Sunday, 25 April 2010

Seeing the Seals at Horsey

Following a busy sunny but blustery Saturday and having heard several reports from those boaters lucky enough to pass up stream of Potter Heigham Bridge, we decided to walk out from Horsey Mill car park to try to see the resident colony of Grey seals.  Previous attempts to view the local Horsey crane colony ended dismally so as we parked in the late afternoon sun we hoped for better luck.  Across the flat grazing marshes the wind died away as we crossed a couple of cattle fields toward the Nelsons Head pub that we fully intend to make use of on our trip on Royall Oak in June.  After a short stretch on tarmac, a footpath headed toward the sand dunes where we could see a narrow gap.

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Here amongst the reedy, dyke fringed meadow, new born lambs skipped about their mothers and we climbed the soft sand through the gap and down onto the beach.  At first we struggled to spot the herd amongst the rock groins as even at close quarters they blend in, but a bit of shuffling and a couple of raised heads soon revealed them a short distance towards Winterton.  The herd numbered about seventy animals of various colours, greys blotched with black, black with grey and fluffy tan. 


Three or four seals swam alongshore and emerged our of the waves to shuffle up the beach, passing (we assumed) two huge black rearing bulls slapping each other with their flippers and biting.  The others higher up the slope took no notice, indeed one great beast lay completely comatose on his back.  Further on a similar sized herd also frolicked amongst the surf and slept.  Tillie and Raven were intensely interested but we kept them well back at the viewing platform provided although they could still hear the continuous moaning and slapping of the snoozing and fighting animals.

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Crossing the dunes we descended from the viewing platform down some wooded steps onto a track leading back to the footpath and this is certainly easier going than the soft sandy beach, returning as the sun sank passed the pub and along the road which although noisier at least meant we did not have to lift the dogs over any field stiles.

The distance is difficult to judge, especially as I forgot my GPS , however we estimate a round trip of four miles, very well worth the effort.


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

T.E.D. the 2 campaigning greyhounds

I am a great fan of the Life sized Greyhound crochet pattern from Leonora Conlon of Aerie Crafts and have made quite a few of them.  Recently I have completed two rainbow coloured ones which were requests.  They are both going to be called Ted short for Totally Exploited Dog and are going to two campaign group whose aim is to bring about the abolition of greyhound racing -  Greyhound Action and my local group Action for Greyhounds UK.  They will be used on fund raising stalls, events and festivals that are held throughout the year.


Here they were having a meeting before going their separate ways – Not sure what relevance Mr Toad’s presence was but he is looking pleased with himself!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Hereford Hot-pot (vegetarian)

I made this in the week – lovely served with homemade bread. 


1 dsp sunflower oil

3 medium leeks, washed and sliced

1 large onion, sliced

325g/12 oz swede, cubed

225g/8 oz carrots, sliced

25g/1 oz plain flour

550ml/1 pint dry cider

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp yeast extract

1 small dessert apple, cored and sliced

175g/ 6 oz pre cooked red lentils

450g/1 lb potatoes, parboiled for 3 minutes and sliced

75g/ 3 oz cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper

Serves 4.

Pre heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based flameproof casserole and sweat the leeks, onions, swede and carrots over a low heat, covered with a lid, for about 15 minutes until softened a little.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, mix the flour to a paste with a little of the cider over a medium heat. Gradually add the rest of the cider, stirring. Mix in the tomato puree, yeast extract, salt and pepper.

Chop the apple and add it to the vegetables in the casserole together with the lentils, then pour the cider sauce over. Arrange the potato slices on top, put tiny dots of the butter over them and scatter the cheese over the top.

Cover and bake for 1½ hours. Uncover for the last 30 minutes of cooking time to allow the topping to brown.

If it looks like getting too dry when you remove the lid for the last half hour, carefully add a little water in between the layer of potato and the side of the pan.