Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Norfolk Fare

I forgot to include these lovely looking fruit and nuts in my last foodie post of our travels in Norfolk.

I hear it has been a spectacular year for blueberries.

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And I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with a wet walnut

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But I thought Hugh Fearnly-Eat-it-All might be the man to ask

Wet walnuts are a true seasonal treat, available for just a few weeks each autumn. They sound a bit messy, but don’t worry, their hard, usually slightly grubby (because unpolished) shells are quite dry – on the outside. It’s the inside that’s “wet” – still juicy and fresh, in its just-picked state. The pale blond kernels are firm but yielding, without the brittle crispness of a dried nut. And the flavour is mild, milky and sweet, with just a hint of that tannic edge that makes walnuts the sophisticate of nuts.

 

And cob nuts,  ouch £9 a punnet! By my estimation that’s about a pound a nut…

cob nuts_

Waitrose tell me they are stocking them in store this autumn and at a more thrifty price.


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A Feast For The Eyes

Mrs Ogg and I  may have had a busy programme of sight seeing on our weekend away in Norfolk. But refuelling stops were taken very seriously.

Morning coffee

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afternoon tea

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Other foodie highlights were at and a very pleasant evening meal at Balthazar wine bar in Holt and a delicious Sunday breakfast of smoked salmon and poached egg croissant at  Byfords.  I loved Byfords, not only for its food, but for its warren of  higgled-piggledy rooms each telling a tale of previous use and lives. Fascinating, right up my street.


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Where to Start

The problem with letting a blog lie fallow is just where do you start to pick up the thread: it’s not that things haven’t been happening there are dozens of things I’d love to blog about. it’s just that there have been many other calls on my time. That, and I’ve simply fallen out of the habit of posting.

So rather than worry about which adventure to start with, I’ll start with the most recent, a weekend away with my friend Mrs Ogg, we’ve been to Norfolk. Where the sea meets the sky

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Norfolk is a place very close to Mrs Ogg’s heart, and somewhere I’ve hardly visited. Mr’s Ogg had a list of a hundred things she wanted to show me, amongst them were the beach huts at Wells Next The Sea (My blog looks a little like the beach hut on the left, it could do with a coat of paint, like the other two, do you not think?)

 

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It would be very hard to pick a favourite

Wells 2


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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 16th April 2014

Here he is, sporting is spring hair cut. If you think he looks a little miffed,I don’t think it is the lack of his coat that is disturbing him, its more to do with the fact he’s just discovered he is going to the kennels. Poor Spud.

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Poor Spud. Our holiday arrangements are a little complicated this Easter,but more of that in a day or so.

I mentioned in my last Spud post that he’d been lame. It was most noticeable when he came down steps or stairs, he  moved in bunny hops rather clattering down in his usual style. The vet thought it a soft tissue injury and prescribed anti-inflammatory/pain relief and complete rest, you can imagine we had trouble communicating that concept to Spud…

Although not completely cured, he does seem a lot better.


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Good the Bad and the Ugly

My feet barely touched the ground last week ( andI certainly spent a lot of time on the road, some of it more literally than is healthy).  I’ve been to Bangor, Newark and Worcester.

By  breakfast on Wednesday, I’d seen the good, the bad, and overheard the downright ugly.

 

But for the sake of this blog we’ll stick with the good, the good was going to see Tom, at Bangor Uni, we stayed overnight leaving Joe and Spud the dog home alone, they seemed to have enjoyed the independence.

 

Mr Uphilldowndale and I took a morning turn along Bangor Pier after our cooked breakfast*.

 

Bangor Pier_

Mr Uphilldowndale commented that it looked a little run down,

Bagor Pier_

 

I said I thought all piers had looked like that since the 1960’s (but not being a northern working class lad, he didn’t ‘do piers’  in the 1960’s).

Bangor Pier 3

My friend Mrs Ogg said she thinks it looks lacking in ‘pierphernalia’

Bangor Pier 4

*After a bracing stroll (gloves would have been handy) we went for a second breakfast, with Tom, at the very tasty Blue Sky Cafe in Bangor


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Walk and Talk

It’s been quite a break since I last posted. It’s been pretty tricky keeping up with things whilst the ground source heat pump work has been on going. The upheaval has been nothing that we didn’t expect and we knew that the 300 hundred year old dust that was likely to be liberated by  digging, drilling and hammering has a particular way of getting everywhere… that you can’t rip out an existing central heating system and replace it with new pipe work and radiators without any house sinking into disarray.

In many ways I’ve welcomed the distraction after Tom set out for university (and his bedroom has come in very useful) I’ve not had too much time to be melancholy, but I have missed him.

 

He’s studying at Bangor University, it’s not too far away,  a couple of hours drive, we went to see him on Friday. Of course Spud  the dog came too.

Having dropped off a food parcel and a few things he wanted at his halls,  we  all went for a picnic, calling in at Waitrose supermarket at Menai Bridge, To buy a some tasty morsels, its where Kate and Wills used to shop you know

Kate and Will smoothie_

 

Tom then drove us to Newborough Forest, on  the island of Anglesey. We had a lovely afternoon, walking on the beach

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and in the forest.

 

Newbrough Forest_

It’s a stunning spot, excellent car parking and facilities.

The beach is peppered with beautiful shells,  soft coloured rocks with batik patterns

 

rock formations Newborough_

and flowers

 

Sea Holly Newborough_

 

Spud the dog will be along tomorrow with his side of the story.

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