Monday, 7 January 2013

Beaches and blankets...

Norfolk is not blessed with stunning hilly countryside (I have just read Lyn's gorgeous post and it is making me feel rather wistful for walks that go 'up'!) but we do have beautiful beaches within easy distance of the city, both on the North Norfolk coast and on the Suffolk coast.

By 2nd January I was feeling a bit stir crazy - apart from a couple of wanders round the shops (confession time - I am seriously rubbish at shopping! Not keen on places that are overcrowded, hate the chaos of sale racks with everything shoved in anyhow, and get bored very quickly!) and a couple of days at work between Christmas and New Year (doesn't count as days out!) I had been mostly indoors and was really feeling the need to blow the cobwebs away. 

Youngest son was feeling much the same, so although the weather was pretty grey and drizzly we decided to head to Southwold for a bit of sea air. Southwold is a pretty place, with some nice, if slightly twee, shops and cafes. It does have a slightly 'posh countryfied' feel to it - delis and waxed jackets - but good for a wander and the weather wasn't really conducive to a long beach walk.

Although the sky looks blueish in this photo, it really wasn't! The wind was bracing and there was that fine rain that doesn't really look like its raining but definitely gets you wet! (think it is Peter Kay that describes it as - 'that wet rain'!)

We took almost immediate avoiding action for delicious chips in the cafe on the pier. They have little coloured plastic chairs and stripy tables and I felt a bit like I had gatecrashed a children's party venue but the chips were hot and crunchy and just what we fancied!

We made it halfway down the pier to where there is a clock that my kids were always fascinated by when they were small (actually me too - still am!)...

The light was so awful that you can't really see it here, but it has a series of pipes and gullies that water flows through that works the clockwork parts. Only a teeny bit of the magic was lost when Tom pointed out that the water couldn't really be the thing that was keeping it going seeing as the wind was so strong that all the falling water was being blown out of the channels! Spoilsport!

The wind was also cutting straight through us so we headed back towards the town. Southwold is famous for its rows of beach huts...

Even from the pier in lousy light, their brightly coloured faces are visible, and there is something about their neat uniformity that I like.

These are decidedly 'des res' in this town - I think they sell for anything from £20-50,000, but apparently last year one went for £70,000! I'm sorry, but thats barking! Pretty, yes. Lovely beach, yes (although definitely busy on high days and holidays). But its a glorified shed isn't it???!!! I'm probably only going to have about double that to spend on a new home and I'm certainly hoping for more space and facilities than 2 sheds!!!

We didn't really have any money to spend so we bypassed all the expensive clothes and arty/crafty shops in the town centre and sought out another cafe. Bit more upmarket and cosy than the one on the pier, with pretty bunting and hand made goodies for sale on display around the walls...

And the best cakes on pretty blueware china...

This was the most sinfully buttery coffee and walnut cake - definitely home made and delicious! I do love the blue and white china - when I first got married I had this dream I would have a dresser with blue and white china displayed... Never happened, I got a few cups and saucers, and a couple of plates, never got the dresser...

By the time we'd had tea and cake, the light was really going and we wandered back to the car. It had got quite misty and the lighthouse was sending out its signal through the sky...

More of a cafe tour than a proper walk but it was lovely to get out and spend a couple of hours with Tom.

Other news this week...finished object number 1 off the list!!

I don't really feel I can be too chuffed with myself over this because it was meant to be done for Christmas... However, scarf completed for my biggest son - made up pattern, lovely soft Rowan cotton/silk blend yarn (nothing itchy, scratchy about this one!).

I am conscious of Jacquie's advice on how to take good pictures for blogging... and these break all the rules, so apologies for the quality of the shots in advance! But, honestly, even in the middle of the day, my house is sooo dark! Pretty much all year, but at the moment... it's like living in a cave...

This is my attempt to show you what it looks like on...

Slightly depressed about the scraggy neck going on here...

Next job was to try to sort out my back of wool currently in use! I have been really lazy over the last few weeks and each project's leftovers (plus all the needles!!!) had ended up squished into my bag that sits by me in the living room, so I emptied it out...

Oh my word!

My next aim is to complete a blanket for the first baby of friends so I sorted out all the acrylic DK (mostly stylecraft but some odds and sods too) and repacked it...

...then started on some little solid colour squares...

And had a bit of a revelation! Having been a bit 'can't really be bothered with crochet' for a while, I have really loved doing these! I think its something about the fact that they make up really quickly and they can be stacked up into neat piles which I just can't do with the messy, different patterned knitted squares I've been working on. I don't really have a grand plan for this blanket, just going to try to use up some of the colours that seem to go together and take it from there. This is a bit of an attempt at stash  busting... but of course, I have already discovered I definitely need 2 more colours... Oh, well...!

The pile is growing fast, I'm already up to about 25 of these - will keep you posted on progress!

As for the rest of the heap that was on the floor...

I have tried to tidy them up a bit and added them to the box of yarn that lives under the bed in the spare room! This is a real mixture of chunky, cheap and cheerful, yummy bargain box yarns and some finer ends of sock yarn etc. Plus, top right, load of (not all the same!) white mohair! What on earth am I going to do with that??!! Any ideas for white mohair??? One of those balls must be pushing 30 years old, because I cannot forget it was left over from a lacy tanktop (Ok, we are talking 1984...big hair, shoulder pads, mohair tanktops were completely acceptable then...!) I made and then wore to a nightclub on my 18th birthday. Picture the scene - crowded dance floor, big group of friends, show stopping fluffy number...then, oh dear, ultra-violet lights on, white bra standing out like some kind of beacon through the fluffy lace (for some reason the mohair did not have the same effect in the ultra-violet). Now, having your bra on show is almost de rigeur, but then...just remember feeling completely mortified!

So, if anyone has any ideas for ancient mohair, or anything else come to that, do let me know! I did wonder about winding some together and having a go at that extreme knitting... What do you think??

Anyway, must get on with the day! Seem to have whiled away a disproportionate amount of time again!!!



  1. I love the beach in winter, well I just love the beach. I think your scarf looks great. And coffee cake I haven't had that in years.

  2. You've got me craving coffee cake now - I may just have to go to Southwold for some as its just up the road!

    1. Can't remember the name of the cafe but it was up towards the end of the main street on the right (walking away from the sea) - the cosy cafe was at the back through a little shop, definitely worth a visit. Tom had millionaires shortbread which he rated very highly too - and my kids are big fans of 'proper' homemade shortbread...! Definitely worth a visit xx

  3. Love your pile of yarn, I just crammed all of mine into 3 x 42 litre plastic boxes so that I could move them. I'm not looking forward to sorting them properly. I'll probably have to buy three more to make them usable! Loved the wild weather at the beach. I grew up by the sea in an eternally windy town so I much prefer deserted wild beaches.
    xXx Helen

    1. 3 boxes!! you'll have to do before and after pics! Hope you get straight soon, I hate that post-move muddle xx

  4. You sound like me when it comes to shopping... I have to really psych myself up to face the crowds and I hate sales racks... Yuk :-)
    Beautiful pictures and tour.. The lighthouse picture is my favourite :-)

    1. I'm terrible at shopping - I think I only go because I like the idea of getting a bargain! But usually get fed up way before I find anything!! x


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