I wrote this on 15th April. The lecturer today couldn’t find where he was supposed to park because it’s a little side road leading to a private car park, and his SatNav didn’t recognise it. Although he had written instructions, he’s not the first person I’ve found to rely so heavily on SatNav that they can’t follow any other directions. A friend was amused when he was given a lift and his directions to his own house were ignored in favour of the satnav’s. Which got them there quite satisfactorily, he reported. I suppose this sort of thing was at the heart of my resistance.
Anyway, the weather. Dave’s absolutely right, it’s awfully changeable round here from one place to another. We used, as you know, to live in Lowestoft and my in-laws then lived in this house, half an hour’s drive away. We used, often, to have Sunday lunch with my mother and stepfather and then come over to Pa and Ma for tea. It was noticeable, in the winter (in those days, snow came more reliably each year) that the depth of snow increased as we came inland; between L’toft and Beccles and between Beccles and here. On the other hand, the spring was earlier as we came inland in equal measure. It was much windier, as you’d expect, on the coast and, once we’d moved, we’d set off for a day by the sea and find that we should have remembered the woolly cardies. Where we used to live, on P@kef1e1d cliff, if there was a beautiful sunny day, it was often followed by days of unremitting fog, whereas a mile or two inland the sun broke through and it was hot again.
It was the bands of rain that we always remarked upon though. I think it’s because of all the rivers around here. Generally speaking, it’s the driest area of the country in terms of rainfall, although as so much water flows through, it’s one area that has never had a hosepipe ban in summer. Household water comes from underground aquifers rather than reservoirs. Around the rivers, there are often broad areas of water-meadows or marshland, used for grazing animals, to soak up floodwater. These are unsuitable for building on or cultivation and farmers receive grants for keeping them in good order for wildlife and the environment – for example, by not using nitrate fertiliser.
I’ve gone off the point, sorry. Rain. Yes, it’s not unusual to drive into a band of rain across the road which, a few miles later, vanishes again. A while ago, I was with Dilly, north of Norwich and we drove in and out of black clouds and pouring rain, alternately with a blue sky, fluffy clouds and bright sunshine. It was odd.
There are particular villages where, if it’s going to rain, that’s where it starts. This one tends to be dry. It always rains at Barnby. Boringland (which starts with a P, but sometimes has its initial altered, to general hilarity) is likely to be wet. A thunderstorm sometimes rolls round the Waveney Valley for hours, seemingly trapped by the curve of the waterways.
The North Norfolk coast is supposed to be particularly sunny. Cromer, on the North-East corner, is said to be sunniest of all – I daresay there are records to back this up but, I have to say, this has never been my experience. Every time I visit my sister-in-law there, it has been dull and often drizzly.
The sun is shining now. I’m going to put washing on the line.