Monthly Archives: August 2011

if you go into the woods today …

Meet Otis, he is the one on the right.  Otis is an alpaca, the one on the left is a Runner.

Yesterday we spent the morning at Burnt Fen Alpacas where the lovely Ann introduced us to her herd and we went for a walk in the woods.  I have been thinking about getting some alpacas of our own for a while so this was my chance to get to know them a little better and find out if we might be suitable alpaca owners.

Sammy waits patiently before taking Runner 1 for a walk.

First, they are the most gentle, funny, furry creatures.  Like giant teddy bears with a huge dollop of character.  They are deeply inquisitive and don’t like to be left out of the action.  Watching the two oldest boys, relegated to the top pen whilst we met the younger ones we were going to take for a walk, was hysterical.  They were marching up and down their heads swivelling like furry periscopes as they tried to see what we were up to and work out why they had not been included.

Apache wonders why he got lumbered with the weird one.

Their coats are the softest I have felt and come in such a huge range of colours from deep black through the most divine grey and a whole gamut of browns and beiges through to camel and white.  Having worked with sheep fleece I am very keen to work with some alpaca fleece and, apparently it is much easier to spin and doesn’t require carding which is certainly a good thing in my book!

We finished with a cup of tea in the garden as the girls fed the mothers and babies.  It was quite the most blissful morning I have had in ages.  If you are in the Norfolk area you must call Ann and arrange a walk.  It is an experience you will never forget.

Meanwhile the Dancer and I have been investigating an introductory alpaca course ….

sent to coventry?

This blog is, in the main about the things I discover along the way that make me happy.  They are big things, little things and sometimes quite unexpected things.  This post is a momentary diversion and a question; I would appreciate your opinions.

Recently I have had more time on my hands and I have enjoyed pottering through blogs I haven’t read for a while and discovering new ones.  I know how much I like to read your comments so I try to leave comments on the blogs I like.  I always make the blog relevant, and as I only leave comments on blogs I like my posts are complimentary.  I have never knowingly used inappropriate language nor commercial brand names etc. etc.

So why is it that three of the blogs on which I posted either yesterday or this morning my posts have not been approved?  More recent posts than mine have been so it isn’t a time issue.  Have I inadvertently offended or have I failed to meet an unseen code?

What guidelines do you use to approve posts?  Do you delete posts other than spam etc?

stuntmen, sheep and secondhand books

I love the summer shows.  They always make me smile.  I love the anticipation before we arrive,  I love walking through the gate and wondering where to start and I love a good hog roast roll.  That is obligatory and today’s came with extra crackling as Runner 2 found hers too crunchy.  No, I don’t understand either.

Stuntmen did scary things on motor bikes.

Sheep showed off stupendous horns.


and alpacas posed.

Punch disposed of the hangman.   And I bought an interesting book on lasagna gardening!


Runner number 2 has been beside herself with excitement all week.  For yesterday was the Reedham Duck Race.  Of all the excitement and jollities on offer, the chance to watch several hundred yellow plastic ducks slug it out as the tide turns was second to none.

The large yellow shiny thing in the sky (it’s so long since I last saw it I have forgotten its name) came out and somebody remembered to turn the taps off.  So it was both warm and dry as the boss and I sat outside the Nelson

sipped our cider (a very fine dry Kingfisher and an exceptionally good but slightly sweeter Whin Hill)

and tapped our feet and occasionally sang along to the bands.

The flower displays were phenomenal.

The beer was flowing

And we had a lovely day


Unlike Meg, I love thunder storms.  Meg does not, she heralds their arrival by bunking down under the boss’s rocking chair in the kitchen, thereby managing to get in his way whilst he works and mine whilst I try to cook.  Fortunately Meg is happily esconced at Jan’s farm with lots of other dogs to keep her company and I am in Norfolk, and I have just enjoyed one of the most spectacular storms for long time.

It began with rain, real rain, rain that turned into hail

 and then turned into this. 

Then the boss thought a spot of fishing might not go amiss.

I do love a good storm.

a bargain, some yarn, a glass of wine and a visitor

This was the end to a perfect day.  This was preceded by an amble through Cromer.  The  flowers in the churchyard (an explosion of Cosmos) were so high the tops of the gravestones were only just peeking out over the top.  The church itself was light and airy.  As our own, rebuilt church is without stained glass windows I am used to light and airy and I like it.  In this case the windows to the north and south had been lost due to bombing in the war.  Although some of the original east windows remained it was the stunning Resurrection Window at the west end which took my breath away.  No pictures I am afraid.  Even where churches allow it somehow it doesn’t feel right to me.  You’ll just have to visit for yourself!

From Cromer we went on to Sherringham for lunch and bought an abundance of fruit and vegetables for supper.  Holidays clearly make us hungry!  Here I stumbled across the bargain.  A wonderful red and white cross weave cotton skirt in a second hand shop for £4.  Not only did it fit perfectly, look great but it was also a size smaller than I usually wear!  I am not so naive as to believe I have dropped a dress size (certainly not with all the eating we have been doing) but it certainly put a smile on my face.

Our final stop was Holt.  This was home to my greatest discovery of the day.  Les Tricoteuses is the most divine yarn shop.  I knew it was there but I couldn’t find it, then I spotted a chic white bag with the magic words Les Tricoteuses printed upon it.  I sidled up to the owner and with the stealth of a secret stash purchaser I quietly enquired of directions.  Oh bliss, it was just around the corner.   Reader, I gave in.  Actually I didn’t really try very hard to resist.  There was much to tempt me but it was this, Scrumptious Chunky by Fyberspates in Biscuit and Cherry that was calling me the loudest.  I am thinking perhaps a neat little jacket style cardigan in Biscuit with Cherry trim.  I will finish the throw first and until then I will restrict myself to stroking and sniffing my newest acquisition.  Oh and I didn’t need to be too secretive, the boss likes it too.

And then finally, before I went in for our crab and lobster salad supper, this fellow came along.


Yesterday we went to the beach.  We were not in the Caribbean, certainly not in Dubai, not even some sunny or not so sunny spot in Europe.  We were in Great Yarmouth.

There was endless space on the (sandy) beach,  the family nearest us played a rowdy game of rounders with no fear of hitting anyone other than themselves.  We could have hired deckchairs, loungers and windbreaks for the fraction of a cost of a European coffee.  In fact we opted for towels on the sand and the chance to bury the children, well at least one of the runners!

We paddled, runner 2 swam.  Although I will grant that the water is somewhat cooler than the Caribbean the sun was out in full force and it was glorious.  We had fish and chips for lunch and we cooled down with a walk along the front, a play on the pier and an impromptu shower on the log flume at the Pleasure Beach.

Simple pleasures at home and not a single hour wasted at the airport J


This was my breakfast table at 7.30 this morning.   The sun warmed my back as I ate .  The occasional boat puttered along the Yare and the ducks and swans nodded as they passed by on their way upstream.  I sat with my morning pages, journals and other ephemera that make up my morning ritual before I face the rest of the world and I was peaceful.

I have always been an early riser and sometimes get frustrated by people who lie in when I want to get on with the day.  But now I have learned to take advantage of my solitude, to hear the silence and revel in it.  Today was just such a morning and now I have the whole of the rest of the day to look forward to.


A friend posted this on her Facebook wall recently and I copied it to mine this morning:

“There are 5 things in life you cannot recover: A stone…after it’s thrown. A word…after it is said. An occasion.. .after it’s missed. The time…after it’s gone. A person…after they die. Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret anything that made you smile, Enjoy Life!”

We all know these things to be true, but how many of us can really say that we live by this rules?  I know I don’t, not always, not as much as I should.  Today I went to a funeral, a man only a year older than me, and whilst I am no spring chicken, that is far too young to die.  The church was full, we had to put more chairs and still there were people standing.

His family had had time to say goodbye, that doesn’t make it any less painful but I think must be better than yelling cheerio down the stairs to a loved one and never seeing them again, or worse slamming the phone down for the final time.

Today I am grateful for life, mine, that of the people I love and that of everyone, everywhere.  But I am mindful that it is a transient gift that can be taken in an instant.  I don’t want to squander it, I want to value it; mine, that of the people I love and that of everyone, everywhere.


My girls are home.  They have been staying with my mother and I know that both they and my mother have had a wonderful time, but I am so pleased to have them back.  It was very quiet without them, and whilst it was lovely to be able to get on and do stuff without worrying about getting supper ready or picking somebody up from the station I prefer the running around that comes with having them back home again.