Friday, November 21, 2014

Life at Crabapple Landing...

...has been pretty quiet since I returned from my trip on October 3rd. The quiet lasted until October 4th when all hell broke loose!!


Yes, before I got my bags unpacked Kazi brought two fur babies into the family - the lovely Lily (Lillian when she's bad and she is definitely the leader in rascally adventures!) and big-eyed Luna who mews in a very soft squeaky voice when she's not sure where we are!

It was Pet Valu's "rescue adoption weekend" and Kazi went to six Pet Valu stores before selecting these 10 week old sisters. It was good timing for me as I was feeling a little shaky after my trip.  School was in but I was not and I was wondering "what's next"?

Since then I've sorted myself out somewhat  but life is still dominated by the fearsome pair! Progress has been made - they rarely if ever step into their water dish now before racing around the house or scrunch down in their litter box before attacking their sister's tail. Chewed up plants have been moved to top shelves, all chipped decorative items placed in bins and we keep bedroom and bathrooms doors shut.

 Treats are given for using the scratching post instead of the furniture (this is ongoing!!) and swats on the nose are given with a rolled up newspaper when they venture on the table or the counter.  They're learning...slowly.

Happily the little monsters take lots of naps and exude MEGA CUTENESS and CUDDLINESS making up for any misdemeanours.

They LOVE to play and their favourite toys include this stick with sparkly feathers on the end and balls of tinfoil and paper. Oh...and kleenex and toilet paper...but those are not allowed!! What a mess!

Awwwww - can we be your "forever" kitties??

I've had the habit  weakness over the years of selecting the "neediest" kittens, the one who stays at the back of the cage and seems afraid. So I'm not used to how FRIENDLY these two kittens are, especially Lily. Luna will curl up by herself in various locations but Lily noses her way into my lap constantly or into the narrow space beside me on my chair.

Lay down on the couch however and Luna is right there purring and giving kisses. It's hard to feel depressed with Lily and Luna in da house!!

 Right girls?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Ende

Just a few final snaps in Norwich. I finished out the day in the city centre exploring and shopping. I made a few purchases in the cathedral gift shop and then browsed a few stores - clothing stores, a toy store, book store, outdoor equipment stores...I bought Kazi a couple of things at Topshop but they are tucked away until Christmas. I really really really want to come back to Norwich again someday. There is a walk in the area that I'm considering...among many others :)

I miss you BBC!! I'm watching (again) all of the old Morse episodes on Netflix while riding my bike!

Although Norwich is a cathedral town there are many other imposing churches...

I found a little fish and chip shop- they put your choice of spices on your fries from a long list - best I had during my stay!
Oh, and I forgot the previous evening I ate at a Pizzahut and they were playing Shania Twain music - a rather surreal experience!

The open market place drew folks from all walks of life - I wish cities in Canada kept their city centres intact like Norwich - such a vibrant downtown experience.

I cut through a catholic church to get to another part of the market...

I wasn't the only one...

a quiet oasis in the middle of the hubbub!

...the ancient and the new(ish) joined together...

 The whole time I was away I felt a strong link to the past...

Shania Twain and now a cowboy singer? I had no idea that country music was alive and well in Norfolk County!

 Lloyds Bank - thriving as always...

Stately homes looming over the market....a church looming over the stately homes!

 The Royal Arcade - I explored the toy store on the right.

While checking the time of my bus back to Mulbarton I discovered an unusual bench!

My personal oasis! Right across the street from the bus stop - had a coffee, yogurt and berries and made use of their free wifi and washroom - just what i needed!

Waiting for the #37 one last time!

 A gorgeous sunset!

 But I need to stay focused! Don't want to get lost on my last night!

 Here's my road - no problems tonight!

 There's my crooked sign...

...for Brick Kiln Lane...

 ...and now I need to get packed one last time...goodbye Norwich! goodbye Mulbarton! Thank you to my host at the B&B for driving me to the train station in Norwich!

 ...back to the business of making connections - train to tube to a second tube to a second train to Gatwick Airport. A very handsome young man carried my suitcase up 2 flights of stairs :) bless him! While at Liverpool Station I went to my "secret" restaurant where I managed twice now to squeeze my luggage and myself into the tiny washroom stall (oh my!) and then sit at their outer counter area without being noticed (or having to order anything!)

 Gatwick is a great airport - everything is well marked - I loved their shuttle service. Press a button, the door opens like an elevator and onto the shuttle you go and get whisked away to your terminal!
The terminal was full of great shops - I purchased a little Paddington Bear for Kazi at Harrods.

 Waiting to board my plane to Iceland...

And ta da! I'm in Iceland! I listened to my iPod the entire flight as the young couple sitting next to me used the word "f-ck" continuously as a noun, verb and adjective!! Here I am enjoying a meal of a lettuce, tomato and egg sandwich, yogurt and cereal and a Viking beer! I made a few purchases at the Duty Free - Icelandic wool socks, a little green elfin creature, lots of chocolate. I ended up tossing the running shoes in my backpack into the garbage (the blister inducing ones) so that I'd have room for my few purchases.

The most amazing part about my trip home was flying over GREENLAND!!!!!!! 

 Followed by a fabulous sunset...

 As the sun was setting we flew over Newfoundland/Labrador and then....

 we flew over Anticosti Island in the St. Lawrence River (although 1.5 times larger than PEI it is home to only 200 or so people who care for and operate the many lighthouses. It is not a very hospitable place.)

That is the end of my photos. It was dark when I landed in Halifax and after a short wait I was on a plane to Toronto where I had to wait 2 hours for Robert Q to whisk me off to London. By this time it was close to 2am and my very lovely daughter picked me up at the Robert Q depot at 3:30am. I spent the next few days feeling jet lagged and disoriented and wondering...what's next?

I'll bring you up to date on my goings on since my return to "real life" in my next couple of posts.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Norwich Day Two Part One

Greetings! I started my second day in Norwich by walking to the bus stop and taking LOTS of pictures along the way to help me in case I decide to get lost again coming home this evening!! Not going to forget that mistake any time soon! This is lovely Norfolk County in the morning - I just love it!

This is the street where the bus lets me off - should be able to remember the name!!

And here, looking back, is the scene of the crime. Last night while engrossed in the sunset I took the curve to the left but I should have curved to the right!! I've got it sorted now.

Norwich in the soft morning light!

I quickly made my way to the cathedral - I have lots I want to see and do today!

The sun has burned off the morning mist and left the sky blue as blue can be - how grateful I am for the spectacular weather I've had - the sun and the cathedral go well together!

I'm happy I was able to zoom in on the "cock" on top of the spire; I would have done better with a tripod but I'm happy with this...I had to find out what the symbolism of the "cock" is and here is what I found...
In the ninth century A.D., the pope reportedly decreed that every church in Europe should show a cock on its dome or steeple, as a reminder of Jesus' prophecy that the cock would not crow the morning after the Last Supper, until the disciple Peter had denounced Him three times (Luke 22:34). Because of this story, "weather cocks" have topped church steeples for centuries, both in Europe and in America.

Before I went inside I had a look at some 12c ruins...

...and had to touch them...

...lots of ancient cottages around the cathedral - glad to see they've been maintained over the centuries...

Into the cloisters I go...this would turn out to be my favourite area...

...because of the stone slabs on the floor engraved with the names of those buried below...

..and because of the ceiling bosses, the green men, and the many stories being told...

...some were kinda creepy!

I got a little snap happy as you can imagine so I winnowed them down to just a few for my post...

...I think the artistry is amazing for the times...

...but they're everywhere!! So I decided to buy a book instead of trying to take a picture of every one!!

..oh, just a couple more but that's IT!!

I spent over 5 hours at the cathedral - relaxing in the cloisters, enjoying the sunshine and the medieval atmosphere, recording some of the singing and searching for the names of my ancestors - I found many!!

...the arches made excellent frames...

...oops, just one more...

...a lot of people stopped by to have their morning coffee, to sketch, to meditate and think...

...oh...more green men!!! The ones at Norwich Cathedral are among the best examples in the world!!

The most common and perhaps obvious interpretation of the Green Man is that of a pagan nature spirit, a symbol of man’s reliance on and union with nature, a symbol of the underlying life-force, and of the renewed cycle of growth each spring. In this respect, it seems likely that he has evolved from older nature deities such as the Celtic Cernunnos and the Greek Pan and Dionysus.
To learn more about Green Men go HERE!

There was a class doing some sketching while I was there...

OKAY OKAY, last one, I promise... - he's just so creepy!!

Okay, now into the cathedral itself! I lit a candle in memory of loved ones (my mom, my dad, and my grandma); it's the one at the top.

I took hundreds of photos but am only including a few...really! This was my MOST exciting moment - I found my surname in a little grotto full of graffiti!! The date underneath is 1645. Unfortunately I can't decipher the first name and not sure what the SC means in front of the date but it gives me something to research!!

This is the little grotto where I found my name!

I got rather a sore neck from leaning back and taking photos of the ceiling vaults!

Whoa!! The architects were amazing fellows!!

The wood carving in the choir stalls was incredible! But these seats must be for the boys as they are very small!


My new friend, Thomas!

I went back to the cloisters after visiting the gift shop and found some Cattons!!  I will check to see if we're related!

I'm such a sucker for a well framed shot!!

I decided to walk around the church to get some other views...

...and found that there are some sections that are really crumbling...

It looks like brick was used first, then faced with the nicer stones.

This section is much older - the carving is less mature...

These guys look pretty intense!!

...and that was that! I left the cathedral and headed back to high street - I've got some shopping to do!!

...but I couldn't resist one more photo as I was walking along...