Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

September 1st-15th 2010

Saturday 4th September - Shoreline Management Plan (SMP)

During the course of this week volunteers have been busy distributing over 500 envelopes to the village electorate. The envelopes contained letters from both Mr. Eric Vickers, the Chairman of the Overstrand Parish Council and Mrs Joan Mapperley, the Clerk to the Council, as well as a form to complete, in support of rejecting the latest version of the SMP. Completed forms will be forwarded to our District Councillor, Mrs. Angie Fitch-Tillett, providing her with evidence that her village is fully behind the rejection of the SMP. Personally, I am dissatisfied with the provisions for our village within the SMP, as one of ‘managed realignment’ and not one of continued and additional provision of sea defences. Our village has much to offer and retain, in particular a number of unique and outstanding buildings, many the design of renowned architect Edwin Lutyens.

Tuesday 7th September - New Plants & Sloes

Saturday, after a visit to the Farmers Market at Aylsham to stock up on Mutton, we continued to Woodgate Nursery. Pots of Pepper Spinach caught Peter’s eye, we have not seen this vegetable before and purchased four pots as a trial, these were duly planted on Sunday along with a couple of flowering shrubs, alpines, as well as the plants from Friday’s trip out with the Gardening Club. I am always on the look-out for plants; we started our garden pretty well from scratch and continue to fill in gaps as well as replacing or moving others. It has been a new learning curve living here, previously we lived in a fairly windy location, on top of a ridge. Now in addition to stronger winds we also have to consider salt tolerance when purchasing plants. I think it will take a few years before I am finally satisfied with the garden layout.

The weather forecast for Monday was spot on, sun, windy and a warm 20°C in the morning, clouding over later in the afternoon, a good opportunity for a walk to Southrepps Common. We waited for the school run to finish before starting out, first day back today after a six week summer break. A shorter walk than first anticipated, taking one and a half hours mainly along quiet lanes, just a couple of footpaths, less than five cars passed us. If we had not decided to return on foot we could have caught the bus back to either Northrepps or Cromer or alternatively taken the train from Gunton Station to Cromer, both are located on Station Road. We opted for some light refreshment at the Suffield Arms before returning in the direction of Southrepps, stopping to pick a bag of sloes on our way. It was lunch-time when we arrived back in the village of Southrepps, an excellent opportunity to sample the hospitality at the Vernon Arms, before continuing home to Overstrand. Undeniably windy today, calmer than the August winds, but obviously strong enough to bring down two power cables adjacent to the public house. Inside, lights flickered from time to time, when we left part of the High Street had been cordoned off and EDF were eagerly anticipated.

Grilled chicken, courgette fritters, spinach and bread toasted before drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling over with dried oregano were on tonight’s menu. I marinated the chicken in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and finely chopped fresh rosemary for a couple of hours before grilling. Courgette Fritters are another recipe of mine, they have proven very popular when cooked for family and friends, there are rarely any left-overs! You can view my recipe by either clicking on the above link, or under the Recipe tab.

Themed evenings are back on Wednesday’s menu at the White Horse in our village, starting this week with Italian. Always a popular evening, Peter had booked a table in the restaurant in advance and we enjoyed a complementary platter of bread and olives with olive oil while we decided what to eat from the menu. In view of our earlier indulgence at lunch time, fish and chips, we chose just a main course, which we enjoyed with a bottle of wine, this was followed with a chat in the bar.

One of my chickens, Beckie a Cuckoo Maran, is going through the annual moult. The first signs were in mid- August when she started to lose feathers from around her neck and promptly stopped laying eggs. Since then everyday there have been feathers in the run and up in their house and nest box area, with a balding neck she is fast beginning to look like a vulture! Now I can see new feathers emerging through her skin and I have been making sure I provide some good protein titbits, such as cheese, to help promote the growth of her new plumage. To date no sign of Cate starting the moult, according to reference books this should start in August or September, being a novice chicken keeper I have no previous experience to draw on.

Tuesday 14th September - Rockstock and Warm Temperatures

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