We’ve had a busy year, with two of our children sitting exams at school, my wife and I both starting new jobs, and our eldest meeting a girl, and gaining a place at Durham University.
What was needed was some quality family time, so we booked a few days in Sheringham towards the end of the summer season between guests and before the start of school term.
Upon arrival we got a nice surprise – the large pile of scrap wood stored on next door’s driveway had been removed. The property had been sold, and our new neighbours were busy smartening their new home up.
This was a great relief to us, as part of the pile was propped up against our gable end, causing some damp problems, and whilst it must have been very practical for our neighbour, it was a little on the unsightly side.
Of course keeping a property like The Prairie fresh is rather like painting the Forth Bridge, so have continued our gradual refurbishing programme this year.
We’ve had new sash windows fitted in the attic bedroom, a new bunk bed fitted in the bunk room, and a new fridge-freezer in the utility room.
Over the Autumn my jobs include replacing a number of the carpets that are starting to look rather threadbare, restoring the tiled floor in the hallway, repairing the slightly wonky oven door, and decorating at least one more room. Timing is everything, as these jobs need to be completed between guests.
Further down the line I’ve had some ideas with regards to the garden at the rear, and am looking at changing our brick shed into a summer house for guests, with lighting and heating, a fixed gas BBQ, and facilities for locking up bikes. Our current wooden ‘summer house’ would be retired and replaced with a new shed for storage. We’d also look at updating the concrete area with more attractive paving. The intention is to make the garden a nicer place to hang out, whilst keeping it low maintenance.
Our journey started in the ticket office of the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham, and it pleasantly coincided with the September Steam Gala.
Even though it was a Sunday, there were plenty of trains shuttling passengers around, and Platform 2 had a number of guest stalls selling steam related merchandise.
We alighted at Weybourne and decided to just rely upon our sense of direction to walk back. There was a path to Sheringham Park that started under the footbridge near the signal box.
The journey back was a nice change from the Norfolk Coast Path, which we’ve covered in the past, running parallel to the railway line for the first mile, then cutting into Sheringham Park, bringing us out in Upper Sheringham.
With Upper Sheringham behind us, the final mile or two took us past fields with vivid poppies and other wild flowers punctuating the hedgerows. The coast and railway were our constant companion, with the sea visible for most of the journey, and the whistles of steam engines in the distance.
It was nice to spend some quality time together as a family and this year was no exception. We were joined by Grandad and my son’s girlfriend, and my family came over from Melton Constable on a couple of occasions, so there was always something going on.
We revisited a few of our favourite haunts; Splash, Blickling Hall, Blakeney and Cromer and as ever were treated to some fabulous meals out, at the Chai-Yo in Sheringham, and the Kings Arms in Blakeney to name but two.
It only took a few days for the sea air to work its magic, recharging our batteries and as a bonus treating us to some fantastic sunsets. As we packed up, we felt slightly sad to be leaving the tranquility of Sheringham, but felt ready to face the world again.