The north Norfolk coast

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Last month my boyfriend and I spent a few days on the north Norfolk coast. It was very much “our kind of holiday”. We stayed at a charming B&B in a small coastal village, in an area with many footpaths along the seaside cliffs and further inland too. We walked 10 miles a day on average and we had delicious fresh crab (and of course, ice cream) every day.

During our stay we wandered around tiny villages, nestled between the hills and the sea cliffs and also visited charming Victorian seaside resorts. The grand facades along the shore, the wholesome entertainment on the piers, the candy-coloured beach huts, the stands selling freshly-caught sea food… Everything had an air of old-fashioned, innocent fun.

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My favourite part of the holiday were the early morning walks along the beach. Every day the sunshine crept in our room through our east-facing window and I found it easy to get up, grab my camera and get out early. The beach was peaceful and quiet, apart from the odd puppy enjoying their walk with their human, I had it all to myself.

I walked along the shore, breathing in the sea air, listening to the waves and soaking up the warm sunshine. The falling tide left the sand behind it looking like a mirror, reflecting the blue sky and the fluffy white clouds. The cliffs reflected the sunlight which gave everything a warm glow. It was a perfect spot for treasure-hunting too; I found sea shells of all shapes and sizes to fill my pockets. On the horizon I could see the faint outline of the pier at the next town along. It felt like a kind of walking meditation and it was definitely soul-restoring. Oh, if only I could start my every day this way!

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Norfolk left us feeling charmed; it’s not a hip or particularly modern place, but it was the perfect quiet holiday for us.

May

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May arrived and the trees lining our street donned their new, bright green dresses. The fresh leaves are amazingly, improbably green. I see it happen, I notice it get greener every day. And yet, there comes a day when I’m cycling home in the early evening and I turn on our street and the greenness takes my breath away. How lovely it is. It is only by a series of random and completely unplanned events that I’ve found myself living here. I am grateful for it every day.

In other news, there is now a swan family, with six fuzzy cygnets, living on the canal. And a mama duck with near a dozen fluffy ducklings at the pond. As if I needed more motivation to go out for walks.

When the sun is out, all I want to do is be outside. When it’s raining, I don’t complain much, I just think of all the wildflowers in the meadows that are thankful for the drink. How easy it is to be content in the spring!

Magic hour

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Mornings in our kitchen are entirely magic.

It’s the perfect time and place to sip the first cup of coffee of the day while watching the sky change from dark blue to magenta to pink on frosty winter mornings.

To dream, make plans and write lists while the first sun rays fall on the kitchen table.

To cook big breakfasts while dancing to Bob Dylan.

To linger after breakfast on the weekend, with a pot of tea and good conversation.

To read a book while the neighbours’ cat naps on the sunny patches on the floor.

It’s magic.

April

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Hello April!

I feel like the last few weeks went by in a blossom-induced haze. Every day I notice more trees blooming, their branches heavy with myriads of magical, dreamy puffs of colour. Standing underneath the cherry tree at the corner of my road and looking up has been a gloriously calming, spirit-lifting activity. The magnolia season is here, all too brief but lovely and cherished.

The hedgerows along my running route are coming to life too. Among the blossom and the budding leaves I can spot blackbirds, robins, wrens, and blue tits all going about their business and signing their songs.

In our garden, impossibly rotund bumblebees have made their appearance and the damson tree is blossoming into tiny, white flowers. It creates the loveliest dappled light at mid-morning. With everything stirring to life, we are busy too. We’ve got our seeds and pots ready; we’ll be planting our windowsill herbs and flowers this weekend. Our thyme has survived winter and it’s already thriving; it feels good to have a head start.

The springtime transformation of my world amazes me. This year, it also coincides with a time of change in my life too.  With lots of things up in the air, I’m reading books, listening to podcasts, and drawing inspiration from everything, trying to figure stuff out. Nature’s seemingly effortless transformation as the days grow longer has been helping me stay calm, keep anxiety away, and be positive. After all, if what appeared to be lifeless in the dark, frozen days of winter can now burst into life and beauty, surely I can find my way to grow and bloom too?