Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

October 1st-15th 2010

Saturday 2nd October - Conservative Club, Apples and Geese

The summer vegetables are starting to tail off in both the garden and greenhouse, we had a small portion of the Pepper Spinach planted just under a month ago on Wednesday and both agreed it reminded us of Horta, a dish of wild greens we used to eat on our visits to Greece, I will cook the next picking Greek style, with olive oil and lemon squeezed over.

A general meeting was called at the Conservative Club in Overstrand for Wednesday evening to discuss a change in Trustees. A vote was taken, a unanimous decision to accept the Association of Conservative Clubs (ACC) as new Trustees. The ACC will be able to facilitate a loan for the Club for a number of improvements which it is hoped will attract new members and more visitors to the Club, which in turn will boost the Clubs income, enabling further updates in the future.

Wednesday 6th October - 3P's - Pansies, Parsnips and Potatoes

I always enjoy reading Martyn Davey’s gardening column in the Saturday editions of the Eastern Daily Press (EDP), I find his advice sound and well founded. I take on board his recommendation that now is the time to pull out the summer bedding plants in favour of planting bulbs, winter pansies, wallflowers etc. It does seem such a shame to pull out plants which are still flowering, providing colour in the garden but I have to agree they are no longer in their prime and of course planting pansies etc. now will give them time to develop a good root system before the colder weather sets in. With this in mind we drove up to Hungry Hill Nursery on Sunday morning and purchased an assortment of pansies, bellis perennis and wallflowers. On our return I pulled out the summer bedding in the front and planted the bulk of our purchases, I will wait just a little longer before replanting the pots, currently filled with geraniums and fuchsias and then start on the borders at the back.

Peter could not resist digging a parsnip on Sunday; we usually wait until after the first frosts which adds sweetness to this root vegetable but after last year’s disappointing crop curiosity won the day and out came the garden fork. This was more like it, a good sized root, long and free from canker damage; if the rest are like this we should have enough to last us through the winter. In 2009 Peter grew the variety Hollow Crown which produced a profusion of foliage but very little under the soil, the parsnips were small with poor flavour and texture, this year’s planting was Tender and True and old and trusty variety. No time wasted our first parsnip of 2010 was cooked in the evening, in the oven along with a rack of mutton and potatoes, delicious.

Our early potatoes have just about come to an end, there are some rather small ones left which I will probably cook for the chickens. Last week we bought a bag of the ‘great unwashed’ Maris Piper potatoes from the Groveland Farm Shop at Roughton, and I used some of these on Monday evening to cook a Greek themed meal; lamb cutlets marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and fresh chopped rosemary, together with spinach, my courgette fritters (previously mentioned and included under the Recipe tab) and Lemon Potatoes. I have included the recipe for the potatoes under the Recipe tab or you can access via the above link.

The Gardening Club came up trumps again on Tuesday afternoon, an excellent talk by guest speaker Janet Steep on ‘Backbone Gardening’. Photographs, taken of her garden in South Norfolk, illustrated the effects we can all achieve given space, time and patience. Self-taught, Janet impressed me with her in-depth knowledge of plants, trees, their preferred positioning and requirements, as well identifying their Latin names.

 After a dreary damp and dismal start to Wednesday and a morning spent on household chores, by lunch time the cloud was clearing and blue skies where approaching from the west, a complete change. No need to jump in the car, take a bus etc., the beach is just down the road and where better place for a peaceful afternoon stroll with Barney. How lucky we are to live in Overstrand.

Saturday 9th October - Parish Council Meeting, Herrings and The Barn

The Overstrand Parish Council meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 19.30 in the Parish Hall. These meetings are open to the public, with an opportunity provided during the meeting to speak, should you wish to do so. We have taken to regularly attending the meetings and find them both interesting and informative. A couple of items were of particular note this month; firstly the co-option of Kirstie Pearce to the position of Parish Councillor, a vacancy which became available following the resignation of Ralph West earlier this year and secondly, notification received from the District Council to the effect that planning permission to demolish part of a wall in The Londs, to facilitate vehicular access, has been approved.

Memories of October half-term holidays with our two sons came flooding back when shopping in Cromer on Thursday. Longshore Herrings are in season and on display in Davies’s fishmongers; we always used buy them during our weeks holiday, taking them back to the Cromer Country Club, where we stayed, to cook and eat along with a glass of Newcastle Brown beer. Such a flavoursome fish, floured and fried whole (heads off and gutted first), skin crisp on the outside, flesh succulent and sweet. Needless to say we bought some and thoroughly enjoyed them in the evening, along with the memories too!

On Friday morning we made our usual trip to Groveland Farm Shop to buy our meat for the following week. Currently they have a very good selection of apples from their orchards with an invitation to ‘try before you buy’, varieties include Spartan, Golden Delicious, Russet, Red Pippin, Discovery, Greensleeves, all the same price per pound/kilo enabling you to buy an assortment in one bag.

In the evening we went out to eat in the village in the recently renovated ‘Barn Restaurant’ at the White Horse. We were very impressed, a considerable amount of thought has been put into the interior design of both the restaurant and the new lounge area, a mix of styles and furnishings which come together to provide a convivial atmosphere, suited to couples or small parties dining, as well as for functions, such as weddings, birthdays, christenings etc. We enjoyed a well presented meal and I particularly liked our starter, Moroccan kebabs, served with Greek salad and a dip. Alternatively, we could have eaten from the bar or daily fish menu, either in the original restaurant or the bar area but on a busy Friday evening, the Barn would be our preference, with its separate menu offering a variety of speciality dishes, created by Chef Nathan Boon and his team.

Tuesday 12th October - Sun, Compost and Sadness

On occasions over the past week the Google internet weather report for this part of the coast has been totally incorrect, dull and overcast when it is not, stormy when it definitely is not! I can only assume that somewhere between the weather station and the web pages ‘lines’ were crossed. However, Sunday was spot on, unbroken sunshine, a glorious warm autumn day that drew people out for walks along the cliff tops and down along the beach. I could not resist taking more photographs, as we walked into Cromer to take advantage of the voucher printed in the Crab-Line. An excellent offer, two Sunday lunches for the price of one at the Red Lion Hotel, we both enjoyed Roast Beef with all the trimmings together with bitter and stout beers from the Humpty Dumpty brewery, selected from six local real ales. The new owners of the hotel are gradually making

Walking into Cromer

We have just about finished what is often termed as ‘putting the garden to bed’, just a couple of pots left to replant and a selection of bulbs to put in. Our grass had grown long and lush after the recent rains and it took a good two hours on Monday mowing, edging, raking and sweeping before it looked relatively tidy

St Peters & St Pauls, Cromer

We were deeply saddened to hear on Tuesday afternoon, of the death of village resident, Tim Hawksworth. Tim passed away in Norwich hospital on Monday night, he will be greatly missed. We often teamed up with Tim and his wife Brenda at the weekly quizzes at the Conservative Club, they were renowned for their combined wealth of general knowledge which they drew on not only for answering quiz questions but also for compiling quizzes, all without using that deep pool of information – the world wide web. Peter and I send our condolences to Brenda and Tim’s family, our thoughts are with them.

The Crescent, above the Gangway, Cromer

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