Monthly Archives: February 2012
Today has been another unseasonably warm February day so Richard and I headed up to the coast.
We saw a house advertised for sale in Shingle Street and it looked very nice so we thought we’d pay the area a visit (not the house as it was on the market for £1,000,000!).
Shingle Street is quite literally a shifting expanse of shingle which is washed down from the Shingle Spit that forms around Orford and the surrounding area. There are only a handful of houses there which makes it very peaceful and quite a unique place to live.The conditions were great today, it didn’t feel at all cold by the coast and we managed a walk along the shingle before heading back to the car (the shingle is very steep and very deep making it hard work on the ol’ legs!)
Following Shingle Street we took the short drive over to Orford, which is one of our favourite places and somewhere we have not been for years.
En route we happened across the church of St John the Baptist in Butley. We stopped for a closer inspection because neither of us had ever seen a thatched church before.
Once we arrived at Orford we made the most of the local hospitality and had a nice sunday roast at The Jolly Sailor before heading up the castle tower to take in the stunning views of the countryside, the coast and the now abandoned secret military facility on the shingle spit.
We later enjoyed coffee and a lovely piece of home made cake at a local cafe whilst being begged for attention from a local tabby called Mylo.
Another lovely day, a great escape to the coast to fill our lungs full of air and another fantastic reminder of why we are so pleased to have moved to this part of the country.
Tonight we joined an open evening with the North Essex Astronomical Society for an evening of star gazing.
One of the big draws of this part of England is the size of the skies. They really do stretch on forever and you have more to see than anywhere else. Day or night.
I love to paint the vast expanses of any during the day and we have recently rekindled an interest on the sky at night.
To get an idea of what’s possible and what we could achieve we popped along to see what was on offer.
The members and the assembled public were all very pleasant and everyone was keen to share their knowledge and to let you have a peek at the night sky.
In just one evening I am completely by what you can see with some basic (and not so basic) kit.
Tonight I have witnessed views of the moons craters as if it were right in front of me. I saw the shadows on Jupiter and its surrounding moons.
This was a wonderful introduction to star gazing and thankfully an event that is repeated free of charge every month.
I am not sure how practicle it would be to carry this around on your iPhone all this time but I have to say I am very tempted by the Rangefinder case.
It include the ability to use your iPhone screen as the viewfinder as in a normal digital camera, the shutter button activates the (+) button and it comes with stick on lenses.
This just proves how good the iPhone 4S is as a serious camera and although mainly a bit of funk think it highlights its abilities wonderfully.
This week I was reminded why we made the right decision to move to Colchester. We’d done our time in St Albans and it was loosing its appeal. It’s full of 4×4/people carrier driving stay at home mums and wankers in Saabs and Jeeps who are more interested in material things than actual real life. St Albans is a very good advertisement about all that is wrong in this country at the moment.
Colchester is nearly as affluent in parts as St Albans but the residents have a much better outlook on life. There is an even balance of people and everyone seems genuinely willing to help one another.
Colchester is also much more beautiful than St Albans and even though I sometimes feel the commute is a little longer it’s more than worth it.
There is a huge wealth of parks and woodlands and most notably for us is the small protected wood to the rear of our house and the oak meadow and meadowland literally opposite our front door.
During my commute on Thursday evening I had time to notice it was particularly spring like. It was warm. Sunny. And there was a beautiful February sunset to accompany my journey.
Once you get past Chelmsford things get very rural and its lovely to see fields of green packed with rambling like stock, weirs, brooks and cute villages scattered around the landscape.
I have to pinch myself when I realise we have been residents of Colchester for nearly 10 months already and I love our new home more and more every day.
Richard, Brandy and I have settled in so well and it really does feel like home. Rather than someone’s house which we rented and occupied.
Of course we’re now past the initial move in phase and are considering how to upgrade the house to suit our tastes and requirements.
This starts with a visit from an Interior Designer on Saturday and includes plans for freshening up the hall and adding feature walls to the living room and our bedroom.
We have already made some changes as I have reported in the past and recent editions include our new security system. A system which caused us by some happy accident to discover our front door is made of steel and not of wood as we thought. Imagine our surprise when we tried to drill into it and the drill bit buckled!
We still have lots of friends to come and stay and some who have been many times already but it pleases me (us) that everyone is so taken-aback by what we have acquired.
Richard and I work damn hard and it’s nice to see the fruits of our labour baring ripe morsels.
Long may it continue and long may we have lots of pleasure in finding new and exciting (as well as familiar and routine) things to do in Colchester, Essex, Suffolk and beyond.
Anyone who criticises Essex and it’s people need to move away from the mindless media stereotypes and come in further from London. You will be pleasantly surprised.
It’s Sunday and we sit at home as most of the country is covered in a blanket of snow. The snowfall came late to Colchester but it didn’t disappoint – we must have had several centimeter’s overnight and I think it will probably be here for a day or so given the current temperature.
When we getting breakfast this morning we saw a baby Monkjack deer outside the house foraging for food. It has to be said this is an unusual end to an unusual week…
Following my spell in hospital last week I had a CT scan booked in on Monday to further investigate what was wrong. Unfortunately I didn’t feel much better and the doctor signed me off work to rest for an additional week.
I had the CT scan as planned and thankfully the results came back clear – therefore the pain and discomfort was not coming from an anatomical source such as a swelling, lump or whatever. This did however mean that I had to go back to the hospital on Wednesday for further tests as the consultants now believe I had a severe infection which caused all the problems. It was good to go back to get some more answers but it’s not what I had planned for my birthday!
I am feeling much better and am heading back into work tomorrow (snow forgiving!) so it’ll be nice to get back to some normality.
For my birthday Richard had bought me a trip to Amsterdam so we could fly over for the day, take in some sights and enjoy a birthday lunch before we headed back.
We had decided on Friday that I wasn’t 100% up to the trip and with the forecast here and in Holland looking doubtful we have moved my birthday trip to the end of March. Our decision was the right one to make as Schipol airport came to a standstill on Friday evening due to heavy snowfall in Amsterdam. This was followed by a 3 hour delay on the flight we were due to depart on and delays on the return flight.
This is the problem with having your birthday in the depths of winter – the weather is never the promising!To make up for our cancelled trip Richard took me to Bury St Edmunds yesterday and we spent the day taking in the sights (it has one of the biggest Abbey ruins in the UK, a Cathedral which had new cloisters etc added in the last 10 years and an old market town centre). We had elevenses before we braved the cold to do our exploring and then enjoyed a lovely birthday lunch.
Yesterday was really enjoyable and we managed to do it all whilst avoiding the worst of the weather.
It’s the end of another week and I hope things can get back to some form of normality now!
Thanks to those of you who sent birthday greetings – that was very kind of you all. Despite all of the above I have had a good birthday and will spend the forthcoming couple of weeks catching up with friends etc to make up for the lost celebrations
Another February first and another year older. Today I turned 38.
I didn’t quite imagine I’d be laid up at home but I am. Apart from the current health problems I honestly don’t feel my age and I find myself amazed as to how another year has passed by so quickly.
My 37th year was very eventful with lots of stuff going on, I can only hope this following year is as much fun.