Tag Archives: fire

Hunstanton Pier

It looks good in the picture doesn’t it? What more could you want in a pier? Well, a bit of length wouldn’t go amiss – it doesn’t actually reach the sea.

Hunstanton Pier from the side - can you see the problem?

Hunstanton Pier from the side – can you see the problem?

l must have been going to Hunstanton for around 50 years, often unwillingly, as my parents forced me to tour Sandringham, Norfolk Lavender and a variety of other boring horrors. As a youngster all I required was sand and water, progressing to arcades and birds as I grew older. Stately homes, lavender and art sales did nothing for me.

It’s a nice place but not really an aspirational destination for anyone under 40. It has a sensory garden, a blue crab scheme (blue crabs stencilled by drains to remind you that pouring unpleasant things down the drains is bad for wildlife on the beach)  and a catering outlet called Tubbie’s. The grammar is confusing, maybe even dodgy but the food is cheap and stodgy, and, as it says on the side “Tubbilicious”. Four freshly cooked doughnuts and two very nice coffees cost £3.

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A very fine takeaway

Tubby, or Tubbie, is a well-rounded man, though Julia was not totally impressed. Let’s face it, she’s been a bit spoiled in that department. I’m not just Tubby, I look like I eat tubby men for breakfast.

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Four doughnuts for £1 – diabetes for free

The pier was opened in 1870 and was 830 feet long. By 1882 a steamer service travelled between Skegness and Hunstanton.

In 1939 the pavilion was destroyed by fire, and as there were more pressing things to do, it was never repaired. I imagine that the pier was breached in 1940 as an anti-invasion measure and after that it just deteriorated. They built a new arcade in 1964, which is the one I remember, though I’m not sure I actually remember the pier extending out to sea.

The pier was destroyed by a storm in 1978 and the arcade burnt down in 2002, which is when the new arcade was built. In 2012 an application was made to the National Lottery Fund for £7.5 million to build a new pier, but as you can see, it was not successful.

It was a pleasant few hours, and, as you will see in days to come, the town has a lot to offer.

For now I will leave you with a picture of the cliffs.

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Hunstanton Cliffs

A Clumsy Day and an Accidental Arsonist

I woke in my chair just after midnight on Monday morning, feeling stiff and misshapen I’d missed the chance to post on the day I was describing so I forced myself to stay up long enough to add photos, but couldn’t be bothered with captions. Then I posted and realised, too late, that  then I I’d forgotten the title.

Fortunately Albert Schweitzer was there to supply the deficiency.

Things got worse when I started to get ready for work. My first clumsiness was to knock the sliced beef off the kitchen counter, where it landed with a slap on the floor. It probably picked up millions of bacteria despite my application of the Ten Second Rule. This, as most of you will know, states that food is still fit to eat if you pick it up less than ten seconds after it hit the floor.

I’ve also seen it described as the Five Second Rule. No way that’s going to happen. It takes me longer than that to bend these days.

Thinking sensibly, for once, I decided the risk wasn’t worth it and, regretfully, binned the meat.

Then I remembered what a doctor had once told me when I was discussing unpasteurised apple juice. According to an American website I’d read you have to pasteurise juice before drinking. We’d been happily pressing for years and feeding to all and sundry from 5 to 95 years old. He said that if you drink it immediately after juicing, the microorganisms haven’t time to multiply and cause problems, and told us there was no reason to stop doing it. So I thought. And I decided that if I ate the beef immediately I should be OK. Fortunately I’d just put a new bag in the bin so that was clean.

Anyway, with the addition of horseradish sauce I enjoyed beef sandwiches for breakfast and suffered no ill effects.

The second thing he told me was that I could safely disregard most food hygiene advice from Americans as they worry too much.

Of course, this was the same man who cut his finger tip quite badly with a power saw and tied it all back with a bandage which became quite grubby over the next few weeks. When I mentioned the possibility of gangrene he just muttered that it would either heal or drop off. And, remarkably, it did heal.

I also dropped the phone, knocked it out of Mark’s hand (twice) as we both tried to pick it up, rendered the scanner inoperative, dropped stamps all over the floor and generally had an uncoordinated sort of day.

All that was as nothing compared to the day suffered by the mother of the owner of the Chinese Takeaway between the old shop and the new shop. She was burning cardboard boxes in the back garden when the fire spread to a pile of dry conifer trimmings. It then spread to one of the dead conifers.

When the opticians on the other side noticed flames higher than their roof they decided to call the Fire Brigade.

That’s why today’s photographs show a fire engine, ash on top of my car, and some grumpy firemen. It seems they had better things to do.

 

 

Stop All The Clocks (Part 3)

Sorry, it’s been a while since Part 1 and Part 2, which covered making my own funeral arrangements. I had meant to keep them closer together but, as you know, I’ve not been very industrious lately.

The funeral is going to be non-religious, cheap and hot, with a cardboard coffin and informal dispersal of the remains. Let “economic dignity” be the theme.

That leaves the catering and the music.

The music is a problem, as I’m very limited in my musical taste, and a lot of it has been done before. On top of that is the problem that the music isn’t really for my amusement and going through the curtains to The Crazy World of Arthur Brown may not meet with Julia’s approval. In fact I know it doesn’t as we’ve discussed it before.

Being serious for a moment, my funeral isn’t really about me. Yes, I’ve no doubt that they will talk about me, share a few memories and, if honest, agree that I did have a few imperfections. Really, though, it’s for the people who are left behind, and planning all the details seems a bit presumptuous. After all, I’m not the one who is going to have to sit through it all.

There’s a site with some favourite songs but most of them are either a bit over-used or too sad for funerals or, let’s be honest, rubbish. I’m not going to set myself up as a music critic, but I will be leaving a list of songs not to play at my funeral.

I quite like Banks of Green Willow, though I also like the theme from The Outlaw Josie Wales. Not saying anyone should play them, but there are worse songs to go out to. When the Angels Sing sounds like it should be suitable, but despite my love of the track it doesn’t really fit with my dull suburban life.

One of the things I’ve been meaning to do is write some better funeral poetry as most of it is fairly dreary. We read one of my father-in-law’s poems at his funeral – a short light verse about senior moments and that was good. One of my cousins had one of his own poems at his funeral, which was a bit more serious, but still better than anything you find by Googling funeral poems, apart from Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

Anything that talks about meeting later or, even worse, being in another room, is definitely out. So is anything claiming I am like wind beneath your wings, or anything else. The word wind, when linked to me, does not, I confess, lead to thoughts on a higher plane. It’s meant to be a dignified occasion and I don’t want any sniggering during the eulogy.

That’s enough for now, we’ll have to cover catering in another installment as I get nervous when a post gets close to 500 words. I’m a blogger, not a novelist.