The cabin in the woods…and other things

Susan Mac Nicol
Susan Mac Nicol 5 Min Read

My family and I decided we deserved a weekend away all together, including the pooch. I found this amazing place in Holt, in Norfolk, which looked tailor made for us. No, that’s not two bald-headed coots sitting on the deck, having flown in from parts unknown – that’s my husband Gary and son Jason LOL. My daughter Ashley was with us too, and of course, Blu, the family pet.

The cabin was beautiful, tucked away in the Weybourne Forest and was everything you’d imagine it to be. We did some walking, some sightseeing, played Trivial Pursuit (I won all the games heh heh, go me) and it was relaxing and invigorating at the same time.

We took some time to visit old friends of ours who’d opened a gin distillery in Wymondham, not too far away from where stayed. Shaun and Lindi Hancke are friends from the old South African days; Shaun and I used to work together in the motor industry. 

OKV 2They call their gin distillery Oakvilla, and the couple have already won three awards for their wonderful Vryheid gin blend. Vryheid is ‘Freedom’ in Afrikaans, which is Shaun and Lindi’s birth language. I’d heartily recommend you look at their website and taste their gin because it is unique and as tasty as hell. I had a glass or two and bought a bottle home with me.

We sat out in their beautiful wooded garden had a ‘braai’ (what we Saffers call a BBQ) and caught up on everything we’d missed about each other in the last few years. You know what it’s like; you have all good intentions of seeing each other and visiting but somehow, it doesn’t always work out until you make that concerted effort to meet up.

It was fascinating to learn all about the distilling business and with the passion these two people put into their business, I know it will be successful.  The equipment is something else, and this is the monster like a big kettle that is at the heart of their business. Please visit their website and read all about their journey into becoming gin distillers and see the wonderful products on offer. 


While we were in Norfolk, we couldn’t miss the chance to go to the beach, and take the dog. The English ocean is cold, but bracing, the beaches pebbled and rough but there’s nothing like that sea air to get the little grey cells clearing. We were fortunate to have wonderful sunny weather so we could spend as much time as possible outdoors.

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As with all things, there are some downsides to going away. On the way home, we got a flat tyre, and had to pull into the local friendly garage to have it replaced. Everything needed to be unpacked from the boot so we could get to the spare wheel and the tools, and once we’d done that, we looked like a bunch of homeless people settling outside the shop…. An unexpected expense later, and we were once again winging our way home. The kids were moaning about having to go back to their respective homes and ‘adult’ again and I knew exactly how they felt. 

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All things considered, we had a fabulous time, seeing new parts of the English countryside, meeting old friends and enjoying the fresh air of the outdoors.

If you’re interested in staying at these cabins, then here’s a link to see what they offer.

I can recommend it as a happy place to spend some quality family time.

And now, it’s back to the grindstone, having to do some adulting and bring home the bacon. Sigh. They say nothing good ever lasts forever….

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Susan writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary gay romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark, and others just plain ahhhh. She loves being part of ‘stuff’ and embraces challenges, finding it difficult to say no to exciting ventures. That’s probably why she’s loves being Editor in Chief at Divine Magazine, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and a Charity Board trustee at The Being Me Campaign in London The LGBTQI community and world diversity are the two things she’s truly passionate about, apart from her writing and her poor hard done by, eye rolling but incredibly supportive family. She’s passionate about research for her books and has stayed in a circus, taken lessons from a blind person on how it feels to be non-sighted, and travelled to a lighthouse with maintenance crew to see first-hand what it’s like inside. She’s also written a screen play with Hollywood actor and heart-throb Nicholas Downs, with a view to taking her latest release, Sight Unseen, to the big screen. It’s a huge project but she’s loving every minute. Susan attained PAN status with the Romance Writers of America with her first M/M book, Stripped Bare. She’s currently a member of The Society of Authors in the UK and the Authors Guild in the US. She enjoys being a member of Queer Romance Ink, All Author, Book + Main Bites and the Paranormal Romance Guild. Check out her website for links.