Ed­i­tor’s let­ter

EDP Norfolk - - Contents -

“LOVE is a many splen­dored thing” war­bled leg­endary trou­ba­dour Nat King Cole many years ago. He was right, of course, and it is also a splen­did thing, but it is not al­ways a sparkly or shiny thing burst­ing with fire­works, es­pe­cially af­ter it has had a year or two to calm down and draw breath.

Susie Fowler-Watt en­cap­su­lates a ma­ture love rather beau­ti­fully in her col­umn this month (I’m sure Alex was con­sulted pre­pub­li­ca­tion) and she is right about so much.

This month Valen­tine’s Day will of­fer lovers the op­por­tu­nity to shower one an­other with heartshaped ephemera and gushy cards and hand over many, many pounds for un­sea­sonal flow­ers.

It will also mean that is it im­pos­si­ble to get a ta­ble for sev­eral days around the 14th; I could eas­ily be con­vinced that Valen­tine was not a mar­tyred Ro­man priest but was, in fact, a canny restau­ra­teur look­ing to boost those quiet Fe­bru­ary book­ings. (This has prece­dent, of a sort; the plough­man’s lunch is not the cen­turies-old fare of horny-handed sons of the soil as you might imag­ine but was in­vented in the 60s by the Milk Mar­ket­ing Board, look­ing to up Ched­dar sales.)

For­tu­nately for me, Mrs Cas­tle is too much the skin­flint to em­brace the gooey ex­cesses of Valen­tine’s Day; she would be aghast if I pre­sented her with a three-foot high Teddy bear­ing the leg­end ‘Mr Snug­gles luvs oo’ or some sim­i­lar hor­ror. A sug­ges­tion to dine out on the 14th would also be met with pursed lips and a crisp re­mark about the place be­ing rammed to the gun­nels.

She is not a total skin­flint, how­ever, when it comes to mark­ing the on­ward jour­ney of our re­la­tion­ship. This au­tumn marks the 30th an­niver­sary of our nup­tials and I sus­pect a fail­ure to cel­e­brate this prop­erly will re­sult in a chill wind cool enough to re­verse the ef­fects of global warm­ing.

In­deed we were watch­ing the re­cent TV pro­gramme which fea­tured the Crown Jew­els in star­tling close-up. “Some­thing to think about in Septem­ber,” said her­self.

But for this month we will, like Susie and Alex, let Valen­tine’s Day slip by largely un­re­marked. We are not just be­ing cur­mud­geonly, though and will cer­tainly pay a visit in due course to some of the ro­man­tic spots around Nor­folk fea­tured in this is­sue, prob­a­bly for a nice walk on Holkham Beach.

If noth­ing else it will get the old step count up on our Fit­bits (other wear­able fit­ness track­ers are avail­able, but they’re prob­a­bly not as good). We are not early adopters of new tech­nol­ogy, but we catch up in our own time, as be­fits Nor­folk residents.

These Fit­bits (unimag­i­na­tively known as Fat­bits in our house) have in­tro­duced a com­pet­i­tive el­e­ment to our lives. It is not about the num­ber of steps walked daily – 9,226 at time of writ­ing, if you’re ask­ing – but more about the qual­ity of our slum­bers.

The ca­sual morn­ing en­quiry “did you sleep well?” is now an­swered in de­tail with per­cent­ages of REM, time spent awake, light and deep sleep, mea­sured against the sta­tis­ti­cal norm for peo­ple of our age, height, weight, hair colour and mu­si­cal pref­er­ence. It’s enough to send a soul back to bed.

Enjoy Fe­bru­ary, whether or not you em­brace Valen­tine’s Day. Now if you’ll ex­cuse me I have an­other 774 steps to do.

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

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