Spring has sprung….

March has arrived and with it, albeit brief, sunshine, blue skies and that feeling of wellbeing it brings. They tell us that it is now officially the meteorological start of spring, so they must be right (whoever they are). It has to be better than the all weathers in one month we experienced in February; with rain, snow, frosts and gales. The winds I find especially concerning as we have wind turbines on the back of the boat which sound remarkably like jet engines revving up when it is really windy, also the groaning and straining noises of the mooring ropes I find unnerving. I have been known to wake Martin in the middle of the night and ask him if the sounds are supposed to be like that and he has (bless him) on occasion, gone outside in dead of night to check our moorings.

We are currently under the same lockdown regulations as everyone else, but luckier than many as we have no close neighbours and the only other people we see regularly are Steve, the boatyard owner, and the two guys who work for him and then anyone who happens to be at Tesco when we go shopping. We go for a walk most days and as it is generally such a quiet area anyway, we rarely see anyone else.

Retirement seems to suit us both and I generally have only one concern, which is that most mornings I wake up and have to spend several seconds deciding what day it is! Once that’s sorted I’m okay – not that it really matters because one day it much like another anyway!!

Covid is still the main talking point on the news and we were excited by the vaccination programme and its influence on the future for us all. We were keen to get ours, so when Martin got his invite letter we dutifully went on line to book an appointment – the nearest centre he was offered was Ipswich – 40 miles away! So he rang the contact centre who advised that they only had access to the same appointments, Martin also asked about me getting mine at the same time. Had I had a letter? he was asked, Not yet he replied. Then no he was told. We decided to wait until I got my letter. Amazingly enough it arrived the next day, so back on line, Ipswich again, back on phone to call centre, no appointments nearer available, but they told us to check on line every day as new appointments were being added. We did check several times, only to find Ipswich, Colchester (even further) and strangely enough Brighton were available (not exactly local!). Then the day after I checked on line at 10.30pm and lo and behold there were some local appointments, I tried to book but kept being told that one of the appointments I had managed to secure was no longer available, but it didn’t tell me which one! Martin then lost patience (unusual for him) and again rang the call centre, as he had previously established that they were open until 11pm. Hurrah… he spoke to a very helpful member of the call centre team who managed to book for both of us, our 1st and 2nd jabs in Norwich, probably 15 miles away. So we went last week to a very well organised centre, with lovely staff, both employed and volunteer, had our vaccinations and were back home within an hour. We both felt a bit ‘off’ the next day, but no big deal and much less awful then full blown Covid. We look forward now to our second one in May and to the road out of lockdown being a smooth ride back to normality, albeit not as we knew it.

Nelson’s County

I was interested to note when we first came to Norfolk and started exploring, before the second lockdown, that the signs on entering the county, advised us that we were in Norfolk, Nelson’s County. A brief bit of research revealed that Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson is seen as Norfolk’s most famous son. He was born in Burnham Thorpe in 1758, where his father was the rector. He was killed at Cape Trafalgar, Spain in 1805. He is remembered by a monument in Great Yarmouth with Britannia a top, some 144 feet tall and erected in 1819, some 24years before the better known Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square. There is also a statue , erected in 1847, in the Norwich cathedral close and other memorabilia i.e. his naval hat and sword can be found in the Norwich Castle Museum. Worth a trip I think once we can get out and about.

Passing our time……

Martin has taken up jogging again, I prefer something more ‘indoors’ and try to do some toning exercises or Pilates every day. What I do love is to read and we are lucky enough to have a mobile library in this area. Although it obviously hasn’t been operational for a few months they did allow us to ‘fill our boots’ (the librarians words) with books before the lockdown. I know a couple of people who read this blog are also reading fans so – a couple of recommendations:

Lido by Libby Page – a story about an unlikely friendship between a young woman journalist and an 80+year old woman which develops whilst the journalist is researching a story about the local lido which the older woman is trying to save from closing down. The lido has played a huge part in her life and she looks back at her life and love.

The Keeper by Graham Norton (yes the Graham Norton), makes a bit of a chilling read and is definitely a can’t put down, just one more chapter sort of book, leaves you guessing with its twists and turns.

I believe Graham has written a couple of books, so will be looking out for another when the mobile library finally starts the rounds again, post lockdown.

Wildlife

As I said we have the advantage of several lovely walks locally and we do enjoy getting out to see the local wildlife. One of our favourite walks runs part through the Somerleyton Estate and by Fritton Country Park. We had noticed that there had been some tree and general scrub clearance and the renewing, and building, of fences. We were, then, fascinated to read a notice which appeared at the start of the walk the other week which advised that the Somerleyton Estate was taking an active role in ‘rewilding’ the area. They advised that the plan was to introduce beaver, wild pigs, highland cattle and water buffalo to the woodland and fields in the area. We will watch the progress of this with interest.

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