The Norfolk broads aren’t only beautiful in summer, they have their charms all year round.
On a recent visit to Barton Turf, I pondered as to why people don’t take their boats out in winter too. There is so much to see and the vast Norfolk skies are spectacular all year round. You can see so much wildlife: owls, swans, geese, birds of prey, and sometimes, if you are really lucky… an otter.
I know the skies look threatening in the pictures above, but all you have to do is wear the right gear to fend off the raindrops and wind.
We discovered the boardwalk to Barton Turf broad this weekend. Such vast waters in which to enjoy the sky reflections. A magical and peaceful spot. I can’t wait to return as spring develops. It’s easy to access via wheelchair. I also spotted metal signs in braille.
Dogs aren’t allowed, other than assist dogs, so bear that in mind if you are visiting. I think this is because of concerns for the wildlife. I know this may upset some dog owners, but I’m sure they would appreciate that not all are responsible.
If you are planning to take photographs, I would recommend visiting early morning or late afternoon. This is when you will get the best light, and you are likely to see and hear more wildlife.
Stop, enjoy the peace. Take time to listen out for birdcall. The Norfolk Broads are made to be loved and appreciated.
Barton is the second largest of the Norfolk Broads at 0.6332 square miles, the largest broad in the Ant Valley. You can read more details about it here at NorfolkBroads.com
Scroll down to take a little walk down the boardwalk with me.
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Norfolk UK is my home, I live in Norwich by the River Wensum where everyday there is something different to see and learn.
I feel a big affinity with the river as I grew up in Cambridge, another great river city. My childhood and teens involved many walks along the Cam where we would watch 'The Bumps,' raft races and as we grew older we enjoyed adventures on our punting pub crawls.
Growing up in a multi cultural university city definitely influenced my reading choices, I am a big fan of Japanese fiction, love French literature and enjoy Shakespeare. As a young teen I entertained myself with Jilly Cooper and Dick Francis and then became quite obsessed with Henri Charriere's Papillon. At school all I cared about was English, Art and French, in that exact order. When I finished with school I went to live and work in Greece for a wonderful year before returning to study English Literature and Sociology. At this point I read more classics like the Wyf of Bath, Wuthering Heights and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plus poets such as Wilfred Owen.
My first UK full time job was with Heffer's Paperbacks where I devoured several books at a time, excited by the fact I could borrow what I liked. Bizarrely for me I remember reading The Zurich Axioms, I have no interest in the stock markets but it had me gripped. I can't remember why I picked it up but I have never forgotten it. Heffers introduced me to so many authors, via their books and sometimes in person. It was here I learned about all the genres, it fascinated me that science fiction and horror were so popular, I tried reading it all.
Aside from writing letters, it didn't really ever occur to me to write anything myself for many years as I worked my way through a variety of interesting and varied jobs. Then on a visit to the London Aquarium I became struck by an idea so powerful I sat down and wrote my first novel. It went nowhere as really I wrote it because I wanted to. I wrote another novel and again, didn't have the persistance or determination to take it further, I simply enjoyed the process of writing and my characters.
Then years later another idea struck me and during a severe bout of Pleurisy where I couldn't do anything physical for months, I wrote the Eight of Swords and The Putsi. This time I published them as ebooks and they became pretty popular. When I fully recovered, I had to concentrate on my business and looking after my mother who has various health issues and the writing went adrift again for many years until 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world.
March 2020 I moved to my apartment alongside the Wensum to live alone for the first time ever. During the first lockdown I began to write a diary and then the idea for a new set of short stories came to me and in February 2021 they will be published. The Covid-19 Pandemic is not simply a scary virus, it is a historical time and here we are trying to live through it. To many it will feel like a punishment but to me as a writer, in some ways, it came as a gift.
Please stay as safe and as well as you can. I hope to entertain you with my stories as we all try to get through this together, even though we are apart.
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