Tuesday was supposed to be the day that the snow hit. I gather that it did slightly back home, but we didn't get any at all here in Norfolk. It was however very very cold. The temperature was around 4 degrees, but the windchill made it feel a lot colder still. It was clear and sunny though, so it was acceptable.
We decided to head into Cromer town itself to begin with, and once again we're not able to find any free parking spaces, so instead parked in one of the carparks we have used several times before. It is only a short walk into town from there, and we ventured in to see what had changed in the two years since our last visit.
There were indeed some changes, with a few shops either having changed hands or simply closed down entirely, but the majority of the town is as we remembered it, and we still are very fond of it. The little side streets still have the small independent shops, and there are very few multiples to be seen. As with most towns now there is a plethora of charity shops and estate agents, and the inevitable bargain basement £ shops.
Sally was able to find a couple of things she had been looking for, but there was not a lot we needed or couldn't live without, so we were not there for too long. We did take advantage to go to a couple of places and streets that we hadn't been to before, and I was able to get a few photos of the pier and seafront.
When we got back to the car, we were a bit dismayed to discover a parking ticket on the windscreen. It seems that the ticket we had bought from the pay and display machine had blown off the dashboard when we shut the car doors, and so we were given a ticket. We will appeal against it, we have the ticket we had bought with the date and time on it, so hopefully we won't have to pay the fine, but let that be a lesson to us all to check and check again before we leave our cars!
We went back to the house for lunch of chicken and salad before heading back out to find the "craft villages" we had been to on our last couple of visits. We had bought some pencil type drawings of the area before, and wanted to add to our collection on the dining room wall. We had driven past one of these places on the way to and from Norwich on Sunday, so headed off to "Alby" craft barns. It is only a few miles south of Cromer, so it didn't take long to get there.
However, it was rather a disappointment when we did get to it. Most of it was closed and empty. Sally was pleased to discover a paper craft shop there, and found something she wanted. We got talking to the owner, and she told us that since the cafe had closed down and would not be re-opening until the spring, most of the trade had dried up. Most of the shop keepers had decided to give up or move out, and she was going in a few weeks time.
It seems to be very short sighted of the landlord to close the cafe before Christmas, as they used to get lots of trade in the run up to it. It is such a shame for these traders to have had the rug pulled out from beneath their feet so to speak.
She told us about another craft village, which I suspected was the one we had been really looking for. It was about ten miles away, but as with anywhere in Norfolk, it takes much longer to get from point A to point B than one would expect because of the roads, and so it was almost dark by the time we got to it. Thankfully it was still poem, and we found the art gallery where we had bought the previous prints, and they still stocked them by the same artist. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any that fitted the bill for what we wanted, so we came away empty handed, but at least now we know where it is and how to get there so we can return again at some point.
It had now started to rain, and we did wonder if it would turn to snow as it was still so cold, but thankfully it didn't. When we got back, we discovered that the swimming pool was still out of action, so had to give that a miss yet again. We did decide to go to the restaurant for dinner though, and that turned out to be a total success.
We both had the gammon, me with chips and salad, Sally with jacket potato and salad. The portions were huge, and we're absolutely delicious. Sally's was classed as "free food" on the diet, which is rather surprising, especially when you saw the size of it, and mine only had the chips as "naughty". We even treated ourselves to a dessert, which were most definitely not "free" on the diet!!!
Wednesday, we awoke to the sound of heavy rain, so decided to have an even longer lie in than usual! When we finally emerged from hibernation, it had stopped and we headed out to the town of Fakenham, which we has passed by many times but never actually been to. It is slightly larger than most of the town around here (not as big as Cromer though) and again has mostly independent shops plus estate agents and charity shops!
We did have a quick bite to eat at a cafe called "Qs" which was pretty good. We both had the soup (which claimed to be tomato and basil, but was more like tomato and vegetable in our opinion, but very nice anyway) and a half sandwich of tuna and mayo on granary bread. It also came with a nice portion of salad which was fabulous. I had a latte (which to me was actually a cappuccino if I'm going to be picky!) and Sally's diet coke did appear to be diet coke.
There wasn't a lot left to see in Fakenham after lunch, so we headed back north towards the coast and Wells Next the Sea, which we have been to several times before. It is a lovely tiny town right on the coast, and for a change was not teeming with tourists. It seems to more or less close down in the winter, but still brought a smile to our faces.
By the time we got back to Sheringham it was dark, we parked up so that I could collect my prescription and pop into a couple of other shops we had run out of time for on Monday, and then made our way back to Morrisons in Cromer for supplies for tonight. The afternoon had brightened up considerably, and the sun had shone for a few hours, but the drizzle had now come back and it seemed that we would be in for a wet evening.
Dinner of chicken and salad for sally and pork with salad for me was followed by a few games of rummy before sally watched master chef on the telly, and I watched a channel 5 documentary.
It is now time for bed, and sally is obviously tired out after the excitement of today, and is fast asleep next to me, so I thought I would take advantage of the time to get this blog post done. Tomorrow is my 46th birthday, and the plan is to head back to Norwich. Let's hope the weather is kind to us!
The harbour at Wells Next The Sea.
The main shopping street in Wells !!
Me by the pier in Cromer. It always makes me smile there.
One of my favourite views. I feel home there.