>>  Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We had tickets to a festival in Manchester but Cog knew she wasn't well enough to go.  She just isn't there yet.  I can see that maybe one day she will be but not yet.

So she didn't mope at home instead and I could not sit and stew on the amount of money those tickets had cost us we went out for the day.

I'd never been before.  It was an easy, if long, drive.  Easy parking, clean loos and the slowest coffee shop on God's earth....

...and that's slow for Norfolk pace.  And Nooooooorrrrfolk pace usually does my head in!!!

Walking around the house was lovely,  It's not Buckingham Palace (clearly), it is a country house but still special to look around.

You can't take photos in the house (how else would they sell guide books!)

But everywhere else you can.

And there was enough  detailed architecture to keep me amused.

With some Guiding thrown in.
The museum is really interesting and big.  Enough things for me to be able to tell repeat to Cog old stories like the time my brother and I were stood staring through the gates of Clarence house when we were small and the gates opened for the Queen Mother's car to come out.  She stopped her car for us and the window went down and she waved and said hello.

And the time we went to a funeral in one of her old cars that was owned by a family member at the time.

I've never ridden in Victoria's bath chair though (although I did once sit on a chair she had sat on - my grandfather took his eyes off me for a moment and I was under a rope and testing the Royal seat - he didn't half tell me off I recall)
"Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub."  I sang at her.  She did not thank me.
"Your grandma can work one of these" I told her and I stood marvelling and trying to show her what a London phone book looked liked whilst Cog was long gone.

Does anyone else have that moment where you think you are taking to your companion and you look again and you are stood explaining your mother's primary occupation to a total stranger?! German I believe, polite fellow!
The grounds are lovely, it was hot.  I paddled across the stream and found myself in a part of the grounds I'm not sure I should have been in, so I promptly paddled back!
The fish didn't seem to mind.
The grounds are lovely
There's no pomp here, mostly nature

I wondered how a sundial managed Sandringham time (yes, that's a thing)

I'm always torn between the privilege and awe of looking at the things the Royals enjoy and contemplating the unfairness of life in general.
Even the dogs have it good in the royal household.
Because we were close to the sea we headed to the nearest beach before turning for home.


Cog was off up the beach before I'd even parked.
The sea was not at home.  Do not be fooled by the sun glinting off the wet sand.

There was no sea.  Not even a glimpse of where the sea might be.


And it being the phone signal wasteland that is Norfolk I couldn't even look up when it planned to leave the Netherlands and return to the Wash.

We went home with dry feet!


Rangers on the Round

>>  Wednesday, July 12, 2017

 As you know, I've been walking the Leicestershire Round this year in sections.

For one of our summer meetings I did a few local miles in it with the Rangers.

I had thought a bit about risk assessments.   I had an emergency blanket and life saver bag (makes a great make shift stretcher), I had told them to wear a coat or get wet (love being a Ranger leader for this type of comment!)
 But the cows this time of year are a real bother.  They are so curious and fast!

We did this field a bit sharpish as they decided we were worth a fast walk 'oh my god are they going to run in a minute' to investigate.

Sheep are much easier, they usually move or just give you a death stare if they are too lazy to run away.
 But it's worth it up here for the views,

 And the political discussions that happened across the fields of crops - did not see that coming!
 Because we were walking fast, we went off route to add a bit extra in.

So we met horses.  I don't think this rider expected to turn corner on a usually deathly quiet road to be met by a group of raucous girls.

It's always nice by the water in the evening.

 But one of the parents that came along (he usually comes on the walks) said "I used to play down here when I was young, I'll show you the pipes"

I ummmed and ahhhed about the risk but he went first, his daughter had also been down it before so in we went.
 It was short enough not to be a bother and long enough to add a twist to the night.
 And we added another geocache to our Ranger bag
As we walked home a Ranger said "that was a great night, we really should get out and walk more often"

I couldn't agree more.

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