Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Two months!!!

I can't quite believe its two months since I looked at this! Life seems to have been so busy and things have got a little out of kilter in terms of 'work/life balance', whatever that is supposed to be...

I have taken hardly any photos but when I look back over what I do have, there seems to have been a surprising amount of blue sky...

Perhaps its just that those are the days I feel inclined to take pictures? Perhaps it really has been lovely and just most days I don't stop to take it in... Not sure, but looking back through these somehow reminds me of why I wanted to keep a 'reminder' in the first place. I think you can relive a walk, or a feeling, or a day... just by a frozen moment in time that conjures up all of those things in an instant. I'm fairly sure, in this picture of the cathedral taken from the river, I can hear the birds singing in the early May sunshine, smell the heady pollen of the cowslips and hear the children behind me feeding the ducks. And walking back through the cathedral close that day meant I saw the peregrine falcons nesting on the spire.

And  this pot of flowers, newly planted, brings to mind a satisfying day of clearing and potting up; that delicious feeling of warm crumbly compost, the smell of the thyme, rosemary and lavender nearby and the cup of earl grey tea I enjoyed in the sunshine afterwards. The courtyard seems to have its own little microclimate and everything grows like crazy. There are some lovely plants but, boy, is it overgrown! I am slowly making some progress, and the neighbours don't seem to be objecting, so I hope this will be much more useable space by this time next year.

This was another walk through the cathedral close, with blue, blue sky and cotton wool clouds and these fabulous chimneys that I don't think I have ever noticed before. Oddly, I know this was a day when I felt a bit out of sorts and low, and just walked and walked and walked...

This conjures up a lazy weekend, in the middle of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, after people watching in Chapelfield Gardens. We ate delicious ice-cream and expensive 'festival' food, then impulsively bought tickets for a late night toe tapping show...

These stocks and freesias had the most gorgeous perfume that filled the kitchen for days...

...and this was a trip to Wells-next-the-sea, where I had coffee and home made victoria sponge before we poked around in second had bookshops and walked down to the coast amongst hordes of bank holiday weekenders who had all had the same idea!

Some days I do miss a 'proper' garden, to just be able to walk around with a cuppa or hang washing out  (is it a bit sad that this is probably the thing I miss the most?!!) but there are lovely green spaces in Norwich and several just a few minutes away from my house, where I can take a book or just lay and watch the clouds scud by...

I am trying to take life a bit as it comes, to seize the moment and to try to see the positives however tricky that may sometimes be!

And I have had treats. Big treats. At the beginning of June a friend and I booked a last minute trip to Venice and had 4 days exploring the delights of that quirky, unique city, with its contrasting bustling central areas and quiet piazzas just minutes away...

We had heard mixed reviews of Venice but I loved its faded grandeur and sense of self-importance. There truly is a vast amount of art, beauty and music to be found and although it clearly relies heavily on tourism, I didn't once feel unfairly treated for that. The Venetians we met were friendly and happy to talk, there is a relaxed, safe feel about the place and a sort of mutual understanding I thought. Lets face it, I have never had a taxi driver in this country suggest I might find the bus better value and point me helpfully towards the nearest bus stop! Of course, the taxis were motorboats and the buses the very efficient vaporetto water buses...

You don't have to move far from the 'madding crowd' in the main attraction areas like St Mark's Square and the Rialto bridge (of course we did go and look at both of these too!) to find pretty windows and hidden courtyards...

...and the advantage of us both being early risers (aka lousy sleepers!) meant that we were able to be up and out before even the busy areas filled up on the main frontage to the lagoon...

...and looking across to the Bridge of Sighs (obligatory theatrical sighing essential!)...

The light and skies early in the day were stunning...

...and, frankly, who could resist a line of gondolas...

We found Venice a very clean place...

and I couldn't fail to fall in  love with all the beautiful glass, canals and bridges...

A trip to the glass-making island of Murano and lace-making Burano made a change and gave us a glimpse of the skill of these craftsmen and women, and a peek at a different, colorful architecture...

It was a lovely way to spend a few days - we walked miles, looked at lots of art, listened to a Vivaldi concert in a beautiful church and soaked up a little bit of Italian relaxation... bliss.

So, two months has flown by, and...looking back, some lovely days. Just need to try to sort out a better balance of lovely days now!


  1. Thank you for this - we went to Venice many years ago and your photos brought it all back. Norwich looks lovely too. I've never been but it's on my 'Places to Visit' list! x

    1. Norwich is a lovely place. Been trying to view it with 'visitor's eyes' and not take it all for granted - worth a visit I'd say!! :)

  2. Hi Sandra, How lovely to see your photos....Venice looks wonderful....I would have taken thousands of pictures :0)
    Hope you manage to squeeze in some more time for yourself over the summer.
    Jacquie x

    1. I did take hundreds! I thought i'd best spare you the tedium of endless holiday pics!! my kids had to suffer them... :)

  3. Lovely collection of photos, Venice looks a fantastic place to explore, I've not been to many places at all! Not even Norwich, which also looks a nice place. It's nice to hear from you again!

    1. Thanks Louise, it was a lovely few days :-)

  4. Lovely collection of photos, Venice looks a fantastic place to explore, I've not been to many places at all! Not even Norwich, which also looks a nice place. It's nice to hear from you again!

  5. I had been wondering 'where' you were. I loved Venice too and we headed away from the crowds and found some lovely quiet spots.
    I also love quirky chimneys.
    Hope you have more lovely days.

    1. Still here :) just been a bit AWOL!! thankyou :)

  6. I LOVE that last pic (they all look wonderful) Such amazing colors. I could happily live in that very spot. Your boys are as handsome as always. Glad you got to spend some one on one time with them.

    1. It was so pretty on Burano, quite different to Venice City with all the colourful houses :-)


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