The family enjoys an idyllic Norfolk day out
AS THE summer draws to an end, one day stands out in the memory as being about as perfect as it could be. It was not the sunniest, nor was it planned particularly, but it was just a good old-fashioned Norfolk day out.
Some friends, with children the same age, had rented a beautiful house in Titchwell and we arranged to go and see them. We filled the car with everything one might need for a British summer’s day – from flip-flops and swimsuits to wellie boots and raincoats. In the end, pretty much everything got used!
This is not a part of Norfolk I know very well – in fact I think the last time I had been to this exact spot was when I reported on the discovery of Seahenge, the ancient timbers found in the sand at Holme-next-the sea. Boy, it is stunning: glorious, long views across the fields to the sea, moody skies and – even in peak season – a wonderful sense of openness and space.
We went along to Thornham “Usually the perfect days are the ones without forethought, or special outings, or fancy food. The key ingredients are family, friends and fun” Staithe to go crabbing with the kids. Huge fun was had by all. All nine of us then sat on a jetty and ate fish and chips, which we’d picked up from Eric’s just down the road.
The day was not without drama – Lola got stuck in some very boggy mud, which reached the top of her boots, and had to be rescued by her father (his BBC hostile environments training coming to the fore!). Hugo lost the fishing net over the side of the quay (leading to another manly rescue by his dad). Then, just as we were on a walk, farthest away from the car, the heavens opened and we all got soaked to the skin.
We decamped back to the house; the children changed clothes, the sun came out, games were played, races were held, water bombs were thrown, the children changed again and we ended up staying for a barbecue in the garden, in that beautiful evening light that I have only ever seen in this county.
When we finally got home, and two very tired children climbed sleepily into bed, Lola said to me; “That was definitely the best day of the whole summer holidays. In fact, it was probably the best day of the whole year.”
If we tried to recreate it, it wouldn’t work. Usually the perfect days are the ones without forethought, or special outings, or fancy food. The key ingredients are family, friends and fun. The planets just align, as they did for us in Titchwell, and childhood memories are made.
Above: Lola, right, and her friend Lucy at Thornham