8 June 2024

Walkin' Back to Happiness

For Amanda

It's showery and cold today, but yesterday morning I set off from Hunstanton along the Norfolk Coast Path towards Thornham.  

Funny but it's true
What loneliness can do
Since I've been away
I have loved you more each day

Red Valerian

Past the old lighthouse (now holiday lets) and into Old Hunstanton where the dunes are peppered with multi-coloured Beach Huts, some for hire (c£1,000 a week peak season) and some for sale (c£35K to £50K leasehold).

This one is protected from the devil by a self-sown Elder (Sambucus nigra)....

And here the Dog Rose (Rosa Canina) may ward off evil spirits and protect from the plague.

It is quiet, and the light is fair.  I breathe clean air, and feel good to be out.  I love the colours around me; I love my new-found freedom, despite the sadness it is clothed in.

Today is a day for flowers.  It has been a strange summer so far - everything has a spring-like freshness, even though we are only weeks off the longest day.  In the grass by the path I note Common Spotted Orchids (I think - forgive me if my identifications are mistaken?) which raise their heads against a backdrop of Yellow Archangels....

Everything seems to be in flower, from the brambles....

To the nettles.....

Even those without chlorophyll, like this Broomrape:

And then there are the grasses - this being Hare's-Tail Grass waving in the breeze.....

The bright colours are a delight.  From the pale pink of Thrift:

To the shiny gold of Common Hawkweed:

And of Bird's-Foot-Trefoil (sometimes called Granny's toenails, though better known as Eggs and Bacon):



To the Lapis Lazuli blue of Germander Speedwell:

Over there there's a string of Pyramidal Orchids:

And then a bunch of Weld (Reseda Luteola also known as Dyer's Weed as it provides a rich yellow dye):

Then I am jolted back to the day, as the path has crumbled away, eaten into by coastal erosion, a reminder that the world  needs looking after:

And on the detour a hole in the ground brings to mind the Second World War and the anniversary of D Day, and all the sacrifices and suffering that we should not forget.....

But the honeysuckle waves me on:

And the Wild Carrot seems so healthy there has to be hope....?

Though of course everything is subject to multiple interpretations, as are these blood-red Poppies:

It has been another pleasant walk, one that Amanda would have enjoyed, so I will carry on for her.....

My love she speaks like silence,
Without ideals or violence,
She doesn't have to say she's faithful,
Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.

People carry roses,
Make promises by the hours,
My love she laughs like the flowers,
Valentines can't buy her.

Love Minus Zero/No Limit
Bob Dylan (1965)

Walking back to happiness
Said goodbye to loneliness
I never knew I'd miss you
Now I know what I must do
Walking back to happiness I shared with you

Helen Shapiro (1961)

Written by John Schroeder and Mike Hawker


  1. Great stuff; love the lyrics; love the pics!

    1. I've sat on that beach so many times when I was young and on holiday! Wonderful to see it again!