If I can beg forgiveness from anyone who is familiar with East Anglia and in particular with those who are conversant with the county of Norfolk, I have a confession to make, in that all the years that I headed the car between Thetford and Diss I had never encountered or heard of the village of Blo Norton until very recently.
It was after our visit to the Elveden in Suffolk that I came across the name of Blo Norton.
I wonder what deems a village to be of more interest than its neighbours, is it the manor house and its occupants old and new, the church with all its historic pedigree that was the centre of village life,its position in the landscape, I am sure it could be any of these if not all and Blo Norton is no exception.
It sit near the banks of the river Little Ouse which heads westerly joining The River Great Ouse at Brandon Creek, Blo Norton Hall was the home of Prince “Freddy” Frederick Duleep Singh for the last twenty years of his life, in the early twenty century Virginia Woolf made it her holiday home and then there is The Church of St Andrews the last resting place of Frederick Duleep Singh but perhaps what makes this place more interesting is its name.
St Andrews Church
Prince “Freddy” Frederick Duleep Singh
Memorial Seat in St Andrews Grave Yard, Blo Norton, Norfolk, England,
Life is full of surprises, when you think that the whole world has gone to Lucifer’s party someone will thank you for opening the door to allow them to enter the doctor’s surgery first, a car will give way to you as you try to cross the Zebra crossing or the supermarket shopper will give you the first pickings of the last remaining Greek yogurt on special offer.
But surprises do not come any larger than when your better half takes you shopping to select and purchase a pair of brand new walking boots in your size.
Now do not get me wrong, it is not that my wife is slow to shower me with gifts, the opposite is true, in all our married years and there are many I have been blest abundantly.
It is the nature and the timing of the item.
At my time of life and bearing in mind that autumn has now arrived (yes it can be applied metaphorically) surely it should be carpet slippers, a thermal vest or a new pair of woollen pyjamas not a pair of well shod hiking boots with a pedigree fit for the Cuillin Mountains.
Once the astonishment had diminished, I was left contemplating that there is a lot to be eternally grateful, for one the landscape of the fens in which we live is flat and inclines are limited both in nature and size, the winters in Cambridgeshire are never as severe as a December evening in Leith and last but not least my soul mate still thinks I am good for a few miles yet.