(Don't forget you can enlarge the pictures by clicking)
DAY ONE: Ely
Train from Norwich to Ely to meet Julie of Mixed Media, Wendy of Emmelines Place and later Emma (At last!) of Silver Pebble.
Clever Julie knew about this amazing textile exhibition at the Babylon Gallery right on the river bank and right next to Peacocks tea rooms which Emma had suggested as a meeting point.
So here are some of the fantastic exhibits but unfortunately I can't remember all the artists' names.There is a link to their website here
The first thing we saw was this gorgeous felt by Maria Therese Fernandez. Huge and amazing.
Then pieces using layering and slashing of sheer fabrics.
All the works were based on the River Thames and the regeneration of the Isle of Dogs.
Some stupendous rust and indigo dyed and stitched pieces
and outside the window the sun glinted on the river and boats.
All in the company of lovely friends.
Julie and Wendy outside Peacock's tearoom.
It was lovely to meet them and they were extremely patient with me as Julie held the door open for the tea room lady carrying a big tray and I, with an inflated sense of my own importance, barged through not noticing the poor woman laden with a heavy load.
Later Emma came along and it was great to meet her after two previous failed attempts..
When we parted I went to the Cathedral and was overwhelmed with the amazing work in every possible medium.
The sun shone through the stained glass and coloured the walls.
I had a stiff neck from looking up.
I particularly liked the pigs carved around this doorway.
Then I made my way along the river to get the train back to Norwich .
DAY TWO: Southwold
Somewhere I've wanted to visit for a while. Unfortunately the weather wasn't brilliant but here are a few pictures of this typical English seaside town.
The famous beach huts which change hands for vast sums of money.
They didn't seem so desirable on this day buffeted by wind and rain..decidedly chilly.
After a bit of a walk down the pier the obligatory tea room visit.
We saw some strange Morris/Country dancing in the streets. Not without its charm but in no way traditional.
And here's the cinema...
DAY THREE: Aldeburgh
Home of the Benjamin Britten Festival and a very busy place on a Bank Holiday weekend.
We parked the car by the shingle and I noticed that all the gulls were standing facing away from the sea.
What were they thinking?
Then I had an idea..I opened the window and threw a few scraps of oatcake out and sure enough...
....and down they all settled again watching the parked cars.
The weather improved so we walked and watched the sun make patterns ..
and just enjoyed the goings on on the beach.
At the other end of town we enjoyed the Britten memorial sculpture.
It has given me a bit of an idea for a piece I'm working on.
Then the light changed and we had to get another picture..
and big bonus...look!
Can you just see the rainbow?
What a treat.
DAY FOUR: Everywhere
Well, I drove out of Norwich on my own, with no idea really of where I was going as my husband was working and he's the one with the sense of direction.
If you imagine the coast of Norfolk as a clock. I drove via Holt to five to twelve...Morston, and had a walk.
Then I continued my tour right around to three o' clock. Martham, where I headed back towards Norwich. Quite by chance I found the street where the colleague my husband is working with lives, so I parked the car and made contact! I wasn't going to go any further and brave the ring road when I was about half a mile from our accommodation! My husband rescued me. I think he was quite surprised I'd got as near as I had.
The plan had been to abandon the car on a car park and find it later together.
So here are a few of pictures from my day out.
Walcott (I know because I asked)
The place I liked the best was
Spelt 'Happisburgh', pronounced 'Hazeboro'
But how would you know?
I must have read it somewhere.
Now this place is so pretty but is in danger of falling into the sea. The cliffs are sandy and sheer and eroded and this is how you get onto the beach.
Across the bridge balanced precariously on the cliff edge to this structure in high wind.
All along the beach are the inadequate sea defences which will ultimately fail.
But for now the caravans and tents on the cliff top perch as far away from the edge as the site will allow.
On the beach I spotted activity and being the nosey Parker I am I asked what they were doing and was treated to an explanation of all that was going on by the Archeologist.. he was extremely knowledgable and willing to explain all. Quite a crowd gathered to listen and two women told me they'd wondered but didn't dare ask.
See? I'm so nosey.
It seems they have found a River bed under the sand which once upon a time joined with the Rhine and are now searching for signs of human occupation from thousands of years ago.
DAY FOUR: Home by train.
From the window I saw a hare, a lot of piggies, a little group of pheasants in the corner of a lettuce field unaware that just a few yards away a large red fox was heading towards them.
Train travel is such fun and you meet so many nice people .
But there are the others.....
iphones tstssttt ttstsssttt sttststssing away all around me. But only when I changed in Manchester.
I have some lovely mementoes of my trip.
A lovely seascape postcard made by Julie with fabulous fabrics.
Emma had persuaded the Peacocks tea room lady to sell her one of the gorgeous china cups from the dresser and just as we left she tucked it into my bag.
Its absolutely lovely and I had been admiring it so kind generous Emma had realised that and made it mine.. What a sweetie.
Isn't it lovely?
She also gave me a lovely book which is still in Norwich with my husband who has most of my luggage to bring home in the car.
Talking of home...
In this sunny weather I am enjoying the garden and hadn't realised before that the overly vigorous Clematis Montana has the most beautiful scent in the early evening.
For two years we have had grey wet gloomy summers so I had almost forgotten how nice it is to potter.
(This post has taken me about an hour and a half with this new upload system. I'd got used to the old version where you could upload a lot of pictures and fit the text in after)
I'll finish with a picture of something I received a few weeks ago. Its a card from Jenny . I'm delighted and also very impressed with the piece and so delighted to have received it.
Oh its nice to travel but its good to be home.