For those who have been reading AbsolutelyLucy for a little while, you may remember a post I wrote back in January about the difficulties of high-school students and graduates living in small towns vs. cities – I looked at both the good and the bad points and came to a mixed conclusion. Check it out here. But I wanted to make sure that my readers understood quite how much I really do love Norfolk and how I actually think that growing up and living here has really helped me, both personally and career-wise.
I’m not going to go into loads of detail because I would be repeating much of the previous post. I just wanted to share some of the things I really love about this area because with the sun showing its face the last few weekends, I have really rediscovered the beauty of this wonderful county.
If you’ve ever read my About page, you’ll have spotted the picture of my gorgeous little beach hut and will have read about how much I love it. With it comes a huge love of the beach, particularly, Old Hunstanton, which I believe is one of the most beautiful I have found in Norfolk. I know, I know, Holkham this and that, but as beautiful as it is, Holkham is a stunning landscape. It is not a beautiful beach with rolling sand dunes, miles of rock pools and beach huts scattered across the hills. That is my kind of beach – one that as a kid you could run about in all day and not run out of things to discover.
Have you got a favourite beach in Norfolk?
If the beach is not for you, we’ve also got acres and acres of beautiful, rolling countryside and wide open spaces. Endless fields and beautiful villages filled with stone cottages and thatched roofs. There’s a castle just a few minute’s drive from my house and animals of all kinds filling the fields around us. Tell me that is not any child’s dream when growing up? I certainly loved growing up here and even now, although I love the cities as well, I couldn’t cope living too far away from Norfolk or somewhere similar. I made a few friends at the weekend when walking in the fields nearby my home.
It’s just so beautiful here and you really do feel so free – I understand those who love the buzz of the city, but I prefer a little of both worlds. And I always find myself craving fresh air and plenty of space.
What’s your favourite part of Norfolk? Are you more of a a city-lover or country-retreat kind of person?
A few weeks ago I wrote an article for the newspaper about a Norwich-based singer/rapper who had filmed her latest music video at Ringstead with a Hunstanton-based production team. Well the finished product has now been released and here it is. I’ll be honest, I’m not overwhelmed by the quality of the music video or the concept and personally expected more from it, but I love the song and Natty Beatt’s voice.
The article doesn’t focus much on Natty partly because I couldn’t get hold of her before we went to press and partly because she was based in Norwich, which is outside our patch. But, looking into her via Facebook, Twitter etc, she is a very interesting person. She’s a rapper and singer, who has helped create a rap battle competition that runs in the city, she also models, will be starring in a Great Yarmouth pantomime, works as a body coach and does other health related work. A busy girl! But sure seems like lots of fun from her posts.
Nice to write about and find some home-grown talent that actually caters for my type of music. So many of the Norfolk acts that I come across have more of a folky/rock sound, which is nice, but personally I prefer something I can dance to with a drum and bass edge.
The other day at work, a reader brought in a picture she had snapped of an octopus she had found washed up on Old Hunstanton beach, on the North Norfolk coast last weekend. Although dead, she was keen to know what type of octopus it was and how it had come to be there. After investigating and speaking to staff from the local Sea Life Centre, I discovered it was the lesser octopus – a type common to UK waters but rarely found washed up on our beaches. The display manager, Kieran Copeland, of Hunstanton Sea Life Centre, suspected the creature had died in the water and been washed up afterwards.
Angela Rudd, another member of staff from the centre, started to tell me all about the octopus in general and fascinated me with talk of the creature’s intelligence and ability to learn – I had to do some background reading to learn more.
I found the following information very interesting and helpful – there is plenty more on the website if you have the inclination to read on.
An octopus’s brain is proportionally as large as some birds’ and mammals’ brains. It displays a high level of organization in order to do things like coordinate all of the chromataphores’ color changes. The brain is only part of the story though. Three-fifths of the octopus’s nerves are distributed throughout its eight arms
Octopus arms are incredibly strong and flexible. Made almost entirely of muscle, the arms possess the strength to wrestle sharks and to break through Plexiglas. And without those pesky bones and joints (like ours) to limit movement, the arms have an almost infinite range of motion. And yet the octopus can even mimic a human arm by making its arms semi-rigid and bending them in precise places.
In addition, recent research suggests those arms may have minds of their own. Studies indicate that octopus arms each have their own independent nervous system. Essentially this means that the brain can give a quick assignment to the arm and then not have to think about it anymore. Scientists tested this by severing the nerves in the arms from other nerves in the body and brain and then tickling the arms. Amazingly, the arms responded to the tickling just as they would in a healthy octopus.
And for this final video – I recommend you put it on silent because the American commentary is more than just slightly annoying and fast forward to around two minutes in to witness the true power of the Giant Pacific Octopus.
Today was spent at sunny Hunstanton, where I was a determined woman. After a day off enjoying Norwich, I had plenty to be getting on with at our beach hut. My family own a beautiful beach hut at Old Hunstanton, quite close to the lifeboat station, which we bought as a ruin and have done up ourselves. Now, although I admit I am biased, I would argue that it is easily the best looking beach hut on the whole beach!
The beach hut means a lot to our family, we have always been big lovers of the seaside and as kids spent every weekend at a different beach, but always heading back to Old Hunstanton, which was a particular favourite. My parents bought the hut when I was around 14-years-old, a perfect time for us to still spend every weekend there, for me to help painting and decorating it, and for us to full it with buckets, spades and all the rest of the traditional beach paraphernalia. It came in handy when, shortly after, my nan was diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer which quickly took hold of her body and weakened her severely. No longer could she clamber across the sand dunes with ease, but she still longed to go to the seaside with her family. Having the beach hut, especially so close to the road, meant she could easily get down there and sit within the hut to keep warm and sheltered from the weather but still wouldn’t miss out on a second of family time.
Sadly, she died a year after being diagnosed, when I was 16, but I’m pleased to say we made the most of every last second and that hut carries so many wonderful memories for the whole family. We have since redecorated it and have recently had to have further work done on some rotten beams and weather-beaten parts. This meant a further repainting was required to smarten it up and a bit and I thought I would post some pictured of the progress on here for you all to see.
Here I am painting away – actually painted from 10.30am to 4.30pm without taking a break! Special attention went to the doors and detailing, while my dad worked on the larger areas and touching up the varnish on the decking.
Here he is hard at work!
After working for hours in the beautiful sunshine, we started to pack everything away before grabbing fish and chips as a treat and got comfy for the sunset.
Despite all the hard work, I still made sure that I had time to find sandcastles on the beach, to walk down the hastily retreating tide and pick blackberries. Just some of my favourite things to do at the seaside – and of course, squeezed in an ice cream! It was a fantastic day and so nice to spend with my parents and grandfather. There is still a bit of work left to do on the beach hut, but it should be finished inside and out by next weekend – I will post better pictures then of both inside and outside. And hopefully, the weather will hold so that my photographer friend has time to organise a photo shoot there!
Putting my own spin on everything from my pet tortoise and raving on the beach, to working hard and finding your way in life. I'm just starting out and have got some big plans for the future, why not get involved?