Edi­tor’s let­ter

EDP Norfolk - - Editor's Letter -

SEPTEM­BER, beau­ti­ful Septem­ber. I’m sure I’m not alone in think­ing that this is one of the loveli­est months, a last hur­rah for sum­mer be­fore Oc­to­ber raises an Eey­ore-like head to her­ald the proper ar­rival of au­tumn. (I know the Met Of­fice says Septem­ber is of­fi­cially au­tumn, but what do they know?)

Septem­ber’s prom­ise is of clear, balmy days and crisp nights, per­fect for tak­ing some time off now that the chil­dren are back at school and not clog­ging up the place when you bob out for a lunchtime sand­wich.

In the coun­try­side the trees are heavy with fruit and the hedgerows dot­ted with berries, es­pe­cially black­ber­ries. We’re fond of a black­berry, the present Mrs Cas­tle and I, and we have had our first for­age of the year to pick a few.

It seems to be a good year again for the bram­ble and our fin­gers were soon pur­ple-stained by burst­ing berries. Mean­while at knee height the dogs were brows­ing and graz­ing on the fruit, care­fully pluck­ing the ripe ones and leav­ing the red. Who knew that hounds were fruitar­ian?

We gleaned about three pounds, or 1.2kg if you’re so in­clined, the dogs prob­a­bly about the same. Ours will be for a crum­ble and more im­por­tantly, for a bot­tle or two of black­berry gin.

Of course they will be ex­cel­lent but not a patch on the many fab­u­lous things cre­ated by the en­trants in the EDP Nor­folk Food and Drink Awards this month.

The proud win­ners will be ad­mir­ing their tro­phies and rightly bask­ing in the glory for this year the com­pe­ti­tion has been even more fierce, with record num­bers of en­tries. We’ll bring you the full pic­ture next month.

I HAD a bit of fun for this is­sue, vis­it­ing eight of the county’s cas­tles in a sin­gle day. It was an idea partly sparked by my sur­name of course; had I been called Church I’d still be out there.

It was a mo­ment of slight mad­ness, given that I barely had time to jog round one site be­fore mov­ing on to the next, but I’m glad I did it as I’d not been to sev­eral of the cas­tles since I was an inky school­boy and have never been to Cais­ter Cas­tle. I still haven’t, as it was shut which serves me right for not check­ing first.

One thing that did strike me was how quiet many of these places were, even in the height of the hol­i­day sea­son. The ex­cep­tion was Cas­tle Ris­ing, where en­thu­si­as­tic his­tor­i­cal re-en­ac­tors en­ter­tained the crowds with the clang of sword on shield and the bang of mus­ketry (they cov­ered a lot of his­tory).

Nor­folk’s cas­tles might not be as grand, in many cases, as the coun­try’s big cheeses like Dover or Wind­sor or War­wick, but they have much to of­fer, not least a sense of tran­quil­lity slightly at odds with their war­like past. I’m look­ing for­ward to go­ing around again but at a less fran­tic pace.

FI­NALLY, a small apol­ogy. In last month’s is­sue we printed a photo of a small wad­ing bird which was in­cor­rectly cap­tioned, proof, were it needed, that I don’t know my av­o­cet from my el­bow.

Do­minic Cas­tle Edi­tor, EDP Nor­folk Mag­a­zine 01603 772758 / 07725 201153 do­minic.cas­tle@archant.co.uk

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