Sunday, January 06, 2013

Knots landing

On Friday I had seen the forecast for the weekend and it was set to be mild and clear and I had a hankering to go to the coast.   Usually we go to the Essex Coast but I had seen that in Norfolk at high tides in winter there is a spectacular flight of thousands of knots and other waders like this.
I actually didn't read the RSPB website properly or I would have realised that this only happens at very high tide when there is nothing left for the birds to stand on.   I enthused Trev with the idea and before you know it we had booked a hotel and were set  for a weekend away.
Very glad that I did misread it because we had a lovely time and we wouldn't have gone otherwise.

strange colouring of cliffs in Hunstanton
On the way up we stopped  in Hunstanton.  A walk along the prom of sunny Hunny was excellent.  We got some sunshine, some fresh air, we could look at the birds and as we headed south towards Heacham we d ogle at the extraordinary buildings along the coast.  Clearly planning permission isn't an issue.  Some looked like scout huts and some looked like public toilets.  People had got hold of some land and built whatever was cheapest but, bless them, they were all called things like Waikiki or Copacabana!
Our hotel was The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe further up the coast.  To get there we drove through Thornham were we used to have a caravan in the 60s.  My goodness it has become gentrified.  The newsagent and grocery have disappeared  and been replaced by the Village Deli.  The pub which owned our caravan park has stopped being called the Chequers and is now called the The Old Coaching Inn and the other pub in the village has gone from being the Cherry Tree to being the Orange Tree.  The entire village had gone through enough Farrow and Ball paint to drown a diplodocus.   Very different from when Mum and Dad considered buying a cottage there for £300!
The hotel was lovely.  Backing on to the salt marshes with lovely views and the haunting sound of the birds and  huge flocks of geese flying overhead.  The food was lovely too.  Thoroughly recommend it.
Trev outside our room

On Sunday we set off for Stretesham beach where we were going to see this bird spectacular.  The day started out like this.
View from hotel

But by the time we got to the nature reserve it looked like this!
The fog!

We kept expecting Magwitch to appear from the salt marshes.
  We had a very nice walk anyway and then wended our way home.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

As I haven't posted anything on here for ages I thought I would start the new year off with an effort.

2012 provided quite a lot of variety.

Dogs - we had 3 extra over the year.

Minnie and Jeeves were trainee guide dogs, both yellow lab/retriever crosses, and are now both working as guide dogs, one in St Davids and one in Llanelli.  It was very rewarding to be part of their training and I felt quite proud when they went off to take up their jobs.

Fudge is a Jack Russell with (probably) corgi in there, who has been visiting over Christmas.  He is a very good natured and affectionate little dog who goes home at the end of this week and we will miss him when he goes.

All three moulted like blazes and had I realised when I bought the dark rug in the tv room that I was going to have 3 pale coated dogs moulting on it I would have bought a beige one!

We probably won't get more guide dogs because the local trainers have moved to New Zealand!


We had a great short break with Chris and Xavier in the spring, and that was the sunniest period we had all year.  We had another short break in Pennal (it rained most of the time) and a few months later saw the whole area under water with serious flooding.  Boo, Trev, Brian and I had 2 weeks walking along Hadrian's wall (it rained) and while we were there the A1 was closed because of flooding and Morpeth also flooded.  Christmas holidays were lovely (it rained) and the office flooded.  I am spotting a certain trend here which is a bit alarming.  Maybe Peggy's rainmaking genius is transferring itself down a generation. (I really really hope not!)


Brian had a piece workshopped by the BBC Orchestra of Wales in the Welsh Composers's forum in February though sadly it wasn't performed because it is too long.  However he got an email from the BBC to say they have accepted another piece for the Composer's forum coming up in March which is excellent and exciting news.  Parma - the recording company - have got the recording of Shadows of Memory and are discussing with Brian what else to put onto the cd.  It should be out in 2013 sometime.


Was fairly uneventful until the last week when the office flooded.  We are currently ensconced in the Basement workroom in Barry library and how long we will be there is anyone's guess.  We won't be going back to our old office because this is the 3rd time we have been flooded out, so where we will end up we have no idea.  It is a bit gloomy as there isn't much natural light, and it is very cosy! We have squashed the 3 desks in, but......

I hope everyone has a wonderful year