I didn't have a very good night's sleep and got up late. Sunshine all day, good for the spirit. Blog reader Steve Buick very kindly posted a comment on my post yesterday to say "There is a guy in Heacham who copies videos who only charges £6.00. His name is Jim Thomson on 07985 627301." I read this when I got up today. I phoned Jim up and he said he could get all four videos done by the end of the week! Result! Huge thanks to Steve Buick, saved me a fortune!
I drove to Hunstanton – the massive back log of traffic/traffic lights at the new roundabout is now gone, as the roundabout is now in full operation – mind you, I can see some accidents happening here! Two lanes of traffic are allowed to go straight over to the second exit and the right hand filter lane, filters in much too quick – there will be collisions! Just saying! I managed to get my videos back from 'Wolfy's Video & Photography' shop in Hunstanton, before they were sent off – phew! Headed for Holme for some sea air.
I parked along the Firs Road by the pools of water at the 5-bar gate and walked to the NWT Forestry in hope of finding my first Spring Wheatear. Wheatears always seem to turn up in East Norfolk first, shouldn't be too long now for us north west birders! I didn't find any, or anything in the forestry apart from a couple of Magpies and a Hedgesparrow. I walked back along the pot-holed road to my car. Big numbers of Golden Plover and Lapwings on the marsh and also Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Redshanks, Curlew, Shelducks, Starling flocks feeding, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Short-eared Owl briefly flying east.
I was in a melancholy mood and visited Holme Church. My parents married here on 30th March 1964 – this March would have been their 53rd anniversary. I married here on 13th June 1992 and my father walked me down the aisle – he was so proud and I can remember that hot sunny day like yesterday – pity it didn't work out!!! Anyway...... I sat in the church on the front pew for a good while, with so many thoughts racing through my mind. I walked around the churchyard to read headstones of people who I have known in this village all my life and felt proud to be a part of this wonderful village and all the characters that used to be here – Peter Tipple who used to run 'Tipples's Stores' on the main road, Donald Plume, church warden, Miranda's (whom I went to school with, next to the church) father and other relatives, Mrs Mann who used to serve the school dinners, Mr Renaut, farmer, who had the dairy along Eastgate Street (we knew it as 'Cow Lane') and so on. I felt a huge sadness being here, so many closed chapters. You can see across the marshes to both Holme Dunes NWT and Holme Bird Observatory from the back of the churchyard – a special place.
I visited Holme Marsh Reserve NWT and gave the buddleia by the first hide, its annual prune that my mother planted (a long time ago) and if anyone is asking, I asked permission! I should have done it sooner, but have not had the time. Hopefully it will be full of flowers and butterflies later on for visitors to enjoy whilst birding. From hide one, there was a Little Grebe, Mallard, Heron, Marsh Harriers x 2, Curlew, Egyptian Geese, Coots, Blackbird, a Robin and a Cetti's Warbler burst into song. I didn't go to the other hides, but headed back to my Mother's house.
Mother and I stamped and addressed envelopes (with typed letter) to distant relatives and friends who don't have the Internet or email etc to let them know that Father has died – another job off the list.
Dropped in my four videos to be converted into DVD's to Jim Thomson at Heacham. It was really nice to meet him and from what he was telling me, he has had a fascinating life in the film industry, filming weddings globally and all kinds! He is therefore, the best person to convert my videos!!! Thanks Jim.
Tomorrow is going to be traumatic – I'm taking Lucy to see Father at John Lincoln's Funeral Directors. Lucy insists she wants to see him, but I feel she may regret this, I'm not looking forward to doing this a second time. Vivien has decided she can't face it and wants to remember him as he was – glad I haven't got to go a third time!