Tuesday, 12 February 2013

An Adventure for the Beans

Bags packed, we motored off to the Norfolk Broads on Friday for a long weekend. SmallBean had a bad feeling about the whole thing and so did I when we were sitting in traffic outside Norwich at half past five with both BeanSprouts barking on about being hungry and the choice of music. Now I don't know where you stand on Bond theme tunes, but when you have heard the Best of Bond CD on every car journey for the last four months, it can begin to grate. A lot.

The satnav and I argued. Again. BigBean always listens to her not me and yet again we found ourselves recalculating down the most miniscule Norfolk lanes three inches deep in mud. Or cowpats.

We arrived.
We didn't get stuck in the marsh as we drove down the track.
We remembered to take the keysafe code so we could unlock the door.
We had wine (screw top).
We had a shepherd's pie.
We did not have heat.
We did have eggy water.

What? Eggy water? What the blinking heck is that I hear you say? I'll tell you shall I? As no one had stayed at the cottage for at least three months (because of easterlies straight from Siberia and excess rainfall/flooding and who the hell wants to go canoeing in February?), the water had been sitting in the pipes for a while. And it went eggy. To cut a very long and smelly story short, we ran the water for about an hour and the oeuf aroma disappeared but it did put us off drinking water all weekend...

Back to the heat, or lack of. To cut another long story short, I slept in socks, pjs, poloneck jumper (wool), t-shirt and woolly hat. Not once during the whole weekend did I get even close to being warm. Smaller cried on the first night when she got into bed. Small, the human hottie, who usually has to be bribed to wear a coat to school even if it is snowing, wore more than two layers AND a coat AND gloves. I kept going outside so that I could appreciate the warmth of the house. But no. There seemed to be no difference between out and in. And out was bloody freezing.

Loony BigBean went canoeing on the broad. He had to break ice on the first day. And he wondered why I wasn't keen...

Mr Barn Owl swooped past a few times.
Mrs Deer liked lurking by the bin at the gate.
Fam Kingfisher decided that the cold was too much and stayed away, as did The Little Owls. Sensible things.
There were a lot of small brown birds. For all I know, they could be rare and twitchy but to me they were just brown.

However. It was a fabulous weekend. Maybe my brain froze so I was slightly hallucinating much of the time, but we did have fun. Both BeanSprouts were very sad to leave. I hadn't finished my book. BigBean wanted to do more paddling. But the wine was finished and we still weren't all that keen to drink the water. And as it had been too cold to ever get out of all my clothes, I needed a Very Hot Bath.

Fabulous sunset on Saturday, amazing views across the broad, sculptural reeds, hips and trees and frozen toes. What more could a girl ask for to kick off half term?

Excuse poor photography but many were taken on my rather old phone as the camera is ummm, how shall we put it, lost.


  1. I was just thinking how wonderful your pictures looked. Despite what you say it looks idyllic.

    By the way have you read th elatest Jimmy Lopez yet? I recommend it, but it left me craving more.

  2. As Sue says, the pictures are wonderful.

    Did you suggest to the owners that they might run the water at least once a week in the off season. What was the reason for no heating? I wouldn't have survived at all in that.

  3. brrrrrr. I do NOT like the cold. hope you have warmed up now. does look beautiful though. (ps we had sheepy water in a holiday cottage once, the water came from a stream up the mountain and there was a sheep decomposing in the stream....)

  4. And there I was about to congratulate you on these lovely images. It does looks cold there, but also bleakly beautiful. Hope you're warm now!

  5. you're brave, holidaying at all at this very chilly time in the UK.
    It does sound very bleak, but very funny. And well done for sticking it out, I would have been on my way home as soon as the first bottle of wine ran out.
    The pics are great. Are you sure this wasn't Holland??