A Norfolk Winter

The last time we had more than a day or two of snow was back in the early 1980s when we were living north of Birmingham. The temperature sank to a dizzy – 20 degrees. Arctic weather. As soon as you stepped outside, the hair inside your nostrils froze. It hurt to take a breath.

We have had five days of snow now. Three when the wind was so strong that walking was difficult. Yesterday, I walked along the track in bright sunshine, only to find a snowstorm following behind me. When I turned to face it, the snow pattered on my coat, tiny ice crystals like miniature hailstones. The landscape disappeared in mist of white and I was pleased to make it back to the warmth and dry.

Today, we woke to a pristine landscape of blue and white. Sunshine and an imperceptible breeze enticed us to don our boots. Today we were going to tackle the long walk from our accommodation through the fields, along a farm road, across the main road and the other half of the walk back towards the church and through the village.

The only tracks in the snow as we set off were those of deer, hares, pheasant and other smaller birds. We crunched through powdery snow, cracked the ice in the rutted farm track and stopped to admire a hare bounding across the field. The sign of deer were everywhere, small muntjac deer to the larger red ones we encountered two weeks ago. Unfortunately, we saw none today, although we did see pheasants.

I worried that moving from our home, I would miss walking along the very familiar prom. Now, this is almost home and it has many compensations, not least the peace and tranquility. Our walk lasted ninety minutes, we met two people and passed a jogger along the way.

It was worth taking a day out from editing. Four days in, I am halfway though listening as Word reads back my story. It’s such a useful tool because as boring as the voice is, you can hear so many issues which need addressing from the odd repeated or missing word, to the string of sentences beginning with ‘she’. Duh!

And what of our house move? I wish I knew. Exchange is likely next week now. It’s becoming like groundhog day.

About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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