Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Oh Look... Moo-Cow's In A Field...

... yesh indeedily, those were the words that I uttered the other day... and found out very soon that they weren't moo-cows at all... oh no... they were... BULLS! More of that in a mo though.... So... last weekend my lovely Grim whisked me away for a weekend of "messing about on the river"... namely a whole weekend of relaxation on the Norfolk Broads. I love the Broads... and setting off on a boat with just a map and no other teckernical gadgets is my idea of bliss. Two and a half days of no internet & moby connections...well, ok, Grim has yonder t'internet on his phone but that doesn't count cos it wouldn't pick up a signal anyway lol

Our home for the weekend - Gold Gem 7

So... we collected the boat on Friday afternoon and poodled off to Salhouse Broad to moor over night... which, I have to say, is one of my favest Broads... not only is it chock full of watery wildlife, it also is near to a rather loverly pub called the Fur & Feather at Woodbastwick... where, if you are so inclined (oh yes, I am inclined) you can get a "Noggin Yorky"... which, put quite simply, is heaven on a plate. A giant Yorkshire Pudding, filled with the most tender beef that is swimming in Norfolk Nog (a delish Ale) grrravy.... mmmm, nomnomnom

Here I am, filling my chops - and no, I didn't eat it all lol


Saturday morning I took the helm (ahem) and off we tootled to the northern parts of the Broads that were, as yet, unchartered by us. Grim did all the heavy work, like mooring and rope tying whilst I turned into a domestic goddess and made bacon and eggs... ooooh alalallaaa... me cooking? I know, and ... I enjoyed it... just don't tell anyone, I have a reputation to think of.

Captain Grim


We went along a gorgeous little navigation towards Neatishead... and all the times I have been on the Broads I have said "I want to see a Kingfisher" And... all the times I have been... never seen a single flash... not so much as a smidge. Until Saturday... and I saw two, together, zooming about like loonies... they are sooooo beautiful. Grim was taking photo's at the time and one of them whizzed thru the shot. Freckles was on tour with us again and managed to get himself into plenty of the photo's... even driving the boat...




So... Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny again... with a little mist on the river so it looked perfect and still. We set off for Wayford Bridge, knowing there are three mooring spaces there... and it is quiet right? A Sunday? And quiet? Errrrrrm... wrrrong. We got there... and yes, all three spaces are taken. And one of the boats hasn't moored properly... so all these people are standing on the bank watching us try to turn the boat (which, by now, seemingly has lengthened thrice times) Finally, my hero Grim, got the now mahooosive boat (ok, it was the same size but it seemed to be longer, and fatter, and wider) turned around and off we set, in search of a place to moor. Well, we found a lovely patch of bank, just perfectly sized for the boat... and off Grim hops with the Rond Anchors and proceeds to step in a cowpat. Now, I am standing on the front of the boat, peeing my pants as you do when anyone ever steps in something unmentionable... Grim sorts the posts thingy's and is just getting back onto the boat when I say "oooh look, moo-cows in a field..." To which Grim replies... "they ain't cows... they are bulls" Oh dear. Well, they are all just standing about looking a bit bored... like we aren't bothering them at all.

Cows? No dear... they are bulls


I make another culinary delight (yep, bacon and eggs again, I really must broaden my repertoire) and we have just finished our lunch when all of a sudden there is a rustling noise outside the boat. Grim goes to look and tells me that there are bulls all around the bank... "yeh, yeh" I say... cos he is always winding me up about daft stuff. Oh nope, not this time... there are several bullocks... all looking immense... and then I see "Daddy" who has to be at least the size of large family car, nay and thrice, the size of a shed. And... they are chewing on the ropes... and staring at us. So, we take a few pics, being nice and all, saying "Hello" to them.

You looking at me???

After about 30mins the joke's wearing a little thin. They are still standing at the edge of the boat and still stoppping us from getting the Rond Anchors and clearing orf. So, we decides (ok, Grim's idea) to hide. Yes, if we hide, they will get bored and leave us alone. So, we tippytoes into the bedroom and shuts the door. After a few minutes of me laughing quietly (ok, snorting like a babboon) Grim opens the door just a crack. He is giving me the running commentary... and then says "He just looked at me.. through the crack in the door" Turns out that Daddy Bull fancies himself a bit of boating fun... and he was trying to get onto the boat!!! So, there was only one thing for it.... pull the Rond Anchors, wrap 'em up and get the chuff out of there... fast.


By now, I have done with the snorting... just a very occasional giggle... until I saw... another Kingfisher... oh yes, this time he was posing on a tree... and flying forward a bit... then posing some more. Grim managed to get some pics of him... oh what a beauty... so I have now seen three Kingfisher's! Sunday evening was nice and quiet... we moored along side some trees and Grim did all the tying up and stuff.... while I decided to try a little more cooking... this time I exceeded all expectations and cooked.... jacket potatoes!!! (please do not tell anyone about this... I mean it... people will think I am a chef or something)


One of the beauties of mooring up along a riverbank and away from proper "mooring places" is that there's very little light pollution... which means that amazing photo's can be taken of the stars. Grim is an expert photographer and set about rigging up a tripod and the camera and pointing it at the sky for a long exposure, that all sounds rather chilly to me but apparently, the longer the exposure, the better the starry pics come out... and here's just one of the amazing photo's he took.. it has had a 15 minute exposure and the lines are actually the stars as they have moved during the 15 minutes! Cool huh?



Yesterday morning it was time to take the boat back... so the plan was that I step off the boat at the back, hold the rope until Grim has sorted the front and then step back on... I mean, how hard can that be eh? Mmm??? Very hard... because, as I stepped off the boat, ok.... I didn't "step" off the boat, I decided that the ground looked a little bumpy, so "jumping off" both feet first would be the better option. Ahem... in heels? Ahem... nope! My stupid right leg decided to go a bit pins and needles and I lost my footing, twisted my ankle, turned my foot and ended up crashing into the bank, which was all muddy and mossy. Grim heard the shriek, felt the thud and bless him, he didn't laugh once. I on the other hand, now have a very sorely foot... it isn't too swollen but I can't put much weight through it... and it is blinking painful. I am just so thankful for two things... #1, no one else saw it, so pride is intact... and #2, I didn't fall in the water! Next time I will let Grim do it all... he is so much better at stuff like that... I will just stick to the Galley and make more bacon and eggs!

Right... on that bombshell I shall say... thanks for looking... and ... TTFN! Tis time to get inky... I have gone nearly a week without getting inky fingers...

Hels x

14 comments:

SUKARATU blog said...

photos of very nice I like it, I wait for your presence on my blog http://skrtu.blogspot.com

whyducks said...

Oh Hels how lovely to enjoy your adventures with you. I have spent two wonderful holidays on the broads and loved it. I am really pleased to see a picture of your lovely, shelf fixing, super photographer (and lets you have a super dooper driveway) Cuddly and kind looking Captain Grim! Very sorry about your foot. Never seen a king Fisher, but will keep looking! Take care of that foot xxx

Elizabeth said...

Hi Hels, terrific post ... sorry, couldn't help laughing at your exploits :) Love he photograpy, especially the photos of the kingfishers and the starry shot. Captain Grim has a kindly face and you look as though you had a whale of a time ... well, until the end. Hope you foot heals quickly. Elizabeth x

Linda Cain said...

What great fun!

~Linda

Kirsten Alicia said...

Hels, don't ever decide to stay at home forever, you have the BEST adventures! I'm so glad you got to see kingfishers, the photos are fab. I would've run a mile from the bulls though. Love the photo of the stars, but have a question: did the stars move, or was it the earth's rotation that is responsible for the stars looking as they do in the photo??

Helen said...

What a story - what a fab time you had - apart from the muddy bit at the end. I am afraid I did smile a little though...Grim's photos are just fabulous - I've never seen a kingfisher either, they are soooo gorgeous. and the starry sky is lovely too. Nice to see a pic of Gap'n Grim for a change too....

Judy said...

Such an enchanting and fun story. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life and making me laugh. I really have to make to the UK one day. You make it sound so wonderful.

Shazza said...

what a wonderful tale Hels,James and I fancy doing the broads, wait til I show him your pics. Love Grim's starry pic, I may need some advice from him on photography in't future. Hope your foot is better soon x

Alison Horne said...

What a fun adventure, you are a lucky girl.
[-apart from sore foot obv.]
Was it not bloomin parky on the broads in October?. But I guess you had your love to keep you warm.
Your cheffy ways remind me of a hol on the Broads when I was 18. Me, my girly mate and 8 blokes. Got stuck in the reeds just yards from the pub on our last night,with one can of beer and a tin of pilchards [yeuch!] between us. Woken by police frogman knocking on porthole at 5am, coming to rescue us.HOW embarassing. Thanks for sharing and rest your foot lovey.xx

Dee in N.H. said...

What a fun, fun post! I had such a good time cruising the Broads with you and I promise I didn't laugh too hard when you took your flop on the bank! Tee-hee!

Glennis said...

What a great adventure you have had - mishaps and all!!

Gabrielle said...

Ok. Need to confess I didn't read all this - the pain of our boating few days in August hasn't left me! Though I'm glad someone else enjoyed the Broads!!! x

Ann B said...

Great story Hels and I love the photos. Can remember seeing my first ever Kingfisher (in the Cotswolds) and am thrilled every time I see one - only sorry we don't see that many up here.
Huge sympathies about the ankle. I had the same problem on holiday in Somerset in July - turned out I had a torn a ligament and couldn't drive for 5 weeks - a real pain, in more ways than one.

StampnMichelle said...

Your lovely story re the cow ne bulls reminds me of my story. How citified am I? I was admiring some cows on a trip when I mentioned the cows my husband laughed his head off as they were bulls. I proceeded to argue with him as they all had horns (on their heads). He pointed out that they had additional 'equipment' and told me to look. Obviously I hadn't until then. The I commiserated with the cows: the bull's equipment was gi-normous. Poor Cows! He loves to tell everyone how citified I am! PS This was only about 10 years ago and I am now 52! LOL

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