Saturday, 14 January 2017

A New Abode Winterton - On - Sea

Well it has been simply yonks since I have blogged you may well have thought where is that crazy eccentric woman, well I am still crazy and eccentric (I tell myself this it's what keeps my ship afloat) we moved in October this year, downsized if you like gone is all the cluttter (how can one accumulate so much stuff over the years)!

A pretty little village named Winterton, but still remaining in Norfolk so I have not gone far. Five minutes from my front door at some God forsaken unearthly hour in the morning with my parka on, boots, russian hat and gloves and scarve and a keen wind blowing and cold enough to freeze the cockles, I venture over the dunes to the beach with my faithful JRT Patch who can bark for England and likes to think he is top dog, only he's not because when you are not looking he likes to chew your best cushion.

So what have we in the village, well we have one pub which serves excellent food and the staff are kind and give a good service. One fish and chip shop, (always good if you don't fancy cooking one night) a post office which now has new residents who they tell me have come up from Middlesex and have a gorgeous dog named Poppy to which they have renamed the post office in her honour. One small corner grocery shop always handy if you forget something, served by the lovelyVictoria who always has a smile and loves a chat with me. A beautiful church too.

A wonderful beachside cafe which is so welcome after a brisk walk over the beach and you can stop and recharge your batteries over a  bowl of hot soup, capaccino, and slice of gorgeous choc cake.

It's a complete different story from when I lived in Westminster just off Baker Street in my teens I still get nostalgic when I go back, if I win the lottery I can have the best of two worlds, one in west London and one here in Norfolk.

Mentioned in the Domesday book, Winterton-on-Sea is the most northern seaside village in the borough of Great Yarmouth.
It's a small, historic village, picture-perfect with beautiful floral displays and pretty little thatched cottages. The village also has a stunning backdrop inland of majestic white wind turbines towards the villages of East and Wester Somerton, and mile after mile of pale sandy beach backed by sand dunes.
The village's parish church, Holy Trinity, is a truly magnificent building with one of the tallest church towers in Norfolk at over 130 feet. Elements of the church date from the 13th century, with the tower being built around 200 years later. The church was restored in the late 1800s and is well worth a visit. When fishermen set sail from Winterton, they used to use the tower as an important landmark to help guide them home. 
Winterton Dunes are a National Nature Reserve, a haven for birdwatching and wildlife with little tern and seal colonies in residence along with the rare Natterjack toad.
At Winterton-on-Sea and north along the coast to Horsey, the Broads overlap with the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where in the winter seal pups are born on the beach. A viewing area is available a short walk from Horsey
Well I have survived the night last night of the high tidal waves and fierce winds and am still in the land of the living, must admit though I was quite scared last night as not lived so near to the sea before and it felt quite eerie. Snow did appear but not the serious enough white stuff, all has gone now. Any snow where you are? have a great weekend dear friends.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


This is my set Homework of five favourite paintings, I have a deep passion for Art so narrowing it down to only five is difficult.

It is interesting that some of the Artwork I steer towards are French, maybe to do with some of that French blood in me, also some Irish too.!

To be able to paint is a wonderful gift, sadly a gift that was not bestowed to me, but I am thankful at least that I can still enjoy the artist's wonderful creativity, painted by their own hand for other's to feast on with a passion like I do. Like a Book, they are very precious to me.

Maternity - By James Jebusa Shannon. 1862-1923 A genre figure and portrait painter who was born in the U.S.A. of Irish parents. He married Florence Mary Cartwright, they had a Daughter named Kitty.

Shannon came to London in 1878 aged sixteen. He studied at the Royal College of Art from 1878 to 1891 under Edward Poynter, receiving the Gold Medal for figure painting.

He became a renowned society portraitist, rivalling John Singer Sargent. His sitters included the Marchioness of Granby, Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt.

He was knighted in 1922. A memorial exhibition of his work was held at the Leicester Galleries in 1923, and his work was included in the Royal Academy's Late Member's Exhibition in 1928.

His work is represented in many Museums including the Metropolitan in New York.

On The Terrace - By Pierre Auguste Renoir 1841-1919 Impressionist Painter born in Limoges - France. Renoir began work as a painter in a porcelain factory in Paris, gaining experience with the light, fresh colours that were to distinguish his impressionist work and also learning the importance of good craftmanship.

Woman In The Garden - By Claude Monet 1840-1926 Monet was the original founder of the French Impressionist Painting. Born in Paris to his mother a singer and to his father a grocery store owner. Claude Monet was the younger of two sons, Monet's father hoped he would continue the family grocery store business, but Monet had other idea's. To his father's dismay Monet openly declared his love of Art, and his hopes of living life as an artist.

The Letter - By Albert E Lynch 1851-1912 Born is Lima, he studied Art at L' Ecole des Beaux - Arts de Paris. The tem 'Beaux Arts' is the appropriate English equivalent of 'Fine Arts' and broadly speaking refers to the American Renaissance period from about 1890 - 1920.

My Family - By Arthur J Elsley 1860 - 1952 Elsley was born in London, he was known mainly for his sentimental pictures of children and dogs usually in domestic settings and the popularity found them much in demand for advertisements. Arthur's earliest known work was a Portrait Sketch of a little dog, entitled Vic (1871). At the age of fourteen he entered the South Kensington School of Art.

Peter Ustinov once said - 'If Bottecelli was alive today, he'd be working for Vogue', somehow I do not think so.!!

Sunday, 5 October 2008


It has been years since I have ridden a bycicle, the last time I remember cycling over the rickety bridge only to be met by a man in a white van coming in the opposite direction down a narrow country lane and taking up the full width of the road. I stuck my right leg out with handle bars all a tremour, and you've guessed it...... became a cropper. I happen to like cycling, great fun, I kid myself it might keep my over 60's body in shape, even though, still not bad for an oldie.

De-clutter my wardrobes, I did begin this a few weeks ago and gave some clothes to the charity shop, but then once inside charity shops I usually come home with another gorgeous creation that some other has no use for. Having a 'clear out' apparantly is cathartic, but I have always been a hoarder thinking, oh will keep that just in case it comes in handy, but usually never does.

Baking cakes - I have a sweet tooth, when my children were growing up I was always busy in the kitchen turning out the odd swiss-roll, little dainty fairy cakes filled with butter icing, victoria sandwich with a favourite jam filling, the list goes on. Then somehow I stopped baking cakes, why spend time when one can buy a yum cake over the counter, or even the good old WI or our tiny pantry shop in the village. So I am into baking these again, I blame it on those gorgeous pictures in Food Book I received recently, so Kittyb, move over darling, know you are a whiz with baking cakes, no joking aside my cakes could never look as gorgeous.

Catch up with my reading, sadly this has been neglected of late, like to be busy, but I do love a good book, log on the fire, glass of the old vino, a cosy throw, adore books so I am going to make more time for this. Books I am reading at the moment are - Nobbut A Lad - A Yorkshire Childhood by that gorgeous man Alan Titchmarsh. This was recently sent to me by Elizabethd in France along with two very pretty french postcards, thank you Elizabeth, I will pass it on to Bradan next. The second book that awaits my reading is - The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer, I love this author's wonderful period detail.

I popped into the Library last week to enquire after anything by Hogarth and while I was there a lady happened to return the G. Heyer book. I said to the Librarian, 'ooh, may I take that book out please', 'are you sure, she said, 'it is in very LARGE PRINT'. 'Yes I said, eyes are a tad wonky, but hey ho.!

I came across some gorgeous floral vintage fabric in a shop recently, I'm thinking cushions at the moment. I loathed dressmaking at school, buttons to be sewn on I can just about manage, I shuddered when name tags were dropped in my lap by my children for school uniforms. Thank heavens for my MIL who was a seamstress. The cushions might not resemble Laura Ashley or Designers Guild but I am going to give it a go.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


There are five things that I have always wanted but have never had, ooh, a girl can only but dream.

First would be to own my own Horse, it has been absolutely ages since I have ridden, memories of riding here in Norfolk when I was just a 'slip of a girl' was so exciting and exhilerating. I used to ride a silver/grey mare named Peewea and often used to have a fine gallop across the beaches with her, loved that Horse. Only thing is that I would have to have another Horse to keep the other one company, would hate to think Horse would be lonely.

Second to open up a shop, maybe books with a little Tea/Room, but then I have a passion for Interiors, Antiques and Art, so perhaps an Art Gallery or Vintage Fabrics and Accessories.

The third I would love to own a gorgeous cottage in France - sorry, agree with what Jane says about second homes too, but even so, how lovely that would be. My Great Grandmother had French blood on my Mother's side, and even though it has been some time since I visited the country, always have fond memories, and just think of all that french wine...... the food.... and the language which is so flowery, ah.!

Coming up in fourth would be to finish a book and have it published, lots of unfinished manuscripts kept in folders. A few Short Stories and Poems I have had published in Magazine's, but to have a whole Novel published would be heaven.

I was left an Emerald and Diamond ring by my Grandmother years ago, silly me I lost it, cannot believe I was wearing it when it was too big for me and needed to be made smaller, somewhere it was tossed I know not where. It was heartbreaking to think that this piece of sentimental heirloom had been lost forever, so another ring of it's kind would be wonderful, and I love Emerald stones.

Know one should only choose five things, so cheating a bit here.......... quite fancy an array of blank Canvases with a set of Oils and Watercolours and a large set of very fine Brushes. A friend years ago gave me her Easel, what am I waiting for.! probably the knack of actually painting something that looks like art I should think.

Oh, and if anyone has a job going in a Library, then I'm your girl, never worked as a Librarian but quite fancy being amongst all those lovely books.

If of course a magic wand was to hand how I would love to end World Poverty, there would be PEACE throughout the land and a miracle drug to cease people suffering from terminal illness.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Firstly my apologies to Faith who got the ball rolling for our Homework, my name being the third in the alphabet was seemingly moons ago, but better late than never.

It is 100 years since the Canadian schoolmistress Lucy Maud Montgomery published her first book, Anne of Green Gables, and changed not only her own life, but that of countless little girls around the world. Millions of small readers have since dreamt away the hours, picturing themselves as the freckly, carrot-topped girl who fetches upon Prince Edward Island and bewitches the dour natives of a place known mostly for potatoes.

Within months of the book's publication Anne became a classic heroine for any little girl who has ever fretted about her looks, hungered for Art and Beauty, and pursued long words in the hope they would become her special friends. So anyone who sets out to tamper with her story is taking a great risk. BUDGE WILSON may have had, according to a careful note on the title page, the authorisation of Montgomery's heirs in writing this prequel, but you feel that maybe she is pretty much on her own in this interpretation of what happened during the 11 years prior to Anne fetching up at Green Gables. I have read the original book, and also had the hat and plaits when I went to school.!

BEFORE GREEN GABLES - By Budge Wilson - Publishers - Puffin

Muddie recommended a very good book to me, it's title - COUNT THE PETALS OF THE MOON DAISY - By Martin Kirby - Publishers - Pegasus. Moon Daisy spans the Atlantic and the years, a story of roots, and ghosts, music and nature. Violin virtuosa Jessica Healey finds herself carried to a lost world of water gypsies and teeming wildlife. The Norfolk wind blows to her soul, and the secret of her very being is revealed as their two lives, separated by a century, weave closer and closer......... until they touch. I loved this book and could hardly put it down.

THE BIGAMIST - is an Autobiography written by Mary Turner-Thomson - Publishers - Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd. This true story is of how one man manipulated an intelligent independent woman conning her out of £200,000 and leaving her to bring up the children he claimed he could never have.

THE MORVILLE HOURS : The Story of a Garden - By - Katherine Swift - Publishers - Bloomsbury. When Katherine Swift arrived at Morville Hall in 1988 she suggested to it's owners, The National Trust, that she make a garden. Instead of providing three-dimensional drawings or elaborate planting plants, she wrote about an imaginary garden - the present tense - as if walking along it's paths and borders. She managed to convince the National Trust by words alone.

Swift adores the winter and the cold - 'there is so much more time to look' - stripped of leaves and blossom, the garden exposes it's pure structure and the tiniest detail such as the thorns of the roses. This is truly a magical book.

ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE - A major new collection of poems to console and inspire.

Edited By - Philip Davies - Publishers - J M Dent.

Choosing just five books is difficult, I still have a love of Jane Austin literature, and have a keen interest in the Bloomsbury Group of Writers, but I hope you may be able to read one of my five chosen books between the sheets maybe before you turn the lights out.!!

Lastly I leave you with John Keats and part of his poem - 'Ode to a Nightingale'

Keats wrote 150 Poems, but those upon which his reputation rests were written in the span of nine months, from January to September 1819. This intense flowering of talent remains unparalleled in literary history.

In the Spring of 1819, a Nightingale had built her nest near John Keats friend and room-mate's house, Keats felt a tranquil and continual joy in her song, and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table to the grass plot under a plum tree, where he sat for 2-3 hours, it was there Keats composed the poem 'Ode to a Nightingale'. The main picture here is of Keats painted by Joseph Severn, listening to a Nightingale in Hampstead Heath in London.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe -wards had sunk

'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,

But being too happy in thine happiness,

That thou, light-winged Dryed of the trees

In some melodious plot

Of beeches green and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full throated ease.

There is a very definate way that one can tell a good poem, it leaves you with a very undefinable feeling. You become pensive, stare at nothing and think.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


I live in Reepham the market town located between Norwich and Holt, on the North Norfolk coast. Reepham's attractive historic market town was granted a market charter in 1277 during the reign of Edward I- much of the 18th Century Market Place is a designated Conservation area. This Georgian Norfolk Town, the name Reepham, (Pronounced Reefam) is Anglo-Saxon - 'Meadow of the Reeve'. It is also mentioned in the Domesday Book, and it is not sure which reeve it may have been, a manorial reeve or a church reeve or even a royal reeve.

Set as it is, in the clay heathlands this was a pastoral area with open fields clustered around the town, water meadows along the streams and grazing lands stretching across the heaths until enclosed and eventually ploughed up and made arable in the Wartime.

The town boasts enticing places to eat, and interesting independent shops, we have two butchers to die for, Bonham's Auction House, a general food store, a health food shop, chemist, one greengrocer, three Estate Agents, one Bank, and three pubs including The Old Brewery House which is a Hotel and Restaurant. This houses a public swimming pool and a gym. There is also a swish Florists Shop, an Antique Shop, and a posh Tearoom. Reepham's old railway has been renovated into an Aladdin's Cave that sells gorgeous furniture and beautiful chinaware, it has a large georgian Conservatory sitting on the edge of the disused railway line where one can have a spot of lunch or beverages. The local Post Office has been in the same family for many years and it stocks everything from stamps, books, milk, pies, and much more, I would be very sad to see it go, as I think it is a very important part of the community. The ladies who serve behind the counters always have a smile and a cheer, and always so helpful.

The Bircham Institute a former private house is now used mainly as the local library, it is also used as the WI where local people contribute by making Jams and Pies and homemade Cakes. The original building was 17th Century but it was greatly altered in the 19th Century. Once the home of the Rector of Hackford, it was eventually given to the town by a member of the Bircham family to be used as a reading room and meeting place, a use that it has well fulfilled.

Market Day is on every Wednesday where people set up their stalls to sell their wares, and abundance of fresh flowers and plants. Hundreds of years ago Reepham Market Place was the centre for the Cattle Market which eventually died out.

Reepham's unique claim to fame is it's 'shared churchyard', shared not by two but three separate Parish Churches. It is wondered if this indicated a very early sacred site? it is the correct situation and shape for this, or it could have been a celtic Monastry with several small churches. Whatever the reason, the Parishes nearby of Hackford and Whitwell met in Reepham and each built a Church in the Churchyard. Hackford burnt down in a town fire in the Sixteenth Century, but Whitwell's - St Michael's and Reepham's St Mary's continued with separate incumbents until the 1930's. Parishioners of St Michael's claim to have heard St Mary's singing their final hymn whilst they were still listening to the sermon.

The town also has a Primary School and a High School, the latter was praised for it's work in building International link by Unicef Ambassador former war correspondent Martin Bell. The man in the 'white suit' made comments as he formally awarded British Council International School Status to Reepham High School. Recently the High School has been granted funding of £5,265,000 to build a new Sixth Form which should be completed in 2009.

The famous Parson Norfolk Diarist - Parson Woodforde, did his shopping in Reepham in the 1700's. Some ten years ago Reepham was used as a setting for an adaptation of the classic story The Secret Garden.