Friday, 30 January 2015

Dredger at work

      Well, the Middle Level Commissioners said that they would be dredging the local river soon after the 'pollarding' and they have been as good as their word.
      The silt removed from the bed of the river is deposited on the bank and that will be a strip of fertile land this summer. It is in fact a vegetable patch where one of the retired farmers grows new potatoes, carrots, beetroot and peas for local consumption so we will be helping him eat them come summer-time.
      The digger operator, who has been doing the job all his life, was saying to me that at one time there would have been dozens of eels to put back in the river but in the two hundred yards he'd cleared so far he hadn't seen one. Clearly a sign of the times.
      Meanwhile I'm thinking that this is quite definitely the way to clear a weedy swim in the summer, a little bit more thorough than a rake-head on a rope.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The daily grind

      A trip into Cambridgeshire, me driving and the boss in the turret, to buy a supply of flour for bread-making. We were both looking forward to seeing the mill at Swaffham Prior in action but as luck, or bad luck, would have it there wasn't a breath of wind; not even the merest of zephyrs so the sails were totally stationary. The cross-ties up at the top of the mill were rather fine too, it can't be easy stabilising a circular building.
      Never mind we got the organic flour, all fifteen kilos of it, and the trip provided the chance for a sneaky pub lunch and a pint of fine ale. So at least that part of the plan worked.
      The adaption of tennis balls to stop you braining yourself in the cramped quarters of the mill's ground floor was a neat touch too.
      You see, the miller does think laterally not just vertically.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Sky on the widescreen

      An absolutely splendid dawn sky on a day when the iceman is rumoured to be returning to West Norfolk and Fenland.
      Although it's calm down here at ground level the clouds are being propelled along at a fair old lick by the south westerly wind and in the distance is a huge bank of cloud that looks like it is going to miss us completely. Somebody is going to get wet, or worse, further across and into Norfolk.
      Ah well, at this point just what can you do? Is it to be tea or coffee with the toast and the home-made marmalade?
      I'd prefer a full english breakfast please. Alright, I'll make it myself then.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The oldest in the village?

      Trundling through the village, me driving and the boss up in the chilly turret, when high up on an old cottage we see this little gem.
      The text and date are original, we were told, although I'm not so sure. They are incised in some sort of hard grey stone and at a later date the cuts have been stained in some way.
      Anyway who cares? They look smart and are a definite departure from the Victorian and Edwardian plaques that we normally see. We particularly like the the lintel of bricks above the plaque, somebody cared here.
      Smart, different and quite classy.

Monday, 26 January 2015

The pink chimney

      It sounds like the title of a Sherlock Holmes short story but in reality it's just an example of a bit of thrift in using up all those ends of masonry paint lurking in the shed.
      You never know though. Could it be a secret dead letterbox for some admiralty plans or where photographs of RAF Lakenheath are hidden, those taken with a long lens of course? Or could there be men in long leather coats with blonde hair and wire rimmed spectacles in residence? I hope they don't go up to repair the flaunching on the chimney in those long coats, no they wouldn't would they, they'd be far to worried about snipers.
      Watson, get the Bradshaw's Guide out, I think we could well be in Downham Market in just over two hours, and don't forget your service revolver.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Seagull cafeteria

      The big green and yellow John Deere tractor and plough have finished their job and departed the rich peaty field but the seagulls have homed in on a major feast.
      The photograph at the top shows only a small amount of seagulls that stretched from side to side right across the field.
      It must be hell down there in worm land with all those beaks searching the soil.
      How fast can you burrow worms?

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The back of the front

      The back of a front that has just passed over West Norfolk during the night and behind it are clear blue skies. More rain is forecast later in the day and even the chance of snow showers too, so after the iceman maybe we're going to get a visit from the snowman.
      One thing about living in the West Norfolk fenland is that with the great big dome of sky you can see all of the variations in weather conditions approaching and enjoy all the twists and turns of the clouds and sky above the landscape.
      Really you could call it the sky cinema.