Saturday, 31 December 2011

In and around the Burnhams

We have 2 weeks off over Christmas and the New Year so we have had plenty of time for rest and relaxation and walking. Today we decided to travel up the North Norfolk Coast for about 1 hour or so and start our walk from Burnham Overy Staithe. We had roughly worked out a circular walk of just over 7 miles. On the way we stopped off at Holt and visited Byfords a deli/bakery that does great walking fodder eg. pasties, pies and cakes.



Once fully kitted up which normally means Nigel carrying mostly everything, we set off and were immediately drawn to a field running along the salt marshes with quite a few geese grazing the grass. On closer inspection with Nigel’s scope, he identified them as Brent geese (picture not very good as they were far away and the camera is on maximum zoom) visiting from Siberia for the winter after flying 2500 miles. We were pleased as we had never seen them in the flesh before. We later saw skein after skein of Pink Footed Geese arrive from the nearby salt marshes to feed on the nearby fields.




We were following part of the National Coastal Path for a little way and this was proving to be everyone else’s idea also, it was amazing the amount of people using it. However we soon lost everyone after turning off the Coastal path and walking inland.


We now headed off towards Burnham Thorpe our next destination as we wanted to visit the site of the house where one of Norfolk’s greatest and most famous hero’s was born - Lord Horatio Nelson, this made us deviate a little off our planned path but we thought no matter as it wouldn’t add on that much.



Our next stop was lunch, so we found a handy grassy bank to sit on and devoured our goodies from Byfords with Tillie & Raven looking hungrily on – don’t worry we had packed food for them too but human food always looks more tasty. After a short stop we wearily got to our feet and plodded on.



Our next stop was to have a quick look at the ruins of Burnham Norton Friary which was founded in 1241 and was thought to be the first foundation of the Carmelites or White Friars in Norfolk but was dissolved in 1538 by Henry VIII.






By now, time was pressing on and we wanted to get back to the car before dark, so we trudged on, now towards Burnham Norton village to pick up the National Coastal path again and we slowly wound our way back towards the village of Burnham Overy Staithe but it was dusk before we got back to the car.



After one detour to Nelson’s birthplace and two wrong turns, our 7 mile walk in fact turned out to be 10.75 miles!! We can now actually track our walks as I am now the proud owner of an android phone and I have downloaded My Tracks on it, which maps the walk, giving mile indications, mile per hour travelled etc.




The dogs are now tired out and after some well earned dinner (Tillie for some reason always eats her dinner half in the utility room and half in the Hall) they are now crashed out and I fear they may not be able to stay awake long enough to welcome in the New Year.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Friday’s Fiver No 5

Today’s Fiver goes to Medecins sans Frontieres also known as Doctors without Borders.


From their website:

Médecins Sans Frontières MSF (Doctors Without Borders) is an independent international medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid in more than 60 countries to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters or exclusion from healthcare.

In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centres for malnourished children and offers mental healthcare.

When needed, MSF also constructs wells, dispenses clean drinking water and provides shelter materials, such as blankets and plastic sheeting.



Saturday, 24 December 2011

Have a Greyt Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone and have a peaceful New Year
from Sara, Tillie & Raven

Artwork by my talented husband Nigel

Friday, 23 December 2011

Friday’s Fiver No 4


This weeks fiver goes to Hamlin Fistula UK a UK trust partner for Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia.

From the website:

The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital was founded by Dr Catherine Hamlin AC and her late husband, Dr Reg Hamlin OBE, and is dedicated to the treatment and care of women who suffer horrendous childbirth injuries, known as obstetric fistula.

Obstetric fistula is caused by prolonged obstructed labour when a woman will spend days in labour without any medical help or pain relief. If she survives this ordeal she will give birth to a still born child and her internal injuries will cause her to be incontinent of urine and sometimes bowel contents as well.

She will spend the rest of her life a destitute outcast unless she can get to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital or one of its outreach centres.

The surgical technique developed by the Hamlins successfully cures 93% of obstetric fistula cases. The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has established a purpose–built village called Desta Mender ("Village of Joy") to provide long term care for women whose childbirth injuries are so severe that they cannot return to live a normal Ethiopian village life. At Desta Mender the women are trained in new skills so that eventually they can re–enter Ethiopian society as "citizens of the world" once again.

I first became aware of the plight of these poor, unfortunate, often shunned women through a forum I am member of on Ravelry called Stitches for Sisters. 

Stitches for Sisters is an online community of women based in Australia and NZ, but with members from across the globe. Our aim is to make beautiful handmade creations for women and children in developing nations. We’re passionate about making each item unique and special and we put a lot of care and love into our work.

Our first project as a new group was to make either crochet or knit squares and post them off to the coordinator, who then assembled them into blankets/wraps for the women visiting the hospital in Addis Ababa.  Following surgery which in many cases completely cures the patient, the women are given a new dress and a blanket which they use as a shawl. These blankets are always very colourful and the women do not feel properly dressed without one.

It would be lovely to think that a young Ethiopian woman maybe wearing a blanket with one of my donated squares in.


I would welcome suggestions from anyone, of some future Friday’s Fiver beneficiaries.  Just drop me a message.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The year of the blanket

This year saw me being obsessed with creating blankets of one design or another. They are all crochet as I do not have the patience to knit such large projects and anyway I find crochet easier on my hands. I hope you don’t mind me doing a little show and tell.


No 1 - Autumn Log Cabin Throw


No 2 - This design is called the Groovyghan Blanket


No 3 - Blanket is the Babette Blanket


No 4 - Blanket is just a simple Ripple Stitch Blanket


No 5 - A Scrapghan Blanket


No 6 - Winter Skies Blanket


No 7 - Granny’s Zinnias – made for my sister Jane’s 50th birthday


No 8 - Purple Passion

Just realised this is my 100th post!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Seaside Sunday

Saturday saw us put the inside Christmas decorations up.  The boring bit was trying all the lights out and yes, there were loads that didn’t work.  I can never understand why they decide to not work after sitting in a box all year doing absolutely nothing.  Getting them to work entailed pulling all the bulbs out one by one and finding the ones that were dud, and then trying to locate the box with the spare bulbs in.  After this boring task was completed, the fun bit – decorating the tree.  We have 2 trees, both artificial – in the past we have tried real trees but I found that the resin from the tree spoilt a lot of my decorations, so we have now opted for artificial. 

We have one tree in the kitchen


And one in the living room


I get the chance to display this lovely knitted nativity purchased last year from a Save the Children charity shop for £18.  The work in it is amazing and so under priced.


Sunday we took a trip to the coast again, this time Cromer.  The tide was well in and very foamy which was flying about the beach which intrigued the dogs.





We walked along the beach then up some cliff steps and back along the cliff tops back towards the the pier and town, passing these intriguing thorny bushes with bright orange squidgy berries on, not sure what they are, maybe juniper bushes?

I have been lucky enough to be given a blogging award, nominated twice in fact.  Thank you to Angela from Home is where the hounds are and to Hiking Hounds for nominating me for the Liebster Award.


"Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. As with any award, there is a bit of ceremony involved. In order to accept the award, we must do the following:

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.

2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award

3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.

4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs"

I now pass on the award to five of my favourite blogs:

Jill at Pixie Peg Crafts – Crafts and greyhounds from Northumberland in the UK

Janet at Basset Momma – Fred & Gloria Basset Hound from Ontario, Canada

Urban hounds 5 urban hounds

Sandy from New Mexico Where my heart lives – horses, dogs and a donkey, beautiful photos

Michelle & Mitch with four retired greyhounds at Loving life with hounds

Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday’s Fiver No 3


This week’ Friday’s Fiver goes to a campaign group called The League Against Cruel Sports.  Among the many campaigns they have running are:

Fighting Dogs


Bull Fighting

Greyhound Racing

Saturday, 10 December 2011


Woke up today to our first real frost of the winter.  We decided to drive about ¾ of an hour out towards the North Norfolk Coast for a nice walk towards the salt marshes at Blakeney.  After stopping off at Holt for a few bits & pieces for an al fresco lunch we were soon at Wiverton where the dogs roared about getting rid of some excess energy after the car journey.



The sun was very low in the sky but very bright.  It was very crisp but the only thing cold on me were my fingers even though I had gloves on.  We walked past some lovely gorse bushes in flower and were surprised to see some blackberries still on the bushes, left over from the very mild weather we have been experiencing. 

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The footpath takes up towards a farm where they were loading sugar beet on to a lorry for transportation to the British Sugar processing factory at Cantley.


There is usually a flock of guinea fowl skittering about this farm and sure enough they appeared, wary of the dogs, but no worres, they were both safely on their leads.  As there were no leaves on the trees, we could see some old vacated birds nests from the summer.


Once we reached the salt marshes, Nigel spied through his scope many birds feeding in the salty pools – egrets, curlew, teal, shoveler ducks, wigeon, red shank and a lone marsh harrier.  Also we speid right over on the horizon towards the distant sea, what looked liked a passenger ship, which is very unusual on the coast here, as that close to the shore it is mainly sand banks.  We were not sure if it had run into some trouble or was just closely following the coast line round.




Blakeney used to be a small busy port before it silted up in the middle 1800’s and is now used mainly for leisure boating.  It is a very ‘twee’ village, mostly inhabited by second homers – put it another way, property is very expensive here.

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The walk back took us out of the village along a quiet lane, where the sun dipped slowly away.  We reached the car, eager to get home to a nice fire, coffee and a mince pie.  According to our gps thingy, it was approx 4.7 miles and took us ages, as we stopped alot to look at the various bird life through the scope.


One thing – Does anyone know what these weird, nest like things are that we sometimes see in various trees, mainly in silver birch trees?