Blog, Books, featured, Holiday, life, Out and about, Walks, Wordpress

A Scottish getaway

Hubby and I have always holidayed in Scotland, our first holiday together was after 6 months or so of dating when we went up to Oban and continued to visit the West Coast on a number of occasions as it’s so majestic in its scenery. However when my sister in law moved up to Scotland to move in with her Scottish boyfriend and now husband, she moved more on the East side so we have visited there ever since.

We haven’t always managed to get up there every year as we tend to only have one proper holiday a year and Cornwall is always calling me in a different direction. However, now we have a niece on the scene, she’s about 18 months old and as cute as a button – the pull to go to Scotland again is strong. Our holiday there last year was amazing and we stayed in a cute traditional little bothy and this year we did self catering again and stayed at Cornescrorn Cottages and ours was called The Byre and from the second we walked in, we could have moved in – it was gorgeous. Like a home from home, nothing not to like, loved the decor, loved the layout, loved the atmosphere and location. Positioned about 2 miles up a very bumpy road (ideally a 4×4 would have been handy) but heading off to somewhere so remote was quite exciting. Two cottages positioned together, no one staying in the other one while we were there so other than the occasional visit from the farmer to tend the sheep, we were on our own and my god – it was heaven.

We were so lucky with the weather, beautiful sunshine most days and light that streamed into the Byre was gorgeous. Chicken soup for the soul to be able to sit in the living area, looking out of the window at rabbits, cows, sheep, pheasants with mountains as the perfect backdrop. It really was exactly what I needed. I have had a lot of anxiety lately which I’ll cover in another blog when I feel ready, but I needed this break and I needed this level of serenity.

We spent a lot of time with sis in law and little’n which was so nice to have such quality time together. Jason’s parents had just moved up there from North Norfolk, literally about a week before we arrived so we got to see their new home and feel satisfied that they were going to be really settled and happy there.

Mid week we had a trip to Dundee where we visited the V&A and also went on the Discovery ship which was of course built for Scotts expedition to the Antarctic which was amazing to not only see but to go on and imagine the history of it. My favourite part was the dining hall and the cabins where they all slept, they were cute little rooms and beautifully preserved. Such an amazing piece of history to be able to visit.

Jason’s sister is an artist and has launched her business Lou Campbell Art so we went to Peel Farm which is one of the places she sells her artwork and we also helped her get some new shots together for her to use on social media so that was a lot of fun. She’s very talented and her products are available to purchase online so check her out and give her a follow on Instagram.

Louise took me to The House of Bruar as she said she’d take me shopping for the day and we’d have lunch and I was bit sceptical that we could be at one place all day but we were there quite a while. The best way I can think to describe it to someone from Norfolk is, think about Roys of Wroxham on steroids and by that I mean Harrods standards!!! It’s amazing! I mean I have high standards being in retail myself but this place is beyond immaculately presented and such a wide selection of products from interiors and art to clothing to the food hall. If I was ever to move to Scotland, I would need to work here although I’m not sure I’d rock the uniform – a mid shin length tartan pleated skirt!!

I think this was the first holiday we’ve had where we were more than happy to head back to our accommodation in the afternoon and literally just stay there and sit and enjoy the sun, open a beer for hubby and a bottle of wine for me, I would sit there and read and Jason was doing some whittling and both be utterly happy and content. Quick mention, my holiday reading was The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. A book about walking the South West Coast which may be odd when I was as far from it as I could be, but what a beautiful book. I seriously recommend it. It’s not often I get through a whole book in a few days but I literally struggled to put it down.

I think we both learnt with this holiday that sometimes it’s ok not to do much. Sometimes you need to just sit down and take time out. It’s important to allow yourself time to recharge and rejuvenate in order to be able to go back to your normal life, and carry on with renewed vigour. You have to learn to listen to your body and your mind and go – you know what – I need a rest, and that’s ok. It’s something we don’t always do enough of but it makes a difference.


featured, life, Norfolk, Norwich, Out and about, Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized, Wordpress

Show me the coffee!

Coffee is a pretty vital part of many peoples lives but to me, I’ve never really been in to hot drinks. Fizzy drinks, squash, juice – I’d live off them, cold good hot bad. The occasional hot chocolate if I was really cold but I would never touch coffee with a barge pole. I’m not even sure how or when it changed exactly. I think it was last summer having sweet iced drinks from Costa and having a shot in them and it just developed from there.

Since then I’ve had nothing but caramel lattes as I like the sweetness and how mellow and easy it is to drink. It’s been nice actually feeling like a grown up finally and being able to have a coffee when asked rather than saying ‘no I’m fine’ or ‘can I have a Diet Coke’ and feeling like a child in the company of adults.

It just feels more sociable and it’s so nice to be able to enjoy the many coffee shops that are prevalent everywhere. Norwich is my local city, I work there, I shop there so it’s still a bit of a novelty to now be able to enjoy going into proper independent coffee shops and have a grown up drink. the big chain stores are all very well, they are quick, easy and convenient but there is something different about going into a small independent and supporting local.

Norwich, or rather the people of Norwich are lucky to have some great choices like Strangers, Artel, Alchemista and the newest one I visited yesterday is Fika.

Fika is located on Wensum Street which is not far down from The Maids Head Hotel and it’s run by Mark and only opened a week or so ago but we popped in yesterday and Jason had his normal Americano which he devoured and I had my latte which was so smooth! I am weaning myself off caramel shots, I only ever have them at home or if I go to Costa. I don’t think proper coffee drinkers would dream of putting a shot of anything in their coffee other than – another shot of coffee!

My tastes are definitely developing, even this morning instead of having my normal instant coffee I have done myself a filter coffee with a blend from Strangers and I’m really enjoying it. I can’t see me getting to a stage where I’m drinking black Americanos but you never know.

Along with our delicious Fika coffee we each had a vegan chocolate knot pastry which are freshly made each day and were rather delicious. It’s a small coffee shop but it oozes style, there are quirks and colour and character in addition to just being a great place to sit and have a chat or get your coffee to go.

You’re never far from a coffee shop these days but it does make a difference if you can get to an independent. Retail in any form is tough these days, I should know, I manage a furniture showroom so every customer counts. Supporting what is on your high street counts. If big chains feel the pinch just imagine how hard it is for smaller stores to compete and survive. It take guts to set up a new business these days so I urge you, wherever possible, to support your shops. We need the help and if you’re going to get a great cup of coffee and help a small business in the process – well surely that’s a no brainier.

Blog, life, Norfolk, Norwich, Wordpress

Social Media Blues

Well I’m back, it’s been quite a while again. I seem to go through phases of being really on the ball with blogs etc but lately I have felt a bit lost in what I’m trying to achieve.

There are so many bloggers out there and loads that are Norfolk and Norwich based and it’s really easy to get lured in to trying to be one of the ‘in’ crowd rather than just being me. I definitely went through a stage of following all the pretty people as I call them whose numbers sky rocket, who don’t seem to work for a living and whose entire social media structure is based around pictures of them posing in cool places.

I’m embarrassed to say I tried to be like them for a while, not so much with loads of selfies, but trying too hard to get the right shot in the right place with the right light blah blah blah and you know what – it takes the fun out of it. I don’t have this site to earn money or to make me popular, it was a way of me learning to create a website and develop this skill set. I’m not bothered about numbers, yes it’s nice when you get more followers, but only when they are genuine ones. The amount of people I get follow me on Instagram and they don’t like any of my photos and then when I don’t follow back – I’ll get dropped. It’s like being a school and I’m just too old for the bullshit quite frankly.

I unfollowed a few key people on Insta whose accounts I was getting obsessed with watching their stories intently like some new episode of Line of Duty like I have nothing better going on in my life. Once I freed myself from these Instalovies, I started to feel a lot better about myself and decided to go back to basics.

So my Instagram grid isn’t themed, it isn’t the same colour tones in every shot, it isn’t me trying to be something I’m not. It’s photos I like of things I’ve done or places I’ve been or just things that make me happy and that’s how I aim to continue. I can’t compete with the ‘in’  crowd and I don’t want to, it’s too much peer pressure which only results in never feeling good enough about yourself. I don’t have a Unique Selling Point I’m just me, and I’ve learned to be ok with that.

So I will try and blog more and just be proud of me and proud of what I do whether anyone ever reads it or not, well I can’t worry about that. I still have a wonderful husband, a home, a family, a job. This weird world of numbers and followers doesn’t dictate my life or anything in it, I’m happy being me and I’m pretty good at it.


Lookin’ good!

Well I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere. I found another blog site that I really liked so have taken some inspiration, changed the theme (again), and I’m really happy with the results. I’ve got my latest Instagram pics as a widget, my Twitter feed showing,  tags, categories and have refreshed the about me page.  Definitely feel quite pleased with myself. I’m seriously considering upgrading to the premium package so I can customize a lot more things and give me more options.

I think as I am so interested in photography I will add in a gallery page too and will try to create a book page as I have read so many books so far this year, it will be good to document and review them.

Next I need to try and get @Splendid_chap back in to working on his as he is so popular on Instagram, I think he could do really well with a blog as he has many interests.

He completed the Tour De Broads this week, 73 miles of cycling and completed it despite suffering 3 punctures! He has been raising money for Alzheimers Society I’m so proud of him, he’s lost so much weight and has increased his level of fitness no end. It definitely spurs me on to get back on the bike and do more exercise myself, I just need to not be so afraid of falling off!! Here’s a pic of my man enjoying a well deserved pint at the finish line. He has smashed his £250 target so all in all, what a great way to pay homage to his grandfather who he dedicated the ride to.

In memory of Malcolm Labrom



Hi folks, not sure why I feel the need to say hi as so far it’s only me who knows this page exists, but it just seems polite.

So today has started off pretty well. My husband surprised me by having the day off with me which is very nice as he and I don’t get to spend much time together. He has just nipped out so I’ve taken the opportunity to get back on the horse and do a bit more.

I have changed the theme as I found out that the widgets I had been struggling with were there on the old theme, just well and truly hidden! So I now have this lovely fresh new format and I have my social media widgets which I’m very excited about. So now you can have a look at my Pinterest site and also Instagram PLUS I have my latest Instagram feed showing at the bottom of the Homepage.

I just need to figure out how to increase the size of the social media icons and change them if possible but I have read that I can’t upload plugins as I have registered the site, so we’ll see how that goes but I’m not pushing my luck with it today.

So that’s probably me signing off for the day, so far I haven’t mentioned to my beloved @splendid_chap that I’ve been doing this so I may reveal all to him later and see what he thinks!!! Watch this space

Norfolkgal x



So today was more successful, I’ve added a couple of pages, actually now have my own website as I registered for so I’m feeling like I’m on the map! I’ve added an ‘About’ page and put in a slideshow gallery on the home page too so all in all, not a bad day. Still having issues adding links plus I’ve been trying to add an Instagram widget but despite looking at numerous YouTube tutorials, nothing is happening. All the tutorials mention a sidebar and that doesn’t seem to exist on my dashboard, mine says widget area which I’m guessing is the same thing. I was getting a bit it ratty with it so gave in for the day and I’ll try again tomorrow with hopefully more success. I’m not sure if some of these issues are to do with the theme, I don’t know if this makes a difference or not. I’m quite happy with the Ryu theme so I don’t want to change just for the sake of it. I did log on to the iMac today and it’s definitely easier to do some things on there rather than the iPad which is obviously a lot more constricted due to screen size.

I just quickly wanted to play around with another aspect of media so enjoy a few photos of


Hello again

So I’ve made it back, I haven’t learnt a huge amount since Blog 1 but I have added a background colour and had a play with adding a header. My only issue was the header photo I chose was far to big so I decided against it until I figure it out.

I thought this time I’d try to include some photos. I went to London this week to visit the Ravilious art exhibition at the Dulwich picture gallery. Simply beautiful work and lovely to see in real lifeimage. We had a wander around Whitehall and saw The Cenotaph.

Last time I visited it was all boarded up and hidden so I was so pleased to finally be able to see it. I wasn’t expecting to feel quite as emotional about it as I did, but then it doesn’t take much for me to get choked up!

It wasn’t the greatest day weather wise so this was the best photo I could manage but

imageI was happy I timed it well enough to get a bird in flight in the photo. I thought the memorial to the women of WW2 was also nice.

The light on the train on our journey home was so beautiful I couldn’t help but take more photos.

Well as you can see I’ve managed to insert my first photo AND get the text wrapped around it! I know it’s a small step but it’s a start. Not entirely confident about the positioning but I’m sure with more practise it’ll get easier. I’m doing this work from an iPad and have so far found that you need to be logged in to the main site rather than use the app. When I was googling help it kept saying about the Dashboard and I can’t see it is available on the app. I may be wrong, it does happen now and then!

Well I’m going to sign off for now, it’s getting late and I just wanted to keep my hand in.

see you again soon

Norfolkgal x


WordPress Virgin!!!!!

Hi guys, I’ve been wanting to learn about websites and blogs and at the moment, I know zilch… I’ve taken the plunge and decided everyday is a school day and I need to be my own teacher.

I’m only doing this as I have a friend with her own company and have felt lately that her website was sorely lacking and have been encouraging her to improve it, and that made me think, I know how I’d like it to be but have no experience of this myself.

I work for an online company, albeit, I have nothing to do with the website, but I figured this would be a good time to learn a little more about the world I now find myself working in.

So this is my first post, pretty basic. No fancy fonts yet, no photos, no links, no videos, but a girl’s gotta start somewhere right?

I’m hoping to learn as much as I can and get a better insight as to how all this website malarkey works, so here’s the start of an interesting journey. Fingers crossed each post will include something new that I’ve learnt and before long, will start to look like a real blog!

Cheers my dears, hope to see you again soon

Norfolkgal (also known as Catherine) xx