We have great friends and neighbours, Jane and Jeremy, who have a wonderful flat on the north Norfolk coast and very kindly let us use it too! Over the last few months we’ve used it a number of times sometimes to stay, as we did over half term and sometimes just for the day which we’ve done a couple of times over the summer and I thought I’d just give you a flavour of our happy visits.
As Mila’s birthday coincides with half term it seemed the ideal place to go and celebrate it . . .
Time to light the candles and the cake fountain . . .
. . . and among Mila’s many gifts we bought her a set of Acrylic paints, paintbrushes and ‘dotters’ to go with the beautiful book: Mandala Stones: 50 Inspirational Designs to Paint that Catherine (my sister) bought Mila. A beautiful book with clear explanations . . .
Catherine and Mila trying out the paints. Now we just needed a few stones to paint . . . (a good place to find stones is in the garden or DIY shop or building merchant).
. . . then off to Cromer to get some inspiration . . . and here is what Mila has achieved over the last few months. . . . I think they’re absolutely beautiful and represent hours and hours of careful work.
So Mila and I set off for Cromer to spend a week by the sea . . . unfortunately the weather was’t too kind to us though maybe that was just as well as Mila had revision to do as she had exams straight after half term.
Visibility was pretty limited though it did mean we had the beach to ourselves and we both enjoyed the solitude and the roar of the waves as they lapped the beach. On one of the first days of our visit we had a great walk to Overstrand, just over two miles and on a fine day there are great views . . . and Mila wasn’t in the mood for photos either! The route takes you along a cliff top path with cliffs rising to over 250ft and past the Royal Cromer Golf Club . . arriving at Overstrand and the Cliff Top Cafe, perfect for a quick bite to eat and drink before our return walk, this time along the beach.
While we were staying in Cromer we noticed a few lighthouses in various shops around the town and a little investigation later and we discovered they were all part of The Lighthouse trail in Cromer. They’ve been designed and made by local artists, schools, nurseries and other volunteers and have been placed around as part of a mystery trail. The pieces are then to be auctioned off with the proceeds being donated to local charities and organisations. Here are a couple of the impressive creations . . .
The chrome hare is, as you can see, placed near the North Lodge Park Tea Rooms. There are a number (six) of these magnificent, so called, GoGo Hares in place across north Norfolk, (though eighteen in total around Norfolk). These ‘Moongazer’ sculptures are part of the GoGoHares charity project.
Some seagulls looking like a seaside sculpture? (The photo isn’t very good as it was taken on my phone but I liked the way the birds were standing).
You can’t beat long windswept walks along the beach, good to blow away the cobwebs . . .
A great place to clear your mind or clarify your thoughts . . .
I love the sound of the waves and the sight of sandcastles melting into the sea as the tide overtakes them . . .
Beautiful pebbles which glisten showing a myriad of colours with the sea water on them . . . and little insects swimming in the pools left behind by the tide.
While we were in Cromer we decided on a visit to Sticky Earth Cafe, and a chance to uncover my creativity . . . well, Mila did but I played it pretty safe with my art work! A warm welcome greeted us when we arrived, then whether you’re in the mood to paint on ceramics; T-shirts; canvases or wooden shapes or else have a go at decoupage or jewellery making it’s all there to choose from. We chose to spend the morning painting on ceramics and armed with a huge selection of paints and a cuppa there was no stopping us . . . (Mila decided to hide)!
Very kindly our neighbour, Jane, collected our finished work once they had been glazed and fired and I think we can be pretty pleased with the results . . . even if I do say so myself.
All in all a great visit to Cromer which just whetted our appetite for another visit, this time on July 24th . . .
The beautiful pastel colours of the houses along the quaint streets leading to the beach . . .
A trip to Cromer would never be complete without a visit to North Lodge Park Tea Rooms, a wonderful cafe selling crepes and numerous types of mouth-watering cakes all made by local volunteers, a place that Jane who volunteers there any spare moment she has, has introduced us to and what a find it is. A beautiful cafe with a great atmosphere, easy to find with the the blue boating lake for children to play with toy boats right in front of it! A community cafe which would be hard to beat anywhere.
Our favourite choice is always the lemon and sugar crepes and this time, despite being full, we couldn’t resist a slice of cake each too. Guess which cake was Mila’s choice . . .? And a quick game of Canasta and the cake was gone!
Now time to read our books and relax.
. . . but the sea was drawing Mila in and it wasn’t long before it lured her in, it was wonderful . . .
Unfortunately Mila doesn’t have a swimming costume that fits, but luckily Wet Dog (a surf shop in Cromer) came to the rescue and armed with a costume and vivid pink towel, we were back to the beach and then it was hard to get Mila out of the sea, she loved it! Once out it was great to let the summer sun warm her through . . .
We loved the beach art we saw . . .
We finished off our day with fish and chips from No.1 Cromer Fish and Chips, delicious . . . we also had a little flutter in one of the amusement arcades near by . . . needless to say we didn’t win anything!
. . . And now for our final Cromer visit of the summer, 31st August, where has the summer gone? It’s been a scorcher of a summer and it’s a real shame that it’s almost at an end, but I can’t complain. Of course we had lunch at the North Lodge Park tea rooms . . .
. . . then it was time for me to experiment with some photography as I haven’t been very adventurous with the settings yet, it’s just so easy to keep it on automatic! So, hopefully for some arty photos of our day, here we go . . .
I started with the beach huts which have been replaced recently after the great storms in 2017 which damaged many of them beyond repair. Now they’re quite beautiful . . . Do they look better from this direction . . .
. . . .Or this direction?
Aren’t the colours sensational?
A gorgeous sunny day . . .
I tried to capture the crashing waves here . . .
The sea was so blue you could almost be abroad.
The pier was busy with people relaxing and crabbing, some had obviously been very successful judging by the size of the crabs in their buckets.
A view from the pier in both directions . . .
. . . now for the other direction.
Everyone enjoying the last few days of the school holidays.
There’s a surf school along the promenade, I’d really love to have a go . . . wouldn’t you?
As the afternoon was drawing to a close, . . .
Mila decided to literally ‘draw’ in the sand and I think she created some beautiful artwork.
The simple beginnings became more and more intricate.
And Mila was just getting started . . . next it was onto an carefully designed moon and seascape with a boat rocking on the waves with a huge ‘Jonah’ like whale rising up from the depths . . . I loved it!
A few more finishing touches . . . and voila.
A few acrobatics to celebrate.
The sun is going down at the end of a busy day.
I think it’s just about time to get some fish and chips from our usual place and then enjoy the setting sun before our journey back to Cambridge.
Mila can’t resist a last run along the beach.
Finally, we say our goodbyes, till next time . . .