Sunday, 26 February 2017

Boats, beach huts and bark

Monday morning and we had to vacate our holiday cottage by 10 o'clock, we loaded up the car (I always bring everything including the kitchen sink!) and headed out for breakfast.  It was the sunniest day of the weekend so we decided to head back down to the beach at Wells next the sea.  

I somehow managed to change a setting on my little camera and it resulted in some cropped photos with some interesting effects, I hope you enjoy them.

These snaps of the boats in the harbour have a lovely vintage feel to them

The beach huts got a variety of treatments, I particularly like the "sketch"

And we had a ramble round the woods at the back of the beach, I was fascinated by the pieces of tree that laying around in various states of decay

We headed home, batteries recharged, cobwebs blown away, ready to face the week ahead. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and certainly tried to make the most of it.

We love a little weekend away but do always seem to come back here to North Norfolk or head South to St Ives, we are located in the middle of the country so I am open to suggestions for new locations.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Steam trains, street art and the perfect Sunday roast

Day 2 of our mini break and we were once again blessed with glorious weather, yes the wooly hat was still needed but there was definite feeling that Spring is just round the corner. Hubby and I went off for for an adventure by ourselves.

We took a short drive to Holt and picked up a steam train on the North Norfolk Railway to take us into Sheringham. It is a lovely little journey cutting through beautiful open countryside.

On our arrival at Sheringham we were surprised to see that a footbridge had been put in over the rails, for years there has been a footpath.

It provided a great vantage point to click a few snaps and gave a birds eye view into the cab. I did hot foot it out of there pretty quick as the smoke was quite overwhelming.  It is great to see the progress that this little enterprise is making, they have also extended the cafe. The municipal toilet block from the 1930s has been demolished and there is now a shiny new souvenir shop, tourist information centre and new loos.

We took a stroll down the high street to the beach, the tide was in and the waves were lapping the shore.

There are some fabulous street murals and I loved this one, it reminded me of my Mum taking photos with her old box brownie when we were small. The irony of a middle aged woman taking a photo of a picture of a middle aged woman taking a photo was not lost on me.

This is part of a mural that was new for 2016, it is really draws you in and my photo does not do it justice.

Further along the beach front is this poignant reminder of the debt we owe to the generations that went  before us and that we should remember them through out the year and not just on a Sunday in November, so many made the ultimate sacrifice.

We grabbed a quick cuppa and then it was back to Holt on the steam train, I love the perspective that the glimpse down the virtually empty coaches ( we were among the first ones on for the return journey).

There was a brief stop at Weybourne as the track from here to Holt is single track and you have to wait for permission to enter.

 At Holt we watched as the engine was detached from the coaches chuffed it's way up the track, the points switched and it chuffed its way back again so it could be put at the front of the coaches ready for the return journey.

There was plenty of day left so we shot up the coast to Cromer, after all it wouldn't be a trip to the Norfolk coast for us without a walk on the prom at Cromer

They serve a cracking hot chocolate in the cafe attached to the theatre which was very welcome as the temperature was starting to drop.

There were people fishing of the side of the pier with mixed results

And it was nice to see some Cromer crabs, these were too small for eating but provided some fun the people who caught them.

I love the lines of barrier around the pier, it is reminiscent of a ship and fits with my love of things that are both practical and stylish.

The seagulls went crazy when someone threw the end of their chips over the side, I was snapping away like mad to try and capture the volume of birds and the frenzied activity that followed.

One last Cromer crab photo, I spotted this on little cottage door just off the front and thought it was very fitting.

A nice drive back to Wells Next the Sea along the coast road rounded our Sunday off and we got back in time to help with baby Esme's feed before they set off for home.  Hubby and I enjoyed the last night by treated ourselves to a meal in The Bowling Green pub, they were offering a roast beef dinner and they served possibly the best roast potatoes I have ever tasted.  It was the perfect end to our very busy day.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Sun, sandcastles and seals, what more can you ask for on your first trip to the seaside?  At 3 months old baby Esme was blissfully unaware of all of these of course?

We rented a fabulous cottage in Wells Next the sea on the Norfolk coast, it was booked through (this is not a sponsored post) using the deal though Tesco clubcard by using £30.00 of clubcard points we changed it up to a voucher worth £100 off our weekend away.

I think we must have visited Wells pretty much every year for the last 10 years or so and we still want to return for more.  It is very laid back, has a beautiful big beach, enough pubs, bars and restaurants to give you a bit of choice and is well positioned for travelling to other attractions around the area.

There is still a working harbour and the evidence of this is clearly seen along the quayside.

The tide was a long way out when we took our leisurely stroll down to the beach, but that gave me plenty of opportunities to snap away

I took rather a lot of photos of this boat as I was captivated by its' reflection  and I think I could take a hundred or so more and still not get just exactly what I wanted.

The beach was full of visitors enjoying the fine weather and getting a chance to blow away the cobwebs.

There were plenty of happy dogs enjoying a paddle and feeding my obsession for the day of trying to capture reflections.

A section of the beach had been cordoned off to allow these seals some protection. It is such a thrill to see these lovely creatures at close quarters, they are so clumsy on land and yet so graceful in the water.

This little one was swimming about and I was really hoping it would come up on land so I could get a better shot but it kept coming towards the shore then turning round and swimming away.

The sun was starting to cast long shadows and a baby lead timetable meant we were soon heading back to the cottage for tea and dairy free cake.

What is your favorite place for a chilled out Saturday with the family?

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Adventures in Dairy Free baking and other nonsense

My creative weekend ended up more with me being a domestic goddess than a creative genius.  I still found time to have fun with my chalkboard though, we are off to Norfolk later in the month and these are some of the things that remind me of our past trips there, judging by the size of the fish and chips I was rather hungry when I drew this!

I treated myself to a small bunch of spring flowers as I was keen to use my latest charity shop find of this little fat jug. The hyacinths smell amazing although they do tickle my nose a little bit.


I ventured into a new avenue with my baking this weekend - dairy free.   My granddaughter has been diagnosed as having an allergy to cow proteins in milk so to support my breastfeeding daughter I picked out a couple of dairy free cake recipes to make to show her a bit of support.

My first was this vintage carrot cake recipe from the "Flour on my face" blog, as the recipe is from the USA it uses cups for measuring.  This involved a bit of guessing on my part such as, how may carrots make 2 and a 1/2 cups the answer was three medium ones, do I have enough of all the ingredients, the answer was no not enough sunflower oil but I topped it up with olive oil and it was OK.  The biggest problem I encountered was that after 30 minutes the middle was still runny! this was due to my baking tin being 8x8 so not the same as the one advised,  A quick Google suggested reduce the heat and cook for a bit longer and eventually it was cooked.  Tastes great but I didn't make any icing to go on the top which I think it needed.  For a non-dairy free cake the usual cream cheese topping would be scrummy,  I failed to take any pics of this but hopefully you all know what a carrot cake looks like.

The second cake I baked needed a little forward planning as it was a tea loaf so I had to soak the fruit over night.  I used this recipe from "Kitchen delights" blog and they have provided some excellent notes. Note to self on this one, make sure you pick up raisins in the supermarket and not currants you ninny!  I must confess that I made a bit of a mistake when baking this, a slightly over hot oven resulted in a bit of a dark top, I dropped the temperature and covered the top with foil and continued to cook it for far too long. The result is a little bit drier than I would have liked but it is still a very nice cake and I will give the recipe another go.

So how has everyone been spending their weekends this February? and can anyone recommend any good dairy free blogs to read?

Monday, 6 February 2017

Blimey it February already!

Well January slipped into February without me really registering, I have still not got back into my creative groove.  However, I do have some free time this weekend and I have got a couple of ideas to play around with.

I have been very busy with Granny duties which I love, she has just started smiling, kicking her legs and gurgling in a way that only babies can so I am still walking round with a huge grin plastered on my face.

I just wanted to pop something up to let you know that I am still around x