Celebrating the arrival of Spring…


By way of an introduction to this post, which is celebrating some welcome good weather here is a video recording of Spring from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”. 

If you enjoy classical music you might like to visit young singer and Royal College of Music student Charlotte Hoather’s website by clicking here.


Since the epic storms I wrote about a while back, the weather has been gradually improving. Within the last few weeks I have been able to leave the flat without a coat, and then yesterday I switched the heating off. Today, for the first time in 2017, I am making use of my outside space:


Also today, although they have been in evidence for a few days now, I managed to photograph some butterflies, again for the first time of the year.

This was the first one I captured.


The fourth and best of the four butterfly pictures I was able to get today.

Where did I locate these little beauties? All within walking distance of my little town centre flat – two near Hardings Pits and two near Bawsey Drain, gained during…


It being bright, sunny and reasonably warm I set off on a walk just after 10, and was out for over two hours in total. Here are some of the non-butterfly related pictures I took while out and about.

The first seven pictures in this set are not actually from the very beginning of the walk – it has been a long while since I saw this many cormorants on what I call “Cormorant Platform”


This buoy is not in its regular position – there is only one seal living in the Great Ouse, and no sand to be found. Norfolk does have one big seal colony, at Blakeney Point, which although part of the mainland is accessible only by boat – there is no road link as it is quite rightly a fiercely protected area.



Monday Magpies

A little observation test to start the new week.


Taking my cue from the folks at whyevolutionistrue I offer you this teaser: how many magpies can you see in the following picture, taken yesterday at Harding’s Pits?


This one is not especially difficult, and I will reveal the answer in my next post…

A Sunny Morning in West Norfolk

An account, complete with a fine haul of photos, of a walk around King’s Lynn. This is followed by some important links and some interesting infographics. Please share widely.


Being up bright and early this morning and noting the sunny weather I headed off for a walk. The body of this post is devoted to sharing the best sights from that walk. After that I have some links and infographics to share. I hope you enjoy this post and will be encouraged to share it.


My first ports of call were…


These places looked very fine in the sun. The extensive restoration work on the chapel is now nearly complete.

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From there I headed to…


This is a far more significant waterway than that name may suggest, and was rewarded with a clutch of fine pictures in that section of the walk…

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Watching and waiting in the undergrowth...
Watching and waiting in the undergrowth…

I left Bawsey drain part way along it’s length to head towards the Great Ouse by means of a nice route that I know, but I am briefly going to diverge from strict geographical recounting for a subsection on…


The butterflies were out in force, but it is always difficult to photograph them due to their speed. Nevertheless, I did get some good pics to share…


This was the last butterfly  I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the last butterfly I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
The only non-animal flyer I got today - a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
The only non-animal flyer I got today – a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
This one had its wings folded.
This one had its wings folded.


Just a few pics here, but it was a delight to see the river at very high tide…

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My next set of pictures are themed around a small but (to me) very significant little landmark which I have dubbed…


The very high tide meant that most of the structure was submerged, and the presence of boats and the river and West Lynn Church on the far bank also contributed to a great set of pictures…

A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
The platform and a boat.
The platform and a boat.


The church contributing to the scene.
The church contributing to the scene.

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Two cormorants took wing in my direction.
Two cormorants took wing in my direction.

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Not all of the boats i saw on the river were there for leisure purposes – there was also a…


Four pics showing the boat and website details…

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From here all that was left was…


The pictures I took in these final few minutes are very varied…

One last boat pic.
One last boat pic.
The Custom House.
The Custom House.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.

We have reached the end of my walk, but I do hope some of you stay for the…


I have a shed load of important links to share, starting with some on…


My first link comes courtesy of Huffington Post and features Richard Dawkins giving Idaho huntress Sabrina Corgatelli the full treatment.

My next three links are part of a developing story involving airlines stopping the idiots from getting their “trophies” home…

  1. First to step up to the plate by refusing to carry such items were Delta.
  2. Who have already been joined by American Airlines and United.
  3. On change.org a petition is taking off to get South African Airways to impose a like ban.

Although it was a universally revered lion whose demise sparked this activity they are not the only species targeted by noxious individuals, and my next link is to a take part petition on behalf of the elephant.

Finally in this subsection, from Mark Avery comes a story about hen harriers which was written in response to a piece in the Telegraph that was shockingly inaccurate even by the “standards” of that detestable rag.


Just a few links in this subsection. First up, a brilliant scheme from Norway to combat climate change (unlike the “I’m all right Jack” types who currently form the British government these people can see beyond their own immediate concerns). I am also classing as science these two connected links regarding London postcodes:

1)From londonist an interesting post about why London which has compass point themed postcodes beginning with E, SE,SW,W,NW and N has no S or NE postcodes.

2)The website of the author of the above piece, mapping modernity.

Finally in this section, a quirky piece about science facts, accompanied by a graphic. courtesy of viralands – there are 22 facts in total in this piece.

Scientific Facts


A few links in this section, which i shall present as a bulleted list:


I mentioned this yesterday, and the story has moved on since then. My source today is Socialist Worker with a piece giving great detail, including the fact that the museum which got planning permission on false pretences did not open yesterday as planned – let us hope that in it’s current incarnation as a musuem dedicated to Jack the Ripper it never does open its doors. here are the two links:

  1. The Socialist Worker article.
  2. The 38degrees petition


A final bulleted lists of links that did not belong anywhere above but which I wish to share:


A few infographics to round things off…

Earth Age End the Great Housing Giveaway IDS

There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.
There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.

Social Exclusion Map Stop benefit sanctions

A King’s Lynn Walk

An account of a walk in an around King’s Lynn.

This walk started and finished at my compact town centre flat, and with frequent photography stops occupied two and a quarter hours.

I was on my way down the stairs that take me to street level when I took my first pic of the day, the top of the Clifton House Tower…


From there I crossed the Baker Lane Car Park, took the bridge over the upper Purfleet and headed for the lower Purfleet and the Custom House…


Just in shot above you can see part of the statue of Captain Vancouver…


Where the lower Purfleet joins the Great Ouse is a glass sculpture…


The next point of interest is the new jetty on the Great Ouse, not in use at the moment in deep midwinter…


Hot on the heels of this comes Marriott’s Warehouse, which required two shots to do it justice…

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Next up was the carcass of the old Somerfeld and Thomas building…


After crossing the lower Millfleet on the bridge that has a high water mark from December 2013 the next site was the remains of Boal Quay…


A few minutes later came the meeting of the Nar and Ouse, and the structure I have dubbed ‘Cormorant Platform’. Sadly none of the birds in question were there today, but still the picture is a fine one…


My next port of call was Hardings Pits…

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Crossing the Nar as I headed towards the next stage of the walk I got this picture…


Next, as I headed towards the parkland areas came one of King’s Lynn’s most distinctive landmarks, the South Gate…


From here I walked along London Road as far as the light controlled crossing, crossed and headed through Terrace Court and an alleyway to the Seven Sisters entrance to the parkland area…


As I headed towards Guanock Gate and the Vancouver Garden I got a sight of The Walks, home to King’s Lynn Town FC (only two more promotions needed to gain league status)…


The Guanock Gate came next, closely followed by a shot of the Red Mount Chapel looking along the upper Millfleet…

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Next came the Vancouver Garden, which I entered via one bridge and left via the other (these are the only two means of getting in or out unless you fancy a dip in open water – definitely not recommended in an English January! This area is always worth a good few photographs, and so it proved once again…

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A few minutes after this I arrived at Tennyson Road, and two more interesting things, the educational fence, a sample fo which I photographed and the King’s Lynn signal box…

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From there until Lynn Sport, a few minutes later, there is nothing of great significance, though for the first part of that distance the path runs between two academies for those interested in such things. Lynn Sport has some interesting stuff outside it, notable the brickwork bus and the ornate mile post. It also boasts an elaborate weathercock…

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Shortly after this comes the first glimpse of Bawsey Drain, which I was going to follow all the way back to town, but I started with a shot looking the other way…


The walk along Bawsey Drain did yield a few interesting (for me at least) shots, reproduced below, the large number of flying birds as approached the town end of it being particularly impressive…

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Getting a good shot of St Nicholas Chapel is a challenge because you need to be far enough away to get it all in. Also, it is undergoing repairs/ renovations at the moment. I was pleased with this one…


From St Nic’s it was on to the Tuesday Market Place, where as well as getting a full shot of the Corn Market I also noticed a glass sculpture on the same lines as the one where the lower Purfleet meets the Great Ouse…

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Finally, I delayed my return home just sufficiently to get some shots of the Guildhall (8 in total) and King’s Lynn Minster…

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I enjoyed doing this walk, and enhancing my photo collection.

Heritage Open Day 8: The South Gate – a Medieval TARDIS

After thoroughly enjoying myself learning about fisheries research I headed along the Great Ouse as far as Hardings Pits, through Hardings Pits to ultimately join the main road just beyond the South Gate – not the quickest, but the most scenic route, and well within the compass of Shanks’ Pony.

Obviously, living where I do, I have seen this building from the outside some thousands of times, but I had never previously been inside it. I was amazed at just how much is contained within the building – perhaps liking it to the TARDIS in this regard is excessive but not unduly so.

The ground and first floors merely contained artefacts relating to the building and some display boards, but the top floor, which spanned the width of entire building also had scale models, a very old painting, and some brass rubbing plates (I could not get a shot of these latter as they were in use throughout).

This building opens between 12 and 3PM Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the summer months and I recommend if you in west Norfolk in summertime that you pay it a call.

Look out for my next post, about the Red Mount Chapel and enjoy these photos from the medieval TARDIS….

The Southgate approaching the town
This external view reveals a handsome old gateway but gives no clue as to how much there is inside (hence the title of this post)

Farewell to the South Gate ??????????

This lantern was in a niche.
This lantern was in a niche.


Iron roof supports joining together in the middle
Iron roof supports joining together in the middle
I thought this brickwork pattern deserved close attention.
I thought this brickwork pattern deserved close attention.

Chest Niches ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? Old iron Fireplace Old painting Second Floor info board ?????????? ?????????? Renovation Scale Model 2 Scale Model

See what I mean about the top floor?!
See what I mean about the top floor?!
An interesting round window.
An interesting round window.

Table The first floor Fireplace Description board The ground floor from the entrance