Monday, 16 April 2012

This weekend I...

1) Was visited by my south-coast-dwelling friends Hannah and Rosie. Hannah and I worked together during my first year at Norfolk Wildlife Trust and she now works at Chartwell. Rosie is a horse-whisperer, a genuine really-not-making-this-up horse-whisperer, who has trained and worked for years with Monty Roberts. So my house was full this weekend of stories of Churchill's Moroccan paintings, horses in therapy, digging for victory, worm-charming and belemnites on West Runton beach.

2) Visited Sarah at the luminous Pinkfoot Gallery in Cley, went weak-kneed at the paintings on the walls, wished to be rich enough to fill my house with them and developed a crush on a barn owl print. Offers of gifts gratefully received.

3) Dawdled with Hannah round our old stomping-ground, NWT Cley Marshes, tried goose-whispering with a handsome, contented pair of greylags in a grazing marsh, stopped to listen to the chesty display of a lapwing and marvelled - again, I know, again - at marsh harriers over a still winter-gold reed-bed.

4) Taught a beginners' birding workshop at Sculthorpe Moor, watched still more harriers in buoyant display, listened to the nose-blocked sneezing of a marsh tit, sniffed garlic mustard, smiled at burnt-sugar bank voles darting beneath the feeders and stroked the first fractal shoots of wild angelica in a damp wood.

5) Heard a Mediterranean gull as we sat around my kitchen table - a slab of an oak tree from my great-grandfather's North Norfolk farm - drinking bitterly delicious coffee at breakfast.

6) Was grateful to live in North Norfolk and to share such wondrous places with my friends.

The journey through the rolling countryside of north Norfolk always feels to me like crossing over into another land, another state of mind.

Roger Deakin
Waterlog, A Swimmer’s Journey through Britain

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