Thursday, 2 June 2011

Discovering New Places

Yesterday I took the bus out to the university for the third meeting with my supervisor, Helen. I felt encouraged by her feedback and probably should have gone back to the flat to do some writing. But it was a bright sunny day and the wind had died finally, so I took Douglas out of the bike shed and headed in a completely new direction. Thea had lent me her detailed map of Norwich and the surrounding area and pointed out a section southwest of the city that forms part of the broads and where she said I'd find miles of cycling paths. I'm glad I saved this for the warmer weather, because it was an amazing treat. Within twenty minutes of leaving The Factory, I was in open country, breezing past fields of cows grazing on the one side, and on the other the Wensum River, sparkling through the trees. And it's all so close by! I'm embarrassed to say it would be like riding from UBC to Kits Beach (without the hill). It also felt a little like cycling through Pacific Spirit Park, only with a huge lake in the middle and without the thick evergreen trees. After awhile, I took a turn and went into the Whitlingham Country Park, where I immediately spotted baby swans and ducks. There was a fence around this section to protect the birds from over exuberant dogs, so I poked my lens through the links to get an unadulterated shot.

As I made my way along the path, I stopped to read an information board that told me I was standing at a special spot - the convergence of three rivers, the Yare, the Tas, and the Wensum. The sign explained that prehistoric ancestors regarded the river confluences as sacred, and this was especially so because there were three not two rivers coming together. It really was a calming place to stand and think about what it must have looked like in those days, back in the 5th century, with the Saxons and Angles forming a peaceful, industrious community. Cycling further along the path, I came to another information board explaining that this was once Millionaires Row and the home of Jeremiah Coleman, the mustard king. He not only built the mill here (1814), but throughout the area he built cottages for the workers, some of which still survive today. I would kill for one of those cottages.

Good ol' Douglas.
Continuing along the path into the marshlands, I came across a rush "screen" for watching birds without disturbing them, and then went on until I found myself joltingly at the underpass for the A47, surrounded by graffiti embellished concrete and the roar of traffic above me. I turned around and hightailed it out of there as fast as I could, doubling back to the pristine lakeside. It was now 5:00 pm and still warm and balmy, and I didn't feel like heading back to the flat. So I took a turning towards Trowse Newton, a tiny village with two pubs, a church, and row of houses overlooking a green. The sign outside the White Horse Inn said they do a special curry night on Thursdays - £10 for dinner and a drink. I may just cycle back and take advantage of that sometime soon. The village was built by - who other than - the Coleman family. The sign in front of the church said Trowse parish "is the deanery of Brooke and the archdeaconry of Norfolk. I love it.  

As I reluctantly headed back towards Norwich, I thought I should stop and take some photos of the neighbourhood outside The Factory, a bit of a contrast to the countryside. So here they are...
Neighbourhood pride.

A very determined California poppy
growing out of the concrete.
Entrance to The Factory, my home for the year.
The Factory with the Norwich Football Club in the distance.
Nancy's flat is the one under the "C".
Setting sun casting shadows.
The end of a beautiful day.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful afternoon! The photos are gorgeous.