Village Sign

Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

May 16th - 31st 2019

Saturday 18th May 2019 – Swifts, Killing Birds and a Bit about Nature

We are both still in the grips of this cold and cough, picked up for goodness knows where, but we are definitely making progress. At last I am not reaching for a hanky or tissue every few minutes. The best place to be, has been outside in the fresh air which helps keep our airways clear.

After hearing reports that they had arrived in Norfolk, I was looking forward to seeing swifts returning to the village. This week, while indoors, I heard their distinctive squeal as they flew overhead and a few days later, while out with Barney, we saw them soaring in the skies – an absolute delight. On the subject of birds, I was disgusted when I read a report Peter found on the internet about birds being sucked out of the trees during olive harvesting. The reports quotes, Portugal where as many as 100 roosting birds have been sucked out of trees in a night and Andalusia where 2.6 million birds have been killed each year during the harvest period. There would not be a problem if the olives were harvested during the day, when the birds would be flying about and not roosting, but because the cooler night-time temperatures are said to help preserve the olives’ aromatic flavours, harvesting during the hours of darkness has been favoured. On the positive side, Andalusian officials have recommended stopping night-time harvests but no such action has been taken in France, Italy and Portugal. There was no mention of Greece who are also an olive producing nation. On our visits, mainly to the islands, olives were harvested the traditionally labour intensive way but of course things could have changed since we were last there, eleven years ago. The report is just another instance that leaves me thinking, what are the human race about?

Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – Palm Oil

Thursday 30th May 2019 – Overstrand Together Fund Distribution and Car Boot Sale

Not a particularly good turnout for the Overstrand Together Open Meeting, in the Parish Hall, on Tuesday evening. This was probably the most important meeting of the group’s year, where villagers are able to vote on the funding applications. Those present, were mostly representing the village groups who had applied for funds but not all of those groups had anyone in attendance. This year, there was approximately £8,500 available, comprising of the remaining balance from 2017/18’s funds, plus the amount raised during 2018/19. All the applications were approved enabling the following projects to go ahead:

The Strand Club - £300 to purchase crocus bulbs to supplement the daffodils already planted along the verges through the village.
Gardening Club - £300 for plant replacement, gravel and grass treatment for the Village Sign Garden.
Overstrand Cricket Club - £945 to purchase a shed to house their new field mower.
Millenium Group - £1,000 to go towards insurance cover, grass cutting and surface repairs on the Children’s Playground.
The Belfry Centre for Music and Arts - £2,182.50 was awarded to enable the Centre to replace the second hand, now dilapidated, chairs they purchased when the Centre was set up three years ago, with seventy five new ones.
Friends of the Belfry School – the Beach School and Gardening Club, will receive £573.50 to purchase 30 children’s waterproof suits for outdoor studies, plus top soil and a selection of plants and seeds for their garden.
The Sports Club - £2067.60 will be put towards, subject to the Clubs Committee’s approval, the purchase of two new 6m x 6m marquees. These will enable Overstrand Together to provide cover for stalls already booked for their Summer Fair. The marquees will also be available for community use.
Bowls Club - £1400 was granted towards providing changing facilities for visiting teams, who currently have to share the existing amenities.

This morning we went to the Car Boot Sale on the Sports Field. This was the second of this year’s season and both were very well supported by sellers. There was a good variety of goods for sale ranging from cakes, fruit and vegetables, garden equipment, general household items, tools, toys and plants etc. Last week we purchased a couple of garden perennials and artichoke plants, plus a decorative basket which I have planted up with some of the geraniums I have grown from seed. About twenty five years ago, I purchased an echiveria from a small independent nursery where we used to live. It, or rather shoots from it, have overwintered in our greenhouse and continued to bloom each year. However, over last winter the woodlice did their worst and I lost all the rosettes. At this week’s sale I was delighted to see a stall selling single echiverias. Needless to say I purchased one and although only small it is throwing up two flower stalks. Fingers crossed the woodlice don’t destroy it next winter.

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