Thursday 30 July

I have just managed to clear one of the cats off my keyboard, so that I can belatedly write yesterday’s blog entry. We got up really early to go to the seaside which was a good move, as it was a very hot day and everyone has discovered the delights of a staycation. We headed for Norfolk and stopped in Burnham Market for coffee and a cheese scone. It was already full of visitors: second home owners now out in force. We amused ourselves by counting the number of Chelsea tractors, Porsches, Bentleys……..A lady came to the vegetable shop, swinging her red designer shoulder bag. Apparently the Hoste Arms and other desirable hostelries are all fully booked in the restaurant areas. Good news all round. The comparison with when we were there a month ago was incredible.

We drove on to Overy Staithe and walked the mile along the dyke to the beach. It was fairly low tide so there was an enormous expanse of golden sand. Unusually it was not very windy and already at 10.00 there were quite a few people there, children, grandparents, and lots of dogs. In front of us where we made a base, was a shallow lagoon, and children were splashing and running, enjoying all the pleasures of a beach holiday, just like when I was little and went to Paignton, or Llandudno. Who needs the south of Spain really? We took the long walk down to the sea to swim. It is quite shallow so you have to keep walking. Unfortunately and very unusually, there was rather a lot of seaweed, but we managed to find a relatively clear patch to swim. I always love swimming in the sea, the waves, even the saltiness. And we had oodles of space to ourselves as the beach is miles long, stretching all the way past the Holkham dunes to Wells-next-the Sea.

Having done the exercise, we then had the picnic, and snoozed in the sun. When we woke up, the beach seemed to have filled up, (relatively speaking, as it is huge, and social distancing is never going to be a problem!) and in fact as we meandered back to the car, I had to admit that I had never seen so many people there before. Tim wanted to run along the beach to Wells, so we arranged to pick him up there. We then realised that the mobs had descended, there were no parking spaces at all, the queue for the ice cream stall was a mile long, so we decided that the best plan was to head home before the endless traffic jam through Kings Lynn. So we had to forgo the fish and chips in Wells, but as the queue there was also massive, it was infinitely easier to come back and make a BBQ. Which we did.

Sea holly on the dunes. The vegetation of the dunes and the salt marshes is very interesting, as is the bird life. Little terns nest nearby and we saw some in flight. We also found a decomposing seal on the beach, but it is quite common to sea the seals swimming in the channel by Overy Staithe, and Blakeney Point is a big seal watching area.

It was a balmy evening so we sat outside till quite late, Tim played the guitar and sang, and we drank rhubarb gin and tonic. Staycations have a lot to be said for them.

One thought on “Thursday 30 July

  1. I was born in Miami, Florida, and lived there until I was 48, so ocean swimming is a passion for me. Even if I don’t swim, any time I am in sight of water, I must dip my toes in. When I was growing up, Miami Beach was a fabulous beach. Unfortunately, after erosion carried the natural sand away, it was replaced with a coarser variety dredged from the bottom of the ocean. The wave action in Florida still suits me best, high enough to provide a lift and fall but not so strong as to knock one over. Just writing about it has made me long for a swim off the Florida coast. We have made several trips to South and North Carolina beaches, but generally find the waves too strong for enjoyment. Trip last summer to the southern most NC beach was disappointing. Extremely hard work to get beyond the wave break in order to swim and such a strong current that we were constantly washed back toward the shore. After several exhausting attempts, we gave up and read under umbrellas on the sand.

    We now live in a lake community in the extreme NW of SC. Our lake, Keowee, is beautiful, claiming “the purest water each of the Mississippi”. Swimming in it is like moving through the most luxurious of silks. Doesn’t have the excitement of an ocean swim but is a wonderfully sensuous experience. During the summer months, a neighbor conducts deep water aerobics classes in her cove. 10-12 of us meet 3 times a week to exercise both our limbs and our jaws. Has been a wonderful stress reliever during these days of diminished socializing. No aerobics this morning as we are experiencing a very rainy day, so I am catching up with your blog.

    Another local treat is to go to the NC mountains, just 30 minutes away, and slide down small cascades in the mountain rivers and streams. Biggest challenge here is braving the extremely cold water. I hiked with my grandson and daughter to a beautiful waterfall recently, expecting a dip in the pool at its base once we arrived, only to find it was so cold and shallow that we didn’t get wet above our calves.


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