Tag Archives: norfolk

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Natty Beatts – Come Outside

A few weeks ago I wrote an article for the newspaper about a Norwich-based singer/rapper who had filmed her latest music video at Ringstead with a Hunstanton-based production team. Well the finished product has now been released and here it is. I’ll be honest, I’m not overwhelmed by the quality of the music video or the concept and personally expected more from it, but I love the song and Natty Beatt’s voice.

The article doesn’t focus much on Natty partly because I couldn’t get hold of her before we went to press and partly because she was based in Norwich, which is outside our patch. But, looking into her via Facebook, Twitter etc, she is a very interesting person. She’s a rapper and singer, who has helped create a rap battle competition that runs in the city, she also models, will be starring in a Great Yarmouth pantomime, works as a body coach and does other health related work. A busy girl! But sure seems like lots of fun from her posts.

Nice to write about and find some home-grown talent that actually caters for my type of music. So many of the Norfolk acts that I come across have more of a folky/rock sound, which is nice, but personally I prefer something I can dance to with a drum and bass edge.

What do you think of the song?

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Class of 2010 – University of Hertfordshire – House of Boobs reunited

I am so excited. Today is the day. This afternoon, I am to be reunited with some of my best girlfriends – House of Boobs, as we were nicknamed at University of Hertfordshire – for drinks, dancing, an almighty catch-up and plenty of snuggles. We are all so close, but unfortunately being spread across Norfolk, Essex, London and Ipswich, it is not always practical to meet up as often as we would like, nor is it easy to find a time when everyone is free! I am so looking forward to hearing all about the girls’ summers, their promotions, new jobs, boyfriends, new homes, travel plans and the rest. It is also nice that because I have so much holiday left over I am taking today and Monday off work as a treat, with a spa day booked with mum for Monday. And I’m looking forward to wearing my fabulous new outfit – velvet crop top and tartan midi/pencil skirt when we go out tonight. Will post pictures and an update after the weekend.

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Life of a journalist and its varied tales…

The Buddy Holly Story at Lynn's Corn Exchange starring Glen Joseph.

This week has been a particularly extreme example of how very varied a career in journalism can be. Of course, for those who choose a speciality such as sport, law or feature work, the writing can seem repetitive over time, but the bonus of being thrown in the deep end without formal training and working in a short-staffed office is that you really get a chance to experience as many different writing styles as there are out there.

I am a great example of such a case and despite working on a paper that covers a relatively small part of Norfolk, there is a remarkable amount of very exciting news that needs covering! This week alone I have interviewed the star of West End musical – Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story ahead of its showing at the local theatre as part of the 25th anniversary tour and was given a backstage tour by Glen Joseph himself. I then wrote a piece about drug and alcohol abuse figures which involved me talking to action teams, the hospital, police, support groups and Norfolk County Council. I also interviewed a woman about her father’s Jobseeker’s Allowance being cut off and spoke to the Department of Work and Pensions and spoke to a woman who was celebrating her 103rd birthday.

I interviewed a published writer about his book, the tale of his father’s travels and the secret life he led during World War II followed by his work spying on the Russians during the Cold War.I also wrote about Bus Awards, flood alerts, power cuts, schools, charity work and local bands and theatre productions.

All that and more is what I have been working on in the space of one week – just think of all the amazing stories you could be working on at a national paper! If that doesn’t interest more people in journalism then perhaps the fact that in my second job, as editor of This Festival Feeling, I had the opportunity to interview Charlie Hedges, the youngest breakfast DJ in the UK, from KISS FM will interest people in the potential for a writing career and where it might take you.

 

Making my plans to run away with the circus – then realising I can’t juggle

Growing up, I was a bookworm. The sort of child who took a book down to the dinner table and who lay on the floor in the supermarket reading all the magazines while my mum did the food shopping each week.

This love of books stemmed particularly from my mother introducing me to the  imaginative children’s stories by Enid Blyton, which were packed full of pixies and adventures. I used to save up my pocket money and go to a book stall on the local market to buy second hand books – usually Famous Fives, Secret Sevens, The Adventures of…, The Magic Faraway Tree collection, Mrs Pepperpot, Malory Towers etc – all the classics.

I would then plough through the books at lightning speed and be forced to read them over and over again until I could save enough for some more!

So imagine my delight when, after writing a story about a circus coming to King’s Lynn, I was offered free tickets to go along. I went along on Friday night, and despite my previous unease around clowns and the like, I was very excited to watch what I had been told was a “traditional circus designed to reignite childhood memories”.

Mr Fip’s Wonder Circus certainly delivered – from the moment I entered the big top, I was transported back into the pages of my Famous Five and The Adventures of… books where circuses were packed with magic, amazing acrobats and feats of contortion – of freak shows and hypnotising dancing girls. It was a fantastic night out and, for the official price of the tickets, very good value for money.

Despite the tent being packed out with families with young children, I think myself, my boyfriend and our two friends we took along, were having even more fun watching the acts. I can honestly say I didn’t stop laughing from the moment I entered the big top to the moment I left – it was hilarious and awe-inspiring throughout.

My favourite acts were the chap on the unicycle who impressed with his superb cycling skills as he bounced the contraption up and down flights of stairs and dribbled inbetween cones. He then switched to a smaller version of his cycle which was just a wheel with pedals, before challenging himself with a unicycle that was double the height. Amazing talents.

My second favourite act was the beautiful Arabian Nights performance by a young woman dressed in her stunning costume (similar to Jasmine’s in the Disney film, Aladdin). She was a hula-hooping extraordinaire who showed the audience all kinds of tricks which saw her hooping with around 30 huge hoops at the same time and then upping her game by setting them on fire. Her movements were hypnotic and I couldn’t tear my eyes away – especially later when she returned to the ring for her other act, which saw her dangling from a ball that was hung from the ceiling and performing acrobatic moves.

Finally, an act which deserves a fantastic mention for leaving me in pain for laughing so hard – my ribs still ached the next day from such hysterics! Mr Fips and his father performed their double act, The Brenner Clowns, which saw the comedic duo throwing water, soap and other messy liquids all over each other – and the audience! It was hilarious and through the art of mime they managed to tell a story while doing it. The piece was incredibly well scripted and practised until perfected – yet still retained the feeling of complete spontaneity. It was a wonderful break from the main show and the pair should be applauded (as they were, and very heartily from the audience) for their amazing chemistry in the ring.

A fantastic night out and totally changed my opinion of both clowns and circuses. Before now I had not been to the circus for several years and had based my opinion of them on what I saw in the news and heard from others – mainly relating to animal cruelty and creepy clowns. I am happy to admit that all of those beliefs were wrong and instead I found an amazing show that brings some incredible talents together. These dedicated individuals put their all into performing the very best possible show for you and they have an amazing time doing it. I would heartily recommend visiting this circus as it makes it’s way to Downham Market and beyond.

And a day of traditional seaside fun, with a little extra work!

Today was spent at sunny Hunstanton, where I was a determined woman. After a day off enjoying Norwich, I had plenty to be getting on with at our beach hut. My family own a beautiful beach hut at Old Hunstanton, quite close to the lifeboat station, which we bought as a ruin and have done up ourselves. Now, although I admit I am biased, I would argue that it is easily the best looking beach hut on the whole beach!

The beach hut means a lot to our family, we have always been big lovers of the seaside and as kids spent every weekend at a different beach, but always heading back to Old Hunstanton, which was a particular favourite. My parents bought the hut when I was around 14-years-old, a perfect time for  us to still spend every weekend there, for me to help painting and decorating it, and for us to full it with buckets, spades and all the rest of the traditional beach paraphernalia. It came in handy when, shortly after, my nan was diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer which quickly took hold of her body and weakened her severely. No longer could she clamber across the sand dunes with ease, but she still longed to go to the seaside with her family. Having the beach hut, especially so close to the road, meant she could easily get down there and sit within the hut to keep warm and sheltered from the weather but still wouldn’t miss out on a second of family time.

Sadly, she died a year after being diagnosed, when I was 16, but I’m pleased to say we made the most of every last second and that hut carries so many wonderful memories for the whole family. We have since redecorated it and have recently had to have further work done on some rotten beams and weather-beaten parts. This meant a further repainting was required to smarten it up and a bit and I thought I would post some pictured of the progress on here for you all to see.

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Here I am painting away – actually painted from 10.30am to 4.30pm without taking a break! Special attention went to the doors and detailing, while my dad worked on the larger areas and touching up the varnish on the decking.

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After working for hours in the beautiful sunshine, we started to pack everything away before grabbing fish and chips as a treat and got comfy for the sunset.

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Despite all the hard work, I still made sure that I had time to find sandcastles on the beach, to walk down the hastily retreating tide and pick blackberries. Just some of my favourite things to do at the seaside – and of course, squeezed in an ice cream! It was a fantastic day and so nice to spend with my parents and grandfather. There is still a bit of work left to do on the beach hut, but it should be finished inside and out by next weekend – I will post better pictures then of both inside and outside. And hopefully, the weather will hold so that my photographer friend has time to organise a photo shoot there!

A day of vintage shopping and exploring off the beaten track in my favourite city

After a week of stressing about lots of little things, it was time to unwind over the weekend by spending a little time with my loved ones and trying something different. Saturday was spent in Norwich with my boyfriend, after waking up first thing, we decided to head to the city for a day of browsing the lanes – neither of us needing to buy anything just fancying a look around the city in the sunshine.

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First of all we went to the Patisserie for a drink and some gateaux – I indulged in the double chocolate, while Mark went for the chocolate mousse combined with fruit smoothies and chocolate milkshakes. Absolutely delicious – I can never resist this place because all of the cakes look so gorgeous.

After, we headed into the lanes where we wandered among the cobbled streets for hours, popping into little boutique and vintage shops, found adorable cafes and delis that we had never seen before, including one that was selling a type of venison salami. The sun came out in force and it was a beautiful day, which only added to the feeling of being on holiday – I love when you rediscovered a place so familiar to yourself just by wandering off the beaten track.

After a few hours, we suddenly came across this huge vintage and antiques shop, Looses Emporium, which looked incredible. We were instantly sucked in and began to explore the enormous warehouse and its contents. We found some amazing items – mainly furniture that made me wish I were moving out so I could fill my home with these unique pieces – but also books, clothes, ornaments and much, much more. Here are some of my favourites:

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A vintage Lotto machine..

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A throne!

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Obviously need one of these for above the mantlepiece!

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Still in perfect working condition – such a beautiful tone to the music that you just don’t get from iPods etc…Image

As suggested by my friend – a sex gong! Haha

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And my favourite item of the day – a classic novel..

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Then, after two and a half hours of exploring (which included a flea market we found upstairs where Mark bought the purple 50’s bowling bomber as pictured above and an original 1960’s kimono), we moved on to Aladdin’s Cave, which was just down the street where I had to persuade Mark not to buy a life-size statue of Jesus for his new living room.

Both stored were amazing for one-off pieces and for finding something a little different, something we both love to do. Mark is moving into a new house, that his mum and step-dad are renovating in order to rent out, with one of his mates at the start of November and he is really excited to furniture shop for his own home. The place he shares now with two friends is filled with furniture and items that don’t belong to Mark, either to the others or they were given to the boys. He is definitely getting to that point where he wan’t to have a home to call his own and to have all his own things, rather than just a room in a house.

It was an amazing day and nicely rounded off with a meal in a Tapas restaurant we discovered which had the most amazing food. We shared a selection of dishes including Patatas Bravas, prawns in garlic and oil, mozzarella sticks in breadcrumbs with garlic mayonnaise, meatballs in a tomato sauce with peas, and a phenomenally tasty chorizo, bacon, and pea stew in a smoky tomato sauce that fired up my taste buds.

It was so nice to spend a day with Mark, just the two of us, exploring somewhere we both love. We haven’t had enough couple time lately and haven’t appreciated each other as much as we should so it was nice to be together away from everything and everyone at home.

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Review – Cookie’s Crab Shop

Review - Cookie’s Crab Shop

I went to this gorgeous crab restaurant in Salthouse, on the glorious North Norfolk Coast, last weekend.
Accompanied by my parents and my other half, we headed out to the coast specifically to try the shellfish at this restaurant after a mention in the Sunday Times magazine.
Easy to find, and cute as anything, the restaurant (which was more of a cafe than anything else) looked out over the marshes and on a beautifully sunny day, without a cloud in the sky, was the perfect setting for some fresh, Norfolk seafood.
The staff were friendly, efficient and served us the very best they had on offer while telling us all about the latest catch and what were the best combinations.
We went for prawn and garlic pate and potted shrimps to start, with Royal crab salads and a tiger prawn salad for mains.
The food was delicious and could not have been fresher unless it jumped straight out of the ocean and on to my plate.
There was such a relaxed atmosphere, and even the option of bringing along your own wine to accompany the food, as some of the diners had done.
I would heartily recommend the place to anyone with a fondness for seafood or a wish to try crab as it should be served.
The meal was followed by a drive through the stunning villages along the coast, with a quick stop in Thornham before we headed to Old Hunstanton to see my pretty little beach hut, which is having work done on it at the moment but I shall post pics when it is finished and re-painted.