Hello, my name is Buster and I am a West Highland Terror, sorry Terrier! I live next door but one to David and Lyn and I am one of five dogs. I am the boss and as you can imagine, it is hard work trying to keep my tribe in order. Oh, I forgot to mention the three horses that are at home with us, but they are too big for me to worry about. I am getting on a bit now and I need my rest, so I often spend one day at the weekend on my own with David and Lyn, a sort of doggie respite care. It helps me get my energy levels back up in order to control my pack!
Recently I had a lovely surprise when I was invited by David and Lyn to spend a day with them on the North Norfolk coast, on a short, one night break at a pub they had found on that interwebby thing. My Mummy packed me a small travel bag with my food, bowls and my bed and handed me and it over to them for the journey. I was told that I had to be on my best behaviour otherwise I would not be invited again, so I sat quietly in the back of the car as we set off on our journey.
Eventually the car stopped at this village pub and we all got out. Whilst my human friends got their room sorted, I waited patiently because I knew I was soon to be taken for a walk. We eventually headed out up the lane and I was able to stretch my little legs and start sticking my nose into all manner of interesting smells in the grass verge. The road became a track, which became a path as we headed out onto the salt marsh. I have never seen anything like this before. Hard crusted sand and mud with loads of short tufted plants. David was carrying his camera and we finally stopped by a steep banked river (Stonemeal Creek) which flowed out into the sea. Whilst David took some pictures, I was glad of the rest as my little legs had worked very hard to get here.
Lyn and I on Warham Saltmarshes
Boat on Stonemeal Creek
I was tired and hungry when we got back. I was given my dinner and then Lyn and David took me and my bed downstairs into the restaurant and I lay quietly on my bed whilst they ate their food.
Left: Me on my bed in the bar; Right: David and Lyn enjoying a drink
Left: I love being made a fuss of; Right: Fast asleep
David was up very early the following morning to take some photographs of the sunrise at a beach near a place called Wells-Next-The Sea. He was up and gone before I had a chance to ask to go with him but Lyn took me out for lovely early morning walk before breakfast.
Meanwhile David was having a lovely time on the beach, the colours generated by the sunrise in a clear sky made for some lovely images. The beach was deserted save for one runner, and and the sea flat calm. It was delightful so he told us when he got back.
Top: Beach huts at sunrise; Centre: Sunrise in the Harbour; Bottom: Along the Harbour Wall – Wells
After breakfast we were back in the car. We ended up at place called Holkham Hall which was great fun for me as it is somewhere else I had never been. I was not allowed in the massive house, but then David and Lyn did not fancy that either. Instead we walked through the estate, alongside the lake and through the woods. I heard David tell Lyn that there is a large flock of Roe Deer on the estate. I had never seen deer before so it was very exciting for me. I wanted to chase after them but that is not allowed.
The Deer herd at Holkham Hall.
Me on alert with the Deer– Lyn is holding me back!
Left: Me and David; Right: The lake in the grounds of Holkham Hall
From there Lyn and David had coffee on a bench in the centre of Burnham Market. I heard David say this was the birth place of someone called Horatio Nelson. I had never heard of him but apparently he was a famous sailor and Admiral. As boats are definitely not my thing, I ignored them and pretended to sleep, but carefully watched for any dogs I could bark at!
We headed off to find a place for lunch. It was very warm and I needed another rest after my long walk at Holkham and being on dog watch at Burnham Market. We stopped at Great Walsingham and Lyn got my bed out again so I could lie down in the shade and eat my treat, whilst David and Lyn had lunch.
Sadly it was soon time to go home, but there was one more treat in store. Hundreds of years ago religious scholars established priories and places of study throughout England. The ruins of one of these is at Binham, a small village on our way home. Here we go, another walk! I am always up for a walk but the history means nothing to me, so I will leave that to David.
Binham Priory is a Benedictine monastery established by the Norman, Baron Peter des Valoines, on land given by Peter’s uncle, William the Conqueror (r.1066–87). The buildings were adapted and extended throughout the medieval period. Prior Richard de Parco (1227–44), one of Binham’s more diligent priors, was probably responsible for beginning the magnificent west front of the church.
Images of Binham Priory
The religious community at Binham was always small, with 14 monks at its peak in 1320, dropping to 11 in 1381 and just 6 in the 1530s. The priory suffered from a succession of unscrupulous and irresponsible priors who used and abused the monastery, leaving it in a parlous financial state. The priory was finally closed in 1539, on the orders of King Henry 8th, who ordered the dissolution of all monasteries. The site was handed to a local man, Sir Thomas Paston, a loyal servant of the King. He began a long process of demolition, the stone being re-used elsewhere in the area to build houses. The ruins and the 13th Century church are all of what what is preserved of the priory.
I had lovely time with Lyn and David, lots of fresh air and fuss all to myself. Once home I could not wait to tell my housemates about my trip. Refreshed, I could assume the role of “bossman.” Thank you David and Lyn, I hope I was well behaved enough to be able to go away again very soon. I can’t wait!