Monday, 21 July 2014

Sunburn and Lightning

We enjoyed a super, action packed yet chilled out weekend in Norfolk with my folks.  The weather was warm and sticky most of the time except when we went to the beach where there was a cool breeze and I burnt my white legs in under an hour while sitting reading a novel. Fenella was not impressed with crunching sand in her sandwiches and declared that she never wanted to go on a seaside holiday.

My children loved meeting up with their younger cousins, playing with water pistols and going on an adventure to a dinosaur park with life sized fibre-glass T-rexes. It was hot and steamy in the Norfolk woodland and we could almost imagine ourselves being stalked by velociraptors after our jeep had been swallowed by a swamp.

We ate outside in the garden under a pergola at every opportunity and enjoyed the rare treat of reading our books in a deckchair. In Beccles we bought dress fabric, locally grown tomatoes and famous Seppings sausages.

I met up with an old school friend in Norwich and could not believe that we had not seen each other for 28 years. It seemed like just last week that we were messing about in Physics and she had to lend me clothes when my suitcase went astray on the trip to Greece. I always enjoy wandering around the lanes and back streets of the medieval city and I was delighted to rediscover my favourite shoe shop. Amazingly, on sale were green Danish shoes that looked like they would probably fit a trolI. I owned and loved an identical pair when I was 18 until they fell apart so I just had to buy them.

At the weekend we visited the Latitude Festival near Southwold. It was not quite as big as Glastonbury but there were crowds of people enjoying a vast choice of theatre, dance, comedy and music on different stages in the woodlands and parkland around the Henham Estate which I remember from being a pony club member as a teenager. It was another incredibly hot day and it was fascinating to observe all of the outlandish festival outfits, even a stag party of young guys all dolled up in summer frocks. On the main stage Booker TJones was incredible, followed by First Aid Kit, The Bombay Bicycle Club and an awe-inspiring performance from Damon Allbarn who used to front Britpop band, Blur. As he reached the end of his set there were ominous rumbles, quickly followed by dramatic forks and flashes of lightning. The heavens opened and we were very glad that we would not be spending the night in a tent. The drive out of the field was slippery and the road home was awash with water. 

The storms continued for most of Sunday while Freya and I struggled to understand the instructions of her dress pattern. There seemed toy be rather a lot of gaps in the explanations, assuming that you knew exactly what to do. One of these days I might have to make a simple frock and write idiot-proof assembly instructions but in the meantime, dressmaking continues to be my sewing nemesis. Despite heavy rain and crashing thunder throughout the day, we packed up a picnic, umbrellas and raincoats to attend a small, outdoor pop-picnic. Many of the guests were dancing on puddle-soaked grass in summer dresses and wellies in a typically “never-mind-the-weather” British fashion. With only a couple of days left in Norfolk, we are under pressure to complete Freya’s frock, swim at the lido, have one last BBQ and try to fit in a final trip to the beach…

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