Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 15, 2017

Waffling On

Today, our last full day  was beautiful and sunny.  Kjell needed to visit his friend who has been living with cancer  for 30 years and had some bad news yesterday.  We walked down into town with Gerdur and tried to visit  the local museum. Tried was the operative word  as it was closed and so was the glass works.  Everything seems to have closed now the children are back at school. I did call into the woolshop though to discuss a pattern but I have done very well reading it and had it correct. The lady was impressed with my ability  to read Norweigan but I said it’s because I know how to knit.

Still we had a lovely walk in the park  and along the river. Autumn colours are showing here too.

Eventually, we arrived at Lake Mosja  and the ferry was closed too.

We walked back into town and had wonderful icecream at a chocolate shop. We had apple pie ice cream that tasted exactly of said pie. Wish I could bring some home.

Then we walked back up the hill, passing the emptied swimming pool –  it too has been drained for winter but it was rather hot in the sun this afternoon.

Gerdur had bought fish for our evening meal and then she made waffles with more ice cream and home made red currant sauce. Yummy.

We could never have imagined 11 years ago , that a chance meeting on a campsite would have resulted in a lasting friendship.  Thank you our friends.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 15, 2017

Across the Mountains

We were out being driven across the mountains today and we were really lucky to have good weather for a change.  I took lots of photographs  so please forgive me if there are too many.

We set of from Gjovik  and headed westward up to Fargernes and we made a lot of stops for looking at nature in its splendid early autumn beauty.  On the way we stopped at Holjarast  to view some ancient rock carvings.  These have been coloured with red paint but the notice said this will not continue as they believe it contributes to further deterioration of the images.


Then we turned northward across the high mountains.  This year the snow has not disappeared  because  it has been unusually cool. The autumn colours are beautiful up there .

We even saw some bilberries still growing there  above the treeline.


It was cool up there and I was glad we hadn’t had to cycle up here. This was across the Valedres area and we has our first cake stop so Kjell could have his coffee.


As we descended  and lost height , the countryside became more green and less yellow/orange .  On one of the stops  , we met a Germany couple and I was pleased to have a chat with them. The lady was a supreme that I could speak to her in her own language.

We stopped at Lemonsjoen and had our main meal. It was really a nice place and I enjoyed sea trout while DHL had chicken and chips. My meal was very Norweigan.


After this we headed back to the 257 which then joins the E6 which is a toll road. Just before  that we stopped  at this pair of old churches  – all wooden.

There was also a Commonwealth war grave  for a young man killed in 1940. Private  Fletcher was with the Sherwood Forest regiment.

The E6 is a toll road  and we asked about how it was charged and the car is tagged and a bill is sent once a month. We drove back through Lillehamer but it was  almost 8.00 pm when we got back to Gjovik.


Forgot to mention that in the restaurant  ,there were quilts hanging on the walls but I will just show one.

Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 13, 2017

Museum Visiting

Today we drove north from Gjovik  and crossed Lake Mosja and drove across to Elverum  about an hours drive sober could visit a national nature museum, the Skog museum.

If you don’t like to see stuffed animals please don’t read any further.


There was every variety of wild life on display and I know this has become  politically incorrect in the UK but this is a different culture and mindset.


In addition to animals and birds , there was all about the development of knives and how they are made.



There was also some interesting  carvings and we decided this piece was not all done from the same block of wood.


The individual pieces couldn’t be moved though.

I liked the installation that tried to show the development of cells and this lighted tree.


The museum has a nice cafe where we had  a lunch. Mostly it was older people in there but also what appeared to be a work group. I don’t miss those days and prefer to be self employed rather than have to follow company rules.

There were also some nice statues of local wild life.


After this we drove to another couple of places,  a sports centre and another museum but both were closed.  The sports centre looks like an upside down viking boat  that holds a large ice rink but it won’t open again until October . I couldn’t take photos  of it as I couldn’t get far enough away.


We did stop near the lake on the Hammer side and then went along to Brumunddall where it was another  stop for cake! ! The lady who served us came to chat when she had finished her shift. I admired her cardigan and we chatted knitting for a short while.


I don’t think I would have felt so sleepy if I had been cycling but at least today we didn’t get soaked on the rain.

These were a few of the other things that caught my eye- bicycle flower displays and interesting manhole covers.



Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 12, 2017

Norway Visit

Eleven years ago , we were cycling through Norway on the North Sea Cycle Route and had the very good fortune to meet Kjell, who had just started on the same route and thus began a friendship that we have maintained over the years

He invited us to stay and do after a bit of a stressful flight we arrived late on Saturday.  Unfortunately,  the weather isn’t playing fair, but we are having a lovely time.

On Sunday,  we were invited to a large family gathering for the confirmation if his great nephew. It was a lovely occasion and lots of the people  were in national costume.

These buna , which is what these are called are very traditional  and we’re made by hand over 50 years ago by this lady’said mother and she made them for all 4 of her daughters. They are often passed down in families  from one generation to the next. I was saying to Mary that her buna was different. She told me that she has passed hers on to her grand daughter and she had a “fantasy buna ” made by a designer from Trondheim.  The apron part in lighter lavender colour was handprinted.  She told me it is much lighter to wear and not as heavy as the traditional woollen buna. Mary us on the left and her daughter is on the right in her traditional costume.

There was a dinner after to which we were kindly invited. We had a chance to mix with a lot of family and friends .This was held in what we would call a church hall next to the church in which our friends were married 50 years ago.

Sunday lived up to its name and was sunny  but Monday was very rainy. We had a walk down into Gjovik to have cake and a drink. It was interesting to see some of the  street furniture that they have.

I also went and bought some super wash wool and a pattern for a new jacket.  I will hopefully complete this over the next few months.  We also met a friend of Kjell too and he enjoyed his time to talk English with us.

We also went into a supermarket and it was interesting to compare what is on the shelves and the prices were about double English prices.

Tuesday has also been rainy and we walked up hills to see Kjell’s brother who is renovating a house to move into. Then we walked further uphill to a coffee shop but we were disappointed as it was closed , so no cake.   The view from there house will be beautiful.

The rain became very heavy and as we walked back it eased off and we were glad to be back to have cake and hot chocolate at home.

I will say here that I am picking up on some of the language and have decided that I can get the accent for Norway much more easily than for Holland.   The  successful  has just made an appearance.  Woo hoo.  Let’s hope it stays a while,



Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 3, 2017

No Cycling

Unfortunately, I had to go to visit a doctor as the cystitis developed into a full blown Urinary Tract Infection – UTI – and I was prescribed an antibiotic. I am feeling a lot better but still not up to cycling so sorry , no bike talk for now.

I did go to a quilt show though and this was the winning triptych. I did wonder if there should have been another though. Still it was beautifully done.

This one really caught my eye as it looks like circles but on closer inspection, it isnt.


P1000771 It is all straight sided piecing but the quilting gives the illusion of circles. Very clever and I love the spread of colour that makes your eyes go all over it.


I realised I love the brighter coloured quilts and this one caught my eye. I wouldn’t make one like this as I am not into applique very much but love the individual motifs .


It was nice to see a traditional Durham Strippy which is   what used to be made in the North Country. I once attended a workshop with Dorothy Osler  who was a wonderful maker of this type of quilt. I quickly realised it wasn’t for me but I can still appreciate those who make them.

This 2nd place quilt was also a stunner and I love the applique and quilting.


The colours are so bright and parrot-like and I love the quilting tooP1000789


The final quilt to catch my eye was on one of the stalls selling machine embroidery software. I don’t have such a machine but I love the sentiment of this one.


There was no cycling for me but DH came down with me and put his folder in the car and then once in Harrogate , he headed off across to Ripley to try out part of the Nidderdale Greenway before cycling back to our home in the Boro. Unfortunately, his tech stuff wasn’t working all the time but we know it must have been between 60-65 miles. He said cycling on the A61 wasn’t nice but then if I had been with him , he wouldn’t have been on that road anyway . Hopefully a bit of cycling soon but then off to Norway next weekend.


Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 30, 2017

Wonderful Northumberland part 4

We knew we would have  a longer  day so we were up at first light and packed and away by 7.30am after me cooking eggs again. Just the thing to set me up.

It was a little cool and overcast at first but we soon warmed up enough to have to take long sleeved tops off. We followed NCN1 along towards Craster and along to Howick passing the Howick Hall and then through Longhoughton and down to Boulmer.

As you can see from the photos the wind had increased in strength, unfortunately into our faces. Fortunately, there is an open public convenience here and this was the first of many visits on the ride home.

We rode along through Alnmouth and then on the track to Amble we met and older woman running with her dog. She told us this was her last long run before she runs the Great North Run in September 10th. She was doing really well. Just shows us oldies can still do things. The views above Alnmouth are really lovely.

Once in Amble I was desperate for the loo again and a café owner kindly let me use their facilities, all the public conveniences being shuttered and locked . I know there are financial constraints but surely on a bank holiday Monday, they want to encourage tourism? Why not open the public loos?

So it was off again and past the Commonwealth Graves cemetery  and along to Low Hauxley and then retraced the way to Druridge Bay  and Cresswell. Again, desperate for the loo. I realised that this was the start of cystitis, a condition I haven’t had in well over 30 years. Still, I wasn’t about to give up , so an ice cream and a loo break and off again.

I began drinking lots of water as I knew to keep the condition worsening, I needed to keep the kidneys flushing through.  Near Cambois  , the sun was shining and we had a bite to eat and carried on. We passed a lad having a can  outside a house. He called over to us as he also cycles. Would I be brave enough to ask to use the loo? Yes and he kindly agreed. Shall we say , it was a lad’s house and not even his. He told us it was his mate’s house. I think the alcohol had loosened his tongue a bit as he wanted to talk even more but we needed to get on. He did suggest getting some cranberry juice so we managed to buy some in Blyth.

I knew where our next stop would be – Ridley park in Blyth and we stopped there again. It was even more crowded than on Friday and the ice cream seller was doing a roaring trade with families out for the day.

Riding down to Seaton Sluice, the track was packed with families out for the day and the going was slow. Again , more shuttered public conveniences. Surely , it wasn’t only me who might need to go?  It was even more crowded as we got to Whitley Bay and there were some road works too so it was on to the road for part of the way.

I was never so relieved to get back to my cousin’s home.  We packed the car and drove home having completed another 52.4 miles.

As a note I was able to get some medication from the local pharmacy yesterday and after the second dose I began to feel a little better. Today, when I am writing I am feeling a lot better than yesterday.

So the total trip was 172 miles


Mileage YTD 2548.5 miles.







Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 29, 2017

Wonderful Northumberland part 3

I got my Georgie friend  (Shaun Dixon) to make me breakfast early. DH didn’t want any so I had scrambled eggs on toast. This is my preferred riding  first breakfast and I seem to do better on it. As for DH , he had a biscuit. We met another cyclist from Teesside who had come up to cycle the Great North Cycle ride which was starting in Seahouses and ending in Tynemouth. I got his  key to pass on to Shaun as he left by 6.30am. Hope he got a good time .


We got away by 7.30 am and it was so easy to cross the A1 as it was quiet. Our destination for the day was Dunstan Hill, south of Embleton so it was going to be our shortest day. We decided to follow the NCN1 route, so it was a climb back up through the Fenwick Wood route. As we crossed the A1 , I noticed it was also signed as the Sandstone way as well as the NCN1. We were on the road but the Sandstone way is largely a mountain bike route. So we retraced our route through Detchant and Belford and chose to ride the B1342 down to warren Mill and along the road past the beautiful Budle Bay.

I noticed that I was having difficulty with my gears and determined that the click box had somehow stopped functioning and it was stuck in what would have been the smallest front chain ring – if it had one.

When we got back into Bamburgh, we stopped and DH examined the problem. The internal hub gear is not something he has encountered before and so I suggested looking on youtube. Its amazing what you can find on a little phone. We got a video up and even though it was only 1.30mins long, it enabled him to get it sorted. I have to say , he is a very clever man when it comes to puzzling things out. Me, I need a set of written instructions.

So, I was firing on all gears and was riding well. From Bamburgh, we took the inland route towards Seahouses but didn’t go into the town but rather turned in North Sunderland and up thoughWest Fleetham, crossing the railway line at Chathill and down to Christon Bank. It is only writing up this account that I realise , I had the start of cystitis, as I was desperate  for the loo but couldn’t find one.

So when we got into Embelton, I went into a hotel and relieved myself. This is uusual for me but I didn’t think of it at the time. We spoke to a “posh” Geordie  here , who was unloading his ebike  from his car. He said he had waited until he was 70 to get one but it has kept he and his wife riding. He is still working in London and in Europe so by his accent I took him for lawyer or a business man. Still he admired our bicycles too and was interested in the gearing system. He told us that he keeps a Brompton folder in London.


From Embelton we followed the off road part of NCN1 along the coast route on a bridle track. This meant we got a good view of Dunstanburgh Castle. We could also see yachts sailing by.

However, this  costal route misses the campsite so we had to turn back along the road to the site. It was pleasant to be greeted with such enthusiasm by the site managers and we were given a pitch with no problem. This is one of the reasons we have remained club members for more than a quarter of a century.

We met a lovely younger couple who we cycling and camping all the way from their home in Bedford up to Edinburgh. We spent a lovely hour chatting with them and the woman said she had tent envy seeing how much  headroom  we have and yet can still cyclecamp with it. Made me feel good to tell her we made it ourselves and explained the evolution of it.

miles cycled 28.7


Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 29, 2017

Wonderful Northumberland part 2

This was the day that didn’t go quite to plan but we enjoyed it anyway.

We took the coast road along through  Seahouses and then along to Bamburgh with its famous castle.  You also get a good view of the Farne Islands lying off shore.

In Bamburgh we turned on to the B1341 and went inland and up to the Outchester Duckett.  It is 65 feet high tower and was possibly built as a dovecot. Now it has been restored and is a holiday home for rent.




On my old map it is listed as a windmill  but apparently it never was but the information did say that the name Outchester may be a Roman name.

We were surprised to see these beauties in the field.  Are they bison?

There is a bit of climbing from here up through Belford and Detchant and then a nice run down into through Fenwick and then across the A1 near Beal. We were lucky that it wasn’t too busy and we got across and down to Beal. We spotted a new campsite here and then there is a gate and a path down to the coast. For the first time I have cycled here , the crossing over the causeway  was open  at a suitable time to go across and back. I have wanted to ride over to Lindisfarne for some years and today I did it under a glorious sun.

You have to look up the tide times and many people have become unstuck and had to get into the safety box while the water engulfs their car.


Unfortunately, the whole island was awash with tourists and this wasn’t good for me with my sensitivity induced spasmodic dysphonia so we kept to the less occupied spaces.  We discovered the Lindisfarne  garden. I cant remember its name but it was tucked away in a little street near the Lindisfarne gospel experience.

It was awash with colour and bees and wooden carvings and was really peaceful so I had to take plenty of photos .

We also went into a United Reform church that seemed to have been altered but there was a beautiful stained glass window and some textile work.

I loved this box – Letters for the Minister.

We saw a chap running across the causeway and he said he was going to collect the car for his party.

Another couple took a photo of us coming back across.


Once  back on the mainland, we followed a rough track across the dunes to Goswick. That’s when things went wrong. I had looked up the campsite on Campsites UK but while it is still listed there is a line that says closed in 2012. Duh!

We didn’t want to go further north and  local couple out walking suggested we went to the Barn at Beal campsite . We did not have a good reception there and they would not entertain accepting us for the night. They said they were fully booked for the weekend but even though I pointed out unoccupied pitches there was no way they would help. Their loss though as we would have  eaten in the restaurant too.

So we filled our water bottles and decided to find a wild camp for the night. Riding back up to the A1 I spotted a tent and a motorhome at the back of a building. We decided to ask if we could camp. Yes of course as long as you buy breakfast. This was said by the Geordie lad who helps his wife run Eat and sleep Lindisfarne. It turns out they have a bunk house so at £20 a bunk, we got a room for the night with use of a well stocked kitchen and a smashing bathroom with a real bath and a shower over it. We used the bathroom and the kitchen so it was well worth it.

miles ridden 33.9



Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 29, 2017

Wonderful Northumberland part 1

Well, this past weekend was a Bank Holiday here in England and as I haven’t been up to Northumberland this year. We chose to drive up to my cousin’s home in North Shields and took our folding cycles and the trailer and packed lightly for the 4 days.

We were very lucky to have had very good weather with just a couple of short daylight showers. So after getting the cycles loaded up, we said our goodbyes and left the car on P and D’s driveway. Fortunately, they don’t like going out on Bank holidays . The roads tend to be chocked anyway , which is why we like to be cycling then .

So we cycled down to the promenade in  Tynemouth and picked up  NCN 1 and cycled along with the wind on our backs. We did make a slight detour (heehee) down on to the promenade in Cullercoates cue to me remembering about cycling along the lower prom. Not here though, further along in Whitley Bay. We stayed on the top level along to St Mary’s Island where I stopped to take a couple of photos.

The route here is on an unpaved surface but is very enjoyable riding through a nature reserve. After this comes Seaton Sluice but I didn’t take any photos of this beautiful little harbour. More off road riding through the dunes, is my DH’s favourite part of the route as it undulates along. He couldn’t go quite as fast as he would have liked due to pulling the trailer – or was it because he didn’t want to leave me behind?

We had our first stop in Ridley Park in Blyth. It was warm and sunny and families were making good use of the water feature.



As is common to cycle routes, the way went through industrial areas but then along the river where we saw a man picking something in the mud. I could not see what but expect that it was some sort of shell fish – winkles – maybe.

Further along the river Blyth is crossed and then near North Seaton, busy roads have to be crossed, one side at a time. My concern was the trailer slightly overhanging the available space but the flag does alert drivers so DH wasn’t concerned.  At the first of these crossings , we saw a couple of people putting out bright yellow signs for the Great North Cycle ride which was taking place on the Sunday.

After Bedlington Station, you need to be careful, as the signage isnt too good and passing through Sleekburn you go under the A189 but have to get up onto the bridge and the signage has gone. Fortunately , I remembered this bit from previous times I have ridden this route.

The route here is pretty good along the A189 , on a separate paved way . It is well wooded too so makes a nice nature corridor. There is also a museum to the coal industry that used to thrive here, Woodhorn , which was a colliery when I was a child.

Passing by the old aluminium smelter works, you enter Lynemouth and then Cresswell. Here there is a lovely homemade ice cream shop, so we stopped and had 2nd breakfast and then an ice cream too.  There were lots of what I believe were swifts darting about from the bus shelter , were they appear to have nested and raised a brood. I managed to get this photo so perhaps someone can confirm if they are swifts.

P1000703 (1)


Off again we entered Druridge Bay nature reserve. This is along an old road for part of the way both  ends but the middle part is across dunes and the path is reasonably well paved. The old road hasn’t faired so well though and it is fairly potholed. Once in Low Hauxley, the proper road is joined and rises past some cottages and on along to Amble.

Coquet Island can be seen off the coast here but I don’t seem to have taken a photo of the lighthouse.  Not too long after, the road  goes in to Warkworth, whose skylight is dominated by the castle. When we first road this route , well over a decade ago, the way climbed up into the hills, now there is a great path along the roadside, separated by a hedge. This goes all the way into Alnmouth and then continues down to Boulmer where the RAF , at the moment still has a camp. There are two routes here, one along the coast on a rough track to Howick but we chose to ride up to Longhoughton and along the road to Embleton. There was a bit of traffic here, but not too bad. We chose to keep diverted from the official route on the B1339 to Swinhoe where we turned left onto the B1340 and down into Beadnall.  It is much bigger than it used to be and apparently there are plans to increase it more. Here is a view from inside the tent. That is our little Helinox table  covered in stuff.


Miles  cycled 57



Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 29, 2017

Short Week

Only 3 days cycling to report on for now. I have been working on another small quilt depicting a scene from another Outer Hebridean  scene from my friend Mike.


I also managed to get a couple of bird photos when cycling along the river. This heron reminds me of Mr Grumpy that Tootlepedal often sees over in the west of the country.


There was another heron slightly further down river  too.P1000693



So for the week I got in 39.7 miles making 2376.5 miles

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