Spring Break Madness and Friendly Robins

Around this time of year we always take a spring break before the gardening season starts proper.  You must think we are mad considering the weather we have been having.  We usually leave early on a Sunday morning arriving a couple of hours later, just in time to unpack, go down to the Quay for a look-see, have a pint of delicious Wherry ale then on to our favourite pub for Sunday lunch.  NOT THIS YEAR.  We were snowed in on the Sunday – there were drifts right across the road, and as we had to go across country to get to the motorway, we daren’t chance getting stuck. 

So we delayed our holiday for a day in the hope that weather conditions would be better in the morning.  Luckily, they were.  We took it steady and the further east we went, the less snow there was.  When we reached our destination there was no snow at all.  HURRAH!  But it was cold, oh so cold.  The wind was coming straight from Siberia with nothing to stop it.  On the positive side it was sunny and bright and not raining or snowing, we would just have to adjust our plans a little.

One day we visited Holt, a lovely little Georgian town full windey streets and alleyways with lots  of independent shops selling beautiful top-quality stuff, and loads of retro and vintage goodies.

To keep out of the cold wind we took the woodland path at Holkham and visited the two hides on the estate with binoculars at the ready.  Amazingly we saw a pair of Barn Owls hunting together and two Muntjac Deer grazing.  Neither were near enough to photograph unfortunately. 

The following day we walked through the woods at Wells to collect pine cones for our wood burning stove at home, the wind had dropped and it was lovely and sunny, and whilst I was standing in the sunshine near a huge Larch tree I kept hearing a crackling sound which I couldn’t identify,  looking up I spotted some reddish coloured birds hopping around in the top branches;   they were Crossbills eating the seeds out of the pine cones – they were a bird we hadn’t ever seen before so it was quite a thrill.

Our final trip was to one of my favourite haunts, Pensthorpe Wild Life Reserve.  There were hardly any visitors so we practically had the place to ourselves.  A friendly little Robin followed us as we were walking round and wasn’t afraid when I took my camera out and photographed him from about a foot away – I am sure if we had had some seed he would have hopped on to my hand.

I baked a Spiced Apple Cake to take with us

And  on the drive to the N.Norfolk coast I knitted a pair of wrist-warmers

And during our break managed to knit a woolly hat to keep my ears warm whilst we were there.

A few days away always works wonders for me - I feel quite rested now – I always sleep soundly when I am at the coast, it must be all the fresh air – plus lots of delicious food and a good book to read in the evening, long walks in the sunshine – perfect.

On a mountain above the clouds in the central
highlands of Malaya lived the man who
had been the gardener of the Emperor of Japan ...

But who is Nakamura Aritomo, and how did he come to be
exiled from his homeland?
And is Yun Ling's survival of the Japanese camp somehow
connected to Aritomo and the Garden of Evening Mists?

So, it's back home now into the old routine that you manage to shake off for a few days and I'm feeling a little blue at that prospect. 

It makes you wonder are holidays worth it - what do you think?


  1. Bleak, pleasant and industrious. (Wonderful, hairy cow!)

  2. How lovely, I'm feeling a little jealous. Such fantastic pics, especially that cheeky little robin.

    Goodness, the amount of snow in that first pic! Unbelievable isn't it? It's still bitter here.xxxxx

  3. LOvely robin. We went away last week too but we left Friday. There was snow but checking our journey on the Internet we knew we would get to our destination OK - it snowed there on the Saturday and as you say was bitterly cold!

  4. It looks a lovely break, despite the cold. Here in Suffolk we've hardly had any snow, just the biting winds!

    Have a lovely Easter


  5. Sounds like a lovely break, glad that you got away despite the weather.

  6. Glad you had a lovely break away, no snow and even if it was cold at least you could wrap up. Looks as if you had a great time.

  7. What fun it must be to travel with you! ANd your English robins always make me giggle. They are so round and plump. The American robin is a harbinger of Spring also, but not nearly so small and charming!

  8. What a pleasure it must be to travel with you! Sounds wonderful, and your little English robins are adorable - quite different from the American robin!

  9. Sounds like a lovely relaxed break. Love them Highland Cattle and your knits are fab.
    Bridget x.

  10. The countryside still looks like it did in December! One of the nice things about Britain is that there are so many different things to do and see in a small geographical area. You can be at the seaside one minute, and in the depths of the rural countryside the next.

  11. What an enjoyable post, and terrific pictures. I think that as long as it's not raining then a break such as this can be enjoyed regardless of the weather.
    Lucky you seeing some crossbills. Flighty xx

  12. Glad you had some cozy hand and head warmers. After all your descriptions of snow and coldcoldcold weather, I was starting to feel chilled! Beautiful views, though... loved that friendly robin.

  13. Loved this post Elaine! Can't believe that people are still getting snow. We just had some here last week!

  14. I can imagine that it would be particularly cold in Norfolk at the moment with this north east/east wind - but you had some wonderful bird watching. I love the bold little robin. And the cake looks delicious.

  15. You have so many treasures to share with us. All of it is wonderful--from the needlework to the nature walk to the book. I am glad you were able to keep away from the cold. Our spring has been emerging very slowly as well.

  16. Glad you had a good break Elaine. I do love Highland cows!
    I value holidays even more these days than when I was working. Then I probably needed them more, but never seemed able to relax and enjoy them. Now I can.

  17. Sounds like you had a good break, glad you are feeling rested, you would probably feel less blue if you knew that you could get cracking in the garden. But everything feels so delayed this year. But it will come and you will feel all the better after having your restful week.

  18. Luckily, the weather forecast says we'll be losing the Siberian wind soon, replaced by a northerly from the Arctic. Oh hang on, that's not much help is it ?

  19. Hi Elaine, More so than any other time of year, I always get a hankering for a holiday in early spring. No idea exactly why that is. I suppose it must be the fine weather that just makes you want to get out there and see and do things.
    I couldn't believe your opening shot. You'd think you lived in Canada! Spring is really delayed all over the place. It has been cold here as well, although we had one perfect day on the Easter weekend.
    I would have loved visiting the wildlife preserve. Seeing animals and birds never gets old.
    I have heard about the book you are reading. Are you enjoying it? You always seem to be reading such interesting books!

    1. I did enjoy the book Jennifer, not the usual type I go for but it was a Christmas gift. It is about the concept of Japanese gardens mainly but was also about the Japanese p.o.w. camps during the occupation in Malaya - quite horrifying and not an easy read - a part of history I knew little about

  20. So much I learned just traipsing through your gardens and meadows, elaine. I love it. Such a vicarious thrilling experience because in the Philippines the weather and culture are different. I now live in the city and I have this inexplicable urge to go back home in the country and enjoy country tripping the way you do.

    1. Thankyou for your lovely comments Janette - glad you enjoyed my little trip. Maybe one day you will be able to leave the city and live back in the country. Nothing is impossible.


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