Showing off the delights of our town (including a burnt-out car)
I rarely see my brother Maurice as he lives on the other side of the Atlantic.
So it was very special to welcome him to Fakenham for a few days.
He had previously been with my sister down in Surrey, catching up on the various branches of the family concentrated there.
We are both still energetic, despite advancing years, so there was a fair bit of traipsing around local pathways.
One of the delights of this was seeing sights familiar to me through someone else’s eyes.
Fortunately, the weather played its part with no rain, mainly bright skies and glorious autumn colours everywhere.
Here’s a potted version. As you might expect, the River Wensum took pride of place.
It’s not exactly at its best right now, with too many fallen trees cluttering its flow but once past the short section beyond the three brick arches bridge, everything was more picturesque.
I might have wished for the sight of some rarities like an otter or a kingfisher to make an appearance but this was really asking too much. We had to be content with the old faithfulls such as mallards, moorhens and swans.
Still, it proved a constant diversion.
Out at Goggs Mill the cockerels had returned in force. For some weeks their numbers had been thin so it was good to see the finery of their feathers and hear their raucous crowing.
The mission one morning was to follow the old railway line out to Sculthorpe Mill.
We paused beside a burnt-out car , barely recognisable, which someone, sometime had managed to abandon on the path.
It was just possible to see our town’s name scrawled on the side with a yellow arrow pointing back the way we had come.
A rendezvous at the pub was the inevitable conclusion to our stroll with a chance to marvel at the transformation recently invested in its bar area and elsewhere.
The coincidence of a Fakenham race meeting was too good to miss.
Maurice had never experienced jump racing before and despite failing to pick a winner on the day, reckoned it to be great fun.
Away from home ground we went to my son’s place in Newmarket and spent a couple of hours walking along the top of the Devil’s Dyke which in this flattish landscape provided great views of the surrounding fields.
And more especially of Newmarket’s July race course.
There was some speculation about the purpose of the earthwork which is 10 metres high in places and spans a length of seven miles. Built in Anglo-Saxon times there may well have been a defensive origin.
Or perhaps a significant division between territories. Whatever the purpose we agreed that the work would have been extremely tough and life-threatening in that pre-mechanised era.
Best to be born a member of the ruling classes was the general consensus.
Our pub rendezvous was at The Red Lion in Burwell which was very welcoming.
There had been a function earlier and its remnants of cheese, cold meat and biscuits spread out on a table were offered to us by the landlady.
Accompanied by our pints, it was a perfect way to round off the afternoon.