We had the day to ourselves today - a child free day. So, what do you normally do on a day off in Norfolk? In my case, I had planned to have a day of catching up on work, as we have some mad weeks coming up and I wanted to get ahead. It all went out of the window, though, when Chris said "let's go to the beach for the day".
So, we've just come back from 5 hours solid fresh air, blue skies, kiting and walking. And not a sandcastle to be built or a hole to be dug (sorry if you've fallen down a hole in the sand - our son is an inveterate hole builder - or rather I dig the hole, whilst he supervises!)
We usually see seals at one end of the beach. Today the sea was so calm that there was seal in the shallows just a few feet away from us, popping it's head up to watch us. I think they are drawn by the sound of dogs barking. They seem as fascinated by us as we are of them.
There was an adder in the nature reserve behind the dunes, along with tiny lizards scuttling away, not to mention the rabbits with their bobbing tails.
Every time we go there, I think "this is why we gave everything up to come to Norfolk". To be able to get up in the morning, pop to the beach, see seals and adders, enjoy the huge deserted expanses of sand, stroll in the dunes, and sit outside the cafe enjoying the sunshine.
It's been a funny year, this year. On the one hand the economic climate sends a shiver down your back if you think too much about it, but on the other we have had a run of amazing weather. We seem to have spent so many weekends lately on the beach or in the garden with a clear blue sky, not a cloud in sight. There has been a strange mixture of gloom (which I try to ignore) and elation brought on by the good weather. Every time I wander through the dunes, framed by the bright blue sky, I feel as if we can achieve anything despite the current conditions.
We are so lucky to have all this on our doorstep in Norwich, along with a vibrant city and really friendly people.