A North Norfolk Field near the village of Letheringset. I think this is very beautiful and I love the way the precision ploughing defines the contours of the fields and the effect of perspective. I also like the interplay of the freestanding trees and the continuous coppices in the distance. Of course, this beauty is at a cost. There is not a weed in sight and the precision ploughing was done with a tractor. What is, on the face of it, benign and rustic, is actually tense and high tech,  requiring the application of chemical herbicides and pesticides and the burning of petroleum.


Relegated now to wasteland and field margins the poppies that once flowered profusely in the fields of North Norfolk still offer a vibrant note of red in a sea of green, but in marginal areas only. These flowers are all the more beautiful for their simplicity and of course now their relative rareness.


Striking a different note this epitaph on a gravestone in Wiveton Churchyard tells the moving story of an early death, probably in childbirth and of the subsequent death of the little girl who was saved after a very short life. Or perhaps they both died together in some terrible accident or from an infectious disease. Graveyards are full of these stories, but sadly the stone that was used is often soft and so delaminates. Even memorials have a relatively short life, though I hope that the beauty of the lettering on this one will continue to convey the moving story for quite a few years yet.

So these are some of the things I spotted on a recent trip to North Norfolk. These are ordinary things but for all that they are also precious. It puzzles me that I find it such a delight to escape from the London I also love into the ever-changing but still largely man-made countryside.

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