Passing St Bennett's Abbey on our Norfolk Broads holiday

A generally wet month in which we still enjoyed the end of our Norfolk Boating holiday after a very full tour of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads but we had not managed in two attempts to get The Lady under Potter Heigham bridge but we visited the beach from several nearby venues and enjoyed the amusements and the sandy sea shores. We were sad to have to come back to find Hayling View alarm problems and to have to deal with a mountain of chores but we soon reverted to our normal activities and routine but both us and our family are well. The UK economy is suffering with a stock exchange crash, high unemployment from manufacturing decline and other economic woes, after the so called ‘Big Bang’ libertarian reforms. Thatcher is still resisting measures to deal with the carnage in South Africa despite the miners’ strike and ongoing worker deaths and a proper enquiry into the Spy catcher revelations, The Coastguards are those fearful of inner city deprivation are on the warpath, there are Notting Hill riots and firearms reforms are mooted after the Hungerford Massacre. The Gulf is a powder keg with tankers being damaged and oil flowing from damaged shore installtions, Mecca is in uproar, but the Arms Talks deadlocks might be solved by the German Pershing missile concession.  150 die in the Flight 255 Detroit air crash with just one passenger surviving

And so we see the end of August, a month in which we have had twice the seasonal average of rain and even more so in East Anglia, which has seen flooding and gross damage to cereal crops. This completes a very wet and unsettled summer but we completed our Norfolk holiday and enjoyed it immensely, even though the weather was disappointing. There was so much to do that the girls were very content and were loathe to come home. The alarm was the only problem, but we are putting that behind us now. Such a contrast, however, in terms of the boat traffic and water quality, which shows us how lucky we are with our home river.

Our month on board started on a breezy day for some sailing in Oulton Broad on our Blue Peter, with a beach and amusements trip to Lowestoft by minibus but we failed to manage a sea trip in The Little Lady due to the Mutford Lock restrictions. Then more time at our favourite Waveney River Centre with its swimming pool and on to Somerleyton where we visited the Hall, its gardens, the maize and miniature railway. There followed the cruise across Breydon Water via St Olaves for fuel and water after which we stopped at the Great Yarmouth Marina and a long walk to the beach, Joyland, and rided for the girls on ponies and us in a landau before back to The Lady by taxi. It was sad to see Yarmouth so run down with polluted beaches. There was always swimming in The Marina Centre and then another foray for us to Pleasurewood Hills and dinner date with Di but we came back to witness carnage amongst the hire craft hitting the Bure bridges. The long cruise up The Bure and Thurne and several attempts to get The Lady under Potter Heigham bridge which just failed even though it registered 6ft 9ins and we had three bridge pilots helping! Our sliding roof was not curved enough evidently. We still enjoyed Latham’s and the local playing field and I could get replacement gas cylinders. On from Potter Heigham to Horning Ferry Marina Helska Leisure Centre for some swimming and washing via Ludham Dyke and mooring by mud-weight in Womack Water on a very wet night but with The Lady’s roof keeping us dry. The Lady manages Wroxham Bridge with ease and we moor to shop at Roys and chance upon Stephen Bloom and family whilst there and then moor by Wroxham Broad for the night with some more sailing and fishing, From the moorings back at Wroxham, we took the long walk to Wroxham Barns before cruising up to Coltishall where I treated Di to The Kings Head for dinner and get in the way of German and Dutch boats wanting the water point when we take lunch at The Rising Sun. The next night we moored at Salhouse by mud weight and went ashore by dinghy, before returning to our favourite Horning Ferry Martina to use their facilities. Back downstream from Salhouse to Malhouse Broad where we used the Little Lady to access the dyke before cruising back and attending The Fairhouse Garden Trust Open day. Then our passage took us up The Ant where we stopped at Ludham Bridge for fuel and supplies and then suffered our damage at How Hill before cruising up to Sutton Staithe to find that fishing had been poor this year. When we returned to How Hill we found a witness and a helpful river inspector willing to prosecute the speeding culprit as we walked to Sutton Windmill and then a venture to the head of navigation at Dilham where we walked to Dilham Church and odd village shop staffed by a blind couple. I found a former Fisher, St Neots, shopkeeper at Smallburgh before we cruised to Gay’s Staithe by The Barton Angler and then on to Neatishead Staithe in the Little Lady before sailing in Barton Broad in our, by now, damaged Blue Peter. Then the cruise back to Womack Water and Sunday lunch at Aaron’s Nook café in Ludham and an afternoon cruise through Potter Heigham and up the Thurne on the Little Lady to Horsey Mill but the attempted walk across to the beach led to our beloved push chair being damaged but we still made it back to The Lady in Potter Heigham. Another attempt to get The Lady under the bridge failed and so we took the bus to Norwich and bought another McLaren pushchair before taking The Little Lady again up to Martham Ferry and the overgrown Martham Broad from which we walked to Winterton beach via East Somerton to see the waterfowl, gardens and abandoned church ruin. Our next trip in The Little Lady was to Hickling and the Greyhound Inn before we brought all of pour boats back to Acle Bridge boatyard for the night. Where we took walks and got Daniel’s boat engine repaired. Our trip back down the Ant, and Bure ended at Great Yarmouth Marina again for a last visit to The Marina Centre and its wave machine. It was there that I checked my telephone messages and heard that our house alarm had been sounding, disturbing the neighbourhood and exercising the police and fire brigades, such that we had to enjoy our last day in Yarmouth in Joyland and Pleasurebeach and then ‘hi-tail’ it back to Brundall via the Bure Bridges, Breydon Water, another stop at The Waveney River Centre and thence home.  The fishing that I started in Norfolk has continued at home, as the better river depth and clarity from weeds supports fish off of our moorings as good as any. Some nice recreation, but we returned to a mountain of chores and I have only just emerged from post-holiday depression. I had to take Della under my wing as she was suffering more than the rest of us and the Broads river inspector was soon in touch as our prosecution goes well. We resume our routine and family visits, visit St Ives auction, Debbie’s horse-riding, children’s parties and then hear of serious flooding in Hickling since our visit there. I collect The Lady from Buckden Marina and take a healthy walk around Paxton. I had lots of matters to deal with, such as bill-paying, reading mail and reconciling my accounts and getting the swimming pool back into chemical balance and have had a call on my Little Paxton history project and also written confirmation of my engagement to speak to the Local History Society and so I will soon be back into that to keep me busy. Saw in the computer journals that Geoff Lynch of Xitan has parted with Kode and I see that as the end of an era of my past influence and involvement. It corresponds with me cancelling my PO Box 7 consulting mail box and so I will no longer receive the computer bumf. Both the family and I are well and short on phobias after our holiday but I did have a big stomach ache and was sick for a day or two and Deb soon to starts Kimbolton with Daniel, which is a landmark. Della is growing fast and has just learnt to swim. My parents love the new roof I bought them but I am concerned to hear about Dad’s kidney stones. City of London ‘Big-Bang’ chickens are coming home to roost and Britain turns to tourism as basic industries slowly degenerate. Scott Lithgow, in Glasgow, face closure after 300 years of ship-building. The political opposition to Thatcher is divided and disorganised, which is depressing and dangerous as unemployment reaches 10% and inflation is rising too. The UK Coastguard officers now vote to commence industrial action. The Spycatcher book has become a best-seller in Canada but the UK government still tries to supress it in the UK and gets the law Lords to uphold the ban flatly refuses to allow an investigations into its claims about spying on the Opposition leaders, though at least one is allowed into the wrongful conviction of the Guilford Pub Bombing.  There are hunger strikes aboard the prison ship Earl William and men are arrested approaching Tom King’s farmhouse. Rupert Murdoch is embroiled in another controversy. Rover increase production by 30%. The merger between British Airways and British Caledonian Airways is being referred to the Monopolies Commission. A big bear market develops on the London Stock Exchange,  makes a slight recovery, but then shares entered free-fall as near panic ensues with the release of the money supply figures and the Government faces criticism from within its own ranks for deserting Inner Cities and the North. Further bombings take place in Ulster, nine are arrested after the 128-box London Safe Deposit Raid. It had emerged that the Cleveland Child Abuse doctor Manelfa Higgs has been at loggerheads with the police over her strictures as five more children are released from unnecessary ‘protection’ and a toddler under this care dies of injuries, enraging the parents and many others. 15 people are killed in the Hungerford Massacre and Home Secretary Douglas Hurd advocates curtailing gun ownership. Half of Devon’s ambulances are taken off the road due to losing wheels through poor maintenance and two more Norfolk pilots die in a low-flying accident involving the new fighter aircraft and the SDP leaders are back from holiday and now giving interviews and are very active again and then their party leaders reject merger plans with the Liberals. There is better news of Terry Waite but worse in Notting Hill where there is rioting, looting and missile-throwing at the Carnival. Elsewhere, 150 people die in a Detroit air crash, tornados have ripped apart the Canadian City of Edmonton and forest fires devastate Rhodes Island and the Gulf shows all the signs of seeding a substantial conflict, if not war, extending beyond Iran & Iraq with both the US and now the UK flagging oil tankers and deploying mine-sweepers to try and protect oil supplies but these are matched by more Iranian patrols. The US calls on a ban on the sales of UK arms to Iran as 50 companies ignore balancing rules and wants us to take part in a joint mine-sweeping exercise as the US-led convoys move off as oil rises to $20 per barrel. The protection against mines is very questionable and then inevitably a US-flagged tanker is holed by a mine explosion, taking on water, which prompts the British and French governments to send mine-sweepers but now Iran threatens our ships as well. Iran’s ‘Revolutionary Guards’ attack a Norwegian tanker and a game of cat and mouse between warships is becoming very dangerous.  Iraq then begins attacking Iranian oil installations and leave oil flooding into the sea from the Kharg oil terminal.  British holidaymakers are injured in a Tunisian bomb attack and Israel seal off part of the Gaza Strip after another. Mecca is alive with unrest and Iranians demonstrate in London over the deaths there. The Western banks at last write off Third World debts, but the repercussions go on. Good time to be retired! The Geneva nuclear arms talks stall over the German Pershing missile installations but then the Germans offer them to be sacrificed for a deal as a year and a half after Chernobyl; there are still high radiation levels on upland grass levels and sheep movement restrictions. In South Africa 250,000 black miners’ strike for freedom but the police force their way into a Union meeting and arrest the leaders but their strike continues despite this intimidation but is settled in the end but then 8 more die in them, making 800 in the last 10 years! . Rudolf Hess dies in Spandau prison in some circumstances that some think are suspicious. The Sri-Lankan President is injured in a bomb attack and others killed and now some 6.000 have been killed in the civil war between Tamils and the Sinhalese. Didier Peroni dies in a Channel power boat accident as his vessel hits a wake and 3,000 holidaymakers are stranded in Majorca in an air traffic controllers strike for a while until their demands are met and the Philippine President Cory Aquino repels another coup attempt but it was a serious attack involving air assault and artillery. World records tumble in the Athletic Championships