• Overstrand Life

Thursday 12th May - Highlight, Feels Like a Battle, Ex-WI's and Promenade

For me, the highlight of the past few days has to be the return of the swifts. I was in the kitchen when I heard the screaming calls of the first swifts which will entertain us in the skies from now until August; after which they will return to Africa. When I mentioned this to village bird watcher, Dave, who by the way will be one of my guests on my radio programme Then & Now, he confirmed they were coming in westwards in small parties.


It’s been a busy few days, especially in the garden. While Peter has been tending his vegetable plot, I have been working towards getting all the summer plants settled in the borders. I still have a way to go but with a warm sunny day forecast for tomorrow, I should get the final ones planted. We were in desperate need of rain; everyone we spoke to commented on how dry the ground was. You may have noticed, I was using the past tense in the last sentence, this is because yesterday it rained; an answer to all gardeners’ prayers. We are hoping there won’t be a repeat this year of the Spanish slug invasion in our garden, which necessitated going out each evening at dusk to despatch them. We have already seen damage to three excellent short rows of carrot seedlings which were virtually decimated overnight but we think the culprits in this case are woodlice and not slugs. The next pest likely to make an impact on the carrots are root flies but Peter is going to put net over the rows which should protect them. Slugs chewed virtually right through a lily stem. The following evening I found five leopard slugs in the act of trying to finish off the stem. At times gardening feels like a battle between ‘them and us’.

Our ex-WI group met again yesterday, in the Potting Shed Tea Room in the Garden Centre. Lots of chatter and exchanging views and although we all have a slightly different outlook on life, we all get on so well together. It’s down to respecting others points of view while enjoying cake! Despite the rain, the Garden Centre was busy as was the Tea Room.

Walking along the promenade this morning, Peter drew my attention to a plant growing at the bottom of the cliff. It looked like a plantain, so I took a photo and later after thumbing through my coastal wildlife book, yes, it is the type of plantain, associated with marine areas. It was a fine healthy specimen; I must remember to keep looking and see what the flowers look like. It was still quite early but further along the promenade work on the apron and sea wall, which has to fit in with the tides, was already in progress and a bit further on still, we saw the finished new wall which has been under construction. It is good to see Overstrand, who has in the past been seen to be the poor relation of Sheringham, Cromer and Mundesley, receiving attention to the sea defences.

The three photos I have included are self-explanatory.