Well we are some 6 weeks into our Norfolk life and I have to admit that for the first couple of weeks I hated the area and everything about it – I felt dreadfully homesick – I have lived in Nottingham for 40+ years, so this was a move away from my comfort zone and an effect on me and my mood that I hadn’t (possibly naively) expected. I did miss family and friends dreadfully; although I do speak to Olivia every week and my friend and ex work colleague Fran has kept in touch every week. Bless her!
Martin has been less effected by the move but has been empathetic to my feelings, saying that we could move on or back if I wanted to. That was a lovely gesture but I really knew we had to give this a chance.
We had thought that Norfolk was reported to have a good climate and some of the best weather in the UK, wrong!! It rained almost everyday for those first weeks and this didn’t help our feelings of isolation.
One highlight in that time was to see our friend Lesley, who was having a few days in Great Yarmouth with her daughter and grandsons. We met up with her and had a good catch up and I think that seeing her saved my sanity at that time. Thank you Lesley!
Luckily we have good moorings and Steve who owns the boatyard and the pontoon we are on is a really lovely man and has been a great help to us. He looks after, maintains and restores the wooden boats with masts and sails which are an original Broads boat. They do look great but have to be meticulously maintained and looked after and I think probably sometimes find themselves at odds with the Broads plastic leisure craft.
When we first arrived the river was busy with boaters of all kinds, but has since become quieter with little traffic after half term, and then to nothing during lockdown.
We have been finding our way around, but in those first couple of weeks it was very strange and we needed the sat nav just to get us to Tesco’s!!
There was a point too when I needed a dentist and after a few phone calls found a great on in Great Yarmouth, who sorted out the problem quickly and efficiently. Things seemed to be getting better.
We love walking and, especially during lockdown, try to go out every day. We have discovered a few local walks and in doing so have also discovered the local post office (based basically in someone’s front room!), the mobile library (I feel lost without a book to read) and we have discovered some history about the area, the links to Nelson, The Crown and the hovercraft (all of which I need to research more and will share my findings at a later date).
The lane which leads to the boat yard is also a public footpath and we noted from our map that the path went around what is known as Haddiscoe Island, literally a triangular piece of very flat land with the River Waverley on one side, River Yare on another and a very straight ‘cut’ length of water on the third side. We decided one Sunday morning to walk the footpath which was marked round the island. We had cruised that way in the boat and Martin reckoned it would take us about 3 hours. So we packed a flask, a couple of slices of cake, donned our walking shoes and set out. It was a lovely day and during the whole walk we only saw 2 more people – as time went by, we knew why – it was a lot further round the island than we thought! A lot further!! We passed a couple of windmills and 3 or 4 houses. Rivers don’t go straight and as we set out on the home stretch, along the River Waverley we could see where we needed to be but it was a much longer way following the curves and bends in the river. There was a point when I did stop and ask Martin what time it got dark as I began to wonder if we would be home before then. Luckily we made it back and when we Googled the walk as we relaxed back on the boat with a cuppa, we found it was 12 miles+!
There are ups and downs in all walks and in all times of life and we do get through however we might feel at that specific time… So why big skies – well this is what the southern part of Norfolk is known for, and yes they are and are quite lovely when the sun shines from them…..
‘When it rains we look for rainbows and when it is dark we look for stars‘ – both of which we have seen an abundance of here and so this is the new mantra for our Norfolk life so far.