Saturday 21st December 2019 - The Last Post, Rain, Cliff Slumps and Festive Stones

This is my last post before Christmas, resuming later next week with, no doubt, photos of the Boxing Day Swim. We did the last food shop yesterday but having said that, I will probably need to buy some milk from the village store before Christmas Day.

Norfolk is a dry county, in that we don’t get the amounts of rain that fall in the west of the country. This year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the November and December are some of the wettest on record for Norfolk. It feels as though hardly a day has passed when we have not had rain. The car park on Pauls Lane has areas that are waterlogged, especially near the Deep History Coast Information Point. Yesterday was particularly wet and the ground squelched when I walked down to the greenhouse to prick out some onion seedlings. The Coastguards from Bacton have been on the beaches observing the cliffs and found an area near Vale Road, in Trimmingham, where part of the cliff has collapsed with soil and sludge flowing onto the beach. This year, we have been keeping an eye on the cliffs below the car park and the golf course. Recently there have been a number of small slips and today we noted a small one where Rob the fisherman usually leaves his boat. Fortunately he brought his boat up onto the Fishermen’s Green a few weeks ago. If he hadn’t have been shovelling waterlogged clay out of his boat before he could use it again. The slips which give most concern are not far from the end of the promenade; both of these are beneath the car park. Comparing photographs I took earlier this year to how it looks today, I can see there has been quite a bit of activity on one of these. The fence set back from the edge of the cliff, is now hanging on the edge and the grass on the top area has fallen. With our cliffs prone to rotational slumping, all this is only to be expected but I can’t help thinking the recent rains have accelerated the activity.

‘Well that’s it for another year’, a phrase people have been saying when referring to Christmas. All the build-up and then it’s all over, but then this is no different to other years. Since my last entry, a week ago, despite thinking we had finished all the shopping we had one final trip on Sunday into Cromer which was mainly to pick up a new vacuum cleaner, plus a few grocery extras. And no, the vacuum was not my Christmas present! Peter did a fair bit if research into cordless vacuums after I said, when my current cylinder gave up the ghost I would replace it with a cordless. My reason being, I have been so impressed with my current cordless which I use each day, but which doesn’t really have enough oomph for the weekly clean. Anyway, Peter identified a Which Best Buy which also had good ratings on the Argos website. He reserved the vaccum and this is what we went into Cromer to collect. I am totally impressed with it, excellent suction and no more dragging cables behind me. The one with less oomph has been consigned upstairs where it will fine for just the bedroom and ensuite.

On Christmas Eve, I lifted a 10lb joint of sirloin of beef with bone in, out of the depths of the chest freezer. We had purchased this from Whites the butchers in Aylsham towards the end of November, and it had been taking up quite a bit of room in the freezer. As a result we did not go to the Aylsham Farmer’s Market at the beginning of December to purchase a half leg of mutton and other cuts, as we usually do, quite simply because I did not have the headspace in the freezer. The sirloin defrosted overnight and I put it in the oven to cook on Christmas Day afternoon, so it would be ready for us to eat in the evening. Eating in the evening enabled us to take a walk on the beach and make the most of a beautiful sunny afternoon. The beef was tasty and tender; accompanied with local potatoes and sprouts, parsnips from Peter’s plot and not forgetting Yorkshire pudding. Thank goodness I had made sherry trifle instead of Christmas pudding. After a filling main course, the lighter alternative was far more acceptable.

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