Out with the old–In with the new

Regular readers may have noticed that we spend a lot of time taking breaks in North Norfolk.  It has become like a second home to us and we relish every moment spent there.  For the last three years we have visited during that limbo time between Christmas and New Year when the air is crisp and the skies a clear blue – a couple of days wrapped up warmly, taking walks and breathing in the sea air – invigorating and life affirming. 

cold, fresh and invigorating - a seaside resort in winter

rosy sunset and strings of lights - The Buttlands, Wells

Pink clouds and stark tree outlines - the view from our room

Reed beds at Cley, North Norfolk

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time and tide wait for no man - Wells Quay

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salt marsh creeks - Burnham Overy Staithe

geese flying in - Blakeney

We had snow before we left but the further east we went so the snow diminished until there was just hard frost.  On the homeward journey this process was reversed, and we returned to snow covering the fields – the house was freezing cold when we walked in – so the fire was lit and the heating cranked up while we unpacked. 

back home to frosted fields as the sun sets

I watched as the sunset kissed the back fields with a rosy glow and saw the sheep huddling against the hedgerow for shelter as the winds grew sharp and bitterly cold.  After a brief few hours rest from our journey we ventured out again to a New Years party in the village – meeting and greeting friends of long standing and raising our glasses to a happy new year.  This morning, after a late night, I felt under the weather with a sore throat and the sniffles – oh no – another head cold – finding myself not surprised that I caught a chill but not letting it get in the way of dismantling the decorations and packing them away for another year.  The room looks so bare now – it took far more time to put them all away than it did to set them all up.

And so another year starts – what will it hold?  Will I keep on blogging – yes, because I enjoy the whole process of getting involved and communicating  with fellow bloggers – I have learned so much in the last few years – a whole world out there that I never knew existed before I started blogging.  Yes, it is a huge commitment of my time but it also means I can share posts about things I am passionate about to like minded folk who I look upon as friends.  It is also a discipline to post regularly even when I don’t feel like it and have nothing much to say – it makes me use my brain to try and write better and more interesting posts for you to enjoy. It makes me more observant, noticing the little things and relishing the joy of living – watching the seasons closely, taking photographs of the garden, watching the sun rise and set and feeling so much more involved with my surroundings than I ever did before.

Below is my favourite photograph of 2014 and a collage that sums up the year.

 

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2014-08-07

 

So I say – roll on 2015 – and remember

 

See my 2014 resolutions on Pinterest and read more about them on my blog: http://www.thetraveltester.com/resolutions-for-2014/

Comments

  1. It looks beautiful out there by the water's edge. Serene, apart from the screaming of the gulls perhaps.
    I spent part of the first page of the book chasing yet another sheep around the garden. So your favourite picture is apt!

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    1. Funnily enough the gulls were almost silent - I think it is the summer visitors throwing them chips that gets them all excited - but going at this time of year there wasn't a chip eater in sight. As for chasing the sheep you really will have to get the fencing sorted out one day. ha.

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  2. How lovely to have had a visit to Norfolk again and enjoy the time between Christmas and New Years. I was shivering at your description of the cold house on your return, but immediately warmed up when the fire was lit :) The New Years party in the village sounds inviting. I can relate to what you say about blogging. Thank you for taking the time to share your observations and writings. Your blog posts are always a pleasure to read and I do enjoy your photography as well. Seeing those vibrant spring flowers on your collage lends a degree of hope that Spring is not too far in the future, is it? ;) Keep warm! Here's hoping you can nip that cold in the bud ~ and I send to you both wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2015.

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    1. Taking a break at this time of year is so different to our more visitor friendly visits earlier in the year - we did leave the water heater on just in case to stop the pipes freezing but without the central heating on the cold seems to seep into the walls and it took ages for the house to warm up to acceptable levels. Thank you for your kind words - as always it is the people you meet and exchange comments with that make blogging worthwhile. The cold has taken hold I'm afraid and I am getting through a lot of paper tissues! Wishing you all the best for the new year.

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  3. OH!!!!! What a beautiful collage friend! Look at those stunning blooms up there!!!! Your celebrations sounded so wonderful! And your landscape photos are just so peaceful and serene! I am looking forward to journeying along with you in 2015 friend! This blogging adventure would not be the same without you!!! I hope you feel better soon! All the best dear Elaine! Nicole xoxo

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Nicole - I love looking back through the years photos and selecting those that typify what I have been writing about - and yes, blogging certainly is an adventure - all made the better for meeting such lovely people. Happy New Year to you.

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  4. I do know that part of Norfolk a bit; lovely. We don't take down the decorations until 12th night; the same night we go wassailing. I hope to be visiting your page for a long time yet. Cro x

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    1. Does it bring bad luck if you take the decs down too soon - they get on my nerves after Christmas is over - oh well it's too late now - and I'm not in the least superstitious.

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  5. Happy 2015 Elaine ….. beautiful photographs { I particularly love the one of the quivering grasses } and such a brilliant collage. I think that walking near the coast in Winter is just as nice as in the Summer.
    Like Cro, we take our decorations down on 12th night.
    Looking forward to more blogging friendship in 2015. Much love. XXXX

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    1. Thanks Jackie - I love walking by the coast at any time of year - but especially in winter - although there were still quite a few holidaymakers about - we're made of sturdy stuff we British. Happy New Year.

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  6. Nice post and stunning photos!

    Happy new year!

    Lluisa xx

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  7. I've written on my first blank page. Happy and healthy New Year to you and yours.

    Jean
    x

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    1. The first of many more blank pages to come - enjoy filling them. Wishing you all the best for 2015.

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  8. I took down the decorations this morning and am not yet finished cleaning, you are right this takes much more time than starting decorating. Taking a break I´m on the blogs again, blogging is so much fun but yes it takes really (too) much time and sure I am addicted to it. Loved your post, as you may know sheep are one of my favourites too, and North Norfolk is still on our wishlist to go to.
    Wish you a Happy and Healthy 2015 with a lot of Gardening and Blogging Pleasure!

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    1. Lots of gardening and blogging pleasure to you too Janneke - hope 2015 is good to you.

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  9. A wonderful selection of pictures. It's good to see that that you'll be continuing to blog as I would certainly miss your enjoyable, and interesting, posts. Flighty xx

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    1. It took me ages to go through a years worth of photos - I didn't realise I had taken quite so many.Happy New Year Flighty.

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  10. Yes, that sheep photo is absolutely classic. Also love that one of the horse with the whiskers in your collage, Elaine. Such moving photos. Looking forward to all your posts this year. xxx

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    1. Thanks Isabelle very kind of you to say so.

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  11. Lovely post with some wonderful photos.. Love your collage, all those pretty, colourful flowers.. So looking forward to Spring. Happy New Year Elaine :o)

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    1. Spring isn't so far away now - a few more weeks and we'll be complaining about how much there is to do in the garden - bliss. happy New Year Julie.

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  12. How wonderful to be near the sea at this time of year something I've always wanted to do but never achieved yet. Your blog posts are always lively and interesting. Love the collage of photos too. Happy New Year to you and yours:)

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    1. You really ought to try getting to the coast one winter - it is so different from a summer visit - I love it. Thanks for the kind comments - happy new year to you too.

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  13. Norfolk is a beautiful place to visit......we spent much time there when our children were small.
    I fell in love with Cornwall and each year Mr P and I take a trip.....it somehow pulls you there, doesn't it.
    I love the collection of some of your favourite photos...........so lovely to look back at such a colourful year.
    I have a new diary......a woman's journal, it is called a feeling diary. As a Pisces I tend to live life on what I feel more than anything else, so thought this would be a good one for me.

    Have a good weekend Elaine.

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    1. I love Cornwall too even though it is totally different to Norfolk - unfortunately it is a little too far for me to travel (I have trouble with my joints if I sit too long).
      I too am a Pisces and my heart rules my head every time. I got a Country Living Diary which is full of beautiful and inspiring photographs. Looking forward to reading your blog throughout 2015. Wishing you a very happy new year.

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  14. The collage is lovely. I do agree that writing a blog makes you take more notice of things. Closely following the magnolia through the year was really interesting and something I intend to repeat with a different subject. It also provides a focus foe photography as when sharing we try to improve.

    Will you wrote another novel and did you do anything with the other one? You could serialise it on your blog - I'd read it!

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    1. Thanks Sue. I'm not sure about the novel writing as it is so time consuming - but writing the blog is just about the right amount of time to sit at the computer - maybe I could serialise it on a separate page on the blog editing it as I go along - we'll see.

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    2. Just to be clear - Will you wrote - was a typo. My grammar isn't that bad.

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  15. I do hope you are feeling better and that the cold hasn't taken hold! How lovely to get away, the pics are simply gorgeous! I love the laughing sheep too, that really is brilliant, you should send it to your local paper!
    You always write wonderful posts, and I really do enjoy them, it's always good to see your posts in my email!
    Gosh, your deccies have been put away already? I wish mine were! That's a great quote to end on.xxx

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    1. Yes, the cold has taken hold - I can't remember another year when I have had two colds in one winter - just my luck. Thanks for your kind comments - I have so enjoyed blogging this year and count myself lucky to have found so many wonderful blogging friends. Happy New Year Dina.

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  16. Norfolk looks so lovely I can see why you have to keep returning. I always enjoy reading your posts and some of your lovely images stay in my mind for many months afterwards especially your view looking across the fields. Sarah x

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    1. I try to remember to regularly take photos of the back fields - the view is ever-changing (as long as I keep the windows clean that is).

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  17. I hope your cold is gone very soon and that you are feeling much better. Your trip to Norfolk and then a village party sounds like a great way to start the year!! I look forward to sharing 2015 with you in blogland and hope it brings all good things to you. xx

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes Amy - I think the cold is going to get worse before it gets better.

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  18. Happy New Year Elaine xxxxxxx
    Happy gardening for 2015 x Nicola x

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    1. Thanks Nicola - happy new year to you too - let's hope 2015 is a good year for us in the garden.

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  19. Happy New Year, Elaine. Please keep on blogging, and writing about those little things that you are so good at observing! Hope your cold doesn't linger too long. I have been suffering for 10 days now, and not looking forward at all to returning to work tomorrow.

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    1. Happy new year to you too Mark - every year I wonder if I will continue blogging without repeating myself too much - just hope I can come up with some original ideas this year. Good luck with your first day back - having a cold is a blooming nuisance but what can you do except endure till it decides to leave.

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  20. I love looking at photos of nature. It can give you a serene feeling. Like everything is gonna be okay. Like all the essentials are there and all the extra baggage of life are stripped off. It gets you to focus on what is really vital.

    I hope you have one peaceful year, knowing which things you should bring and which ones you must leave behind. :)

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    1. Thank you for visiting - I agree exactly with your sentiments.

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  21. Lovely photos once again. Happy New Year. Hope 2015 is a happy and productive year!

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    1. Thank you Kelli - I hope so too - happy new year to you.

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  22. (Late to the party as usual!) Norfolk landscapes are quite dramatic in their own way - who would have thought mud flats could be so very beautiful. Your photographs are beautiful and I love your 'reasons for blogging' Elaine. I hope your cold goes soon. Sage tea can be good....you can make it even with frozen leaves..

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    1. Even frozen sage leaves sound good to me at the moment - the honey and lemon is helping too. I have a very sore rib cage with all the coughing at the moment - let's hope this is the last cold for this winter. All I want to do is sleep and wake up feeling healthy again!

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  23. Oh I love Norfolk (that's why I live here!)

    I hope you've woken feeling better today, Elaine. It's horrible when coughs drag on.
    Here's to a happy, healthy 2015 from today onwards!

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  24. Thanks Sarah - the same goes for you too.

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  25. Happy New Year Elaine! That's a great quote at the end of the post. The new year does offer so much potential. It is a great idea to take a little holiday between Christmas and New Years. All the better to savour the season! The picture of the cliff is quite something. I paused for a moment and wondered how near the edge I would be brave enough to go. Hope your cold has cleared up by now. Take care!

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    1. I wasn't brave enough to go anywhere near the edge either. Happy New Year to you too Jennifer - let's hope it's full of good things.

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  26. Gorgeous photos, not an area I know. Always shied away because there are no hills :{

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  27. Beautiful photos! So inspiring.

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  28. You had me worried for a moment there ... I may not always comment but reading your posts is a constant pleasure.

    I honestly believe that blogging brings out the best in me, and I may not be alone there.

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