Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday 23 April

What a weekend. I made the most of the nice Spring weather and got out on the bike twice. The first ride was on Friday night after work, up from B's home to the ski club, to be treated to a Japanese meal out afterwards - yummm! 15 miles in glorious sunshine (gloves still needed though) and a bit of a push at the end to get there before it was completely dark... oops.
On Saturday after a bit of housework in the morning I got on the bike after lunch. I had found a few nice bike rides in South Norfolk on the internet and decided to explore one around the river Waveney. I had to cycle to the starting point near Earsham first, adding a few miles to the overall distance, but it was such a nice day and it wasn't very far.

You can see here how blue the skies were! This is Alburgh Church, I love the top of the tower, it's just a little different from what you normally see.

A tree in the overgrown, neglected graveyard just bursting into leaf

Interior of the church with two different white balance settings. The bottom photo is the most true to life.

When you click on the photo to make it bigger, you can see the window is dedicated to a young man called Malcolm George Lohr. In the same village, there is a row of bungalows called Lohr Bungalows (I think) and when I cycled past, it did make me wonder why they were called that. Sad to think they were named after this man who lost his life so young.

A few more pictures of the interior. There is always so much to see in even the smallest country church, and I love the light that comes through stained glass windows.

Another name that comes back time and again in the village (another row of cottages named after this family). I couldn't quite work out all the family connections - the church has a leaflet with all the names of all the gravestones but even that didn't make it any clearer. What is clear though is that this family suffered several losses, be it through war or otherwise. Another sad story.

Time to leave the church behind and be on my way - I haven't even made it to the starting point of the cycle route yet. 

This is a house in Earsham, on the way to Bungay. I liked the way the extension was done. Wonder if that would be approved with today's strict planning regulations...

Almshouses in Bungay

Cycling out of Bungay on the way to Ditchingham, I stopped on a little iron bridge and noticed the colourful houses behind me. One of my favourite pictures of this ride.

Old mill buildings on the banks of the Waveney, and a very unusual house. When I saw the tower on the horizon, I assumed it was a church. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a private house.

Ellingham Mill, again now a private house.

The church at Ellingham. I like the photo of the window where you can partially see inside and partially see the reflection of the stonework. The house next door is presumably the rectory - quite a large house, obviously a well-to-do church! Unusually this church was locked.
Onwards towards Geldeston Locks, which marks the turning around point for my ride.

This was a lovely spot. You turn off the 'main road' in Geldeston, which is pretty small anyway, onto an unsurfaced track. You're surrounded by flat landscape, very marshlike, with no visible signs of human habitation - only there had been a sign for a pub down this track. After a mile or so you suddenly spot the pub right on the banks of the river. The garden was filled with happy pub customers having their first drink of the year outside. 
Apparently in the sixties the landlady of the pub used to live upstairs in the winter, as the river regularly burst its banks and presumably still so. B. knew about this pub and said they have their electricity by generator as they're too far out. In the first photo you can see where wherries used to dock (lower left corner).

I've cycled back along an old railway line, I've crossed the busy A143 and am now heading north and west back home. I like spotting unusual road names on my rides. Hollow Hill Road made me smile. The picture below that is All Hallow's in Ditchingham, now a Christian retreat but a school in the past - in fact, this is where B's sister went to school.

Ditchingham Church was a little jewel. In the description of my bike route it said that the church reflected how rich Ditchingham had been through farming. There were several Victorian 'improvements' (depending on your point of view - I like them as I think a building shouldn't be static but move with the times) and there was so much to see. The ceiling was amazing.

I took this photo because I thought the first name on the list was so unusual. Not something you'd see much these days.

The church exterior. I like church towers with a clock. I have been known to jump out of my skin if they chime just as I'm walking past them, as most of these are in such rural and quiet settings that you don't expect much noise.

And another unusual road name. I made a short detour here, wanting to see Hedenham Hall which is just up the road from Ditchingham - but it turned out I'd done a route there before. After trying and failing to find my way home on a little countrylane that started off in a westerly direction but turned out to be a dead-end, I spent another half hour riding along roads I knew would get me home. Fortunately the last bit was all with the wind in my back as my legs were beginning to let me know this was a longer ride than usual, but even I was surprised to find that I'd done 32 miles when I got back!
The following day was a day trip to London with 14yo (which deserves a blog post of its own) and we managed to walk 8 miles... I definitely did more than my fair share of exercise last weekend!