A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for September, 2010

A question of balance

Posted by Alan on September 30, 2010

BorisBike

Boris Bike Brolly

With the recent binary weather affecting London, I haven’t been able to leave home without my brolly.  So… with good weather and a trip over to the BCS YPG in Covent Garden required, well, I couldn’t resist.

Right turns were more challenging, but otherwise it wasn’t a problem at all.

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Norfolk Holiday – Day 3 – Weybourne

Posted by Alan on September 27, 2010

Day 3 started a bit saddle sore, so we decided to have a much easier ride.  After the full breakfast, we took to the coastal road (A149) to Weybourne around 3 miles from Sheringham. Here we found a beach to relax on.


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Weybourne Beach

But that didn’t last long – I am not really a beachy person and I wasn’t really in the mood to just stop.  So I left Ruth on the picnic blanket reading and cycled on up the coastal path a short way, where I came across these houses, very much epitome of Norfolk isolation.


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Isolation

I bet you could easily loose yourself  in the peaceful surroundings, though I can’t imagine it will be much longer before the sea claims these. Further to the left there was a windmill that had been converted to a house – good call, definitely somewhere to be envious of! We had tea in the garden of sort of house/shop/cafe on the road back into the Village before grabbing a quick half pint in the Ship. We’d been convinced by the cafe owner to try cycling back along the coastal path – much less busy – though I’m not sure Ruth’s bike was too suited to the job!


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Ruth bearing the strain of off road cycling

It was nice to cycle alfresco as well.  I’m not going to take sides in the ‘great helmet debate’ but travelling along the coastal path slightly faster than walking speed (probably around 6 or 7 mph) it was nice to really feel the wind in your hair. The coastal path clings to the cliffs above the beaches and eventually we gave way to the temptation and went down to the pebbles. I know beaches and bikes are probably best kept apart, but I couldn’t help belting along the sand until we reached the busier beach at Sheringham!


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Trek a la pebbles

Ruth, sensibly kept her bike off the sand.  Well, I figure mine probably needs replacing with something more useful next time the cycle to work scheme comes around.  Ruth pitched up on Sheringham beach with our bikes and I strolled up to the High St to find a garlic chip butty that Ruth had been hankering for since we had booked to visit Sheringham. And then unusually for me I went for a paddle in the sea.  All elements of a seaside holiday were now successfully ticked off.


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Feet!

This whole coast is very famous for seafood – and here’s one before it becomes someone’s dinner…


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Sheringham (not Cromer) crab!

After the beach we headed back to the B&B taking a picnic home rather than eat out again – nice to slob about a bit and watch some TV with some tasty treats!

Total cycling distance – c. 6 miles (c. 9.5km)

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Norfolk Holiday – Day 2 – Holt, Cromer

Posted by Alan on September 22, 2010

Breakfast in the B&B at a very leisurely 10 to 9. Mmm full breakfast. At 1030 we boarded the steam train to Holt around 5 miles around the coast from Sheringham. Apparently there was a lot of space in the 1950s for things like bikes!


Bike space on the steam train

Bike space on the steam train


The current Holt station is on the edge of town – about 1.25 miles (2km) so only a short hop by bike. We found ourselves a lovely brew in a cafe called Byfords. Pretty damn good and with an excellent deli on the site – here I picked up the local “Yetman’s stout” to try sometime. Brew supped, we headed back out on the main road past Holt station and picked up the sustran’s regional route 30. This took us through the countryside – mostly fields – along quiet single track roads all the way to Cromer.

Ruth, cycling through Gresham

Ruth, cycling through Gresham


The Norfolk countryside around here is actually rather undulating – not quite the flat plain we had imagined! Still, I’d be very surprised if we topped 200″ (60m) above sea level all day.

Cromer is a busy little town. On our visit it was hosting some steam cars – a little bit strange – chuffing slowly along the promenade and with the occasional loud bang. Picking up some provisions in the Morrisons (complete with bike stands) we grabbed some chips on the sea front (as one must) before going for a half in the Dolphin. Woodforde’s wherry was very tasty!


Cromer from the pier

Cromer from the pier


The final leg of our cycling adventure took us out of Cromer onto the A149 – the coastal road – over the steep cliffs above towards the north west. But after a further 2.14 miles (3.4km) spotting a sign for West Runton station we decided to give up and take the train back to Sherringham (just 1 stop and £1.25 each!). Back in Sheringham and it was time for tea. Tonight, The Lobster was the venue. Sadly, disappointing. In 5 words: overcooked food and flat beer. Shame, it was a promising pub from the outside. So, back to the Windham arms for a good beer!


Wolf: howling' good beer

Wolf: howling' good beer

And with that off to bed!

Trip Miles Kilometres
Holt Station – Holt 1.25mi 2km
Holt – Holt Station 1.25mi 2km
Holt Station – Cromer via sustrans RCN 30 11.14mi 17.82km
Cromer – West Runton via coast road (A149) 2.14mi 3.42km
Total: 15.78mi 25.25km

Summary

Date: 08/09/2010

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A quick rest

Posted by Alan on September 21, 2010



A quick rest, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

There’s a proper blog post on the way tomorrow, but for now, here’s another Cromer shot with Ruth enjoying a breather and a time to put her feet up having cycled the 12½ miles from Holt…

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Cromer Pier, Silhouette Ruth

Posted by Alan on September 20, 2010



Cromer Pier, Silhouette Ruth, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

Having a play with the camera from time to time, though I still have rather a lot to learn.

This is inside ‘the Dolphin’ at Cromer, with the Cromer Pier behind Ruth. It was rather a grey day so I went with the monochrome to totally blank off the sky and really extol the bland weather.

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A head for beer

Posted by Alan on September 19, 2010



Hat & beer, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

Beer and hats: one thing I already like and one thing I am starting to like more.

Pictured in the Marble beer house down in Chorlton. Well worth a visit if you get the chance as they do Marble off sales!

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Norfolk Holiday – Day 1

Posted by Alan on September 15, 2010

Got up a bit later than was really helpful. That’s pretty normal for me though. The alarm goes off, I snooze and a 10 minute blink later maybe I get up. Still, we did manage to make the train at Wood St. And it wasn’t too stressful, thought I’d forgotten that we’d have to push the bikes up a long steep flight of stairs onto the platform!


Our bikes at Wood St

Our bikes at Wood St, loaded and ready to go

We got into the Liverpool St around 11AM – to a scene of chaos – more so than usual, because this was the Tuesday of the TSSA/RMT tube strike. I have to admit, I did feel a bit smug as I wandered into M&S to buy a picnic for lunch on the train… For getting the bike onto the train National Express East Anglia were a bit of a shambles. Both of us had tried in advance to reserve bike space and both been turned away. It was not to be 3rd time lucky as we were then told you have to reserve at least 3 hours in advance! But, it was OK to just show up an hope that there weren’t other cyclists travelling… We arrived at Sheringham around 3pm and rode the few hundred metres to the B&B. After a brew we rode down into town and had a cycle around to learn the centre.


Cycling on the promenade

Cycling on the promenade

There were a few hardy souls braving the wind – at least it wasn’t raining though! Seeing rain approaching from inland we raced back to the B&B to unpack and hide from the elements. It wasn’t long though before we were out again and down to the Windham Arms, probably the best pub in Sheringham. Food was pretty good and a great selection of beer was on offer. After tea there was time to wander about again and see the rest of the town.


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The bright lights of the small town

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A letter from God to Man

Posted by Alan on September 15, 2010

It’s been ages since I posted any lyrics I’m particularly enjoying… so given the papal visit this week this is kind of apt.  I’m not generally into hip hop/urban etc but these lyrics just speak out – to be honest I picked up the album because I am going to see Misty’s Big Adventure support them later this year and wanted to learn a bit more. Luckily it’s on spotify. ..

A letter from God to Man (Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Angles, 2008)


Hey There, how, how’s it going?
Long time no see.
I know I haven’t been around much lately
But…it didn’t seem like you wanted me to be
The last time I sent down a message you nailed it to the cross
So I figured I’d just leave you to it, let you be your own boss

But I’ve been keeping an eye on you, I have,
and it’s amazing how you’ve grown.
With your technological advances and the problems you’ve overthrown,
And all the beautiful art you’ve created with such grace and such finesse,
But I admit there are a few things I’m afraid have impressed me less.

So I’m writing to apologize for all the horrors committed in my name,
Although that was never what I intended,
I feel I should take my share of the blame.
All the good I tried to do was corrupted
when organised religion got into full swing,
What I thought were quite clear messages were taken to unusual extremes.
My teachings taken out of context to meet the agendas of others,
Interpretations taken to many different ways and hidden meanings discovered

Religion became a tool, for the weak to control the strong
With all these new morals and ethics, survival of the fittest was gone
No longer could the biggest man simply take whatever he needed
‘cause damnation was the price if certain rules were not heeded
Some of the deeds committed in my name
just made me wonder were I went wrong.
Back at the start when I created this, the foundation seemed so strong.
See all the elements were already here, long before I began,
I just kind of put it all together
I didn’t really think out a long-term plan.

I made the sun an appropriate distance and laid the stars across the sky
So you could navigate the globe or simply watch the sun rise
I covered the earth with plants and fruits,
Some for sustenance and some for beauty
I made the sun shine and the clouds rain
so their maintenance wasn’t your duty
I tried to give each creature its own attributes
without making them enveloped
I gave you all you all your own space to
grow and in your own way space to develop

I didn’t know such development would cause rifts and jealousy
Cause you to war against each other and leave marks on this planet indelibly
You see, I wasn’t really the creater, I was just the curator of nature
I want to get something straight with homosexuals right now: I don’t hate ya
I was a simple being that happened to be the first to wield such powers
I just laid the ground, it was You that built the towers

It was You that invented bombs, and the fear that comes with them
And it was You that invented money, and the corrupt economic systems
You invented terms like just-war and terms like friendly fire
And it was You that didn’t know
when to stop digging deeper, when to stop building higher
It was You that exhausted the resources I carefully laid out on this earth,
And it was You that even saw these
problems coming but accredited them little worth
It was You that used my teachings for your own personal gain
And it was You that committed such tragedies,
even though they were in my name

So I apologize for any mistakes I made, and when my words misconstrued
But this apology’s to mother nature, cause I created you

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Cycle reservation

Posted by Alan on September 14, 2010

Cycle reservation, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

We never managed to get a cycle reservation in the end, despite National Express’s website promising we could – this one was attached to a bike we shared the cycle space with between Norwich and Sheringham.

I was expecting taking the bikes on the train to be much more of a palaver than it was (aside the last journey, see: cycle rage!). I will get around to explaining the various facilities we found a little later…for now I have more work to attend to.

Lame.

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Are electric bikes cheating?

Posted by Alan on September 13, 2010

Spotted in the centre of Holt, given the topography of Norfolk, is electric assistance really necessary?

It was ridden away by a more mature rider like, but surely half the point of riding a bike is keeping fit? (As well as being able to go anywhere whenever…)

Posted in 2010 North Norfolk Holiday, Cycling | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »