Norfolk Explorations

Day 2 in Reedham dawns sunny and warm yet again. The Europeans express amazement and delight; the Australians say “Oh? This is special?” and put a coat in the car just in case …………….. we’ve heard about British ‘warm’ days!

The 4 of us squeeze into Kerstin’s 2-door Nissan something-or-other (small) and set off on a journey of exploration through the Norfolk countryside. We pass through impossibly narrow country lanes with hedgerows on either side, where meeting an oncoming car is an excitement in itself. There are subtle ‘lay-bys’ where you squish yourself up against the hedge so the other car can gingerly edge past (some not so gingerly, which makes me glad I’m sitting on the hedge side).

The countryside is agrarian. Sugar beet crops look somewhat wilted at first, as the Reedham area is suffering from a drought; it hasn’t rained for 10 days. They perk up as we get closer to the coast and look lush and green. There is a huge sugar-beet factory not far from Reedham.

Wheat crops are being harvested. Bale after bale of wheaten hay lies ready for collection and depositing into huge, really, really enormous, haystacks. Winter feed? That’s what Robert says.

norfolkA pheasant casually strolls across the road and ducks into the hedge. Classic Dutch-type windmills hove into view. We pass whole villages of adorable houses with THATCHED rooves. We stop and photograph them. We pass canals – we are after all on the Norfolk Broads – with picturesque boats moored all along the sides.

Across fields of wheat you can see the masts of sailing boats, a most incongruous sight.

We wind through a spider’s web of roads, Kerstin pulling over to take over the map of which Rolf has charge, but is not alert enough to keep track of which part of the spider’s web we are currently negotiating. The villages are no more than 5km apart, each vying for quaintness, thatched rooves, delicious Tudor-style pubs with voluptuous baskets of colourful flowers hanging all along the fronts.

©jane grieve

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