Thursday, 24 June 2021

Holiblogs 🏖️ adventures in Norfolk

When Ed and I were on our little holiday last week (staycation??), we got addicted to saying "holibobs" all the time. So Ed came up with the genius title for this post 😂 

On Saturday morning, after dropping Juniper off at a cattery for the week, we set off driving pretty much alll day to get to Gorlston-on-Sea where we met up with Ed's parents. We took turns driving and the journey went smoothly, with a long playlist and plenty of snacks! I love road trips so sometimes I'm even a bit disappointed when we arrive at the destination, even if that destination is a holiday lol.

Stretching our legs at a random service station en route.

Here is the beach at Gorleston 👇 I took this pic whilst we were eating our picnic lunch on Sunday, I was slightly wary of the circling seagulls (not pictured) but they kept their distance which was a relief, I didn't fancy sharing my sausage roll. 

Hearing the noisy seagulls squawking at all hours of the day and night was one of the things I actually quite liked about staying here, it reminded me of being back in Falmouth where I used to watch the seagull nests from my attic bedroom window! However we also heard rowdy football fans from the pub across the road which wasn't so fun in the early hours of the morning when we were trying to sleep 😆 makes for some funny memories though!

Our room for the week 😌

On Monday we drove into Norwich and discovered the Plantation Garden which was very peaceful and so pretty, a hidden gem not far away from the city centre. We liked it so much we came back later in the day to sit down and have a cup of tea.

Spot the tadpoles!

You can walk up this amazing stone terrace, made up of a mosaic of different bricks and decorative rocks, to get a view of the whole garden from the top! There are jays living in the trees and when you sit still for a while you can notice them flying around which is pretty special.

There was lots to see in Norwich Cathedral, I especially liked these modern stained glass windows with the light hitting them:

On Tuesday morning we had breakfast at a little cafe called Margo's Lounge, I enjoyed some waffles and the delightfully mismatched crockery:

We spent a sunny day wandering around Great Yarmouth which was, let's say, very colourful, very loud and very busy! Not quite our scene but it was fun nonetheless and once you battled through the crowded tourist area they actually had some decent charity shops which was a win! And we ate our lunch in a nice park with a gentle breeze and lots of open space which was much appreciated.

It was the perfect temperature for lying on the beach:

We decided to make the most of being on holibobs and have a ride on the big wheel 😄🎡 -


On Wednesday we went to a zoo! Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens...

Spot the sleeping red panda!

It's quite a small zoo which was nice because you could see everything in one visit without rushing around and being overwhelmed by it all! The setting is lovely too, lots of trees everywhere so it felt very natural and not zoo-like, the enclosures felt like part of the environment. There were lots of good picnic spots too.

This adorable leopard cat woke up and yawned right in front of us 😆

Inside the Willow Pattern Garden:

Some of our favourite animals to see were the snow leopards! They were all snuggled up and sleeping their way through the day, it reminded us of Juniper of course! We kept thinking of her throughout the week and wondering how she was getting on on her own holiday.

After leaving the zoo we made a spontaneous stop and sat on benches overlooking the Norfolk Broads, watching dragonflies flitting about and spotting a great crested grebe through the binoculars:

Sidenote: my trusty sunhat came in handy on this very sunny holiday, but only after I did a bit of a DIY job, ripping the ribbon off the rim and reattaching it to tie under my chin to stop it flying off in the wind 😆🌀 -

Our final stop before heading home for the day was Caister Beach. It was quite windy and the grey sea didn't look very inviting for a swim so we sat on the dunes instead. Just as we were talking about ice creams we heard the music from an ice cream van arriving so that was good timing! Plus we saw a muntjac deer sprinting along the beach which was very random but cool.

On Thursday afternoon Ed and I discovered a very unusual place...Fritton Plant Centre, Indoor Flea Market, and Owl Sanctuary (yes all three in one!) -

It felt quite surreal, wandering around this place that had an almost abandoned feel as it was a mizzly, grey afternoon and there were hardly another other people there! Definitely worth a visit though as it combined 3 of my favourite things: plants, animals, and junk 😄 We started off looking at the plants. In the big nursery greenhouse they had lots of colourful begonias which I would have been tempted by if we were closer to home! 

Now onto the flea market (we were very excited to find it because we had originally planned to go to a car boot sale that morning but it had been cancelled due to the heavy rain!) 🐸 It was certainly a sight to behold, crammed absolutely full of STUFF to root through. 

I think the money all went towards the owl sanctuary, and completely unintentionally, both things I bought had an owl theme to them haha:

We loved seeing the owls, they are so beautiful up close! There were so many different species and each enclosure had a sign telling you the bird's name and about their personality which was sweet! We happened to be there at feeding time and it was quite amazing watching one small owl swallow a whole chick in one go 😯

On Friday it rained non-stop and was quite chilly, which was such a contrast to the blazing sun at the beginning of the week. But it didn't stop us from enjoying our boat trip on the Norfolk Broads! I didn't get many photos because the windows were covered in raindrops but I like this one of a little, thatched cottage by the river, how idyllic! We strained our eyes looking for kingfishers along the riverbanks but didn't have any luck, they were probably all sheltering somewhere dry! But we did see more grebes, lots of swans and different types of geese, plus a few herons.

This last photo is from Friday night, after our last meal we walked back to the sea and saw a much emptier, more drizzly scene than the one we saw at the beginning of our trip! Full bellies, bittersweet end-of-holiday feelings, but also very much looking forward to going home and being reunited with our cat! We had such a nice, relaxing week and it was great to catch up with Ed's parents as we hadn't seen them in person since September.

We left Gorleston at 7.30am the next morning, ready for another day's travelling. The journey went just as smoothly as last time, except with a bit more traffic. When we picked up Juniper just before 4pm, her initial displeasure at being put into the carrier soon turned to happy purring as I think she realised we were going home 😊

More on Juniper next time! I hope you enjoyed seeing what we got up to on our holibobs 🌞🚙⛱🐥🐊☕🌷🌲🎡🌾

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Plants, paints, and an accidental haircut ✂️


Hello again! I am kicking off this post with my AMAZING night sky petunia ✨✨ because I'm a little bit in love. I tried to grow one of these last year but my small seedling plant got knocked over in the wind and sadly didn't survive, I made up for it this year by buying a bigger pot with some beautiful blooms already and she is thriving. I'm going to pot her up into some sort of arrangement but for now she is chilling out hanging on the washing line away from the evil slugs!

Here's Juniper being a little poser, helping me make up the bed for when my sister came to stay a few weeks ago. Our first overnight guest! We had a Eurovision party via zoom with some friends which was very fun.

Rainbow worm doodles at work:

A top-notch pjs/socks/crocs combo 😍 and the inspiration drawing for a sea themed mural that Ed and I have been working on for my little brother's bedroom:

I'll share more about the mural when the whole room is finished but for now here is a little taster:

✨ Painting shirt chic ✨

A buttercup and forget-me-not bouquet, and a peekaboo Juniper:

Zingy green leaves against a bright blue sky when I went for a run:

Juni is loving spending lots of time in the garden now that the weather is warm, as you can see she likes to retreat to a shady spot just like me 😄 She has become quite a successful insect hunter and manages to catch and eat a variety of flying and crawling creatures, including a lovely damselfly that Ed and I were admiring, much to our shock and horror.

A recent sourdough loaf:

A sleepy Juniper that let me trim all of her claws in one sitting! It was a proud moment for me.

Cute little pansies growing on the pavement outside my mum's house, and a great big june beetle spotted on our sweet peas!

Surprise! I cut my hair short accident this time! I was just planning to do a trim and tried to incorporate some layers but that was a big mistake 😂 I tried to even everything out and suddenly my hair was short lol. I was full of regret during the whole process but it turned out fine in the end (Ed had to help me do the back!). C'est la vie, at least I don't have split ends anymore.

Ed was planting out the leeks in our raised bed and found some buried treasure! A little plastic army man:

When we moved to this house there were a couple of unidentified plants on the front lawn, they weren't much to look at and we wanted to start from scratch so we dug them up. This one had some tubers underground which we thought we'd gotten rid of.......but after our neighbour told us that it was a peony we were glad when it popped up again this year! We only had one flower but it was a beauty nonetheless:

Starting the morning with a clothes wash and then hanging it out in the sunshine is one of my favourite things to do on a day off! I find it soo satisfying:


One of the hostas in our shady corner, and a strange sight of poppies growing out of the pavement when I was out running (in the rain) recently:

Our viburnum which looks like confetti, featuring my new sandals:

A snail update:

This happy yellow pansy has a little success story behind it! I picked up a broken off stem from the floor by my till at work, I didn't know for sure what the plant was but it looked healthy enough to try and root so I saved it and brought it home with me. I stuck it in some perlite in the propagator and soon enough it was producing flowers! We snipped off the first couple of flowers so it could focus on growing roots and now it's doing just fine outside 😄 (it's also hanging on the washing line away from slugs!).

Ed's brother and his wife came for a visit with their dog Ralph, here he is looking out over Dartmoor:

Some of our purple tansies in a vase, and a golden hour glimpse at the mural:

We went for a walk a few days ago and saw some cows:

A wildflower bouquet from said walk, and myself as a garden statue (I'm tempted to buy it!):

We made two loaves of bread this week! Featuring Juniper and a vase of flowers from my grandparents' garden:

Our mini wildflower meadow is really taking off now, these poppies have all started opening in the last few days and they add so much colour to the garden! 🐝 the bees are loving it too.

And finally, I picked the first couple of strawberries from our hanging basket this morning! They smell really good but I haven't tried them yet because I was waiting for Ed to get back from work for a ceremonial first produce tasting of 2021 🍓😋🌾

Thanks for reading again! Ed and I are going on holiday soon (a staycation?), which I'm looking forward to but I'm also a bit worried about how much I'll miss Juniper 😂 

P.S. I just realised I haven't taken any photos of my current sock knitting project, you'll have to wait and see!