Monday, 30 August 2010

Under Big Open Skies

We are just back from lovely a week in Norfolk with my parents. It was my Mum's 70th birthday - I don't think she looks 70; hope I take after her.
Happy Birthday Mum.
I made my Mum a birthday cake - Orange Madeira Cake covered with Dark Chocolate and Icing Butterflies - she loves orange-flavoured, dark chocolate.
On a rather grey afternoon, we visited Norwich Aviation Museum to look at the big boys toys. :)
1. Lightning F.53, 2. Avro Vulcan B.Mk.2, 3. Lockheed T-33A, 4. Hawk Hunter F.Mk.51, 5. Dassault Mystere IVA No 121, 6. Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8
For the girls there was a day shopping in Norwich.
1. Elm Hill, 2. Not available, 3. City Hall , 4. Norwich Castle, 5. Not available, 6. London Street, 7. Swan Lane, 8. St Peter Mancroft & Market Stalls, 9. Norwich Market, 10. Not available, 11. City Hall & Market, 12. Davey Place13. Not available

All shopped out, we looked inside St. Peter Mancroft - the parish church for Norwich. My Mum later told me that my Nana used to attend some of the services here.
The inside is beautiful, with amazing stained-glass windows and behind protective curtains there is a 1573 Flemish tapestry. The curator explained that when the Flemish weavers moved to England, escaping persecution on the Continent, they wove the tapestry as a thank you to the people of Norwich for giving them shelter and allowing them to start their own guild. This was particularly interesting to myself as I have been told that my paternal grandmother's family descended from the Huguenot weavers fleeing to England - I plan to research my family tree in the near future. One afternoon we took a walk to St Peter's, Spixworth. This church is special to us as it is where I was Christened, my husband and I were married and where we had our children Christened.
A church has stood on this site for more than 900 years, the original being probably made of oak logs sunk vertically in the ground to form a rectangular structure at the centre of the Saxon settlement of Spikeswurtha. The stone font is Norman and made from Caen stone. In the chancel there is an impressive memorial to Sir William Pecke and Lady Alice, dated 1634. It is unusual to have such an ornate memorial in a village church and mystery surrounds their actual burial place as they didn't want their enemies to locate their graves.
Daybreak on our last full day in Norfolk. Only my Dad and I were up to see the sun rise. I called it an Apricot Sky; my Dad called it a Mackerel Sky.
We spent the day sight-seeing and geocaching in North Norfolk.

Well-Next-The-Sea or just Wells if you are a local like me.
Beach Huts - I've always wanted a beach hut, but when these come up for sale, which isn't very often, they retail at £30,000 to £40,000!!! (My husband says, "they are just sheds!")
The big, open skies of Norfolk - my favourite place to be.

We walked through Wells Dell, the forested area behind the beach. J discovered the fire-beaters and decided they were father-beaters! :)
We then drove to The Burnhams.
Burnham Windmill
The church of St. Clement at Burnham Overy.
The layout was originally in the form of a crucifix with a central tower.
Inside there is a medieval wall-painting of St. Christopher and a Royal Coat of Arms labelled as George 3rd, but they are in fact Stuart arms that were relabelled to save money.
St. Margaret's Church at Burnham Norton has a very fine Saxon tower that was build between 1000 and 1066. The rest of the church is from a later date. Admiral Lord Nelson's father and two brothers where all rectors at this church.
"Take a photo of me!"
(The last photo of J with his brace as it is being removed tomorrow.)
Inside there is a Wineglass Pulpit, a six-sided pre-Reformation painted pulpit, dated 1450. The church has two Royal Coats of Arms - one for George 4th and another re-labelled William 3rd, but is actually the Coat of Arms for Charles 1st. The font is Norman and of an unusual design.
We are now back home again and on the last week of the school holidays. The past 5 weeks have gone too quickly and already there is an autumnal feel to the mornings and evenings. Here's hoping we have an Indian Summer.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Late Summer at RHS Wisley

Yesterday my husband and I visited RHS Wisley.
The gardens were full of hydrangeas, agapanthus, dahlias and echinaceas. There was a sunflower maze for children with faces carved into the flowers.

Dahlias in the Trial Beds
and the pumpkin patch.
The Rose Garden was still in full bloom and smelt gorgeous. I love the smell of roses.
A snail was even allowed in the garden!
We plan a return visit for the flower festival, but first we are off to somewhere else this week.
best wishes, Pj x

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Retail Therapy

This week I treated myself for a change
and that deserves a post all of its own!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Alresford, Old and New

Old Alresford

Once again geocaching taught us something we didn't know about the area we live in. We have previously driven past this lovely church, but have never stopped to look at it, until a geocache took us to the area. This is St Mary the Virgin and it is the birthplace of the Mothers' Union.

The Alresford Deanery Mothers' Union Banner

This banner was made at the turn of the century and had hung in the New Alresford church for many years before being stolen. In 1985 it was discovered in an antiques shop in Sussex and was purchased and returned to Old Alresford.The Mothers' Union Prayer by Mary Sumner

A modern version of the prayer was also on display in the church :-

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

who gave marriage to be a source of blessing, we thank you for family life,

with all its joys and sorrows.

May we know your presence and peace in our homes,

fill them with your love and use them to your glory.

Bless all who are married and every parent and child.

Pour out upon us your Holy Spirit,

that we may truly love and serve you.

Bless the members of the mothers' Union throughout the world,

unite us in prayer and worship, in love and service,

that, strengthened by your grace,

we may seek to do Your will;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


New Alresford

We then moved onto New Alresford, a delightful country town with Georgian houses and the home of the Watercress Line, a heritage line that runs steam trains from Alresford to Ropley. Old Alresford is mentioned in the Domesday Book and New Alresford (locally we just say Alresford) was built circa 1200. Our visit coincided with a Thomas and Friends Day. When our children were younger we attended a couple of these events, including the Santa Special.
Alresford's Broad Street is lined with beautiful Georgian houses and we walked along part of the Millennium Trail .
Of course we went into the church of St. John the Baptist .
The Fulling Mill on the River Arle.It was a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Hampshire in August

Last week was planned as a holiday at home, a week of going out on day trips. Unfortunately it turned out to be a miserable week weather-wise and we only managed to spend one day doing what we had hoped to do - walking in the countryside.

So, on that one gloriously sunny day my husband and I walked for 5 hours, we picniced by the river, saw lots of horses and felt as though we had the world to ourselves as it was so peaceful.