the cases under the bed, in the cupboard, up in the loft...but empty them completely then put them away.
7; if you have time, deal with the laundry, or ironing. If not, do it tomorrow. 
8; check emails. Perhaps. Personally I am not letting the Internet rule my life at the minute, so these can wait another day or so.
It is so tempting to leave it - to collapse in a heap and spend the next few days tripping over the suitcase on the bedroom floor and stubbing your toe on the bag of sundries in the hall downstairs. You say 'I will do it at the weekend - I am tired tonight, and back at work tomorrow'

I know this. I got myself into a state in February because I had mislaid something. I finally found it - in the front pocket of the small case I took to Albania in January, which was still in a corner of the bedroom, only 75% unpacked. I have, in the past, overlooked food items, which were tucked into corners of bags - and once unearthed, were well beyond being eaten. 
9; Finally check your google calendar/filofax/wallchart/personal organisation system to see what is happening in the rest of your week. Make a list of the important tasks. The holiday is over, and things are Back To Normal.
10; Now relax. This burst of activity as soon as you get home means you can now take it easy in the knowledge that the essential stuff is sorted, and you have pre-empted much of the stress which may come tomorrow. 
NB I appreciate that Mums with children have extra burdens. Train your kids to unpack and sort their own stuff, as soon as they can. I used to leave a set of clean clothes all ready before we went away, so I knew that on return there would be fresh stuff for us to put on. Work as a family - I'm grateful that Bob always helps with the post-holiday sorting [Liz and Steph used to do their share too, when they were at home] You don't want to lose the benefit of a break by being tired and frazzled once you get home again.
Be glad you could go away on holiday - and that you have a home to return to...

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Ducks In A Row, And Ready To Go

Back to Dorset this morning, the holiday's over. Inevitably that has meant that much of Monday was spent in washing, packing, sorting and tidying. We're not back at Cornerstones for a couple of months, but there will be friends here before we return. I have got all my ducks in a row...

The back two have been in the bathroom for a while - the front two are prizes I won at Anglian Water's Exhibition in Norwich last week. 
But where did this ducks in a row phrase come from? It was very popular in business circles at the turn of the millennium, implying you were organised and ready. It was claimed Stephen King first used the phrase in a novel of 1970...but then more information emerged. People had lots of theories about the origin
  • baby ducklings following their mother
  • the line of metal ducks at a mechanical shooting arcade
  • "ducks" as metal weights formerly used by engineers to define a curve
  • "ducks" as cargo bins which must be lined up on the dock before being loaded onto a ship
...but most etymologists seem to think it came from duck pins – a popular name for the skittles used in a type of bowling popular in Europe and America in the 1700s. In a newspaper of 1889, 'The Plaindealer' made this comment about the politics of the time "the Democrats are getting their ducks in a row, and their ticket is promised to be very strong."

Personally I think the skittles idea is quite believable - and the metal weights and cargo bins seem to be too specialised for general conversation. The experts have not arrived at a unanimous decision on the idiom's genesis, but “to have one’s ducks in a row” is now synonymous in Western culture with efficiency, organization, and preparedness.
Whatever the origin, I know we are ready and will be travelling south very soon!

Monday 21 August 2017

Goodbye Auntie Helen

This picture was taken outside Leicester Cathedral a few months ago. On the big screen you can clearly see the Queen meeting Helen Sculthorpe, a wonderful lady in her 90s, from Kirby Muxloe. Helen was one of the recipients of the Royal Maundy Money. 
Helen was a single lady and had no family of her own, but was loved by all, and known as Auntie Helen to so many folk in our village. She was a member of our church, but lived next to the Parish Church, and they considered her an honorary member.  Even those who didn't know her recognised her as The Dog Lady, what she didn't know about labradors wasn't worth knowing. She'd been in the Land Army in Ww2, worked on farms, been the village postie, worked at a Christian Conference Centre... 
She was a dear friend, always encouraging, faithfully praying for people, supportive of the youth activities, a very special person. She was not blessed with financial benefits , but her life was abundant and rich in so many other ways. 
We heard last night that Helen had gone into hospital on Saturday and passed away quite unexpectedly. 
Many friends back in Leicester will be mourning her passing, and I feel for them in their sadness. We have happy memories of so many great times with Helen. But I cannot be sad for her. She may have met the Queen in April - but now she has met her King face to face and heard Him say Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord. 
Rest in peace, rise in glory. Helen Sculthorpe 1924 - 2017 

Sunday 20 August 2017


Barcelona, Charlottesville, many sad places...too many to list this morning. 
God bless all those who work to bring peace, hope, light and love to the dark corners of our world.

Saturday 19 August 2017

Small Is Beautiful

Regular readers know that we love pootling round Charity Shops - we have certainly found dozens in Norfolk this holiday. But it is sad that in so many towns, the high streets are partly big chains [Poundland, Boots, Superdrug, WHSmiths] partly CS, and more and more empty shops as business rates rise and owners of independent shops close as their owners struggle to make a living [let alone a profit]
But here are a few 'little shops' we have been to this week [we didn't actually purchase stuff in all of them] and I thought they were worth a mention.
An old friend, struggling with depression, mentioned she wanted to start reading the Bible again - but couldn't find one at home. I said I'd send her one - the sort which includes helpful links to "what to read when feeling sad/lonely/ill/happy etc" and a daily reading plan.
Green Pastures Bookshop [opposite Dereham Baptist Church] not only had a suitable one for me, but when I explained why I was buying it, the assistant gave me a jiffy bag so I could post it promptly.
Merv's Hot Bread Kitchen in Wymondham is great for sourdough loaves and other speciality breads- plus a great range of home made hot sausage rolls, bacon baps etc. Thank you Jon and Liz, for introducing us to this one!
Nuts'n'Bolts is a hardware store in Attleborough. Great range of products at good prices. Their cookware stuff is at prices to match, and sometimes beat Lakeland. For instance - those Maslin Pans - if you cannot find them for a fiver at a Yard Sale, and don't want to spent £50 or more on the pukka Kilner pan - they are half that price here!
Susan's Work Basket is another treasure hidden away in Attleborough. Staffed by enthusiastic women who certainly know their wool and fabric, the range of haberdashery is brilliant. And I spotted some Scandi Xmas fabric I'd seen in John Lewis last week - but cheaper!
Finally Aldridge Crafts, also in Attleborough. This is run by Jane and Susan, and they were runners up in a recent "Norfolk Independent Craft Retailer" Competition. Jane is a real crafting specialist, and we chatted away about die cuts, stamping, patchment craft, jewellery-making and more. She has a slot on the Hochanda Craft Channel on Tuesday week. I shall try and catch that. 
Many of these shops also sell online [not the bakers, obviously - bacon baps don't travel well]
It is not true that the big stores are necessarily cheaper - and often the personal service from independent retailers means you can obtain specialist items which would be too much trouble for a chain store to order in. I like the opportunity to look at products, feel the wools, taste samples of the food, assess the weight of the tools, and judge the quality for myself. You cannot do that when you buy online. 
I hope that Jack Of All Trades in Wimborne finds a buyer soon, and doesn't disappear.  The lady who runs the local Post Office up the road from us here, in Hockering, is retiring soon, and looking for someone to take over this vital village amenity. We were sorry when the little cookshop in Fakenham closed some months back.
It is a case of 'use it or lose it' with these retailers. I am grateful to all those who have taken time to find the items I am wanting to buy, and given me lots of free advice! I wish them well - and hope that these good little shops are able to survive in this difficult economic climate.

Friday 18 August 2017

If You're Happy And You Know It...

...clap your hands! This is one of Rosie's favourite songs at the moment. Bob and I looked after her overnight whilst Liz and Jon went on a camping/cycling jaunt. We enjoyed a trip to the playground, played chariot races in the garden, and had fun at bedtime. She is trying hard to say Grandma, and Grandad.
Then her Mum and Dad came back and we all went into Norwich together. Rosie was very determined about climbing the steps up to the Forum, where Anglian Water had a special exhibition.
I could bore you stupid about my brilliant grandchild. But I won't. I am sure many of you are equally proud of your own offspring  - and their offspring. Congratulations to all those older ones who have finished exams, and got their results this week. 

Thursday 17 August 2017

Small Family Cooking Showdown

No, I haven't watched BFCS yet! The reviews seems fairly good though, and the presenters are all people I have enjoyed watching in other shows.
But I have been enjoying my holiday, looking after my grand-daughter...and doing my own cooking!
It is very tempting, on a 'self-catering holiday' to lapse into the 'I can't be bothered, let's eat out all the time' mindset.
Not in this family! We planned a few special treats beforehand [street food on Norwich Market, lunch on The Albatros, tea at Wiveton] and we are fortunate to have family around, so we have eaten great food with Liz and Jon, and with Adrian and Marion. The pre-ordered groceries from Sainsbury's meant there was food on hand - and we have foraged plums, blackberries and apples...and availed ourselves of the generous 'courgettes-free-help yourself' box round the corner.
But here we are, well into our second week, and it is time to re-assess the stocks. Bob is particularly creative with leftovers and loves having the free time to work in the kitchen. 

  • The leftover chicken and ham went into two pies [one eaten, one in the icebox] Bob made the filling, and turned the carcase into stock, for soup on Saturday. The pastry crust is 'potato pastry' - made with leftover mash. I do this by instinct now, but there's a wartime recipe here. The baking powder makes it rise, so you do need to roll it out thinly.
  • I harvested the rhubarb in the garden, and roasted it whilst the pies were cooking. Two boxes- one for now, one in the icebox for later in the week.
  • Leftover veg, on the edge of going soft, went into the oven to make ratatouille. Long slow cooking on a gentle heat, and I'll have a tray redolent of Italian summers...
As well as the rhubarb, we have also been able to pick our first crop of apples from the tree we planted some years back. half a kilo of small, but beautiful, fruit.
And the figtree has produced fruit for the first time since we moved it here in 2014, from the spot in our Kirby Muxloe Conservatory where it had lived for 10 years. It seems to have adjusted to living outside - and I picked, and ate, the one small fig.This does give me hope for future harvests. I am sorry to report that the crab apple tree has died and been removed, as has the plum tree. You can't win 'em all.
Other delights of holiday food have included full English Breakfasts, and kippers - eaten at a leisurely pace, because neither of us has to go off and do something important elsewhere.
But the best part of holiday meals has definitely been watching Rosie enjoying her food. She learns 'Baby Signing' at nursery, and can show us 'more', 'milk' and 'all gone!' etc. Signing hasn't hindered her speech in any way - she chatters about all sorts of things. I hope Rosie will be as good a cook as her parents as she gets older. Looking forward to the day when she says "Here's a cake I made for you, Grandma"

Wednesday 16 August 2017

All's Well That Ends Wells...

Yesterday we went up to Wells Next The Sea - it was a beautiful sunny day. The tide was well up. I have never seen it that far in before, and blamed it on the combined effects of Brexit, Donald Trump and Global Warming!
We arrived around 10.45 and purchased ice creams to eat as we walked the long path out to the beach.

The beach was heaving with families having fun - the lifeguards and coastwatch in attendance. Bob and I both had a brief paddle [but didn't get our swimming gear out] then sat and read our library books in the sunshine.
We walked back to the quay - the boats were beautiful. A lot of the MPI vessels were in evidence - they are the ones which service the offshore windfarm.
I saw one gorgeous little boat which made me wish Steph was with us.
Liz, Jon and Rosie went to Bacton beach instead. They said it was much quieter - Rosie had her first proper experience of splashing in the sea, and she loved it!
Once back in Wells, we went on board The Albatros for lunch.
We both had Giant Dutch Pancakes - Bob's with Chorizo and Mozzarella, mine with Salmon and Dill.
Then on to Wiveton, so Bob could look round his favourite junkyard. But it was just browsing, we did not buy any old bicycles, Hornsea china, or Belfast sinks! If you recognise the name Wiveton, maybe it is because you have been watching "Normal for Norfolk" with the delightfully eccentric Desmond McCarthy
The junkyard is right opposite the turning for Wiveton Hall.
We went to the junkyard last week, and found it closed - so had tea at WH instead.
The TV programme has boosted attendance, which must be a help to Desmond's struggling budget - and on Thursday there were many people on the garden tour, struggling through the Maize Maze, and visiting the Gift Shop [where you can purchase many items bearing Desmond's logo]
We didn't seen DM - I was a little disappointed, I would have asked for a selfie! And his centenarian mother wasn't around either.
However I must report the tearooms were lovely. Beautifully decorated, attentive staff- and everything served on Emma Bridgewater china.
Lots of different teas to choose from - Bob had Lapsang Souchong, I had their special Normal for Norfolk Blend. At £2.20 a pot, this seemed a fairly reasonable price. The slices of cake were huge, so we shared one piece. Here we are [last week] enjoying ourselves.

As you can see, our holiday is full of food, family and sunshine. We're truly grateful for this time of rest and relaxation. How blessed we are!