13 Jan 2013

The Church at Salthouse

 I often come across beautifully descriptive passages in books that I feel I would like to share so I have decided to make this a regular feature.  Here is the first one.  Salthouse is a place we regularly visit on our holidays in North Norfolk, we were there last March when it was really hot.  We sat on the pebble covered ridges with the sun on our backs looking out to sea.  We have never ventured inside the church but after reading this description it will definitely be on our 'to do' list next time.  The heath that she mentions rises up behind Salthouse and used to be a 'lookout' area during the 2nd WW.  There are still remnants of buildings and concrete pathways.  The area is vast and when we discovered it on one of our jaunts there were lots of oo's and aa's at the variety of plant and wild life.  The area is covered is gorse and you can stand amongst it and take in the view of Salthouse below, as shown in this picture I took.

Salthouse Church, Nth Norfolk
  "Wandering over the heath, purple and russet with heather and bracken and splashed with the gold of late-flowering gorse, I came to the still unspoiled village of Salthouse.  It has one of the long line of lovely churches, strung along this coast; set on little hills, throned in peace and simple dignity, backed by the tilt of rolling fields, the sweep of sea and sky, and banners of blowing cloud.  They look like great grey birds brooding over the huddle of cobble cottages below.

Salthouse Church is beautifully kept, illumined with clear sea-light flooding through tall windows and lofty clerestory, spacious and possesses relics of a more glorious day in the glowing colours of the figures on the cruelly disfigures rood screen, and the remains of the early choir stalls.  The backs are covered with pictures of craft which sailed the seas centuries before the coming of stream, scratched by childish hands when 'Ye Towne of Salthous' shared in the prosperity born of corn, and wool, and overseas trade.

The little guide (which helps the hard struggle to raise a fund for urgent repairs) told me something I was glad to know, the reason for the narrow stone seats under the windows.  They were for the old and infirm, and from them comes the saying - The weakest go to the wall."

Taken from the book 'Norfolk Life' by Lilias Rider Haggard

6 Jan 2013

Fifteen minutes on a Foggy January Morning

     I sit on the edge of the bed and look out over the back garden, binoculars at my side and notebook on my lap.  The sky is heavy with fog, nothing can be seen beyond the confines of the garden, the fields and hedgerows are veiled in mist.  The drooping branches of the willow drip, drip, drip on to the grass below.

     A blackbird stands beside an apple I have put out for him - stab, stab with his beak at the juicy flesh.  A dozen goldfinches line up on the bird table waiting to take the sunflower hearts from the recently filled feeder.  A starling flutters in and scares them away, he tries to get a grip on the fat balls, fails, and flies away again.

     Blue tits dart in and out, nibble, nibble, at the peanuts - to and fro, not staying long.  Sparrows hop through the privet and bare stems of the forsythia - quarrelsome.
     Chaffinch hop along the garden path looking for seed I have thrown down, here and there, hop, hop.
     A  black cap lands on the apple and frightens the blackbird away.      The garden is all a-flutter, birds coming and going, cheep-cheep, chirp-chirp.  A flock of long-tailed tits wait their turn in the willow - waiting for the starlings to leave the fat balls - their favourite food.  Six of them land, their tails sticking out in every direction.
     Two crows on the grass accompanied by a magpie filling their beaks with chunks of bread, flying off full-mouthed to the safety of the back field, away from human eyes.
     Greenfinch fly in and goldfinch leave.

     A flurry of activity, the garden is alive with birds, landing on the bird bath for a quick sip before flying back to the seeds.
     All this happening on a foggy Sunday morning just a few feet away beyond the window.   A male black cap flies in, lands on the peanuts, flies off again.  Opportunists all, standing on the bird table, two collared doves taking advantage of the discarded husks.
     Just fifteen minutes I have been sitting here. 

     The chirping stops, all the birds disappear - it is quiet, and the fog hangs heavy - drip, drip, drip.

The bird pictures are not mine - just my uploads.