St Benet’s Abbey and windmill – a photographic blog
Winter sunsets at and around the atmospheric and historic St Benet’s Abbey and mill ruins on the banks of the River Bure in Norfolk.
This is such a special place in Norfolk with legends of ghostly monks, once inhabitants of a remote medieval monastery.
The wooden cross with the word ‘peace’ with geese flying past.
On a winter’s afternoon, aside from stunning medieval ruins, there is much wildlife to enjoy too. We saw geese, barn owls, swans and birds of prey in a very short time.
I got as close as I could to this beautiful young barn owl. The pastel pink of the lowering sun providing a pretty frame around him/her.
My main preoccupation was the stunning sunset on this visit. It was truly spectacular.
The colours changed at every moment. The sky turning from deep blue to pastel shades of pink and lilac, then to golden. My tip is to stay for the duration of any sunset as you will see the most incredible light display evolve. Never think its over until that fire ball finally slips below the horizon, and darkness finally drops like a blanket over your head.
The best times to visit to see wildlife is early morning or late afternoon. That’s when you will see the owls hunting and they come quite close. Be prepared to brush shoulders with other photographers! It’s always good to ask where they have seen the wildlife. People who love nature are happy to share their experiences.
This is a beautiful place, go and enjoy it in peace.
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Norfolk UK is my home, I live in Norwich by the River Wensum where everyday there is something different to see and learn.
I feel a big affinity with the river as I grew up in Cambridge, another great river city. My childhood and teens involved many walks along the Cam where we would watch 'The Bumps,' raft races and as we grew older we enjoyed adventures on our punting pub crawls.
Growing up in a multi cultural university city definitely influenced my reading choices, I am a big fan of Japanese fiction, love French literature and enjoy Shakespeare. As a young teen I entertained myself with Jilly Cooper and Dick Francis and then became quite obsessed with Henri Charriere's Papillon. At school all I cared about was English, Art and French, in that exact order. When I finished with school I went to live and work in Greece for a wonderful year before returning to study English Literature and Sociology. At this point I read more classics like the Wyf of Bath, Wuthering Heights and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plus poets such as Wilfred Owen.
My first UK full time job was with Heffer's Paperbacks where I devoured several books at a time, excited by the fact I could borrow what I liked. Bizarrely for me I remember reading The Zurich Axioms, I have no interest in the stock markets but it had me gripped. I can't remember why I picked it up but I have never forgotten it. Heffers introduced me to so many authors, via their books and sometimes in person. It was here I learned about all the genres, it fascinated me that science fiction and horror were so popular, I tried reading it all.
Aside from writing letters, it didn't really ever occur to me to write anything myself for many years as I worked my way through a variety of interesting and varied jobs. Then on a visit to the London Aquarium I became struck by an idea so powerful I sat down and wrote my first novel. It went nowhere as really I wrote it because I wanted to. I wrote another novel and again, didn't have the persistance or determination to take it further, I simply enjoyed the process of writing and my characters.
Then years later another idea struck me and during a severe bout of Pleurisy where I couldn't do anything physical for months, I wrote the Eight of Swords and The Putsi. This time I published them as ebooks and they became pretty popular. When I fully recovered, I had to concentrate on my business and looking after my mother who has various health issues and the writing went adrift again for many years until 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world.
March 2020 I moved to my apartment alongside the Wensum to live alone for the first time ever. During the first lockdown I began to write a diary and then the idea for a new set of short stories came to me and in February 2021 they will be published. The Covid-19 Pandemic is not simply a scary virus, it is a historical time and here we are trying to live through it. To many it will feel like a punishment but to me as a writer, in some ways, it came as a gift.
Please stay as safe and as well as you can. I hope to entertain you with my stories as we all try to get through this together, even though we are apart.
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