Tuesday 28 April 2020

One swallow, so summer on hold

I found my first swallow at last yesterday, right where I thought it might be. Hawking round the expanse of water as dusk fell, skimming the roof of the charabanc. Just the one though. Two prehistoric creatures also flapped in slowly, alighting in the marginal cover and adopoting the old man stalk, then stiffening into strike mode. I could make out an ever larger shape behind. A common crane or a large branch catching the dying light? It didn't move and wasn't in company so probably a common branch. 

Should the swallow's mates arrive, along with the screaming swifts scything through the sky then summer will have come after all. Should we be eased a little out of lockdown, and providing the touted age limits fall right then perhaps the pond will still hold a few jewels come or soon after the glorious 16th. Still that awful guano on the drooping willow and a few carp cruisng but the gin clear water revealed no ravening hordes. No Alan Sugar gyroscope in the Dabbling Duck beer garden either. That first pint won't touch the sides, nor the lined up next one.

A bit futher down the road on my essential journey the trusty Sat Nav voice alerted me to a forgotten Norfolkcestershire treasure.

Dread to think what it will have done to the grass but the Little 'Uns love the pool. We are not on a meter thankfully and the filter unit is working well. Today is the first time in a fortnight they haven't been in. Mainly because it has rained all day. It needed too.

Look, no twigs.

Sunday had been warm enough for a meatfeast, but a bit hollow without the extended tribe in attendance. Might have to get the Engineer to knock up Mark III to cope with the fatted calves and the vegan equivalent when they can return prodigally from various corners of this Sceptred Isle. Even if  it is in December.  

The spuds will have been lifted for sure. Yet to break through.

It's a rum old do as they say round these parts.

Saturday 25 April 2020

It must be a Thursday

Thursday seems to be my out day at the moment, and yet again I could hear the keyworker clapping in the distance. No cuckoo though or skimming swallows or martins which is what had drawn me to this sheet of water, a ponded section of canal, a rare thing indeed in Norfolkcestershire. It's the North Washam and Dilham Canal, slowly being restored. The feed mill is now broken into des res accomodation,  the frontage catches all the evening sundown and the rear would catch this backglow behind what is locally known as Ebridge Mills. I guess they get the sun up for breakfast.

The main event the front line dwellers feast on, and probably feast too of an evening. I would.

Thousands of person hours are going into restoring the lock gates, and once lockdown loosens enough the boat trips will start again. 


Fishing is free in the traditional season, with rudd, perch and bream mostly. Pike rules are rather restrictive.Like most pike rules these days, either stuck in a hazy past or  in a new fangled fashion not science led lash up. Speaking of which, how will we get those UV rays inside or clean them lungs with that bleach Donald? Now that we know the anti malarials might kill people without malaria. I'm keeping off the tonic anyway. Ice and fresh squeezed lime juice is what a gin needs.

Friday 17 April 2020

Pillar of the community.

Out over the felds, shying away from the community clapping I made it as far as the small pond before the chilling evening air sent me homewards  with an amazing scene playing out across  the big Norfolk sky.  Some believe in a green flash as the sun slips away, others more prosaically tell is what we see is a mirage of  a sun that has already set. So, this sun pillar may have happened already.

The potatoes have yet to break through. 

The pond walls are too steep for exploring Little'Uns  but we have a lockdown realignment now as the time you spend exercising must significantly exceed the time getting there so we may be able to fnd  a safer bet nearby.

Toodle pip

Monday 13 April 2020


Speaking of Castle Acre.. just managed to download a bit of local colour before it came off I Player. An Eagles coach in the intro.

Mostly proper Narfulk accents, a Space Oddity Dereham boy Goob and Hannah S Club 7 Spearritt. The derelict A47 Necton Diner (now a Costa Drive thru') and the nearby Swaffham Race Track. Norfolk Noir and often bleak Fenland scenes (Deffo Marshland St James redneck hicks from the sticks, especially the Billy Gibbons character ) which do stand out from the slightly undulating (relatively speaking) Brecks shots.

Naploeon Dynamite it's not. And I guess not many migrant field workers once we emerge from this Covid-19 shite storm into a reccession ravaged Brexit world. Welcome to the world of the gangmasters.

Friday 10 April 2020

Out. Ony a bit about.

Footpath restored. Just right for the Little Uns who haven't left Bureboy Villa's since their schools closed. They've been ever so good bless them. Thank goodness we have a garden. The Commander in Chief has only been out twice, for about an hour in total.

Not a lot of blood in our supermoon on Wednesday but the sun slipped behind the pavillion like a Jaffa.

Ventured a little way up the road on the verge for this one tonight

I have had to make a couple of work forays  (a blessed relief from the tedium of working from home) and I hope what I did made  a difference. Stopped very briefly, a breeze through the car window, agricutural machinery, our and Uncle Sam's finest tearing up the skies and a mewing buzzard.
That's Castle Acre that is.

Monday 6 April 2020

Hedging my bets.

I have 4 decent length hedges  round the back of Bureboy Villas that were in need of a quarantine trim. I don't mind doing them but I do have a tendancy to fall off the ladder and either slice the power cable or on one horrible occasion my left arm. Thankfully it wasn't the chain saw and the teeth jammed  when they neared the bone. A very, very lucky escape.

However on Monday up hedge one I did knock out and loose a spectacle lens (luckily again for my next to useless right eye).  Lockdown precautions observed, the Optician took rather a lot of dollar to send off to Hungary for replacement glasses. Getting used to my lop sided temporary view of the world.

No dramas for hedge two and three on a glorious spring Saturday. This is a wild cherry plum hedge that really needs to be taken back to its main trunks, stripped out of the holly and be lowered a couple of feet.

Not an option when even the quarantine trimmings pose a major dispsoal conondrum with no access to the dump atpresent and no prospect of incinerating them. Takes a while to reduce the butchered remains to 2 or three inch sections with secateurs..

Friday 3 April 2020


Haven't been taking my state sanctiond exercise for a variety of reasons but the lengthening evenings, and the prospect of a 2 hour musical  on the telebox in poor quality courtesy of You Tube sent me scurrying for my sturdy shoes and escaping the grounds of Bureboy Villas for the first time for a while to a chorus of chinking blackbirds.

Up to the water towers and then that big Norfolk sky opening up in front of me, with the Serengetti treeline.

Way barred by freshly drilled and banked potatoes.  The protesting feet already marking out the right of way. That big Norfolk sky almost devoid of contrails. Strange times indeed.