Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

January 16th-31st 2011

Tuesday 18th January - Out in the Garden, the Skopelos Myth - What Have We Done?

The mild weather continued, providing us with an opportunity on Sunday morning to tidy the back garden. Buckets full of decaying foliage, weeds and shrub trimmings soon filled our brown bin to the brim and our bending and forking was rewarded with a tidy garden. A Carob tree, which I grew from seed bought back from Greece some years ago and transferred from its pot into the garden last year, is almost certainly dead, I fear a victim of the pre-Christmas cold spell. Others grown from Greek seed look well; the Musmula trees have just a few brown edged leaves and the Fig has new buds waiting to break open.

Monday morning after a promising start, it rained most of the day. We drove to Woodgate Nursery, on the outskirts of Aylsham, to buy seed potatoes plus onion sets and shallots. Of course there are plenty of local shops and garden centres which stock all these but the advantage of Woodgate’s, you can ‘pick and mix’. In other words you can pick as little or as many of a number of different varieties, according to your requirements. In addition to the aforementioned they also stock a selection of seasonal loose seeds, including those providing green manure. Despite the rain we took time to walk round the plant area, a red foliage Mahonia took my eye, such an exuberant colour to brighten up a winter garden but a tree would be more sensible, to replace the Carob. Fully aware they are slow growing and it may be some years before it starts to produce, we chose a Walnut. About two metres in height it fitted nicely in the car and after picking out our potatoes etc., plus a few packets of seeds we headed home.

Back home Peter did some research on the internet to find out more about Walnut trees, many interesting facts but one piece of information, though unsubstantiated, made us wonder. On the Greek Island of Skopelos there is a myth; whoever plants a Walnut tree will die when the tree grows tall enough to be within ‘sight’ of the sea – what have we done – living here, on the coast in Overstrand, at some point virtually all trees will have ‘sight’ of the sea!

Up Into the Boughs

Winter Skies through Bare Trees

Tuesday morning and yesterday’s rain was replaced with sun and clear blue skies. An excellent day for planting a tree. No, we did not toss a coin, to decide who did the planting, it was a joint effort and I do believe the Walnut is already in ‘sight’ of the sea - hopefully the Skopelos myth will not apply! As for the Carob, I replanted it in a corner, to give it a second chance, just in case it is not dead and revives in the spring.

Still on the subject of trees; bare branched at this time of the year, they do look so effective silhouetted against a clear blue winter sky. I could not resist taking another couple of photographs on our walk in the afternoon.

Tuesday 25th January - Dull Days, a New Role and a Clear Out

Since my last update on Friday the days have been grey and dull, interspersed with a few sunny periods, plus rain showers which on the whole have restricted themselves to the hours of darkness. So in all, though not the most inspiring of weather (well it is January); it has not impeded our walks with Barney and we have also been into Cromer, to the opticians. I managed to scratch a lens in my glasses whilst giving the cooker its post-Christmas clean. A bit of a costly affair as I sustained the damage just one day after the guarantee expired – hey ho!

The latest Crab-Line (see the Publications page under the Directories tab) has featured photographs of the various Boxing Day Swims in the locality and I am flattered that editor Philip Kendall has used an extract from my diary for 28th December, as the descriptor for the Overstrand photographs.

I have been asked to take on the Publicity role for Overstrand Evening W.I., which I have accepted. To start, I have written and submitted reports for January’s meeting to The Land & Strand, the Norfolk WI Gazette and North Norfolk News which I hope will be printed in all of these publications. In addition I have also sent a copy to Overstrand Online for inclusion under ‘Latest Village News’ as well a revised WI page for the site which incorporates our new logo and programme of events for 2011. Thanks here to the Editor of Overstrand Online who has updated for the 2011 programme and has kindly informed me; he is working on the other items.

The dull weather has provided an opportunity for a good clear out, I have tackled a large cupboard although I must admit I found little to ‘bin’. Our files are now up to date; any old papers have either been transferred to a storage box or are in a carrier awaiting burning in the garden incinerator. Having had an almighty great clear out before we moved here, necessitated by property downsizing and fuelled by an accumulation of clutter after living in the same house for thirty-two years; I am determined not to amass again. Peter always said the worst thing he did was to install a loft ladder, not only because I was then able to gain access and put my foot through the ceiling but also it was all too easy for me to keep adding items that might just come in handy – one day – which of course they never did.

So here we are the 25th January and Christmas Day seems such a long time ago and yet back on the 25th November it seemed almost upon us – strange. To conclude, Peter spotted a video on Youtube recording a seal on Overstrand beach. It was taken on a mobile phone in December 2010 and you can view this from my Links page, button titled ‘Seal Overstrand Beach’. I wonder if it was the same seal we used to see regularly from the beach last summer.

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