Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

April 16th - 30th 2018

Tuesday 17th April 2018 – Sad News, Change in the Weather and The Strand Club

Unfortunately the guillemot found on the beach on Thursday did not survive. Underweight and weak it was thought it may have ingested some kind of ‘nasty’. As sad as this is, at least it was not left to the mercy of the gulls. It died in a safe place, free of stress.

With the warmer weather we are seeing changes in our garden. The daffodils are dying back but buds on the trees are breaking, Peter’s carrots, garlic and broad beans are growing and all the plants in the greenhouse are looking much happier than they did a week ago. Peter picked the last of the purple sprouting today before digging up the plants. Currently he is sowing radish seed and in the next couple of days the second tray of broad beans, brought on in the greenhouse, will be hardened off enough to go out on the plot.

We have sat out in our conservatory at dusk on a couple of evenings, watching the bats come out and fly across adjacent gardens. Over the past weeks, I have seen a couple of red admiral butterflies, out from hibernation and yesterday afternoon a small tortoiseshell graced our garden.

Saturday 21st April 2018 - Busy Days

It has been a busy few days, starting with Wednesday. In the morning I went with a fellow WI member to recce a walk in Erpingham. We could not have asked for a better day, with the sun shining we made our way from the village hall and over the nearby common, returning to the hall where each week there is a coffee morning. This was well attended but I was a little taken aback at the cost – £2.80 for a tea, coffee, slice of fruit cake and one of strawberry cheesecake! Now, that’s what I call value for money. We are looking forward to returning in May with a group of members.

Later, it was time to say our goodbyes at St Martin’s church to a neighbour who recently passed away. Back at her home members of her family and friends chatted and we were able to look at her photograph albums. Some of the photographs were taken many years ago, showing her as a glamorous young woman with a love of motorbikes. This was a reminder to us, just how we change over the years.

I was out again in the evening, this time to our monthly WI meeting. Eddie Anderson gave us a very interesting talk about the River Mun which runs through his land at Templewood. At one point the river opens up into a lake, excavated on the estate when it was owned by Lord and Lady Hoare. In recent years the lake has suffered during the warmer months from a build-up of algae. This has had a detrimental effect on local flora and fauna. It was discovered, the treated water from the Northrepps Sewage Plant which flows into the River Mun is rich in phosphates. It is these phosphates which have encouraged the algae growth. Thanks to a pilot project run by the Norfolk Rivers Trust, this problem has now been rectified. Three shallow lagoons were dug and then filled with aquatic plants. The first of these lagoons receives the treated water from the sewage works and then flows into the other two lagoons. As the water passes through the lagoons, the plants and silt trap the phosphates greatly reducing the amounts reaching the river and lake. The result: no algae (only in extreme circumstances) and a return of wildlife; notably a pair of breeding swans and an otter.

Wednesday 25th April 2018 - Shorter and Beach Clean

Readers will be pleased this entry will be a lot shorter than my last ramble! The weather is now the norm for April with temperatures between 13-15ºC and showers (some longer than others). The summer-like weather last week prematurely finished the hyacinths in the garden. We did manage to squeeze another BBQ in on Saturday, the curry I cooked on Friday went in the freezer and pork steaks and sausages came out to defrost for the evening. The radish and turnip seed Peter planted came up in a couple of days but we wait to see the foliage of the potatoes emerge above the soil. We have both spent time on our hands and knees, lifting daisies out of the back lawn.

Sunday 29th April 2018 - Terrible Weather, Beach Clean Cancelled and Next Book

This is my last entry for April and hopefully in May, I will be able to report some far better weather conditions than those we have experienced of late. Just over a week ago, we were lulled into thinking spring was definitely here so the wind, rain and drop in temperatures has come as something of a shock and according to the forecast; tomorrow will be worse! We have friends who in the next couple of days will be jetting off to sunnier climes. It’s tempting to do similar but I think we will sit it out and wait for some warmer conditions, rather than add to the air pollution. I don’t want to alienate people by banging on about aircraft pollution so I tend to keep my views to myself but I do wonder why the government is trying to reduce pollution by for example, moving away from petrol and diesel vehicles and limiting one use plastics, without doing something about addressing the volume of air traffic. You only have to look at the website www.flightradar24.com to see that our skies are literally littered with planes crossing back and forth. This is not intended as a criticism against those who choose to fly. We used to fly six times a year and no doubt would have continued to do so if we had not moved here, where we have adopted a less stressful lifestyle, away from an area that we were finding increasingly congested with both people and vehicles.

Due to the weather, we have not strayed far. Thursday afternoon Peter mowed the lawns which was a prudent move. Since then it has been impossible to get out in the garden to do anything, apart from looking to see if any more seeds or the potatoes have come up. On Friday we collected litter pickers etc. from NNDC’s offices ready for the Overstrand Beach Clean. Unfortunately this had to be cancelled due to the inclement conditions but when I have looked at the tide times and firmed up a date with our WI, it should go ahead in June. The morning was not a total wash-out; a group of volunteers retreated to the shelter and warmth of the Cliff Top Café for refreshments and a chat. New signs, showing the areas of beach where dogs are banned between 1st May and 30th September, were erected on Friday afternoon. These are much clearer than the previous signs and should make the restrictions a lot clearer for visitors to the village. As for the weather, as mentioned earlier it’s going to get worse, with stronger winds and more rain on its way. Seeing the fishing boats have been moved up to the corner of the zigzag is a sure sign we are in for a rough time.

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