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I had a lot of difficulty trying to think of a title to this post as it is made up of a mishmash of lots of different photos taken from the beginning of December up to New Year’s Day and at a number of locations.


A young hedgehog I saw wandering about the garden during the day at the beginning of December.

This little creature looked healthy enough, though still not quite full-grown.  It seemed unbothered by my presence and was trotting about looking for and finding things to eat in the garden.  The photo is a little blurred because it didn’t keep still long enough for me to take a good picture of it.  Hedgehogs are normally nocturnal mammals and only emerge during the daytime if disturbed or hungry.  They hibernate during the winter but emerge during mild spells of weather to feed.


The Viburnum bodnantense is in full flower and smells divine!

DSCN0093Winter-flowering Honeysuckle

The Winter-flowering Honeysuckle is also flowering and its scent is beautiful.

DSCN0101Pinks in bud

The Primulas in Richard’s border are in flower and his Pinks are covered in flower-buds.

Not only do we have all these flowers but also miniature Iris, Grape Hyacinths and Hyacinths are in flower.  On my travels I have seen Daffodils, Snowdrops and Winter Aconites.  My mother’s garden has Hardy Geraniums still in flower from the autumn and also the bright red flowers of Ornamental Quince.  We have had a lot of rain (though much less than in the north and north-west of the country) – the ditches are filling fast, the roads are thick with mud and have standing water on them and parts of our garden are like a quagmire.  The grass hasn’t stopped growing but it is too wet for it to be cut.  I spent some time a few days ago pulling out Stinging Nettle runners from under our Crabapple tree.

DSCN0088Possibly algae

This seaweed-like algae has started growing out from the edge of the grass onto our driveway.

DSCN0059St George's church St Cross

This is St George’s church at St Cross South Elmham – another of the churches in our benefice.

I had reason to call in to this church a couple of days before Christmas and while there I thought I’d take a few photos.  I didn’t have much time to spare so only took a few pictures – I hope to return there again soon and finish the job.

The church is large and seems very tall especially as one approaches it from the bottom of the valley.  I didn’t have time to walk round the outside of the church or visit the grave of the Canadian poet and writer, Elizabeth Smart.

DSCN0060St Cross

Inside the church

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Sunlight entering through the clear windows

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A very attractive pulpit and the tiny staircase that used to climb up to the rood loft

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I like the little bracket on the wall above the reading desk.

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The altar with its painted reredos. The picture on the left is of St George.

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The pretty pipe-organ.

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The heater – a venerable one!

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A watcher from up in the roof.

DSCN0072St Cross

In this photo you can see where the face is. There are others elsewhere in the church.

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This person with the jolly face, long auburn hair and white shirt is up in the roof too.

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This carving round the door is in the porch.

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This is part of the wooden ceiling to the porch.

DSCN0077The Beck

This is The Beck flowing through St Cross.

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The road crosses The Beck by a bridge which I looked over to watch the water racing through underneath.

DSCN0108The Magpie in Harleston

The Magpie (or as it’s now known, the JD Young Hotel – so boring!) in Harleston.

We stopped off in Harleston on our way back home after taking Alice to the station on New Year’s Eve.  Harleston is a town on the north side of the River Waveney and in Norfolk.  The Waveney is the border between Suffolk and Norfolk.


This is another view of the town from the same spot – outside the bank where Richard was withdrawing some money. By the time I had taken this photo he had finished the transaction and had walked off, as you can see.

DSCN0110The Swan in Harleston

The Swan. Another of the inns in Harleston

DSCN0111Adnam's shop Harleston

The Adnam’s Shop, Harleston.

After we had finished our shopping we treated ourselves to a wander round this shop.  Adnam’s is a local brewery based in Southwold.  They brew many different types of beer and ale and recently have started to produce wines and spirits as well. They opened a very large store selling their beers and spirits and also cooking utensils, china and glassware in Southwold.  This shop in Harleston is a much smaller version of their main store.

DSCN0115Tunstall forest

Tunstall Forest

On New Year’s Day, Richard, Elinor and I went for a walk in Tunstall Forest.  The forest is managed by The Forestry Commission and is about 20 miles to the south of where we live.

One of my favourite books when I was a girl (and I still enjoy reading it now) was The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I was overjoyed to find that I was living near the Tunstall Forest of the book when I moved to Suffolk in 1988.  Surprisingly, this walk was the first time I had visited the place.

The day was very dull and the ground was muddy from the quantities of rain we had had recently.  It was difficult getting decent photos of the walk and there wasn’t much to see of special interest.  However, the walk in the fresh air and in good company was good in itself.

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The forest is predominantly Scots Pine and Corsican Pine used as a crop but since the Great Storm of 1987 when many of the trees were lost, it has been replanted with mixed woodland.

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The rides through the forest are wide and sandy and I look forward to returning here in the spring and summer.

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The Gorse was in flower and the bright yellow flowers were a welcome sight.

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I noticed this toadstool at the edge of the path.

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More fungi.

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Another view from our walk

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A fallen tree with its roots in the air.

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I was surprised to see these new Oak leaves

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New Honeysuckle leaves

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A fine tree next to the ride.

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Proof that I didn’t walk alone. Elinor in the foreground and Richard in the distance.

And now for my music choice.

Thanks for visiting!