Sometimes when you choose a holiday location and select accommodation you hit the right spot. When we spent a week in Norfolk in 2017 we did just this. We booked a barn conversion with its own little nature reserve in the middle of open farmland miles from any village or town.
Each morning as we got up we started the day by wandering around the meadow with a coffee mug in hand and camera over the shoulder. Each evening we repeated the exercise after our evening meal. Pure luxury! It brought back so many childhood memories for me.
The highlight was probably its wildflower meadow sat within the grounds. The meadow was full of such a wide variety of flowering plants and grasses, and hence full of wildlife, birds, bees, beetles, hoverflies, butterflies and moths. At night the birds were replaced by bats who hawked the surface of the meadow feeding on moths and night flying insects.
The meadow was a place of natural sights, sounds, movement and scent.
We ate outside as often as possible on a terrace overlooking a small lake surrounded by mature, native trees, Alder, Ash and Oak. These trees were favourite haunts of owls who entertained us with their calls as light faded each evening. We brought the sweetpeas back from Houghton Hall, where they grow in the walled garden and visitor are invited to use the scissors and string provided to pick and tie a bunch. The Lavender, a Dutch Lavender, in the pot we had bought from another garden we visited. It is now planted at home.
I decided it would be a challenge to paint the flowering meadow sat in the picnic bench in the very centre. So I set up my gear and had a go.
A beautiful calming time! The sounds of nature as a background makes painting so much easier, more flowing.
Here are my finished pieces.
And here it is framed and on daughter and son-in-law, Jo and Rob’s wall. The left hand pic shows it alongside my brother, Derrick’s pastel drawing of a magnolia.