Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bracing Breckland

The weather was deceiving. Walking out of the house, secluded of any wind, the weather seemed quite clement. Experience led me to don five layers of above the waist clothing, three below and two pairs of socks.

The lunchtime sunshine highlighted the freshly sprouting winter wheat, the clouds reflecting in the wet, muddy roads where the sugar beet traffic have trundled from early morn to dark evening time.

A couple of miles from home and the sun is losing the battle with the snow laden sky.

The skies over Shipdham look awfully ominous but usually the weather comes from the opposite direction.

Walking the formalised field edge permissive ways, Bertie and I reach the Lower Road which, at its other end, cuts into the road to Necton just below Holme Hale. Closed since the weekend when a smouldering roof fire gutted a period house. The property is amongst a handful in a hamlet along what is a quiet single track road, even to Norfolk standards. 

The incident very sadly took the lives of two elderly ladies. The property, externally almost intact, belies apparent internal devastation. One of the sisters is believed to have been a landlady and wife of owner Frederick Charles Rowland of the Blue Lion, North Pickenham in the mid 1960s. The snow had already started just after a dusk like darkness came across the already grey sky. The flakes where light and fluffy, happily settling on any but the smoothest clothing.

The walk from Holme Hale to its sister Station Road was really rather unpleasant. The snow had become hard and wet, driven directly into my exposed face. Turning left up to King's Row Farm, the wind became kinder but the evening light came on prematurely.

The snow, all of a sudden, refused to melt on reaching the sod. For the first time this year, autumn landscape had succumbed to winter.

All photos © J Reed

One man and his dog, thankfully close to the warmth of home.

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