Tag Archives: sunshine

Finishing the weekend back in Norfolk by the river

denver4This post is just to round off my lovely birthday celebrations at the weekend, and to be honest it is just an excuse to post some of the lovely pictures I have from Sunday’s sunny afternoon. We drove back fairly early on Sunday after waking up early and realising how hot it was going to be, we figured it was more of a day to be spent in the lush greenness of Norfolk, sunbathing in the garden or by the sea. I was looking forward to a chilled out afternoon of sunbathing with the tortoise and getting some blogging done, but as always, Mark went swanning in and sabotaged my plans with more ideas about eating. We were less than a hour from home when he suggested popping to Denver, to The Jenyns Arms for a pub lunch by the river, and I just couldn’t resist. The thought of sitting by the river in the sunshine while dragonflies danced by on the breeze sounded just too perfect for words.denver1I’ve been to the pub a few times, and am always overwhelmed by how beautiful the location is and how charming the pub itself is. Some might say it looks outdated, but in my opinion that really adds to the charm and makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. Strolling around the side entrance, we saw the garden was already busy with others who had shared the same idea, but after ordering drinks and food, we only sat for a second before snagging a perfect waterfront table. We were less than a metre from the water, where ducks were swimming by accompanied by a duckling who seemed pretty excited that he was swimming and kept quacking at us for attention. It was such a beautiful day, the sun was beaming down on us as we watched the longboats glide gently past, while the rushes and willow trees rustled in the breeze. Further along the river, we could see swans swimming gracefully in the distance and cabin cruisers parked up along the shore.denver2Of course, quite rightly, you’ll have realised by now that this weekend was all about food and it seemed only right to finish it on a high. I ordered the salmon on a bed of asparagus with rocket, salad and new potatoes, it was supposed to come with hollandaise sauce but I didn’t really fancy that part. The dish was lovely, perfectly cooked salmon and the potatoes were gorgeous with some melted butter on top. It was a perfect Sunday lunch for such a hot day. Boyfriend ordered the steak and ale pie with roast potatoes and peas, this too was gorgeous. A completely home-made pie with delicious pastry – and for me pastry makes a pie – which crumbled and melted in your mouth. The whole dish looked tasty and he really enjoyed it, I’m sure I would have too if I had been hungrier. They had loads of delicious dishes on the menu including a variety of roast dinners, and I will definitely be going back to try another.denver3After lunch, we decided to go for a stroll along the river to look at the boats and dip our feet in the waters after our hot, stuffy drive back from the Big Smoke. We wandered along the riverbank, found a huge house with hardens full of chickens and an empty dock where we sat and sunbathed for a while, dunk our feet in the cool, refreshing waters. A friendly duck came over to say hi and see what we were up to and I found some stale bread on the dock to feed her with. More boats floated past with the passengers waving hello, it was such a peaceful and calm day – really the epitome of what Norfolk is about and why I love it so much. I felt like I had stepped back in time, into a Famous Five novel. It was a shame we had already had lunch or I would have insisted on a picnic basket filled with lashings of ginger beer, hard boiled eggs and a screw of salt to season them with. We should have been jumping in the river and swimming all afternoon with Timmy the dog… Ha I’m getting carried away now! My point is, it was lovely and as we carried on along the riverbank, we found a perfect sunbathing spot where we lay out for hours before finally making our way home to Lynn.

What is your favourite pub in Norfolk? Or just your favourite spot?

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A weekend of sunshine and skydiving in Norfolk

10259791_10152052007567617_3291112992051207503_nLast weekend, I headed out to UK Parachuting over at Beccles Airfield to watch a group of grown men fling themselves out of a plane and scream like little girls. What a way to spend a sunny day! It was such a random decision for all the boys to do a skydive, but after someone suggested it, they all decided they were up for it. Before we knew it, they were booked on it and a few weeks later, here we were!  It was a gorgeous summers day – the hottest we had seen yet in Norfolk – and everyone was out in the sunshine eating ice creams as they waited to be called up. I had firmly decided I wasn’t going to be taking my feet off the ground, but was more than happy to offer moral support and to video the boys (pictured above).

10371988_10152052008092617_4004815505940194698_nAfter they all signed in, we had to wait until their groups were called up. It was a busy day at the airfield, so we expected to be there a while. I just wished that I had been more prepared – others had brought chairs and picnics to enjoy, but we just hadn’t thought of that at all.

10363877_10152052008027617_3748810895108617275_n We made up for it with an ice cream and a sit on the benches, one of the boy had brought a Nerfball, luckily that was over quickly after one managed to hit me in the head with it (not amused). Thankfully, someone had a box of beers in the car to keep us entertained once the group had a brief safety session.

10345543_10152052007717617_724608603554442552_nDespite being told no-one would be called up for an hour and a half, someone soon came over and started yelling at us all (after only about 20 minutes) because we were all bring called. We headed back over to the hangar and the boys started suiting up. They had to put on these amazing jumpsuits – so flattering (not!). They did seem to suit some of them, but the others looked ridiculous and I took a lot of enjoyment out of this, especially the wonderful little hats as you can see in the above pictures. They were all harnessed up and strapped in – obviously this cued much groping of their “man-parts” which apparently were rather uncomfortable.10348316_10152052007797617_2935174272223610823_n

After this, there was a lot more waiting around, for which I was glad to be in a summer dress rather than these hot, sweaty little suits.While waiting, I’d clocked several charity groups, including The Matthew Project who had a vicar taking to the skies!

10313974_10152052007912617_6581314115251572621_nFinally, it was time, the first group of boys were called up to their plane after a brief safety session and they scooted in with their tandem divers. One of these skydivers had done over 10,000 jumps in his time! After a brief flight up, swooping over the airfield and looping round as they climbed higher and higher, the cage was slipped open. Those on the ground were all craning our necks and squinting into the sun to spot them as the first skydivers jumped out of the plane. It was an amazing sight to see these tiny dots grow larger and larger until their parachutes burst open. Some were allowed the grab the reins and you could see them swinging from side-to-side and doing loop-the-loops. They floated faster and faster towards the ground and swooped down, being told to raise their legs at the last minute as they bumped down on their bums – a funny old sight once you could see their facial expressions. Two planes later and they were all on the ground raving about it.

It really did sound like an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience – to get that incredible thrill would be just amazing and I definitely plan to do it in my lifetime. They all said I should have done it then, but I just didn’t want to spend £180 on it now when I could do it in New Zealand or somewhere next year instead. But it really did sound incredible and just what an amazing experience to fling yourself out of a plane and to float to the ground like that. The ultimate thrill. They were all so glad they had done it, with some even hoping to do the course to learn how to do it on your own! I know I didn’t do it myself, but if I were you, after seeing their reactions, I would definitely give it a go! I certainly plan to!

Have you been skydiving? What was it like for you?

Loving life in London town and celebrating in the sunshine

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The view across the London Eye and Houses of Parliament in the sunshine

I still haven’t quite managed to get back to reality after last week’s mid-week break to London – I just keep wishing I was back strolling along the South Bank drinking wine in the sunshine! Me and the boyfriend had the trip planned after he bought me tickets to see Ella Eyre at XOYO for Christmas – both very excited after seeing her perform the other year on tour with Rudimental. Unfortunately a change in the date of the gig meant the tickets had the wrong date on and we ended up missing the gig – so no Christmas present but we more than made up for it with an epic couple of days.

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Sunshine and smiles on the bridge

When we arrived in London we decided to ignore our previous plans to head to the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaur exhibit and to the British Museum for the exhibitions on Egyptians and Vikings – it was just far too sunny to be inside looking at history. Instead we headed straight to Embankment with plans of grabbing some lunch and sitting out in the sunshine. As we walked out of the station and towards the bridge, we came across a food festival.

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Mark with his lucky heather

 

We could resist heading into the gardens were there were various stalls selling jerk chicken, pasta dishes, African cuisine and even fish dogs (fish finger hot dogs!). We plumped for a lobster bite, which was absolutely delicious, followed by black truffle mushroom risotto balls stuffed with Italian cheese and with a tasty ragu – incredible! We were glad for these later on when we ended up not getting the chance to eat again until late! While we ate, we sat in these beautiful gardens with a great view of the London Eye.

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Afterwards we walked across the bridge to South Bank and strolled along in the sunshine watching the street theatre and listening to live music. I loved the steel drums, while Mark was the perfect target for anyone selling anything from ‘lucky’ heather to bibles!

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The bendiest rasta men I have ever seen!

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Mark with his lucky heather

We must have walked miles, stopping now and then to sit in bars drinking wine in the sunshine and trying to remember where we were going. As we were walking, we found some leaflets for a gig that night in Camden Market where a ska orchestra would be playing at Dingwalls. We figured this was a perfect replacement for Ella Eyre and decided to head there instead of to Soho to watch a jazz band. After a quick stop at the Restup Hostel (genuinely nicer than hotels we have stayed in previously in London, perfect position for going out all over and my first choice more often than not).

10003439_10151937972882617_1889696327_nWe grabbed a quick bite to eat and a few drinks then headed to Camden where The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra and another ska act would be playing later on. It was a great little venue – slap bang in the middle of Camden, dark and full of interesting characters – just my kind of place. The bands were great, really lively and energetic – they had everyone up and dancing from the beginning. I’ve never seen any other music have such a awesome effect on a group of people with such different backgrounds, ages and jobs – it really has such a good atmosphere and has got me all excited for the summer at BoomTown fair. The band played such a range of instruments and were really talented – I was very impressed.

1622840_10151937973082617_110445465_n 1012138_10151937973202617_1120837800_nWe danced long and hard and my legs were killing me by the end after a day spent walking all over London. The next day we spent eating our way round the food stalls at Camden Market nursing our hangovers before heading home. A great few days in London where we achieved nothing we planned to do but had loads of random fun. It was great to get away and really hard to come back to work after this followed by the weekend. It was also our eight year anniversary over the weekend – quite an achievement in itself! Can’t quite believe we’ve been together for more than a quarter of my life now – we must be doing something right!

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Do you love spontaneous trips like this or do you prefer to plan every second? What’s the most random thing you’ve come across in London?

 

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.