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.
The Three Rivers Race on the Norfolk waterways. 50 rivers, 3 bridges, 24 hours. The toughest inland sailing race in Europe.
What a weekend for this race; beautiful conditions, sun and a breeze saw the first Thames Rater to cross the finish line at around 7.55pm.
The first three photographs show three Yeomans out in front as they came past Cockshoot Broad. Scroll down to see the Thames Raters (including the first across the finish line), River Cruisers, and Production Cruisers. Look out for yourself and your friends or family.
Please note, there are more photographs to be added so either keep checking back over the next week, or hit the subscribe button to be kept updated via email.
These images are in low resolution. I haven’t been able to identify everyone so please feel free to fill in the gaps for me. Names and positions as taken from Horning Sailing Club results list. Any mistakes please forgive me, and feel free to correct.
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When the sun goes down in the city, it’s a beautiful sight to behold. Usually I post my pictures from my evening wanderings on Twitter, but it occurred to me that I should post them here too. It gives me an easier record to refer back to, and of course, it’s a pleasure to show them to you.
If you don’t know Norwich, it is a stunning mediaeval city in the east of England. With oodles of history to enjoy: two cathedrals, a castle, an old city wall, and many boom towers. Its lifeblood is the River Wensum, a chalk river. Norwich is known as the City of Stories, following its appointment as the UNESCO City of Literature.
Norwich Cathedral is my favourite place in all the city to photograph. I can’t even count how many pictures I have taken of it over the years. For me it is the rock of the city (made from Caen rock as it happens), standing strong through wars, plagues, floods and more. I look to it as a sign of enduring hope and love.
I hope you will enjoy these pictures. I tend to use my phone camera on evening wanders instead of my DSLR.
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A trip to Bolwick Hall where, over the last 10 years, Kenny Higgs the talented gardener has created a beautiful garden, . As part of the Open Gardens scheme, the garden opened for one afternoon to visitors. This was my third visit. I visited around 7 years ago, then again this March, and eager to see the gardens again in flower, I returned.
I attended the public consultation presentation at the Forum on Tuesday. The consultation at Manor Rooms Trowse has been reported in the EDP today, where locals expressed their opinions about the extra volume of traffic the new development will attract. The destruction of the riverbanks was not mentioned in the report, but you can read an update from South Norfolk Council below.
The final consultation is today via Zoom 6-8pm visit the Deal Consultation website to register. If you haven’t already taken a look at the plans, please do so via the above site and make your views known.
Outline permission was granted in July 2013 (application ref: 2011/0152) for the redevelopment of the Deal Ground & May Gurney for 670 dwellings, local centre, access bridge over the River Yare, roads, landscaping, flood risk management measures, landscaping and biodiversity enhancements. Equivalent permissions were granted by both South Norfolk Council and Norwich City Council as the site crosses the district boundary although May Gurney is wholly within South Norfolk. While the outline permission includes conditions relating to tree protection, no detailed plans have been approved and so the planning permission has not yet been implemented. This means that there has not been any breach of the outline conditions relating to tree protection etc.
While the May Gurney site is outside of any conservation area and there are no tree preservation orders (TPO) in place, there are TPOs on the Deal Ground which is within the City Council’s boundary. It is now known that at least one tree covered by a TPO was felled on the Deal Ground and the City Council is separately considering enforcement action in response to this.
Points 3 & 4
Our officers’ site visit has confirmed that there is Japanese knotweed on the May Gurney site (it is also present on the Deal Ground). The landowner has now provided the knotweed management plan that was produced by their licensed contractors. Our environmental protection team confirm that the methodology set out is in line with best practice. However, it is noted that this methodology does not include the need to remove any nearby trees but recommends the chemical treatment of JKW plants in situ. The information submitted confirms that this treatment regime is ongoing.
We have had discussions with wildlife officers from Norfolk Police regarding the removal of these trees during the nesting season. While it is likely that the removal of so many trees and bushes at this time of year would have destroyed active nests, the Police can only take further action where they have direct evidence of nesting birds. Our own tree officers inspected the site during their visit but, unfortunately, it had been so extensively cleared that this evidence was not present. The police are now considering the licensed contractors initial site surveys and have advised me that they will be contacting them separately to discuss further.
The Forestry Commission visited the site on 28 April with tree officers from South Norfolk and Norwich City Councils. They confirmed that the volume of trees removed well exceeded that which would have required a felling licence and they served a Stop Felling Notice covering Deal Ground & May Gurney on the same day. The Commission are now carrying out further inspections to calculate the volume of trees removed and will advise us of any further action that they may take as a result. .
And finally, this statement from Lanpro’s website who are planning consultants for the Deal ground site.
“Lanpro provided specialist advice to secure a reduction in affordable housing provision.”
Public consultations are being held on the dates below.
It is really important that as many people as possible attend these consultations, particularly in light of the tree destruction and wildlife removal during nesting season at this site, recently carried out by the developers – Serruys.
The first public consultation is at The Forum between 4pm and 8pm on Tuesday, May 16 and the second is the following day Wednesday May 17 at Manor Rooms in Trowse between midday and 5pm
I promised myself I would do more mono prints in 2023, and the collection is growing. Black and white is always more atmospheric, moody, and dramatic. Norfolk’s big skies and scenery certainly lend themselves to it.
The wintry shots were taken at Holkham. It was a freezing, wild wintry day, but you soon forget how your cheeks are burning with the icy temperatures when your eyes are feasting on the drama of those big Norfolk skies.
Summertime is a different vibe, with soft sandy dunes and marram grass swaying gently in the breeze. Endless golden sands and those big Norfolk skies.
Holkham is always a difficult beach to leave. Many a time I find myself sprinting back to the car park before my ticket runs out.
This is where Shakespeare in Love was filmed, (plus many other films I am sure). It’s also where the Household Calvary enjoy their summer camp. One of these days I will catch them out riding on the beach. There are many fantastic photographs of them online, so take a look.
Please note these are shown as low resolution for web speed purposes.
Click on the image links to buy prints via my Photo4Me collection where a variety of formats are available. Free UK Delivery.
Please scroll down to see how these prints look in room settings.
Handy new notebooks with 80 lined pages inside. Light and easy to take with you. Enjoy the Norfolk Coast views – all photography and design by MyriadLifePhoto. Scroll down to see Blakeney, Cromer and the sand ripples at Wells-next-the-sea.
This collection will continue to grow, so keep an eye out for new arrivals.