Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

July 16th - 31st 2011

Saturday 16th July - What happened to Summer, Your Local, New Mast and Clearing Paths

Dismal and cold (around 14°C during the day) with wind and rain; this was the weather on Wednesday and Thursday. A depressing couple of days but we should not complain, other parts of the country recently had bad weather while here on the coast we have basked in the sun. Strong winds came in from the North-East, not pleasant and then swung to the North-West, bad news for the weekly village Car Boot which appeared to be cancelled.

In our garden, protected by fencing and a windbreak, Peter’s runner beans on the main vegetable plot suffered little from the North-East winds, the others growing up an obelisk in the corner of the garden were also protected. However, when the winds came in from the North-West on Thursday, both areas took a battering. Fortunately no major damage, unlike last August, just a few leaves snapped off. I cut our first cucumber on Wednesday, these are growing in the greenhouse from seed bought back from our last visit to Greece two years ago; they are far superior in flavour and texture to those sold in the shops. Our tomatoes need another couple of days before they will be ready; I like to wait until they are fully ripened and flavoursome before picking. The raspberries have just about finished, providing half a cereal bowl full on Friday. The runner beans are fattening well and we will have our first picking for our dinner on Saturday.

Villagers will have received the White Horse’s quarterly newsletter, ‘Your Local’, through their letter boxes this week. ‘Overstrand Life’ is featured on the back page; an article written by myself, which I hope everyone has enjoyed reading. Sarah at The White Horse has asked me to continue writing a regular column for future editions and having introduced myself to readers I hope to include more from the diaries plus an insight into some forthcoming village events.

Friday morning and summer returned, warm, sunny with temperatures rising to 23°C, now this was more like it! Time spent in the garden with Peter picking the last of the broad beans, the plants were then consigned to the compost heap. Space was then available for the Purple Sprouting plants which have been sitting in a nursery bed getting bigger by the day and fast getting to a size when they may become too big to transplant. I tidied the flower borders and cleared away the straw, netting and runners from the strawberry plants. Beckie and Cate watched in anticipation but there were no strawberries left for them, they enjoyed some squashy raspberries instead. In the afternoon we walked up the footpath to the side of the allotments to Northrepps; stopping for a chat and refreshments at the Foundry Arms. Ian Kew (of Mr. Kews Pies fame) and his son Ben were delivering fresh supplies for the pub’s kitchen, providing us with the opportunity of telling him personally how we enjoyed his Old Fashioned Rabbit Pie, bought at Southrepps Farmers Market last Sunday. It was cloudy but still warm on our return to Overstrand, walking across the fields were the grass and wild flowers adjacent to the paths are now shoulder high in places. Barney thought this was great, with his small stature it was like running in a jungle. Following the removal of one of the radio masts off Madams Lane another is under construction and looks to be about the same size as the former. We are told that these masts, in conjunction with the radar at Hungry Hill, monitor civilian air traffic. I have searched the internet but have yet to find confirmation or any details.

Tuesday 19th July - Is this July? & a Meadow Walk

As usual; a full meeting at the Overstrand Evening W.I. this month. We have a volunteer member who will attend a meeting in August to discuss a village celebration to commemorate the Queens Jubilee in 2012. (This meeting is open to any resident who has ideas for the celebration or would like to get involved – further details are on the Calendar 2012 page, under the Directories tab). At the invitation of the Committee, I gave a presentation about Overstrand Life. Those who regularly read my Diaries will appreciate, in this situation; I am a bundle of nerves. I really shouldn’t worry, I was amongst friends and was able to explain why I set up the website, how it has evolved over the past 11 months, my plans for its future, as well as showing a few of my favourite photographs; depicting this stunning part of Norfolk. Strawberries and cream followed and the evening was rounded off with an auction of plants, jams, seeds and garden produce.

About a month ago two new paper banks were placed to the rear of the public toilets on the Pauls Lane car park. This week the old large paper bank was removed. There is no signage to inform residents of the new location; this can be seen from the car park but is not visible from Pauls Lane. A couple of weeks ago I emailed NNDC asking them to arrange the emptying of the dog bin on the car park; this was piled high with bags and was emptied by the afternoon. I also asked them if some form of signage could be put on either the litter or dog bins to let dog walkers know it is acceptable to place wrapped ‘dog poo’ in the litter bins. This week I see that ‘Dog Poo Fairy’ stickers have been put on a number of litter bins in the village. Whether this was a direct response to my email I don’t know but dog walkers now have formal confirmation to use the litter bins.

Following a sunny day on Tuesday this week, we are now back to clouds, rain showers and winds. Once again this gives rise to the question – Is this July? Having said that, the weather on Friday afternoon was quite pleasant and we walked up to Northrepps with Barney in the early evening, to eat at The Foundry Arms. The chef at the Foundry presents a varied reasonably priced menu, plus there are daily specials displayed on the board in the restaurant. Understandably, dogs are not allowed in the restaurant but are most welcome in the bar area where food is also served.

Tuesday 26th July - Made In Overstrand, Finding Beauty, Red Kite and Gardening Club Photo Shoot

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