The first village I went through after Ranworth was Woodbastwick (the second 'w' is silent) and as I passed the village green I noticed the sign on the opposite side of the road so I stopped there to photograph it and have a brief look round the church. It was a lovely old building, quiet and peaceful and with very colourful stained glass windows which were worth getting a couple of shots of.
My next stop was at Coltishall where I took the dogs for a wander along the riverside green; my previous visit there a couple of years ago had been blighted by cloud so I'd hoped this time would be different but unfortunately it wasn't, though I did manage a handful of shots. The village sign, when I found it, was a very plain wrought iron one in green and white and against a background of leafy tree branches it didn't show up too well so wasn't really worth taking a photo of.
From Coltishall I went via the B roads to North Walsham then took the A roads to Sheringham where I intended to make use of my NT membership and have a look round Sheringham Park, a large estate of 1,000 acres which included woodland, grazing land, parkland and cliff top. It would have been possible to spend several hours in there, and had it been earlier in the season when all the rhododendrons and azaleas were in full bloom I may very well have done as there would be lots of opportunities to get some lovely photos, however I just stayed on the main path and walked until I could see that Sugar was getting tired then turned and retraced my route back to the car park, stopping at the cafe for coffee and cake on the way.
As I was returning to the van I got chatting to a young woman who was walking her own dog and during our conversation about pets she mentioned that there had been a fire at a dogs home which was actually only about twelve miles from my own home and which I've been to several times in the past in my work with rescue dogs. As I don't watch tv news or read the morning papers I knew nothing about this but I wanted to find out - the young woman said if I went to the library I could use the internet there for free so from Sheringham Park I drove into Sheringham itself, found a convenient town centre Tesco where I could park for free and found the library nearby. I had to make myself a member but that meant I could use the facilities in any Norfolk library, which may very well come in handy in the future.
With my membership number and password sorted I logged onto the internet and found what I wanted - and as I followed several different links it didn't make very good reading. The blaze, which was a deliberate arson attack, had only happened the previous night - it had completely destroyed one wing of the building and as many as sixty dogs had lost their lives. I felt shocked and saddened that someone could do something like that, and my eyes filled with tears as I thought about all those poor innocent dogs trapped in the blaze. But in the face of adversity there was hope and help - a fund raising campaign had been started by a local newspaper and hundreds of people were donating bedding, food, collars and leads etc, offering homes to the dogs which had been rescued from the blaze and help to rebuild and clean the shelter. I was too far away to offer any immediate help but as I walked out of the library I knew that as soon as I got home from my holiday the following week I would be contacting the dogs home to see how I could assist.
Back at the van I put Sophie and Sugar on their leads and to lighten my mood, even though they'd already had a good walk, I took them walkabout along the promenade and through the cliff top gardens, then on my way back to the car park I stopped at the Funky Mackerel Cafe for my second coffee of the afternoon, though this time I didn't have any cake.
My final stop was at Cromer, just a few miles along the coast from Sheringham, but I'd spent so long in Sheringham library that by the time I got there much of the beach and promenade were in the shade - and if I was looking for any colour in the promenade gardens I was destined to be disappointed as there were hardly any flowers to be seen. So with just half an hour on the car park ticket I left the dogs in the van and went for a very quick walk which got me just half a dozen photos.
Leaving Cromer and heading back south I decided to take the coast road which would take me as far as Walcott before heading inland to Stalham. The first village I passed through was Overstrand but as a previous visit had shown me there was absolutely nothing there I only stopped briefly to photograph the sign, then with a final stop to photograph the Mundesley sign I continued the drive back to California with no further interruptions.
After an evening spent with a bit of tv and a bit of my book I took the dogs for their pre-bedtime walk round the site, closed the blind over the front window of the tent, and settled in for the night. It had been a funny old day somehow, and reading the news about the dogs home had really saddened me, but on a lighter note I'd got some good photos while I'd been out, I'd been to somewhere I hadn't visited before, and my tent was holding up well in the continuing wind, so it wasn't all bad.