Today, we spent a lovely day celebrating my youngest sister Vivien's birthday! Vivien and Ray are spending the weekend in Holt, so we arranged to meet for 1pm lunch in The Three Swallows pub at Cley. I picked Lucy up, then my mother and headed to Cley via Fakenham. We stopped at the Ernest Dow shop in Fakenham, so my mother could buy some wellingtons – a long ongoing saga, as we can't find any that fit her! This was a complete waste of time, as she still couldn't find a pair to fit her properly and this only resulted in her showing me up in the shop with her frustration and disbelief that wellingtons are not manufactured for ladies with wider feet (swollen), much to Lucy's amusement! You would have thought that there would have been some big enough for her in a shop like Ernest Dow, but there wasn't! I now give up on the wellingtons.
We arrived in Cley and had a wonderful lunch in the Three Swallows – shortly after we arrived, all the tables were taken and it was packed out. I was very upset to see an RIP poster up on the wall for the glorious big ginger tom cat called ASBO who used be in the pub – he died in October 2016. This charismatic cat was known to have a bit a temper and would strike out at people sometimes I was told, but I never had an issue with this lovely cat, who was always happy for me to make a fuss of him – he obviously had his favourites! The only thing I was not impressed with today, was the amount of dogs in the pub, had I known how many were going to be in an area I was eating in, I wouldn't have taken my family there, but to be fair they were mostly well behaved – but I don't really like smelling the doggy smell whilst I am eating! But as Vivien remarked, so many people have dogs nowadays, that if pubs were not dog friendly they would lose a lot of trade.
We then headed for Salthouse to walk off some of the lunch, but Lucy and Mother refused to get out of the car as it was 'too cold', so I left them sitting in the car with blankets etc, whilst Vivien, Ray and I went for a short walk to Gramborough Hill. Just at the end of Beach Road there were five Turnstones on the shingle, who seemed unperturbed by our close presence. We saw a Stonechat in the first main bramble bush and then bumped into John Furse who had seen nothing here but a Robin, which we also saw in the main bushes below the hill. There were tons of Pink-footed Geese flying over and a good number in the field close by. We walked to the top of the hill to view the sea – Vivien and Ray had not been here before and really enjoyed this little walk I think. A Meadow Pipit flew from the wooden seat by the gorse, but nothing else of note.
Back at the car, Lucy excitedly told us that she had watched a Kingfisher sitting on the fence wire! I couldn't believe she had seen that! I can't ever recall seeing a Kingfisher here myself. She saw it dive into the water to catch a fish and then disappear. We should have stayed in the car! We then headed to Cley Visitor Centre, but discovered we were too late as it closes at 4pm – I forgot about the new winter closing time. Vivien opened her presents from us and then we departed. Vivien and Ray went to their B&B in Holt and I drove along the coast road to Holme, where Lucy and I spent the evening with mother. I felt exhausted from all the driving. Took Lucy back to King's Lynn and then I collapsed on the sofa back at my house.