As we walked through Cromer towards the pier Barbara
spotted a copy of my sketchbook Richard Bell's Britain
(Collins, 1981) in a secondhand bookshop . The cover was badly faded
- it has obviously been sitting in the window for years, but it's
Also bought a copy of Nature Cure (a new book; Chatto
and Windus, 2005) by Richard Mabey, his account
of 'overcoming depression through a love of nature and a reawakening
of the imagination'. Mabey has been described (by Andrew Motion)
as 'a man for all seasons, most regions and every kind of landscape'
but the Norfolk landscape is one he's been drawn to throughout his
life and the book follows the first year of his new life in East
Anglia. I look forward to reading it during our stay here.
Strips of bacon are being used as bait on the crab-lines dangled off
the end of Cromer Pier. Amongst the shore crabs some children have a couple
of velvet swimming crabs in their bucket:
'I thought it felt like velvet when I picked it up!' their mother says
when I mention the name.
The lifeboat is out on an exercise so we come back to the Tides café
at the entrance to the pier for lunch where I draw this view of the beach,
looking north west along the coast.
The garden house
Not far from the
pier, on Garden Street, we came across the garden house
which has a mix of arts, crafts and the fun things that no seaside
gift shop can be without.
And, they now also stock Saints and Serpents,
my sketchbook of coast, cottage garden and medieval church (and
some of the serpentine forms I found along the way) in the country
to the south of Cromer.
The garden house is so far the only shop in Norfolk
to stock Saints and Serpents, so, if you're passing, please
call in and buy a copy because, if it sells well enough, that would
be all the excuse I'd need to do another sketchbook about the wilder
side of Norfolk.
Editions: if you aren't near Cromer you can buy a copy of
Saints and Serpents from me.
Richard Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org