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February 2022

Hi All, Even though we have moved it’s not too far away and we are still able to make the garden club monthly meetings.

Catching up – we have had several things happening over the solstice. In December for our indoor meeting we had Julia Paul, a member of the Norfolk Hedgehog Rescue, telling us some lesser-known facts about their habits and how we might make our garden more attractive and helpful to them.

For January we were very fortunate in having one of our members, Nigel, who gave us a most interesting talk on the bees he keeps in his garden at Wretham. Nigel brought along a hive (without the bees) and many other associated pieces of equipment. Over the years we must have heard many items of information regarding bees, but the memory becomes diluted by the constant flow of everyday information. Of course we could mug up on the subject whenever we want to, but we don’t – and more is discovered every day. So to have a get together with friends, with one of them having an up to date knowledge and an enthusiasm for the subject, is a treat indeed. Not only was his presentation very interesting and entertaining, but he had honey for sale; wonderful.

Our annual lunch was at the Wagon and Horses at Griston and very good it was, too. One of the dishes was home made sticky toffee pudding. How could I resist? It was so good it should have had a government health warning. For those worrying about such things there was a healthy option: they would leave off the ice cream if you asked.

Prue and I are settling in nicely, now. Where we would have had a month of hard work under our belts by this time of the year (early Feb), we have restricted our efforts to hanging carpets and laying pictures. Living close to town is quite different: we can walk to the shops. Swaffham is quite a revelation; the Saturday market is quite something. In the market place is a bandstand and we were amazed to find it occupied, with a band – playing. Whatever next? They even have an auction selling the kind of things we were chucking out in the weeks prior to our move. It has to be said that one of the most important requirements of the move was to have somewhere to exercise the hounds. Around the estate are various areas of grass laid down around the flood defenses where everyone takes their dogs, so that’s a win. The water is also a magnet for ducks; in fact Swaffham seems to be Duck Town. Even in the town center it is not unusual to find a badelynge occupying a strategic location.

Having moved into a new house we thought it might be a good idea to buy a new wireless. Over recent years we had bought different bits of kit and the living room was starting to look like a hi-fi shop. We needed to update and simplify. Part of off-loading clutter might be to loose the mountain of CDs and try a streaming thingy, but what to get? To this end I decided to contact an expert and so made an appointment to see the boys at Richer Sounds in Norwich. I needed to get this right once and for all, so over the preceding days I made lots of notes of the questions I thought I needed to ask. Just before leaving for Norwich I went to print my notes. No ink in the printer – and no idea where I had packed the replacements. I know, I’ll e-mail the notes to the shop.

We always use the park and ride when we go to Norwich, but we have moved, so the Costessey one is much nearer to us than Thickthorn. We leave in plenty of time, but there are roundabouts we have never negotiated and after sampling several wrong exits we finally park up at Costessy. We approach the bus. “Where do you want to go to,” askes the driver. “Er, Norwich. Where else?” I replied. “We don’t go there, haven’t done for about six years. You need to go to Thickthorn.” The time for the appointment is getting near.

Post code into the satnav and we embark on a mystery tour of some of the historic residential areas of Norwich. When we get to the Thickthorn roundabout the satnav wants to take us to Wymondham, but no matter, we are on familiar territory. We kill the satnav and park up at Thickthorn. We get the bus in and arrive exhausted at Richer Sounds as the Town Hall clock strikes the hour of our appointment. Tony and Roger from Richer Sounds have read the e-mail and are looking somewhat mystified as they greet us. “What exactly are you looking for?” Tony asks. “We want to enter the digital age and try this new streaming thingy and we need a bit of kit to do that,” I say. “Well, the bit of kit we sold you two years ago will do all that and more. We could have told you that over the phone.”

At our meeting in March we will host Jim Paine from Walnut Tree Farm who will advise us on the best plants to have in a shady position. Hope to see you there.

Ed.

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