Thursday, 30 June 2011

Coast to coast

The Lighthouse Keeper, his beautiful wife and loveable dog don’t actually live in a lighthouse. They reside in a more conventional ‘box’ with a nice garden in the middle of the Fens, the flatlands of eastern England.

It’s a seascape of kinds but there’s no view of the sea from here, just big open skies. As the local crow flies, however, it is only some 10-15 miles to the muddy Wash, the largest estuary system in Britain.

If vast swaths of the Fens — land mostly at or just above sea level — become flooded as sea levels rise through climate change in the future the sea view could one day come to us.

But to other matters. Let me introduce our dog, a cute Italian Greyhound called Rosie, or various derivatives of the name according to mood, including ‘Rosebud’,‘Buddy’, ‘RD’ and other affectionate unmentionables. She was 14 last week, so is an old lady now. Generally healthy and enjoying the occasional walk but with failing eyesight due to cataracts.



For those of you not familiar with this breed, or never having met an ‘Iggy’, they are the coolest member of the sight hound family but weigh in at a rather diddy size. A bit dropped off your regular racing monster and generally about half the size of a Whippet. But in every other respect they look and behave in the same laid back way.

Not sure that RD would appreciate living alongside or beneath a giant flashing light but if we ever did transfer to a real lighthouse then a candidate might be this one.


This warning outpost is located on the sandy cliffs above the traditional seaside town of Cromer on the North Norfolk coast so it is not exactly remote in terms of lighthouse locations.

Cromer, and its surrounding countryside and beaches, are a long-time favourite haunt for family holidays and weekends away. It lies some 25 miles north east of historic Norwich and much of its charm is that - apart from the necessary trappings of modern life - little has changed since its Victorian heyday.


A welcome addition about four years ago to Cromer’s growing café and restaurant society was ‘The Rocket House’, just down from the town’s iconic pier which still boasts a theatre for summer shows and a lifeboat station on the end.

The Rocket House is so-called because the café, with the Henry Blogg lifeboat museum below, is built on a site that was used during the Second World War to fire warning rockets out over the North Sea.


The food is always great, the coffee the best in Cromer, and the staff friendly. The view across the beach and sea through porthole windows or from the outside balcony is enthralling whatever the weather.

And with a word like ‘rocket’ in its name where could be more appropriate for the Lighthouse Keeper and his wife to repose on a sunny Norfolk afternoon?

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