Sunday, 13 June 2021

Sunday Swim: Swimming with Jellyfish

 I had my first sea-swim of the season this morning.  A week earlier than last year, but nearly two weeks later than in 2019.  Other than sharing my swim with several comb jellies that were still lurking near the surface at the early hour (they usually return to the sea bed in the morning), I haven't got very much to say, so I'll just leave the handful of photos that I took and their captions.

Not a shooting star over the End-of-the-Line...

Saturday, 12 June 2021

An Ominous Start

 Another early morning, pre-work wander along the promenade yesterday began with a rather ominous sky on the horizon.  However, it apparently decided not to make landfall on the North Norfolk coast, and buggered off out to sea, maybe to pay Norway or Denmark a visit?

 Anyway, the drama was far from over as not only was there a false moon rising, but the Triffids were on the move...

This groyne caught me unawares.
It loomed out of the sea as I was admiring the sunlight sparkling on the gentle ripples.

No ships on the horizon today (and by "today" I mean yesterday)

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2021 Announcement

The House of
Garden Photos Event 2021

is being held here again rather than at The Very Mistress's - or anyone else's (because no one volunteered) - remember?


 I hope you've all made a start with the preparations to your extensive grounds/modest plots/back yards/window boxes/house plants/trays of cress, and have been taking photos - and will continue to do so - ready for the event of the year in November?
 I certainly have, along with Jon and The Madam Arcati.  Even Ms Scarlet has got her derrière into gear with a showing of her Big Pink Bush™.

 Anyway, here are a few little snippets from Hexenhäusli Device's gardens this afternoon.

 On the right is the lovely, dandelion-like flower of hawkweed (last seen at Castle Device, here), and below, my Gin Time corner (well, if Madam A can have a Wine Time corner, surely I can have an equivalent?), complete with G&T, of course.  I sat here earlier listening to the birds and the ever present hum of the bees and flies in the trees above (of which there is also a photo - taken from my vantage point).

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

The Last Sand Castle

 I finally, finally, got up when I woke up (at about 5:45) rather than lolling about waiting for my alarm to go off (6:14), and got out of the house for a walk before starting work (at 7:00).  This meant that I was in time to see the last remaining sand castle from yesterday's industrious half-term day-trippers.  It had been built right up by the sea wall so, because of the low high tide, was spared being totally demolished by the waves.

Monday, 31 May 2021


 Well, that's the Bank Holiday almost over with.  And what a gorgeous day it was, too - weatherwise, anyway.  See you in June!

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Life on the Embankment II

 Just over a year later, this is the sequel to the original Life on the Embankment.  The bee is not on the embankment - that is my (rather dry and rough-skinned) finger it's resting on.  I discovered it flailing around in the pond, so I fished it out and let it warm up and dry off on me as I sat in the sun on Thursday afternoon.

 Here are the embankment photos: The deer are from Tuesday evening, and the fox from early yesterday morning.

This is a muntjac deer - a young one, I believe

Here it is with its mum - either camera shy or they've found something extremely interesting amongst the nettles and Alexander.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

An Assemblage of Aquilegias*

  Oof!  Sorry I'm late.  In between the Watching of the Telly (I watched Tremors on Netflix last night - I'd forgotten what a fox Fred Ward is [Kevin Bacon was rather cute, too]), it's been all go here lately, so I haven't been able to get around to see what you've all been up to, nevermind pop something of my own up!  However, here's a little something from the allotment to tide us over until normal service resumes. 

 Hopefully soonish.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Bluebell Blowout

Also available in white - ask at the front desk for details
 As yesterday's bluebell show seemed quite popular, I thought I'd remain on the bandwagon and bring you a far more local display - from just a quick wander up the road, rather than 20-odd miles away at Pensthorpe.  In fact, I could have saved myself some time and money (and blue fingers from the cold) by doing this yesterday instead of the Pensthorpe trip!

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Feeling Blue (with the Unusual Suspects at Pensthorpe)

 Another dull, drizzly, cold May day meant another wander around Pensthorpe Natural Park with Inexcuseable and Count Podgekinson.  I didn't take so many photos of the ducks, geese, and other water fowl this time as they're all pretty much the same as those seen in the previous link and this one.  However, I couldn't resist this handsome little Mandarin duck on the right!
Unlike the previous Pensthorpe post's mother mallard's ten ducklings, this one only had one

This greylag goose couple were out and about with their three goslings

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Good morning, deer

 I've been meaning to have a quick walk before starting work for ages now - since it started getting lighter in the mornings, in fact - but once the laptop gets going, I find myself quickly distracted by the chaos it shows me, so I simply must begin sorting it out and creating some order.  But not yesterday.  Yesterday was different because I found myself awake a little earlier than normal (because of the bright, bright sunshine streaming through my not-quite-closed blinds).  So, after I'd connected the laptop to work's VPN thingy, filed emails, tidied up tasks, and updated the stats to show what our workload for the day looked like, I stuck my fingers up at it, grabbed Camera and left the house.

 In the previous post I showed you Cromer Pier of an evening from Overstrand beach, and in this one you get to see it in the morning.  I know - I spoil you!

That's the Hotel de Paris overlooking the pier near the foot of the cliff

Friday, 7 May 2021

Not Quite Majorca

 I had a little stroll down along the promenade after tea - just to get some air and stretch my legs, as tomorrow's weather forecast is not conducive to going outside (unless I get up very early in the morning), so there'll be little in the way of leg-stretching then.
 I haven't got a lot to show for it*, you may be relieved to hear  - Cromer Pier in the distance, a young(ish) cormorant, and a bunny!  Plus there's music at the end.

 Norman and Norma got married in Cromer and caught double pneumonia.
 Quelle surprise...

 * Not even worth putting a page break in.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Bank Holiday Blues* II

* Contents and colour may vary.
Check colour swatches - don't trust the Host's colour-blind eyes.

 Another Bank Holiday befalls us Brits, so what better way to use up some of the 'Yay-I'm-not-at-work!' time than to have a quick wander around the countryside?

 At first glance, it may seem like this is a re-post/copy of this Bank Holiday post from 2017, but I can assure you that all these photos are new, and came from this morning's walk along Smallhopes Hill to Northrepps and home again.  (I'd intended to take new photos of 2017's BH subject matter, but either couldn't find all the plants, or forgot/couldn't be bothered/replaced them with deer...)

Primroses on Smallhopes Hill

Doe!  A deer!

Wednesday, 28 April 2021


Big Pink Tree!  (Cherry, not Magnolia)
 In the previous post, Mistress Maddie waxed lyrical about Magnolia trees and was surprised to learn that we have them here across the pond.  Well, after I'd finished replying to the comments, I went out for a quick walk around the village (also inspired by a Maddie comment from the last post in March) to get a snap of the Main Road's Magnificent Magnolia.
 Unfortunately, the poor thing doesn't look half as magnificent as last year, as - in its exposed position - almost all of the flowers have been frost and wind-burned.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

An Ocean of Violets in Bloom

The almost finished  paysho from 16th April
 This is just a quick follow-on from my previous garden-related post.  Mainly because I haven't got anything else to publish, as all I've been doing lately is rebuilding the bloody paysho.
And going to the garden centre this morni-
 Which was a waste of time as they didn't have what I wanted.  And there were far too many people!
All wearing face masks and
keeping their distance.  Mostly...
The end of today's efforts having relaid the slabs
and cemented the pond-edge
 Anyway, that's enough from the SubC, let's get on with the post.
 As you can see from the leading photo, my early Morning Glory has put forth its second flower.  Although, despite flowering very early in the season, this bloom didn't open until this afternoon (because I had it tucked away in the depths of the red greenhouse and only remembered to pop it on the shelf in the sun at lunch time).

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Berenice Bobs Her Hair

 You'd better turn your lights off to best view the photos in this post (except for the final two)...

 Yes, it's back to snaps of the stars courtesy of my paparazzi telephoto lens "Starry Night" setting on Camera.  I can tell that you're all just thrilled!  After all, we haven't had one of these since mid-February's Blogorati Stars post.  And this post features brand new photos taken from Hexenhäusli Device's backgarden on 7th April!  How we spoil you.

 Actually, I don't really know what I'm doing with these photos.  I started off with an attempt to get the constellation of Camelopardalis looking more like a giraffe (for that it what it's supposed to be) rather than a clothes horse (which is what it looks like in my Universe book - and pretty much everywhere else).  I think I was relatively successful?  Then I had a go at Cassiopeia and Perseus, but gave up with Auriga as I couldn't stop giving him (although I think he looks like a her in the book) a fat bottom.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Speaking of gardening...

 ... here's how mine is coming along:

 Above, the oft neglected front of Hexenhäusli Device looking quite colourful, for a change.  I put the daff bulbs in back in the autumn, and the skimmias that went in last spring are just starting to flower.  On the left is the most recent addition - a flowering cherry, which I planted last month (out of shot to the right is a hawthorn, yet to burst into leaf/flower).

 And below, preparations for a circular paysho and adjoining pond are not hindered by the snow (I mean, it's April, for Christ's sake!  We're not supposed to get snow in April!).

Friday, 9 April 2021

Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2021

 I note from the comments in the previous post that a few of you have been watching Gardener's World, which reminded me: We need to organise who's going to host the 

2021   I N F O M A N I A C   Garden Photos Event!

 Now, as The Very Mistress has graciously retired from organising and overseeing the event, it falls to one of us Infomaniac Bitches to be the HOstess with the MOstess.  As you may recall, I was the fortunate HOMO last year - for the 10th anniversary (and a jolly good time I had doing it, too!) - but, does someone else want to have a go this year? 
 How and when it takes place is up to you (although it must be some time this year - preferably later in the year so we all have time to tend to our unruly bushes and the like), and you must remember the cardinal rule: The Garden Photos Event is NOT a competition!  

 If there are no takers, then I will be happy to take up the hoe again.  And when the hoe looks like the Head Gardener there on the right (on loan from the Extensive Gardens of Delores Delargo Towers), who can blame me?!

 Right.  Let the squabbling commence!


Monday, 5 April 2021

Wonderful Electric

 Right.  That's the first quarter of the year done.  To aid in the preparation of the end-of-year review/Coven Awards, I thought I'd continue on from January's book post and Happy with a round up of what I've read, watched and listened to so far in 2021.


Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett - A Discworld novel starring the Ramtops witches (Granny Weatherwax, Gytha Ogg, and Magrat Garlick - who is now a queen rather than a witch), in which they thwart an invasion of Elves.

The Sea and Little Fishes, by Terry Pratchett - A short story I read online also featuring the Ramtops witches.

Star Trek: The Lost Era: Well of Souls, by Ilsa J Bick - This is a rather grim, but engrossing story set during the time of the Ambassador-class USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C (2336).  It largely concerns Captain Rachel Garrett's strained relationship with her archeologist ex-husband and son, and her new first officer who has found himself embroiled with a notorious crime syndicate.

Star Trek: The Lost Era: The Art of the Impossible, by Keith R A DeCandido - Another Lost Era story, this one concerning the Betreka Nebula Incident - a dispute between the Klingons and Cardassians, mediated by Federation Ambassador Curzon Dax, spanning the years 2328 to 2346.

Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock, by Christopher L Bennett - A fascinating tale set mainly in The Next Generation era (2360s-80s) that weaves together various of the televised Star Trek universe's instances of time-travel, along with several original temporal trips.  As always, Christopher L Bennett serves up a precise and characterful story that's difficult to put down.

The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red, by Martha Wells - The first novella of The Murderbot Diaries series which I only read because of this wonderful animatic set to Tegan & Sara's "I'm Not Your Hero" that I discovered at (and last featured here).  I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next in the series.

The Galaxy and the Ground Within (Wayfarers 4), by Becky Chambers - Another delightful story from the Wayfarer's series (and possibly the last).  This one is about how five very different aliens form a friendship during a disaster, and is just a lovely, warm, character-driven piece with one or two stomach-lurching emotional moments near the end.  Just wonderful!

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Gulls & Groynes Against Golden Glamour

The sunlight bouncing off the window frames of this building on the High Street looked far more dramatic and golden in real life.  Bah!

 Now that the Calamities are over with (for now, anyway), and the post I was going to publish has yet to be finished, I thought I'd fall back on that old staple of millions thousands nearly dozens of photos of pretty much the same thing over and over and over again (because I know you love like almost tolerate them).  Yes, it's sunrise time!

 And to accompany your incessant scrolling through this post, how about a little music.  This is "Rescue" by Röyksopp which, to my mind anyway, goes rather nicely with a long, drawn-out sunrise over the sea.  And it's only just over 10 minutes long - you might even get to the end of this post before it finishes!

 The photo above and the first nine below are from yesterday morning:

Saturday, 27 March 2021

CCQ: An Enterprising Ending (at last)

 "You silly sods!"  Hound was quite cross.  "Now look what you've done."
 "What happened?  How did we get here?" a bewildered Mago asked.
 "Someone - or possibly sometwo - were thinking of Star Trek when they crashed through my hedge, weren't they?"
 Ms Scarlet guiltily put a hand to her basket-weave bouffant while the grin dissolved from IDV's face.
 "Yes, but really?" The disbelief in Maddie's tone was palpable.
 "Yes, really" said Hound.  "I'm a hedgewitch.  For me the hedge is both the witch's setting and a gateway to other places.  Mitzi's hedge was still charged up from when I transported us to the Cornish coast for the Poldark thing, so blundering through it while thinking of Trek brought us here."
 "My hedge did this?" Mitzi didn't look happy.  "Right.  It's coming down once we get back."
 "Oh, I'm no good with this Star Trek stuff" Dinah cut in.  "Let's just go back through so we can all go home.  I'm tired - I'm several time zones from where I normally am and it's all catching up with me."
 "Several time zones?"  IDV whispered, nudging Ms Scarlet for attention as he gestured at their surroundings.  "And the other 250 years!"
 "Oh, Mr Devine!"
 "Oof!" said Dinah as she found herself face down on the other side of the hedge.  
 "Well, that didn't work."  Mago helped Dinah up after her unsuccessful return trip.
 "All the magic was used up getting you all here" Hound said.  "We're not going anywhere for a while."
 "Will you lot stop trampling my plants!" a loud voice cut through the Blogorati's sniping.  "And get off my lawn!"
 As one, the Blogorati turned towards the source of their berator.  There in the corner, shovelling a big pile of something ghastly-looking, was someone familiar wearing a red miniskirt uniform like Ms Scarlet's.
 "Ms Nations?"
 "Stop your gawping, IDV" she said.  "This tribble shit isn't going to spread itself."
 Oh.  Er, no.  I suppose it won't.  Um.  Actually, our shift's about to start - we'd better go"  IDV shooed the milling Blogorati towards the turbolift.  "C'mon, let's get out of here."
 "Suit yourselves" Ms Nations muttered to their backs as they walked off.  "I'll just get my garden hoes to do it.  Boys!" she yelled.  As the turbolift doors closed on the Blogorati, two muscular non-coms dressed in not very much appeared.  Several pairs of widening eyes were treated not to bulging, hot, sweaty manual labour¹, but to the doors snapping shut. 


Monday, 22 March 2021

CCQ: Aidan Turner in the Altogether with a Towel

 "Wow!  You really know how to handle such a big machine" IDV shamelessly innuendoed at Asriel as the driver swung the limo into Mitzi's driveway and brought it to a controlled stop outside the front door.
 "Oh, dear.  That was terrible!  The poor boy" Lady Goldberg-DeWoofs admonished as a furious blush bloomed on Asriel's handsome face.
 "I don't know?" Maddie countered.  "I might have said something similar."
 "Thank you, Maddie" IDV said.  "I'm rather out of practice.  Now, we'd better go and see what's going on inside."
 Despite the blatant flirting, Asriel had managed to get out of the limo and open the rear door for his passengers to disembark.  IDV had only just got out - not missing the opportunity to give the driver a once-over - when a minibus roared up the drive and screeched to a halt mere micromips from smushing his legs to smithereens against the limo's open door.
Hmm...  That sounds familiar.
Sshhhh!  Just let him get on with it otherwise we'll be here all day!
 "Where is she?!?" Jon barely noticed IDV sandwiched between the front of the minibus and the car door as he burst out of the vehicle.
 "Oof" said Dinah as she gracefully fell out after Jon.  A small avalanche of empty wine bottles followed in her wake, clinking and clanking around her.  A raised eyebrow from the limo driver (the resident expert) provoked a defensive mumble "They're for Ms Scarlet's Bottled Project..."
 "Sorry to startle you, IDV" Mago said as he exited the driver's side with an exasperated expression on his face.  "I was getting inundated with directions und instructions und pointing fingers..."
 As IDV sidled out of the wafer-thin gap, his mouth open to respond to Mago, a terrible scream rent the air.
 "I think it came from around the back" Maddie gasped.
 "Then let's go!" cried Jon as he leapt into action.  Well, sashayed towards the side gate, anyway...