Saturday, 26 September 2020

Old School House CL, Terrington St John... continued 2

 Wednesday, 22nd September 2020

Perhaps, our run of good luck with the weather has come to and end?

Heavy overnight rain, and more forecast for later today, although, it is not actually raining this morning. All because of some hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean, if I understood the weather forecast correctly.

I think, it may be wise not to suggest a cycle ride, today, after yesterday's mammoth effort.

We manage a couple of walks, luckily, between the downpours, so, we do not actually get a soaking, but, it is a close run thing!

One of our walks takes us to the village convenience store, for "essentials" ie chocolate and wine. The chap behind the counter is incredibly friendly and chatty, we seem to be his only customers!

Thursday, 23rd September 2020

More heavy rain overnight.

Blue sky, and a brisk wind and, only, 16C, not bad for the end of September, but, positively cool, compared to what we have been enjoying.

Lunch at the Woolpack, Terrington St John, very enjoyable. Enough people there to give a bit of "atmosphere", but, not enough to compromise "social distancing".

Got rained on walking back!

Friday, 24th September 2020

We are paying for the good weather we have had, earlier in our trip. Gale-force winds and rain overnight. Only 8C this morning and still blowing a gale, with occasional rain.

A day of reading, and, a bit of online shopping.

Saturday, 25th September 2020

Cold (8C), dull, and windy!

An uneventful drive home.

Uneventful that is until we get to within 4 miles of home, at which point, we find the Testos Roundabout road works have reduced the A19 to one lane, massive tail-back and last 4 miles completed at walking pace.

We are supposed to have "smart" motorways, why could they not put a warning sign at Thirsk, and we could have stayed on the A1(M)! 

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Old School House CL, Terrington St John... continued 1

 Monday, 21st September 2020

A beautiful morning, full sunshine and 21C by lunch time, with no wind.

A gentle cycle ride, to build up our appetite for lunch, later.

Just over ten miles, Terrington St John - Walpole Highways - Marshland St John - Terrington St John. A very pleasant way to spend the morning.

I notice on our cycle ride, there is an incredible concentration of "quality housing" in the area, with more being built. Obviously an affluent area, although, I don't quite follow where it (the wealth) is coming from?

A little rest, then, lunch at The Woolpack.

They do a very pleasant "Pensioners Special" on Mondays, only £7.50 for two course, very reasonable.

An after lunch drink in the beer garden, followed by a walk back to The Old School House.

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020

Another beautiful day, full sunshine 22C, slight breeze.

As part of my quest to collect photographs of places we have cycled to, beginning A, B, C... etc (I am currently up to "C"), I have a plan to cycle to Downham Market.

Checking the route on Google Maps, it is approximately 24 miles, assuming we do not fall foul of the Norfolk tendency to have no directional signposts, and, no place name boards.

In the event, it is a 34 mile round trip, not sure Kathleen is happy about that! I did treat her to a Costa Coffee at the 20 mile point.

Somehow, I get the feeling that Kathleen has not entered into the spirit of the ABC Challenge.

But, credit where credit is due, still going strong at the half-way point, 17 miles, not bad for a 1947 vintage cyclist !

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Old School House CL, Terrington St John

 Saturday, 19th September 2020

A pleasant day, 21C and sunny, but, a brisk wind, not that it is terribly important, since we are travelling today..

A leisurely departure, since we have only 42 miles to travel to:

Old School House N52.72121 E0.28103 Church Road, Terrington St. John, Wisbech, Norfolk, PE14 7SA

This CL is more "equipped", in addition to the basics (ie water, waste disposal), there is EHU and Toilet/Shower.

Kathleen is immediately impressed, clean, neat and tidy, Maxine (Max), the owner, is extremely friendly and informative.

Among the snippets of information, from Max, is the nearest pub, The Woolpack, about 1 mile  away, in the village of Terrington St John, along a fairly quiet road, with a footpath, and, even some street lighting! They do meals, we are booked in for Monday. It looks as if Kathleen plans on minimal cooking, this week!

The only complaint, so far, is the CL is not well signposted, at least, not if you are approaching from the A47, which I would imagine, most people would.

It took three passes, even with the aid of the Sat-Nav, to actually spot the "CL" sign, a few yards down a smaller lane.

You need to watch for this small turn off from Church Lane, then, within about 15 metres, watch for the CL sign.

It is an easy turn in, when you know where it is!

But, these are minor issues, the site is excellent, and, Kathleen is happy with the place, so, that is all that matters,

There is an off-licence/convenience store, fish and chip shop, pub, and bus-stop, in the village, approximately 1 mile away.

Our arrival brings the CL to capacity, there are three caravans and a motorhome here when we arrive, so, we make up the "Five".

Sunday, 20th September 2020

A little rain over night, I think, judging from the puddle of water in my outdoor crocks, this morning. 

Full sunshine and 20C today, but, rather windy.

All three caravans leave today, I wonder if it was something we said? So, that leaves just two motorhomes.

Based on Maxine's information of yesterday, we decide to cycle to Walpole St Peter. 

Just over 12 miles of easy cycling, except when cycling into the wind!

The recommendation to visit Walpole St Peter, was to look around the church, which, Maxine tells us is rather beautiful. 

It does look to be rather pretty, and, is certainly a very imposing church for such a small place, but, there was a service in progress, so, no looking around. 

A walk through the Church Yard would have been a possibility of course, but, Kathleen's current thinking is, "we are near enough to the graveyard, without visiting them for pleasure", so, we skipped that.

In the course of the day, another three arrivals, two caravans, one motorhome, so, the place is full again, with five vans.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Lark Valley, Flempton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk... continued 2

 Wednesday, 16th September 2020

Weather forecast is for another scorcher, a little cooler than yesterday, only 27C, but, the reality is cloudy with a few spots of rain, by lunch time, we have the sun and 24C.

The plan was walking, and a trip to Tesco for essential supplies (wine), tomorrow, but, we decide to take advantage of the cool morning and cycle to Tesco, Bury St Edmonds this morning.

Now that we know the way, it is only 9.5 miles, of fairly flat cycling, there and back.

Not as cool as we had hoped, it is very humid, and, on the return leg, the sun is out, and, temperature climbing steadily.

Plus of course, we have purchased a few "extras", and, I have two fully loaded panniers and a haversack to carry on the way back.

We pass the Woolpack en-route, no Dingles in evidence.

An afternoon stroll into a village, or, hamlet, in the opposite direction to Flempton. There is no name board, so, not sure what it is called. Even the parish church, with it's well kept grounds, is devoid of a name board.

Thursday, 17th September 2020

Temperatures have cooled, only 20C, today, and, a little windy.

A lazy day, reading books, and, doing absolutely nothing.

Friday, 18th September 2020

Sunny, but, very windy, not cycling weather!

A short walk is our only exertion, otherwise, another lazy day.

Our elderly neighbours (age 90 and 92), left today, towing their caravan. No fancy gadgets, like caravan movers, all done manually. Well done them!


Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Lark Valley, Flempton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk... continued 1

 Monday, 14th September 2020

Another bright sunny morning, with a forecast temperature of 27C. Excellent September weather we are having.

On Saturday, when we arrived, a fellow motorhomer told me about a walk, nearby. 

The destination is a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon Village, at West Stow Country Park.

This is a bit too cultural for us, we normally just walk in countryside, or, cycle ride.

The walk there (about 2.5 miles) is through pleasant countryside and woodland, mostly, alongside the River Lark, (hence, Lark Valley), so, little chance of wandering off track, anyone can fallow a river!

In the event, it turns out to be quite interesting, thanks to Covid-19, the museum is closed, but,

the reconstructed village is available to walk around, and, various displays of archeological finds, from nearby.

The reconstructed buildings, are of course, intelligent guesstimates of how they would have actually been, based on archeological digs and finds, in the immediate area.

As a is usually the case with such things, I am amazed at the distances over which they traded goods, and travelled, in an era when the fastest form of transport on land was a galloping horse, and, on water a sailing boat.

There are artefacts suggesting the location was populated during the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, plus, of course, the Romans were there, followed, after their eventual demise, by the Anglo-Saxons.

Inevitably, throughout, there was a ruling elite, just like now, little changes, same trough, different pigs

There is the usual cafe and visitor centre, complete with expensive shop. 

Thanks to Covid-19 again, no hot food or

indoor seating at the cafe, we are limited to muffins, sandwiches and coffee, and outdoor seating, but, of course, with such pleasant weather, this is no hardship.

In addition to the distances travelled and traded over, the number of buildings and artifacts is impressive, from an age when, every wood working task would have started with felling a tree, rather than a trip to B&Q, and, Youtube "how to videos" had not yet been thought of,

Tuesday, 15th September 2020

Today is forecast to be a scorcher, at 27C.

Whilst getting the bicycles ready for our morning cycle ride, I have a chat with our caravanner next door neighbours.

They are heading out for a walk, to West Stow Country Park and the Anglo-Saxon Village reconstruction, where we went yesterday.

They tell me they are aged 90 (her) and 92 (him) !

They are still spritely, and, heading out for their daily walk, they tell me they only do a maximum of 4 miles per day now, since they are "getting on a bit"!

As well as being quite fit, for their age, they are mentally alert, asking me about how we connect to the internet, and, how to get live TV and Netflix, via the internet, in the van. As I explain, I am doubtful as to how much they will understand, but, I should have known better, he is clued up on "mobile data", "smart phones", "MiFi", "Roku sticks", "Fire Sticks" etc.

We cycle an easy 12 mile circuit,  Flempton - Risby - Cavenham - Iklingham - Flempton. Mostly along quiet country roads.

The route allows me to collect another letter, in my "ABC" of Villages, Town and Cities, as we pass through (C)avenham, and, it obligingly has a name board!

One letter per outing, it is going to take me an age, without even thinking about the more difficult letters, like "X" or "Z"! I need a good run of place names.

It is sunny, calm, very hot at 27C. 


Sunday, 13 September 2020

To Lark Valley, Flempton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

 Saturday, 12th September 2020

A bright and sunny day.

We only have 64 Miles to go, to our next site, this allows for leisurely packing, and, departure at 11:00 from Russdenill Lodge.

We have enjoyed it here, but, perhaps, best that we are leaving. We have new neighbours, a couple, similar in age to ourselves, in a Campervan. They appear to be serious cyclists, arm warmers, lycra, a map holder on the handlebars, food and flasks packed in their panniers. They do have very similar bicycles to us, ie Specialised Hybrids.    

The traffic is very busy, but, mostly going in the opposite direction, ie, towards the coast, so, I assume that Cromer, and Sheringham will not be wise choices today.

We find Lark Valley N52.300165 E0.661026 Millview, West Stow Road, Flempton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 6EN, no

problem, adequately sign posted off a small quiet road near Flempton village.

No welcome, but, the location of relevant things, ie pitches, water, etc is well sign posted, so, no problem.

There are showers, toilets, washing-up sink, but, due to Covid-19 precautions, they are all closed, at present.

Quite rural, tidy, first impressions, favourable, quiet.

Once set up, lunch eaten, we go for a little explore, to get our bearings. Village (Flempton) about half mile walk, along quiet

road. There is a pub there, but, it is not obvious that it is open, another victim of Covid-19 perhaps?

Bus stop to Newmarket and Bury St Edmonds. Not sure this route to Bury St. Edmonds is cycle friendly, it is the A1101, a 50mph road, but, I can see from our map, there is an alternative route.

It would appear there is a glut of thatched cottages in the immediate area.

Sunday, 13th September 2020

Unbelievably nice day today, it may be mid-September, but, brilliant sunshine and 21C.

We are running out of some supplies, so, we need to find a shop. 

There is a village (Flempton) about half a mile along the road, but, it has no shops. Google to the rescue, it tells us there is a Tesco Hypermarket, at Bury St Edmonds.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Norfolk, Russdenill Lodge, West Beckham... continued 3

 Thursday, 10th September 2020.

The day starts cloudy, well, I say, the day starts, we didn't wake up until 09:15, after yesterdays, exertions, but by 11:00, just like yesterday, there is sunshine and 18C.

As a reward for all that pedalling yesterday, we treat ourselves to a lunchtime meal, and several drinks, at The Wheatsheaf

Very enjoyable.

Followed by a lazy afternoon of book reading.

Friday, 11th September 2020

A sunny but cool start to the day.

We have a short cycle ride.

One of the things I have noticed, here in Norfolk, is an absence of place names, as you enter a village/town, and, to a certain extent, a lack of signposting on smaller roads.

From the internet, the story appears to be, that during World War 2, the threat of possible invasion prompted local people here to remove sign post, village names etc, to confuse the enemy.

All very understandable, at the time, but, the threat of invasion ended by 1944, it is now 2020, ie 76 years later, couldn't they have re-instated the signs?

The reason this is a problem is, I have involved myself in a childish "challenge" on the Cyclechat Cycling Forum, the object is to "bag" a photograph, of your bicycle, infront of a town/village sign until you have collected place names beginning A, B, C..... etc. The place names my be collected over an extended period, but, consecutive letters may only be collected on a single ride, ie, no collecting photographs and saving them until you get to that letter.

I started the challenge on the day we cycled to North Walsham, with this sign at (A)ldborough.

I should have been able to "bag" several more, since we also cycled through (B)radfield, (C)althorn, (C)olby, (C)ross Dale Street, but, none of these villages had name signs, although they are all big enough to appear on the map.

I was quite miffed by this, cycling over 31 miles, and only able to get one measly letter!

Today, I noticed there was a village nearby, beginning with "B", (B)odham, which would allow me to move on. Just to be on the safe side, I

checked online (Google Street View and Wikipedia) to ensure a suitable name board was present, before setting off.

Much to my surprise, Kathleen was game to go along with this silliness, so, a short (9 miles) ride out out today, braving the wind, allowed me to get a photograph of the name sign at Bodham.

Now for "C".

This could clearly become quite challenging when we get to "Q", or "X" or "Z" !

Payment made, £12/night, very reasonable, I think. I these Covid-19 times, payment by bank transfer requested. Not a problem, will we ever use Cash again?

Packing to leave (tomorrow) begins.......