Friday, 23 September 2016

Short back and sides

      It is five thirty in the morning and the sound of clanking and banging rouses you from your sleep. A swift but bleary check through the bedroom blind reveals the Inland Drainage Board preparing to start on the task of clearing the dykes of vegetation and obstructions so that the flow of water isn't impeded. It's top and tail time again.
      This little dyke flows into another dyke, that joins yet another dyke, and finally the water runs into the Middle Level Main Drain. The dyke may be small but it is an important part of the system and it will begin to fill up with the heavy rain that will surely come.
      The reed warblers and ducks have vacated the reed beds and departed after their family business has been concluded and the preparation for the winter rains is under way.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

A play on words

      Another trip out and about as you do when you have time on your hands, me driving and the boss up in the turret, and there it is a lovely play on and manipulation of words very much in the style of Ronnie Barker.
      As always it is another run-down and unloved shop front that has come under the artist's brush but he, or she, has made a splendid job of the project even down to the window boxes on the upper room window cills.
      The real clincher for us, well it goes without saying, is the use of that fresh, glowing, Norfolk Bog Door Blue. Brilliant.
      This entire establishment should be moved lock, stock and barrel to the North Norfolk trendy zone. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Excitement. The first of the season

      The rain at the weekend and the cooler weather created the correct temperatures and conditions for the first field mushroom of the season to appear and this one should be a real beauty when it is mature.
      To keep the nocturnal mushroom munchers away we've put down some slug pellets and covered our prize with an old wooden fruit tray as an exercise in belt and braces efficiency, don't take any chances is the only way to go. We've no idea what the ladybird thinks, if at anything at all, but they're insect and aphid eaters so keep up the good work little red friend.
      In my imagination I can smell the breakfast now. Lovely.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Red stands for ripe

      We can really tell autumn is on the way, the hawthorn, dogwood and elderberry bushes are absolutely laden berries. When the fieldfares, redwings, pigeons, blackbirds and many others get in amongst them they won't last long.
      Last year the birds pretty well stripped the hawthorn bush at the back gate in the space of two days, and it wasn't even cold. Talk about saving them for a frosty day and stocking up for the winter.
      In bird world we suppose that the simple calculation about the meal you are eating is that it could be your last meal for a while so you simply fill your boots and more.
      Even if you are barely able to get off the ground after a really good guzzle.

Monday, 19 September 2016

The bales are off

      The hunting ground that was the stubble field has gone, the bales of straw have gone too. Now if the dogs want to fulfil their terrier ratting job description it's time to go to work in the orchard, on the headlands and on the dyke sides. The orchards will be the favourite venue though with all the fallen fruit providing a harvest feast for the rats and then the game will be afoot again.

      The rats have left the wheat gleanings to the pigeons and crows and headed for cover, the days of three or four lethal strikes out in the middle of the field are well and truly over. You can see the boredom and irritation on the terrier's faces and Barney happily peeing on a straw bale sums it up nicely, that's dog body-language for you.
      Now the field has been broken up with the buster and in the next week it will harrowed, then rolled to encourage the black grass to grow and, in turn, that will be sprayed back so that when the spring wheat is sown it can grow without being impeded by a jungle of rampant black grass.
      Meanwhile late summer is steadily rolling into autumn and the colours of the landscape are changing.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Another derelict primitive

      This derelict Primitive Methodist Chapel stands down a lane a couple of miles from where we live and, inevitably, it's for sale for development into a domestic home. It is rather a peculiar detail but what would have been a rather grand window is just brickwork with the naming cartouche in it; maybe austere was the Methodist policy but with a nod to the gothic church window.

      The foundation stones showing the names of benefactors and the important local people are so numerous that they stretch right around the building. We counted eighteen before the impenetrable briars and nettles halted the count, here is one group but the rest, or most of them, will go on another post.

      Adjoining the chapel is a Primitive Methodist Schoolroom or, as it is named and displayed in the cartouche a P. M. School, a school for only the afternoon perhaps? I bet some jolly times were enjoyed in there. However the question is was it a schoolroom for general education or simply religious education?
      Now we need to engineer a sneaky look inside the buildings to see what treasures are on the walls of both the chapel and the schoolroom.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Something's brewing

      Out over the stubble fields a bit of nasty weather is brewing up yet again, at the top a close range view and down below a long range view to give a sense of scale. Knowing the way that the weather has worked this summer and early autumn I have no doubt that it will simply miss us completely and everything will continue as normal.
      The big Fenland skies are like a massive screen for weather watching and we love it, as we've said before it is a real pleasure to simply sit and watch things slowly, or depending on the windspeed, quickly unfold.
      Here's to an autumn of meteorological drama.