Saturday, 19 July 2014

Norfolk Broads and the big 500

Edited to add:  When I published this post, Blogger said it was my 500th post!  Hard to believe that when Swooze got me started on this blogging lark back in 2007 that I would keep going this long.  To mark my bloggiversary, I must have a giveaway.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment on this post by 19 August for an entry into my 500th Post Giveaway - and tell me whether you would prefer a knitting prize, a quilting prize or a dollshouse prize. 

 I will pick a name at random from everyone who leaves  a comment - you have a good chance of winning because I don't have many regular commenters!!  Actual sending of the prize might have to wait until I can unpack some of my relevant hobby stash from storage, but I will contact the winner to arrange delivery - make sure I can email you as some people have their Blogger profile set to 'no email'. Good luck!!


We've just come back from a week's holiday in Norfolk, staying on the edge of the Broads in a little coastal village called Winterton-on-Sea which is north of Great Yarmouth. The Norfolk Broads to me are inextricably linked to the Arthur Ransome books about children exploring and sailing there  (part of the 'Swallows and Amazons' series) but rather depressingly when I mentioned this fact at work to my much-younger colleagues, I received a blank look from all but one because apparently I am officially too old and the books I devoured as a child are now more ancient than dinosaur bones.

We had a lovely week and were very lucky with the weather, as it only got ferociously hot towards the end of the week before turning into big thunderstorms on our last night.  DS came too on the promise that he didn't have to go sightseeing and that there would be broadband.  We kept our promise, so he was very pleased with his holiday as he spent almost the entire week at the kitchen table in the cottage, gaming with friends online.  He did come out for a morning of canoeing on the Broads with us, we made it from Sutton Staithe to Wayford Bridge and back (6 miles) without capsizing  and with minimal blisters.  He even went swimming in the sea with DH, which was more than I was prepared to do as it was too cold and too windy for me, although I did enjoy sitting on the beach.

When we arrived in Winterton, the first thing I did was walk back to the Village Hall where the thriving local quilt group was having an exhibition.  I liked this tabletopper by Pat whose blurb said the pattern came from America - I shall have to look for it.

I also liked this Kaffe Fassett design made by Lynne from the book Quilt Romance. She said in her blurb that the fabrics are Rose Parade by Moda.

The rest of the week we went out exploring every day and saw lots of great things, had some lovely meals, and did fairly well for shopping as well.  Norwich takes the prize for craft shops as they had no less than three knitting shops:  Crafty Ewe and Norfolk Yarns which were good sized knitting shops with a good range of yarns, and a large stall in Norwich Market selling a range of acrylic yarns. I had a good look but didn't buy anything apart from some pretty blue buttons in Norfolk Yarns. Norwich seems to be a lovely historic town and we would like to go back for a weekend some time and visit more of the sights and museums. Also in Norwich is Sew Creative but we visited their larger shop in Wroxham Barns which stocks a  big selection of quilting fabrics - I enjoyed picking out a few fabrics which I hope will make good accent cushions for our new window seat cushion.

We had an enjoyable morning in Great Yarmouth, shunning the tacky seaside amusements in favour of the excellent museums:  Time and Tide where they had adult dressing up clothes - yay! and we learned all about the history of the herring fisheries, the Potteries museum across the street in a delicious-smelling old herring smokehouse, the English Heritage Row House and Merchant's House, and the Nelson museum. The Silver Darling cafe at the Time and Tide museum had stunningly good food, with probably the best creme brulee either of us has ever had in our lives - all handmade in house by the Portuguese owners.

Living out my Victorian seaside dreams

We even picked up a few more things for the house:  an Arts and Crafts end table for the living room from Norwich, and a nice carved mirror from an antiques fair which will probably go in the hall.

We spent most afternoons lounging at the cottage or in its garden.  I had taken my iPad so was able to catch up on blogs and Craftsy classes, and of course I had taken my knitting.  I did a little work on my next GAAA square, and in the car I was knitting more on my Shetland stitches shawl.  But mainly I was working on a little baby jumper using some yummy ice-cream sparkle yarn I picked up at my LYS called 'Ella' by Sirdar (49% cotton, 48% acrylic, 3% polyester).  It's nice to knit with, and using a basic jumper pattern I made up this little colourwork design.  I did a corrugated rib and then some gingham checks alternating with stripes.

On the way home we stopped at a very strange shop at the Snetterton Race Track which bills itself as the 'biggest model shop in the world', Snetterton Park Models.  I mention it because they did sell dollshouse items (mostly cheaper end stuff), useful terrain items, Zap a Gap and other modelling items like epoxies and fillers, a big range of Christmas cottage models, and quite a lot of toy forts and so forth that could be repurposed.  But visiting is a very strange experience: the shop is enormous, straggling through several connected sheds, and most of the stock is locked behind glass cabinet doors with no staff in sight to help you. In between the glass cabinets are enormous displays, really enormous, like fifty foot long Duplo scenes or 150 foot long model train set ups, which makes it feel more like a museum than a shop.  The lighting is poor and coupled with the completely deserted rooms, it felt a bit like we had strayed into a closed museum.  It certainly wasn't conducive to buying although I did pick up some Fimo and a scrapbook album in the arts and crafts rooms.  But then you have to walk all the way back to the entrance (a long way!) to pay for things.  I have no idea how they stay in business.  Perhaps they get big crowds on race days, or sell a lot online.

It's nice to be home, although the previous owners' population of cat fleas had bred with a vengeance and attacked us immediately even though I had sprayed yet again before we went away.  We sprayed the worst rooms again today - if we keep spraying eventually we will get them all, unless we succumb to poisoning first ourselves from the spray. I've got a busy few days ahead: our possessions are finally coming out of storage this week (hurrah! but boo, there is nowhere to put most of them) and various tradespeople are trooping through for quotations.  I did find it hard to completely relax while we were on holiday because my mind kept worrying at various issues to do with the house.

Hope you are all enjoying your summers and have holidays planned or already taken.


Sophie said...

Good to read that your move has finally happened. Your house sounds great. We used to live in Gorleston near Great Yarmouth. Lovely sandy beach if you go there again. There used to be two yarn shops in Great Yarmouth too, Knitters Knook and More to the Point but not sure if they are still there. Southwold used to be good for the antique shops too.
Congratulations on your 500th blog entry! If I'm lucky I would like a knitting prize please.

swooze said...

I had to go look at how many posts I've had. 643 . Congrats! I savor every post. I look forward to your continued progress.

I continue to sort, toss, organize, donate. I am amazed that I am able to still cull bags and bags of paper. Now all this include my Dad's possessions. I just have to keep at it.

Flying to NY this week to handle dads final arrangements. Will get in as many family visits as I can since I won't be going up there as often. Bittersweet trip.

Hugs dear.

Elsa Xenia said...

I'm a regular reader - I'm so amazed at all you manage to do! And I like reading about the London related things you do. If I win I would like a knitting prize.

Mizmiffy said...

I'm glad your all settled! I keep up with your blog and miss you and all the other knitting ladies! I love the vintage swim wear! Hope your finding more time to do crafty things - I seem to be losing mine! If w was the lucky name picked I would like a knitting prize please!

Mairead Hardy said...

Congratulations! 500 posts is quite an achievement. I pity you the flea problem, we have had that in a house and it took multiple sprayings before we got rid. If I'm picked I would like a knitting prize too. xx

Verónica said...

Hi!, I´m Verónica, from Argentina. I love your blog and the adventures of your moving. The last time I move was 17 years ago, and I don´t want to repeat the process.

Verónica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
m said...

I tried to comment from my mobile phone, but failed at the finish. Fibre East was good again yesterday.
I was hoping to see you again, as last year.
Knitting or quilting prize please, should I win.

PixieMum said...

Two hundred years ago DH's family lived in The Rows in Great Yarmouth, found them on various censuses. Their particular home has gone but the example in the museum reflects the accuracy of the properties, if a little sanitised.

Love Norwich as a city, couldn't find the yarn shops last time I was there so bought yarn in John Lewis.

If I win I would be pleased to receive something connected with knitting.

Daisy said...

I loved a holiday we had in Norfolk a while ago - it was beautiful and so many nice places to visit. Good luck with the flea removal! Oh, and congratulations on the 500th blog post - you should have had cake to celebrate!

Sue said...

Wow! 500 posts is quite an accomplishment. I'm happy to have read quite a few of them and always enjoy your travels and moves and updates. I can't believe I've put off renovating a bathroom and replacing the carpeting upstairs for way too many years while you've been so busy changing your entire living arrangement. I also love all your hobbies! Though I don't post as often anymore, I do enjoy catching up with you and living vicariously through you. Thank you for continuing your blog posts!

I'm not the lucky sort, but if that should change anything knitting or quilting would be welcomed. Perhaps a finger gauge counter? :-)

Thanks again,
Sue in Upstate NY

Sue Wild said...

Congratulations on you 500 post. I hope the building works to your new house go a bit better so you can make it a home. Best wishes.

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