European Escapades

Archive for February, 2010

Homersfield, Where’s the Donuts?

25

Feb

2010

The Book of Homersfield, Village in a Valley by Ken Palmer The Book of Homersfield, Village in a Valley by Ken Palmer

Well if it was Homer’s Field, then you would expect donuts to be growing in profusion. However this is Homersfield and so whilst there are no donuts around; there are plenty of things to say about this sleepy little village just outside of Bungay in Norfolk. Surprisingly enough for a village that at first glance only boasts a public house, there is enough history here I think to write a book on. In fact if you are really interested in a more detailed account of Homersfield and its history then the book is already available from Amazon or the Black Swan inn. Written by Ken Palmer its called "The Book of Homersfield, Village in a Valley"

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Conkers

24

Feb

2010

Conkers campsite in the National Forest
Conkers campsite in the National Forest

This was our first experience of an actual campsite. For the week before selling our house, we camped on our driveway, so that Missy Moo could get used to the new motor home and us sleeping in it. It was also a good excuse for us to check out the cooking and how to use the heating and water. As they say better to get used to a Motor home in the comfort of your own home whilst there is a chance to run back to a fully stocked house and garage if anything goes wrong. Our first two nights away were at our youngest son’s house, parked outside and then in the pub car park as we visited our friends in Derby. We asked the landlord if it was OK to stay there overnight and when he said “No problem” it meant we could enjoy our friends company and a few drinks as well.

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Snowdrop Walks and the Pilgrims Progress

22

Feb

2010

Last Remaining Wall of Walsingham Abbey Last Remaining Wall of Walsingham Abbey.

Oh what a perfect time to be in Walsingham and to visit the Abbey Grounds and Shirehall museum.  Walsingham was one of the places that Frances wanted to visit whilst we were in the area as it is a very famous Christian pilgrimage site and a shrine to “Our Lady”.  That’s the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus for the uninitiated like me. Why the perfect time? Because at this time of the year the snowdrop walk is a picture postcard setting, creating a perfect walk through the grounds of the abbey and woodland beyond. Yes it was a little muddy but you have to accept that to be able to see the beautiful mass of snowdrops and aconites in full bloom along the pathways and bank of the river Stiffkey you have to go and see it at this time of the year.

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The Midden

22

Feb

2010

The midden campsite
View of the Midden campsite

Our campsite at Wells-next-the-Sea was called “The Midden”. Its name derives from an old term meaning Dung Heap and that was precisely what it was historically. After the building of the Fakenham to Wells railway by the M&GN (Nostalgically known by the locals as, Muddle and Get Nowhere) it was used as a rubbish tip during the 19th century, not that you would guess that now. Although there is a council recycling centre just down the road heading towards town as a small reminder. Our initial thoughts to the site was that it had good electrical hookup but seemed to only have one water point on site, which we were right next to. Maybe an issue if a few people were onsite at a time.

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Morris Major Swallows Eight Track

20

Feb

2010

View of Well-next-the-Sea Harbour at low tide View of Well-next-the-Sea Harbour at low tide.

On our first night in Wells-next-the-Sea, we decide that a little trip to the town centre was in order. A little tricky at first as there was no pavement from the campsite for the first ½ mile and so a trek across the wet and muddy grass verges was the order of the day.  Once reaching the safety of the pavement on the outskirts of town we headed into the town centre noting the Edinburgh Pub at the top of the high street next to Barclays bank. We progressed down the sloping high street towards the quay side that we could see in the distance. I small narrow high street that you would expect of a small seaside town with various shops including a green grocer and two butchers.

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Spivs, Extortionists and the Internet

18

Feb

2010

No I’m not talking about all those scams and con-men that seem to be prevalent on the internet according to all the newspaper hype. We get them in all walks of life. I’m talking about the Spiv’s and extortionists trying to take my hard earned and valuable money to get onto the internet in the first place. I wonder what response you guys would give sitting at home, if BT, Virgin or any of the other Broadband suppliers said it would cost you £3,720 per month to connect and surf the internet. Not only that, but you may not be able to download that missed Eastenders off the BBC i-Player website or download too many of your favourite tracks from the I-Tunes store, else they would restrict your bandwidth.

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Good Beer Alert !!! Branthills

18

Feb

2010

Branthills Barley Farm and Real Ale Shop
Branthills Barley Farm and Real Ale Shop

Whilst deciding to leave Chatteris for another jaunt, this time to costal Norfolk for a few days, to allow for the eventual delivery of our ACSI European Camping Card. (I could have walked to the Netherlands and picked up myself in the time ACSI has taken to deliver it.) We also had to wait our Euro Visa Debit cards from it seems our only UK based International bank.

 Whilst heading to our first destination “Wells-next-the -Sea” we chanced upon a Beer Shop in the middle of nowhere.  It’s down a farm track off the B1105 around 2 miles out of Wells-next-the-Sea. The shop is in the grounds of Teddy Maufe’s Branthill Farm, which supplies Maris Otter barley to a number of the local craft brewers in the area such as Iceni and the Fox in Norfolk. It has a range of around 50 Real Ales from over 15 local Norfolk brewers from you to choose from.

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Cookie’s – The North Norfolk Heritage Coastline

14

Feb

2010

After leaving Wells – Next – The – Sea we continued along the Norfolk Coast, passing through Blakeney Point, famous for it’s Seal Sanctuary. This would have been a very tempting stop had the weather not been so cold and windy, it was a boat ride out to sea that I didn’t fancy at this time of year.

We continued our journey heading for Sheringham and Cromer along the beautiful coastline and came across a small fishing village called Salthouse. Nothing spectacular in the village itself just another fishing village, but we spotted a tiny seafood shop-cafe on the side of the road & ventured in as it was lunchtime. The place is called Cookie’s, at first it looks like a small shop with two tables in the corner to eat in if you wished to. We decided to stay and eat and our order was taken by one of the two Eastern European women running the place.

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The Banks are Already Nationalized?

12

Feb

2010

You would think so considering the trouble I had obtaining a Euro current account for our travels to Europe. Another simple task to say out loud, but far harder to put into practice. As we knew we would be spending a large amount of our time in Europe it was agreed that the safest and most economical way would be to obtain a Euro bank account that came with a debit card to enable us to buy products and services and also allow us to get cash out at cash points across Europe without the exorbitant charges that would accumulate if we used a Sterling account and did the currency conversions on the fly at standard wide buy sell commission rates plus a percentage or two for the privilege.

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