Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sheringham, East England

Wyona and I left for the east coast of England this morning, not a trip most people would choose.

Lurene is coming for three days and we are saving Hadrian's Wall and Wales so wse can do those trips with her.

But few people who have only a week or so to spend in England want to go as far east as is possible and dip their toes in the North Sea.

That is what was intriguing Wyona about moving east -- not getting her feet wet, but going where others might not go. 

The ticket seller at Cambridge said that she would recommend us ending up in Sheringham, a quaint English seaside town.

And that is where we headed after we had gone down to see King's College, Cambridge as well as Trinity College.

On the bus Wyona asked for directions on how to get to the college, and that is how we picked up our guide, John. 

He was an 81 year old man who said he would show her a sight few people have seen before -- a new gold clock install on the university campus, purportedly costing one million pounds.

When Wyona asked for directions, she thought she was asking an old couple who were sitting together on the bus, but the old woman seemed to be deaf and soon got up and left without the old man, which is when she surmised they were not together.

At any rate, John raced us through the streets of the campus, and took us back to the bus, and didn't leave until he had seen us safely on our way.

Wyona and I were the last people off of the train at the resort.

I wanted to see the sea.

She said we should follow the crowd who had also got off the train, as they walked up the hill. 

We were too far behind them, soon, and a man caught up to us, happily chatting to us, telling us about coming to the resort to meet his old friends from Birmingham for the day.

"Where are you going," he asked us.

"To the sea," said Wyona.

"Well," said he, "if you continue to walk that way, you are going to have to go all of the way to Wales on the west coast. The sea is always downhill and you are walking uphill.

That is why I took this picture for you. To show you that Wyona and I can change directions and find the sea, with a little coaching from the English.

I had a little more energy than she did by the time we got to the coast.

She sat in the square and watched the families having picnics and enjoying their children.

I set out with my camera to see if I could capture what it is people love about this seaside resort.

I went out of control today, taking pictures of people, since they were around us in their infinite variety.

I started when I saw a man in fabulous dreadlocks saying good bye to his girl friend at a country train station. 

We have stopped at many towns, picking up one or two passengers on a platform. 

This couple were outside my window, less than one yard away and before I knew it, I had my camera in my hand.

I didn't want to miss that image, for I would have expected it in the city, but not on the platform in a rural eastern district of London.

When the girl friend got on the train Wyona was poking me for another picture.

She had a lovely string of Japanese orgami birds, tied together as though they were on a kite string and they hung from the back of her dress and gently flew behind her.

I didn't catch her in that pose, but here she is later talking to someone and you can see the birds, now hanging down from the front of her dress.

By this time she was tired and had her shoes off, but you can still see the string of birds hanging down from her waist.

I hadn't walked more than a block down the streets of small coastal town of Shearingham, but I saw an older lady walking along the street.

I watch older ladies carefully, knowing that some day I will be one of them.

This one had on a heavy winter coat and hat, even though it was a sweltering in the 80's and everyone else had on a shorts and t-shirts, were lining up at the ice cream shops to cool themselves down with a cone or were sitting on the grass having picnics together.

She was alone.

She sat on a park bench and the heat must have been getting to her as well, for she gently peeled away on layer of her coat to give herself a chance to cool off with a little of the North Seat breeze that was whispering by us on the streets.

I caught some English folk dancers who were doing a round dance with a pipe and a drum as accompaniment.

I loved the hat this man was wearing, as well as the bells on his shoes, and the sticks in his hands that had ribbons flying from the ends of them.

"Oh, the English in the Midlands love this kind of dancing," Greg said when I was trying to explain to him what I had seen.

I told Wyona that by mid afternoon we were looking so tired, that I was not taking any pictures of us. Too cruel, I thought, to get us when we are at our tiredest. 

Wyona had just rearranged our luggage. 

But even after a long day on multiple trains and taking care of me every step of the way, she still looks good. 

I brought along my computer today, since yesterday we were on trains where everyone had their laptops plugged in.

Today the trains were downscaled and instead of riding first class, we rode with those who got cheaper tickets. If you buy a ticket but don't sit down, you get a cheaper rate.

As well, there was no air conditioning in the coaches, no complimentary snacks, and the train was only 2 coaches long. The windows were wide open to give us some breeze. The 2 seater sides were filled with families where there were 2 and 3 children on the laps of the parents, all in a festive mood, for the weather was beautiful and they were going down to the sea-side to enjoy the afternoon.

I liked this picture of the church. The service must have ended by the time I got there, for most of the town was at the Antique Motor Car and Bicycle Show down at the boardwalk.

I think it was the crayoned sign inviting people to church that I liked about the image: "The Fire of the Holy Spirit at Pentacost", done in crayon on the bottom right hand side of the picture.

Another lovely day on the train in Britain.


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