Uphilldowndale

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


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Riverside Walk

After our visit to the Tower, we walked along the Thames embankment

We came across this party of school children, painting pictures of Tower Bridge*

children painting tower bridge 2

Each child had their shoes and water bottles neatly set beside them, and were totally absorbed in their task.

children painting tower bridge

 

They completely ignored the slack jawed British tourists who openly expressed their amazement at the children’s exemplary behaviour,

children painting tower bridge 3

we reckoned there must have been 60 or more children, and as far as we could see, only two adults overseeing them. I don’t think you’d get that ratio past a school trip risk assessment in the UK.

We had tea and cake at the Tate Modern, where we were privileged to watch peregrine falcons, perched on the roof, through telescopes provided by the RSPB

 

Mr Uphilldowndale succumbed to  a little green tractor envy

little green tractor envy 

 

we had fun trying to photograph St Pauls Cathedral and London busses.

St pauls_ 

It is a very long time since I’ve played ‘tourist’ in London, back in my day, you needed an A-Z,  it seems they are things of the past; how do we get home?

No A-Z

 

(have you heard about the new glass walkway at Tower Bridge? Not for the faint hearted).


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Round Up of Norfolk

A final  photo selection from our foray into Norfolk

In Blakeney narrow  streets, from an era when boats ruled the world not motorcars,

cottages_

And when catching the tide was more important than catching the bus.

cottages 2

 

A rather fetching wall plaque, with a meandering hollyhock, it has a art deco vibe, do you think?

 

ship plaque art deco-

The admirable 14th century craftsmanship of the ribbed brick vaulting in  Blakeney Guildhall

Blakeney

Some very pretty little costal flowers,can anyone tell me what they are?

costal flowers_

The RNLI station at Wells Wells lifeboat station

Then off down the coast to Cromer

Cromer lifeguard_

Cromer Pier

Cromer pier_

The sort of seaside vista, familiar from my childhood*

Cromer 2

Although it was always the west coast, Lytham St Annes and Fleetwood for my family, but never Blackpool, considered too vulgar… even in the 1960’s

Cromer pier 2

 

Time for home.

 

*Although I always hankered for a seaside holiday with rock pools, so I could complete my I Spy the Seashore book.


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Made in Cley

Mrs Ogg and I visited the pretty village of Cley-next the Sea,

Cley next the Sea

We didn’t see the sea, but we did many beautiful things.

I was very keen to visit the Pink Foot Gallery, I’d admired  from afar the work of wildlife artist Brin Edwards, and was keen to view.  There were so many beautiful things in the gallery, Mrs Ogg challenged me to chose my favourite, money no object*  what would be my take home piece. I was hard pressed to select, but Ithink it would have been one of Anthony Theakston’s ghostly owls (I’ve had the odd run in with owls before).

Over the road was Made in Cley, a wonderful place full of hand made ceramics, and  art. The shop in its self, (the yellow building, left of shot, was a delight, worn, polished floor boards and original fittings.

Cley

Like most of the shops in Cley, it came complete with a large cat perched on the counter (Flighty, there’s yet another delightful book shop too).

Around the side it had its own private railway…

Cley 2n

One more Norfolk post to come. Then I’ll head for home.

 

(*And you would need quiet a bit: it was noted there seems to be quiet a bit of disposable income sloshing about this part of Norfolk, or at least the places to spend it, the two aren’t necessarily the same.)


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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.

norfolk blueberries_

 

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

wet walnuts_

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

20140906_111937

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

Wells_

 

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?)

 

fallow shed_ 

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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