Friday, 13 May 2011
Normal For Norfolk?
Just got back from a few days spent in Sheringham on the North Norfolk Coast., eating fish and chips and crab sandwiches, drinking pints of Wherry Bitter and walking the coastal path. It's not an area I know that well, but I enjoyed Sheringham which seemed a friendly, unpretentious little resort and the surrounding countryside with it's wealth of birdlife is great walking country. Mind you, Sheringham might be unpretentious but some of the other towns and villages were a bit like Cotswolds On Sea; all posh shops and gastro pubs.
As I said, it's not an area that I know at all well but I have visited North Norfolk a couple of times before. On one occasion I was working on location for an episode of Dalziel And Pascoe. In those days I used to do a bit of what we called "marine co-ordination " for film and TV. This particular job, like many others, involved dumping a dinghy in a lake and hanging around the catering truck for hours. The other memorable visit was almost twenty years ago. My son was heavily into kickboxing at the time and was due to fight on a show in North Walsham. We were to all rendezvous at a gym in Isleworth and await the coach that was due to take us to this place that we only knew to be, "somewhere in Norfolk".
The arrival of the coach was a harbinger of things to come. It was very old and this along with the HAYES SEA SCOUTS painted on the side implied that it was not part of the fleet of one of the major coach companies. It was obvious that there was no way that the assembled number of fighters, trainers and assorted hangers on could all be found seats on the vehicle; a problem that was solved by filling the central aisle up with plastic chairs, cramming everyone in and hoping for the best. Hours later we arrived at what we hoped was the right town. "Is this North Walsham man, know what I meen?", inquired some of our black comrades of the dumbstruck locals. Eventually we arrived at the venue and the proceedings got underway. In those days it was usual for some kind of demonstration of martial arts to take place during the interval and this frequently involved someone trying hard not to knock themselves unconscious with nunchakus. A local instructor had decided to give us Cockney Wankers a taste of the rural by performing a kata with a garden fork. This unusual act came to an unfortunate end when he somehow managed to pierce his foot with the implement. The doctor, who with tweed jacket and leather elbow patches looked as though he would be more at home helping one of the local farmers with a difficult calving, was extracted from the bar and the casualty eventually sent to hospital. The doctor had hardly got back to his pint when he was again called to ringside to deal with a fighter who was choking on his gumshield. At this stage I was just heartily thankful that her indoors was not present. There was a crushing inevitability about my son loosing his fight and equally inevitable I suppose was the coach breaking down on the way home. Yes, few but memorable have been my visits to North Norfolk