Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Parties galore

We had a hectic social calendar this weekend with a Pirate party (the reason for Ricardo's groovy facial hair)
There were some inspired outfits, like this one that Lynn made from old stockings & face paint.
What's that you say about a dead man's chest?.......................and a Noughty party for our friends Edward & Rachel.
It was Rachel's 50th birthday, her Father's 80th, she & Edwards 30th wedding anniversary & lots more noughty facts. They had gone to such trouble to prepare their beautiful house & garden. Here are a few photos of the highlights.
We camped overnight in our bargain tent, next to the VERY loudly SNORING William Fairbank.
Sorry...not this tent...
This one................. Here are the happy couple of noughties themselves at the gateway of the party.
There was some marvelous motor action that Richard had to get in on in his matching outfit.
The sign on the maypole read "There is nought better than good company". There was country dancing & speeches. All Edward & Rachael's children sing or play an instrument and so there was the most splendid entertainment too. Here is a short video of everyone who was anyone singing "Zadoc the Priest" with Edward & his son Nick playing duet on piano. Turn your volume right up before you play it.

Richard was dying to let one of the balloons go & finally got his chance the morning after.
And as you can see the sun has FINALLY come out.
Need time to recover now.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bloke post

This week has been one of greasiness & engines.
Richard's van broke down a couple of weeks ago & we bought a new (well VERY second hand) one. It is the same as his previous one so he took a whole load of bits & pieces off the old one & put them on the new one. A very satisfying job indeed. We towed the old one to Mellors metals. An exciting scrap yard near us, where the giant claw could come down at any time & squash you like an ant. All the fun of the fair & you get paid for it by the scrap dealer's very clean daughter.

Then after our sojourn to Sunderland Point a few weeks ago and a great deal of discussion with the all knowing fishermen & women of the North West; we decided "to Hell with the expense", we would put a diesel motor into the boat. We had one that we bought from a friend where our boat lies, but it was attched to a compressor.....more rust, diesel & dirt to get it off the compressor and to take it to....
Mr Diesel' himself, Brian Greenwood.
Brian has every man's ideal job, in every boy's ideal location. He has a workshop on what's known as 'The Broads' . With a view of boats & ducks & riverland. An Arthur Ransome story is set very nearby and there is a museum of the Broads too where these photos were taken of Ricardo in his element.
Mmmmmmmmm motors'

Mmmmmm canvas covers
Here's a picture of the engine that we will replace in the boat, an Albin petrol job, a collectors item we are told.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


On July the 12th it was our 4th wedding anniversary. Sister Sue sent us these....aren't they beautiful?
Very appropriate as anniversary number four is fruit & flowers. (Much better than gold or silver I reckon). Suze always remembers our wedding because when Richard came along she stopped getting phone calls from me sobbing about how tortuous my life was...a huge relief I'm sure.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Zebedee is a whole year old

It's been a whole year since Zebedee came into the world. (Drum roll).

There were suitable festivities. A cake made by his Aunty Emma. A walk to the river past West Harling Church. Some tree climbing with Mumma & cousin Florence. (Well maybe he'll be old enough next year.)A celebratory dinner with a Vietnamese feast. A strawberry tart, made by his Aunty Joey. A song from Uncle Ricardo. A new push along thingy that beeps & sparkles. Many tears & a few moving speeches.

Friday, July 20, 2007


The Pirate theme continues but this time the bounty is fruit related rather than boat.

Mmmmmm blackurrants. Ricardo & I went back to Harriet's & picked masses of them. Here's a photo of the jelly we made from one bowl full. We still have another 3 kilo's in the freezer.

My favourite recipe book of all time came today. It's Jane Grigson's Fruit book. My old beautiful tattered hard back copy lives in sister Suez's Post Office shed. I couldn't live without it any longer and so ordered it on Amazon. now it has arrived I will be able to transform fruit into spectacular desserts (Hmmm great expectations may be my public undoing as undoubtedly you my precious blog reader will now want pictures of aforementioned desserts).
My advice to you if you have any interest in food & literature is to go at once & buy a copy of this book. She writes like a poet. (It may have something to do with the fact that her husband was)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cast asunder

Sorry blog lovers, I haven't had much time in which to blog lately.
On the weekend, after Richard made a LOT more blackcurrant jelly (Kelly) on Friday night.
We went to visit friends who live at Sunderland point. Spooky is the word I'd use for Sunderland point. The very name reeks of isolation for when the tide comes in this tiny village which was once a thriving port is cut asunder from the main land and you can easily be caught in a swirling current that could drag you quickly out to sea.
It's a long way from Norfolk, on the West coast of England & it took us four & a half hours to get there. We had been warned about tidal comings & goings & so knew it would be OK to cross in the afternoon at about 4.30 pm.
When we arrived we had a nice time playing Petanque & then went for a walk. We found a quiet & isolated place, unchanged for hundreds of years.
We discovered Sunderland Point has quite a famous memorial....Samboo's grave. A young black West Indian slave had come with his master to this God forsaken outpost and died. He was buried on unconsecrated ground, in a windswept spot looking out to sea.
For a long time the grave was unmarked, until some years later a retired schoolmaster discovered the story and raised some money for a memorial. He also wrote the epitaph that now marks the grave:
'Full many a Sand-bird chirps upon the Sod
And many a moonlight Elfin round him trips
Full many a Summer's Sunbeam warms the Clod
And many a teeming cloud upon him drips.
But still he sleeps -- till the awakening
SoundsOf the Archangel's Trump now life impart
Then the GREAT JUDGE his approbation founds
Not on man's COLOUR but his worth of heart.'

It was an amazing landscape, all tussocky grass & rivulets of water. Green, green, green until it hit the water & the horizon.
We met an amazing couple who know all there is to know about fishing these treacherous waters. Margaret, the female of the two, has one of the few Haaf Netting licences. Haaf netting is a unique tradition found usually in the Solway Estuary and dates back to the Vikings. The word "haaf" means "sea net" which is mounted on a rectangular frame 18 feet long by 5 feet high. Fisherwomen walk out into the flat, shallows and mudflats and place the Haaf Net in front facing either the incoming ("flood") or outgoing ("ebb") tides, They have toclub the fish & hang it on their belt & wait again for another to come.

They gave us a packet of fresh whitebait & lots of advice about boats & engines.

Luckily there was some sun & the favourite green dress had an outing too.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fairwell Kellypuffs

At last she's gone & I can say how I really felt about her.....
she was even lovelier than I expected.
Sunny natured, keen on any adventure, easy going, sleeps through anything, the perfect guest. I keep thinking of all the things we didn't get to do.
Here are some photos of some of the things we did get to do. Bury St Edmunds' gatehouse to the Cathedral....

Holding up a ruin or two...

The Bury St Edmunds rose..

Ricardo sniffing said rose...

Ickworth house, some great masterpieces but a certain sense of desolation as no one lives there any more. The bacon butty by the mere at Creake abbey