Our Holiday: The View From The Porch

As I have mentioned, our holiday cabin is situated in the grounds of a hotel, and had a covered porch that I spent much of the time sitting on, with Ollie.

I took some photos of my daily view, one that changed constantly as guests and customers made use of the large beer-garden. These are the last of my holiday photos for this year.

(All of my own photos are full-frame, and can be clicked on to enlarge them.)

The view to the right. The white building is known as ‘The Cottage’, and we have stayed there twice previously. That was before the cabins were erected.

To the left is the non-smoking covered area, adjacent to the main road running through Sutton-on-Sea.

A closer view of the main hotel and the benches of the beer-garden.

This photo is not mine, it is from the website advertising the cabins. It shows all five cabins at the back of the hotel grounds. It can be enlarged too.

If anyone is interested in staying there, here is a link to the main website.
(Scroll down for all the pictures.)


Favourite months

With gales blowing outside, and the local river overflowing its banks, I felt it was a good time to reblog this 2012 post about my favourite months. Only one reader left a like and comment at the time, so it should be new to most of you.


Tomorrow is the first of September, and I always look forward to its arrival. It heralds the end of the summer, and the start of autumn, and is one of my two favourite months, the other being March. This is mainly because March is the month of my birthday, and because it is the end of the winter. I have always enjoyed my birthday. It is personal, unlike Christmas, which is for everyone.

I have always felt that March was a good time to celebrate a birthday. The weather can be surprisingly good sometimes, so it is possible to plan a nice day out, to celebrate. It is far enough away from December, so not caught up in the festive hangover, and equally unaffected by the summer rush for outdoor activities. In England, most places of interest or traditional seaside tourist spots are still closed up, awaiting the season.


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Holidays At Home

The pandemic is still going to affect foreign travel, so it is a brave soul indeed who is prepared to book a holiday in some exotic location for 2021.

With much of the UK now in the same lockdown situation, holidaying in Britain might be the only option for many people used to seeking sun and excitement in foreign countries.

Fortunately, our own country does offer many places to enjoy, despite the unreliable weather.

But where to go?

I found this article online that has lots of suggestions. I have visited quite a few of the locations mentioned, but also discovered some I didn’t know about.

It does have some sponsored links, but they will be helpful on this occasion, so you can find out more.
(I get nothing for recommending this article, just so you know.)


This Covid-19 Saturday In Beetley

The New Normal.

Many people are not comfortable with that phrase, including me. But like it or not, we are going to have to embrace it, or suffer the consequences.

I have already adapted to wearing a mask when entering shops. It really isn’t a problem, and took less than an hour to get used to it.

Next week will see some relaxations in the rules, and new restrictions. Bowling Alleys, Beauticians, Live Theatre, and Concerts will be allowed to go ahead. Also soft play for children, all with the corresponding saftey measures adhered to. The restrictions come in the form of an extension to quarantine after travelling to certain countries, now including France.

This is a pointless and toothless ‘quarantine’, as there is nobody to police it. Does anyone else agree that we should have just stopped all foreign travel until 2021 at the earliest? Is a week’s holiday on a Spanish or French beach worth the risk of bringing home Coronavirus? You can guess my answer.

The French have said they will retaliate, enforcing similar conditions on their citizens returning from Britain. Good! There was no real need for anyone to have to go on holiday outside of their own country anyway. If this was The Black Death, and sufferers could be seen with pustules and buboids on their bodies, vomiting blood and dying in agony, do you think people would have chanced travelling to catch it, and bring it home?

But it is no less lethal, just because you cannot see it.

Is a week next to a swimming pool scoffing some all-you-can-eat buffet and drinking your ‘all-inclusive’ watered-down drinks worth the life of your parents or relatives? If you answer yes, there is no hope for you anyway.

So I am embracing that ‘New Normal’. I wear my mask in the shops, continue to wash my hands, and be careful who I meet. And my five-day holiday in September has been booked in Britain, just over two hours drive away from Beetley.

For those of you had just had to ‘get away’, I hope you live long enough before your tan fades.

And in case you were wondering.
No sympathy from me.

Postcards From Blogging Friends: Part Ten

This will probably be the last in this series for 2019.

I would like to once again thank everyone who took the time and trouble to post the cards to me, and to let you know that this series was incredibly popular. The posts have been some of the most-read during that past year.

Scottish writer and blogger Mary was kind enough to send me two views of her holiday destination, Gomera.
(She has a new book out, here’s a link)

Eddy Winko (made up name) is British blogger who lives in Poland.
He included a postcard in a box of soaps I ordered from his wife.
(Gosia makes wonderful soaps! Here’s a link to those)

Looking forward to lots more cards in 2020!

Holiday Time: Old Photos

As it is August, and the peak time for summer holidays, I thought these might be seasonally appropriate.

Taken between 1902 and 1907, these delightful old photos show people enjoying a variety of holiday activities.
And almost all of them did them wearing their best clothes!

In 1902, ladies did not get changed by holding a towel in front of them. They got ready in mobile ‘bathing machines’, which were then wheeled into the sea so they could get straight into the water without being ‘ogled at’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Some didn’t bother to wear any swimming attire at all, but went in wearing their street clothes.

This attractive elegant lady is posing on the deck of a cruise ship.
Her outfit is beautiful. Different times indeed.

Sometimes, just standing on a jetty above the lake was close enough!
I’m guessing the lady in the middle was either expecting a baby, or the wind had billowed out her dress. ๐Ÿ™‚

The braver ones might hire a rowing boat, and venture out onto the lake.
But they made sure to wear their best hats for the occasion.

This lady was photographed in Long Island, USA. She was admiring the waves of The Atlantic Ocean, and turned to pose for the shot.

Shell-seekers on a New Zealand beach, in 1904. Ten years before WW1.

Well-dressed holidaymakers thinking about taking a trip along the beach in a horse-drawn carriage. USA, 1907.

I was wondering what they would make of topless sunbathers, thong bikini-bottoms, jet-skis, and Kindle e-readers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday


I woke up dreaming about being in a foreign country this morning. I am not sure where it was, but it was hot, and the sea was blue.

That made me think about how I haven’t been outside the UK since 2011. Of course, I had a lot going on back then. I was coming up to retirement, we were buying a house here in Norfolk, and my Mum was very ill. No time to think about holidays.

Then I settled here, and got Ollie. Once you have a dog, it makes you have to consider who looks after your pet if you travel abroad. Neighbours, kennels, or friends can all be asked or paid for, but is it really fair on your dog? After all, he has become used to being with you, and a sudden absence might upset his routine. So we started to go on short holidays in the UK instead, to places where we could take our dog.

But I can’t just blame pet ownership for not travelling. I had lost interest in the queues at airports, the cramped economy-class seating, and the inevitable delays and hassles. All that to get to a place not dissimilar to one I had already seen, with the possibility of upset stomachs, insect bites, and unsatisfactory accommodation. That first week away feeling like something fresh and different, but the second week appeared to just hurtle toward the departure date. More coaches, more airport hassle, and always the crowds.

I began to conclude that I am ‘holidayed out’, as far as travelling to the usual tourist destinations is concerned. I don’t have enough money to do it in comfort and style, and although there are some interesting European cities I have never visited, I really can’t be bothered to take all that time travelling, just to spend a few days seeing them.

So unless something unexpected happens regarding my finances, I doubt I will ever be seeing Venice.

Or Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, New York, or Lisbon. Or any tropical island paradise.

I have discussed this before on the blog, but I suspect my subconscious is still hankering after that feeling of a relaxing holiday.

To be honest, I’m not that bothered anymore.

Holidays and Travel: Tunisia 1975

Last week, Tunisia got a mention on Cindy Bruchman’s blog. She wondered why it might be a holiday destination. That reminded me of this old post from 2013, which I think only Jude and Eddy have seen before.


This looks like a new category, but it is not.ย  Nine categories is sufficient for one blog I believe, so this will be posted in Nostalgia.

Between the ages of 11 and 23, I had been abroad. I had been on school trips to France, to Calais and Paris. I had later ventured further south, to the Atlantic coast of France near Biarritz, and on another occasion, to Perpignan. Including a short visit to Figueras, in northern Spain, that was the sum total of my travels. This had all been done by ferry boat, then train, or in some sort of motor vehicle. I had never been in an aeroplane up to that point.

By early 1975 , I was seeing the girl who would later become my first wife. As her father had always worked for Thomas Cook, she was unusually well-travelled, and there were few places she hadโ€ฆ

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Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

Seasonal excuses

I woke up thinking about Christmas this morning. So much still to do, and running out of days to do it. I sort-of resent all that effort, for what amounts to three days of feeling under pressure, hours spent cooking and eating, and then it’s all over until this time next year. That made me think about how we approach our year, divided into ‘before and after’ so many occasions.

We find ourselves saying things like, ‘I will do that after Christmas’, or ‘OK, I will get that done before Christmas’. Speaking personally, I have often used Christmas as an excuse to put off things I know I should be doing. It has become a convenient barrier in my mind, and an excuse accepted by most people too. For me, ‘I will do that after Christmas’ has become an annual standby to accommodate a list of chores or tasks that I could probably do just as well tomorrow. Following straight on from the 27th of December, the New Year celebration offers a short break to add to my list too. ‘I will do that after the 2nd of January’ is perhaps my least effective excuse, but that doesn’t stop me from using it, I assure you.

As well as Christmas, we have other seasonal breaks to add to that arsenal of potential excuses. Easter is a good one, as it moves around, with no fixed point. ‘I will do that after Easter’ is very useful, especially when it comes to those Spring jobs needing attention in the garden. The summer holiday is another classic. The annual two-week break is planned so far in advance that there really is no excuse to use it to put things off. But I always try. ‘I will do that when we come back from holiday’ has been a solid excuse in my repertoire, for as long as I can remember.

Of course, my birthday is the best. Despite knowing when it is every year, and the fact that it is just one day out of 365, (or 366) I can deploy this as a genuine excuse at will, with no hint of conscience or guilt. ‘After my birthday’ has long been my favourite, and my most stubborn excuse for not doing anything I know I should be getting on with.

If I was American, I would no doubt be able to deploy Thanksgiving too. And it is just as well I am not a devout Catholic, as there are at least 14 official religious days I am sure I would have to observe.