“The most we can do is to write — intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively — about what it is like living in the world at this time.” Oliver Sacks. “To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart,” Henri Cartier-Bresson
Loddon is a picturesque village on the edge of the Norfolk Broads. It has expanded to the north across the River Chet to merge with another village, Chedgrave. Last weekend, I took some photographs of All Saints Church. A Christian community has been meeting in this medieval church for over a thousand years.
Walking back to the village, I noticed a tanning salon.
Norfolk is noted for the quirkiness of its inhabitants. “Normal for Norfolk” is a phrase sometimes used. I am not sure what to make of this picture of a man on a motorcycle wearing a rooster outfit.
If you are inspired by my photographs of beach hut doors in Norfolk, I would recommend that you pay a visit to two other places. Go to the Sandringham Estate, to walk in the wonderful woods, and have a meal in the visitor centre (roast dinners on Sundays). Then call in at Snettisham on the coast, where the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has some hides on brackish lagoons and overlooking the Wash. Check the tide tables so you can time your visit to see the waders being pushed into the muddy shoreline by the incoming tide.
The beach hut tradition is not dying. There are new huts being built and old huts being repaired.
I like watching police dramas on TV, so I was interested in this pistol found at the base of the stairs, obviously a “throw down” – an untraceable gun, dropped at the crime scene by an officer who needs to justify a “bad squirting”.
The Hotel de Paris is the best restaurant in town. It was constructed in 1820 for Lord Suffield, as his coastal retreat. Ten years later, Pierre le Francois converted it into a hotel. Hence the name.
Stephen Fry worked as a waiter there in his youth.
Does anyone recall a similar notice about noticing that you noticed, from Embu in Kenya? I can’t find my post, but it was in 2018.
Across the Gangway from this row, the Rocket House Cafe does great lunches (try the Ploughman’s with local Norfolk Dapple and Binham Blue cheese, bread and a pickled onion) and even better views. When a ship was in difficulties, a rocket would be fired from this spot to alert all the volunteer lifeboatmen. Nowadays, they just send out an SMS text message.
Under the cafe is the Royal National Lifeboat Institute Museum, dedicated (very appropriately) to Henry Blogg. He served the RNLI for 53 years and is credited with saving 873 lives from drowning in the North Sea. The lifeboat covers a huge area of coast, 40 miles either side of Cromer.
Set in stone on the promenade above the pier, there are some quotations about Cromer. My favourite was from a young Winston Churchill, “I am not enjoying it much.” That was in 1888.
“Whenever I’m on the Norfolk coast and it’s a bit grim, I console myself with remembering that at least I’m not in Yarmouth.”
Cromer is a pretty town on the north-east coast of Norfolk, famous for its dressed crab, its pier and its glorious beach. There has been a jetty, poking out into the North Sea, for centuries but the present pier was constructed in 1902. It houses the pavilion theatre and a lifeboat station. But I came to walk on the sand at low tide. At the foot of the low cliffs there are dozens of bathing huts, providing me with an opportunity to record their colourful doors.