Posted by: glenswatman | August 22, 2014

20140811-20 The Yanks are coming

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MONDAY 11 AUGUST – It’s a really blustery day but not a cold wind so we spend a lot of time sat out. Ian comes down and stays for a long chat. We are lucky enough to fit in an afternoon stroll around the park before the rains arrive. Not so lucky with our shower though as the ones at the clubhouse are only spouting cold water so we have to use ours at home.

TUESDAY 12 AUGUST – Steve returns from the clubhouse to say there is a sign up saying that until further notice campers must use the shower in the empty static caravan (next to ours) and everyone else is to use their own. It’s another really blustery day but it doesn’t stop us making an afternoon walk and being rewarded with not only blackberries but also damsons. Having made spelt scones and ginger biscuits this morning I will have to wait a day or two to try the damson cobbler and damson spelt cake.

WEDNESDAY 13 AUGUST – At the Doctors the CT scan is not showing anything untoward but so far the suggested diet for IBS isn’t working too well so Dr Allen suggests adding some husk. Detour via Hingham to the Rondo shoe factory where I almost get something suitable then realise paying almost £50 and having to put in elastic laces and another inner sole isn’t really logical. In Norwich we meet up with Dee & Brian at John Lewis coffee shop. Boy have they been busy and have already visited a park with lodges and yesterday went to Great Yarmouth with their grandchildren so understandably Dee is weary today. For the first time we explore a new area of Norwich across a footbridge to the Riverside centre. An artificial street is lined with mock warehouses housing restaurants that back on to the river, very American style. At the Odeon we buy Orange Wednesday 2 for 1 ticket for The Inbetweeners 2. We have a good chuckle and it brings back happy memories of our time spent travelling in Australia but both felt the first one was funnier. We definitely made the right decision in taking private en-suite rooms rather than dorms in hostels.

THURSDAY 14 AUGUST- With rain forecast later we get cracking cleaning the car and also 3 sides of the caravan. It’s actually good fun when you don’t have to be dressed and the water in the hose pipe is almost warm. Dave joins us for a tea break and tells us a lot more about Norwich. Back in the day within the city walls you would have found a different pub for every day of the year and a different church for each week! After lunch I bake a damson spelt cake and although it is very moist and more like a sponge pudding it tastes delicious. Steve goes out to pool and chats to a few of the holidaymakers including a couple from Eldwick, just a few miles from where we lived in Keighley.

FRIDAY 15 AUGUST – The diet does seem to be helping me so I do a bit more research on line into the Fodmap diet and am a bit upset to learn that all stone fruit is banned as well as honey – bang goes my damson cake on 2 counts. With more in depth information I should be able to modify my diet further and build on the slight improvement that is coming about. Our afternoon walking circuit takes has a stretch along the edge of the main road. There is a grass verge but in places this is very narrow and uncut branches mean we have to wait for a gap in the fast flowing traffic to step past. At least I spot a tree with some apples that will go well with the blackcurrants. It’s really unpleasant walking so Steve suggests doing a stretch along the edge of the farmer’s field and out the other end. It would have worked well if there had been a gap at the end but we compound the problem by walking down the side to another gap then get trapped in the next field. Continue until we eventually escape, right by the side of an apricot tree. What a haul for the day, blackberries, apples, apricots and damsons, none of which are on my diet. We invite neighbours Far & Tony and Jill & Barry for a drink in the afternoon then continue socialising in the club in the evening. I’ve just enjoyed a Merryhill cocktail when John asks for volunteers for the yes/no game where you are quizzed for 1 minute but must not answer yes or no or nod your head. Amazingly I win and get a free drink.

SATURDAY 16 AUGUST- In Taverham we visit Pavers where the Sketchers lightweight shoes ordered on line are perfect. After a shop at Tesco we are almost home when we see baskets of cooking apples outside a cottage with a sign saying free please help yourself. Back home I end up stewing apples, blackberries and apricots to freeze. Holiday makers John & Lynne come down for a drink and a chat and we’ve then just enough time to clean and tidy up before heading to a double birthday party. Mich is 30 + 13 whilst son Marcus is 13. They have asked people to food to put on the BBQ and they provide the sides and drinks. By chair hopping we manage to chat to a number of people we previously hadn’t met. Although it is a dry day there is a chilly breeze so we are all rugged up which must be a little confusing for the campers who arrive for their first visit to a naturist park!

SUNDAY 17 AUGUST – It’s great to live so close to an airport, 15 minutes from home and we are picking up our American friend Ricky at Norwich airport. He tells us he almost didn’t make it. Arriving at Amsterdam they told him he was booked on the 9.15 evening flight not the morning one. Bottom line is that the American version of the Travelocity website shows flights in random order then with p or a afterwards rather than the 24 hour clock. Using an Ipad to book Ricky missed this and booked the evening one. A very expensive mistake as they insisted on Euro 200 for him to go ahead on the morning flight. It’s a blustery showery day but Ricky loves it as a contrast to Florida and walking along the promenade at Great Yarmouth he can’t stop saying how wonderful everything is. Haven’t seen him for 6 years but in all honesty none of us look 6 years older. It’s a special weekend with American theme and there are loads of cars parked by the American diner. Using our Merlin cards I give Ricky alias Steve a quick tour through Sea World. Having an American visitor with us is great as we get special admission to the bowls club and the circus arena. We walk the length of the promenade the return on the opposite side trying to convince Ricky he could easily be in Las Vegas with all the same named casinos. At the top of the main tourist shopping street we spot “Fish o licious” that has been voted as having the best fish and chips in Norfolk and Suffolk. It’s actually quite disappointing as the batter is soggy and the chips are not crispy. Ricky has his first proper cup of English tea and makes us laugh as he drinks it with his little finger sticking out. We drop Steve at a sports bar to watch the Liverpool game whilst Ricky and I continue our exploration of the back streets. Ricky, using Steve’s membership card, enjoys a quick visit to the Elizabethan house and has fun trying on a traditional costume and armour. We discover a lovely old Fisherman’s hospital and courtyard now converted to homes. By the time we have picked Steve up and returned to the car Ricky & I have covered over 9 miles. I’m pleased to report that in my new Sketchers walking shoes my feet are fine. Ricky is really impressed by our caravan, he’s recently stayed in a clapped out old holiday caravan in Hungary so this is a huge step up. We check on line to figure out what happened with Ricky’s flight and find that UK Travelocity website lists flights with 24 hour clock but the I Phone app has them on the 12 hour clock with just a p or a after the time so very easy to make a mistake, and extremely costly.

MONDAY 18 AUGUST- Introduce Ricky to proper porridge which he enjoys with a cup of English breakfast tea. Starting our walking tour of Norwich we end up eating chips from the market stall at 10am. Our next food stop is at a cafe in the Victorian Arcade for a cream tea at 12.30pm. In the past Ricky has done a photographic book of priests so he is delighted to bump into one in Norwich cathedral and gets some nice shots. Overall Ricky is very impressed by our “small town”! I cook up some veal osso bucco for tea followed by homemade apple crumble and custard for the English touch.

TUESDAY 19 AUGUST – Today Ricky enjoys golden syrup in his porridge. In Wroxham we leave Steve resting in the car (think he is in tourist overload) whilst Ricky & I take the 10.30am boat trip. Sitting on the top deck we have a superb view and I learn a lot from the interesting and humorous commentary. We joke about what great value Americans must think the broads are at £8 for 1 ½ hours! On an exploratory drive we join the coast and head up through the charming but small resort of Mundesley to get to Cromer. You can tell it is the school holidays as we are about 1 mile out of town up a side street before we can find a parking spot. Start the culinary tour with a fresh Cromer crab sandwich. I’m amused by a sign outside a pub “beer bellies are sexy, get one here”! In order to do a good comparison we buy cod and chips from Mary Jane’s and haddock and chips from No1. My votes is with Mary Jane’s whilst the lads prefer No1. Out on the pier people are all on the one side sheltering from really blustery winds whilst the kids try to catch crabs. It is so high up that they have to put stones into a net then lower it into the water. The success rate is not good in terms of catch but high on the entertainment stakes. After a walk along the prom we return through the town and are drawn into the church by a sign saying “naked spirituality”. Not sure what that’s about but Steve sits down to listen to a drum and trumpet band practising for a concert tonight whilst Ricky and I tackle the tower climb, £1.50. After climbing 174 steps of a spiral staircase we are rewarded with fantastic all round views. Heading home we’ve just enough time for a really quick walk around the National Trust Fellbrigg House before it closes. This morning I showed Ricky how to make beer damper with cheese and chives and this goes well with some homemade soup for tea.



  1. All very interesting stuff Glen. I like your version of the WordPress Blog- is it a free one?

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