Posted by: glenswatman | May 12, 2014

20140501-10 Hotel bookings, visitors and a bout of manflu

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THURSDAY 1 MAY 2015 – Devere Hotels are advertising a flash sale starting at 10.00am with rooms from £25.  I fire up both laptops and by noon have managed to book us 6 rooms at £25 and one at £59.  Now we have a 6 day trip to look forward to using our Merlin passes to visit Chessington World of Adventure, Thorpe Park and Legoland and another trip with 2 nights at a hotel in Greenwich.  Richard and Janet invite us round for a drink in the afternoon where we meet their friend Pam & John who spend half their time here and the other half renting a place on Lanzarote.  We’ve both decided that the natural pine wood curtain pelmets are not good so I set about painting them magnolia and what a difference it makes. I’m even happy with the curtains now.  Steve is starting to feel flu coming on so doses up and head to bed early.



FRIDAY 2 MAY – Karen & Milos have driven down and are staying nearby at Lenwade Hotel.  We pick them up and bring them back to Merryhill for a cuppa and to show them where we live.  Next we head off for a drive around the Broads.  It becomes a somewhat extended tour as I am so busy listening to Karen that I don’t notice we are on the wrong road.  Check out a few more boat options for our future trip still deciding Herbert Woods are our best option.  Had been led to believe that there would be some last minute deals and plenty of boats to suit our needs but a couple of weeks ago actor Warwick Davis’s programme “Weekend escapes” featured his family on a Herbert Woods boat and bookings have soared.  By the time we have looked over a few boats the booking office is closed but I can get a hold on one tomorrow.   Call in to The Bridge at Lenwade for an evening meal on the way back.



SATURDAY 3 MAY – Steve made a big effort yesterday but is feeling under the weather today so opts out of our trip into Norwich.  Milos drives and by fluke I manage to get us to a central car park and replicate much of the walking tour we did on our first visit and in fact even improve on it.  Norwich is famous for the chips served within the market so we round of our visit with a sampling and they are very good but not necessarily the best in the world as some claim.  Milos needs to get a windscreen crack repaired so drop me off then head back to the hotel.  They return in the evening and join us at the clubhouse where there is a band playing.   They are supposed to be a 50’s band but we reckon they are all in their 70’s.  Manage to find a few songs to inspire us to get up and dance, or in my case shuffle from side to side.



SUNDAY 4 MAY –  Karen and Milos follow us to the north coast at Wells-next-the Sea, a pretty village with small harbour and beach road running out to a headland with holiday park.   All the car parks are pay job and as well as being quite expensive you cannot buy a day ticket and use it elsewhere so we drive on.  Pay up at Holkham Beach taking the boardwalk through the pine forest and over small dunes to get to the beach.  It’s a huge bay and the tide is out so there’s further to walk to get to the sea.  This seems a popular area for horse riding as many groups pass by.  Karen & Milos are pressed for time so head off leaving us to check out Holkham Hall opposite.  It looks really interesting but the car park is full and it is heaving with visitors so we will try and return on a weekday.   Continuing west Burnham Thorpe is where Horatio Nelson was born.  Within the church the lectern has been made with wood from HMS Victory.  There’s also a huge commemorative bust and boards telling his story.  Nearby Burnham Market is a really pretty village and bustling with tourists.  The Holte Hotel and restaurant is a very posh and expensive place but has a small free Nelson museum.  Our next detour is to the RSPB Tichwell Marsh site with boardwalks amongst the marches and lots of bird feeders and nesting boxes to encourage many species.  Steve’s feeling weak with flu and I did more than enough walking yesterday so we settle for a quick look.  Hunstanton is the main resort in this area and at Old Hunstanton we walk down to view the interestingly coloured cliffs.  There was a lot of erosion during the winter storms and it all look rather fragile but isn’t stopping families from picnicking below it.  In fact the sun is out and it looks like a mid summers day with wind breaks everywhere and families enjoying the beach.  Hunstanton itself is also heaving with tourists and there isn’t a spare space to sit on the village green.  Suspect this is another place that we will enjoy visiting mid week.  Steve’s whacked so I take over the driving on the way back.  Call in to Faversham Morrisons to pick up a few fresh items and can’t resists a massive cream cake reduced from £3.99 to 99p.  We’ve been invited up to Ian and Pauline’s for pizza at 5pm and arrive with our drinks.  There are over a dozen people there most of whom we have met before.  The outdoor pizza oven is lit and we snack on break and dipping oils and crisps etc.  Next a number of trays of unusual salads are brought out, (the strawberry one is delicious) but they are not to go with the pizza but to be eaten straight away.  At this point someone tells us Ian’s events are always a big elongated food fest and there will probably be more.  Spaghetti bolognaise with cheesy garlic bread arrives just after 8pm.  Steve’s really feeling the cold so heads home and I excuse myself just before 9pm as there is no sign of the pizza’s going in.  Had we known what we were up for we would have been better prepared and certainly better wrapped up.



MONDAY 5 MAY –   It’s a lovely morning and with a big cream cake to share we invite some neighbours round.  Richard and Janet then Dave and Denise join us.  I do some cooking in the afternoon including a pumpkin pate. I also make some tie back for the curtains, just need to buy some hooks tomorrow and the job will be finished. 



TUESDAY 6 MAY – Steve’s had his worst night ever with hardly any sleep.  Dose him up with honey lemon drinks, paracetamol, menthol rub and eucalyptus to sniff.  I bake a beer damper with red pepper pesto and get some previously made individual fish pies out of the freezer.  Steve remains in bed whilst I head to the Doctors for my HRT check up.  From there I head into Dereham for a leisurely exploration.  I discover a Factory Shop and Wilkinson’s and manage to get most things on my shopping list.  In the afternoon Ian calls round to do a cryptic crossword with Steve, turns out they were still serving pizza at midnight.  I book the Herbert Woods boat for on the broads.  We’re going with Bev & Norm so picked one with cabins at opposite ends as Norm has been known to snore from time to time!  The Silver Light is priced at £432 for the 4 night midweek low season break but by the time you add collisions damage insurance and fuel it comes to £599.  We’ve invited Debbie & Andy round for a “Come dine with me” style meal tonight.  My menu is pumpkin pate with pesto bread followed by fish pie, ratatouille, minted green veg and poppy seed crusted potato wedges.  Dessert is tropical fruit topped with coconut crumble served with white rum custard.  During the meal I’ve organised a “Perfection” style quiz.  Each couple have written down 10 facts about themselves that may or may not be true and preferably have a story behind them.  After reading them out the other couple discuss it and decide whether the statement is true or false.  Later the answers are talked through.  We are surprised to learn that Debbie and Andy do know some friends of ours, they have just booked to stay at Vera Playa in Sallie and Stuart’s apartment.  It turns out the game is a really good way of getting to know each other better and gives us many laughs.  Debbie & Andy have work tomorrow and Steve is wilting so we call it a day at 9pm and look forward to our return visit to them.  My meal didn’t actually get marked but they said everything was perfect although I felt the flavoured bread was a bit wasted with the pate as the pumpkin masked the taste of the pesto.  Must admit the tropical crumble idea worked out exceptionally well so I will be doing that again. 



WEDNESDAY 7 MAY – We’ve had really heavy rain in the night and for the next week or so the forecast is for intermittent showers between sunny spells.  So much for us moving to the driest county in England.   Steve’s really feeling under the weather but does manage a slow walk up the hill to get the mail.



THURSDAY 8 MAY – We’re getting more and more rain.  I make a chilli veg soup thinking it will help Steve’s cold but he really doesn’t have a taste for it and prefers snacking.  The downpours get heavier but luckily we don’t seem to have any roof leaks, just a few drips here and there which will need to be silenced. 



FRIDAY 9 MAY – It’s very windy but bright enough for me to tempt fate and get some washing out, can’t have us running out of clothes! 



SATURDAY 10 MAY – Steve’s a little better but happy for me to pop to Sainsbury’s alone.  I see a lovely top and try it on.  It shows off my new svelte figure but also highlights the big ridge either side of my scar so no sale.  Ian calls round just before lunch time and ends up joining us for fish curry.




  1. Glen!
    How do you find time to cook all that food? I’m envious..I’ve been back for 1 month now and I’ve been so busy with family and friends…need a rest already. Happy to know everything is fine, even if Steve has or had the flu.XXSandra

    • Hello Sandra. Finding time to cook is not so difficult when we are not working or going out quite so much and I did cheat a bit as the fish pies and ratatouille had been made ahead of time and were in the freezer so I am no superwoman at all ! Good to know you are still leading a very busy life and seeing family and friends, plenty of time for a rest later hey. xx

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