Saturday, June 07, 2008

No-So-Sunny Norfolk

The weather has been a hot topic in the UK yet again with a threat of further flooding and a general feeling of malaise in the air. Our lucky country has been blessed recently by most major forms of non-frozen precipitation, ranging from basic drizzle (misty and penetrating) to horizontal sheets of the stuff.

I’ve had the dubious pleasure of being on the east coast of Norfolk this week where nothing (including the unhelpful flatness of Holland) stands between the Russian steppes and me. In winter it can be a bleak and unforgiving place, as it can be in spring, (and summer and autumn). Nature has seen fit to give it a seascape offshore that indulges itself in a wide-ranging and riotous display of hues, running the whole gamut of colours from sludge-grey to mud-brown. On a good day the green slime on the rotting breakwaters adds just the right degree of putrescence to an otherwise dull vista.

Before I completely destroy my chances of leaving East Anglia alive, I must point out that inland, when it’s not raining, it’s very pretty, resplendent in a rich history and a feast of water-borne entertainment in the shape of the Norfolk Broads (that is not broads in the American sense but open areas of water formed in centuries past by extraction). Jolly boaters swan around in their cabin cruisers and yachts, mooring up at waterside hostelries and sinking vast quantities of gin-and-tonic. Or so I’m led to believe.

The image today shows the coast in the month of June in all its glory. Note the happy crowds cavorting on the beach, the rows of deckchairs and the ice-cream sellers wending their merry way through the devoted sun-worshippers. Note also my vivid imagination.