Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunset on the Flood


A WEEK on from the fog and it was a very different Chet Valley this Sunday evening. Visibility was perfect as the sun went down over Hardley Flood – which you can just make out to the left of this picture. Last week the thick mist muffled every sound. Tonight the squawk of the pheasants and the honk of the wildfowl seemed to carry for miles. I took this photo on a bridle path close to the ever-spooky Hardley Hall. Look one way and you see Hardley Flood – which used to be a mixture of arable land and copse until the great flood of 1953. Look the other and you can see for miles across the Yare Valley towards Buckenham, Cantley and Reedham on the north bank.  The chimney at Cantley’s massive sugar factory keeps pumping it out. The wind wasn’t quite in our direction, but there was still a faint smell of sweet molasses in the air. It remains amazingly warm. It might be December next week, but it still feels like Autumn.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Fog on the Chet is all mine, all mine

A SOLID bank of mist hangs over the Chet Valley tonight, the dankest and clammiest I’ve seen in my eight years in Loddon. As ever the river escapes relatively lightly, it’s the marshes next door that really cop it. The damp exhausted my camera’s batteries within minutes, but I think this photo shows its density quite nicely: as though a huge eraser had rubbed out everything from the meadows to about 12 feet up. That’s the tower of Holy Trinity church just high enough to  be seen. “I don’t like it,” shivered one dog walker emerging suddenly from its grasp. I did. Blackbirds chink-chinked their alarm calls continuously and the smell of wet autumn leaves hung heavy near the hedges, but it wasn’t cold.  These are the last days of a wonderfully warm autumn. Winter will arrive soon enough.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Why Rosy Lee’s is one up on Claridges


CONGRATULATIONS to Caroline Dwen of Rosy Lee’s in Loddon for making it into a national chart for the“30 Best Places For Tea”. In fact Rosy Lee’s storms in at number 7 on the list published in The Times yesterday. And which tearoom is at Number 8? Claridge’s of London of course. No seriously. “Beloved by Norfolk Broads boatsmen,” goes the Times blurb, “who flock here for home-made food served on mismatched china by the cheery lady owner. Everything is home cooked and she’ll even do you a kipper and poached egg for tea if you feel like it.” A cheery owner, all the more cheery as a result, no doubt. Well done Caroline.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Delays at the Loddon Swan

The Swan portrait

HOPES that The Swan at Loddon would re-open this year have been dashed. Talking to guys on site today, it’s clear that the original December 1st deadline was way too optimistic. At the moment the man in charge of the project is reluctant to commit to a January or a even a February opening date. The steady stream of tradesmen keep discovering more complications. The good news is that they’re committed to doing the job properly. The bad news? This building hasn’t had anything like enough TLC for decades.