War Memorial Gary Trouton

May Editorial

May 2004

Another dose of the Editor's wisdom (or nonsense)

Hello again,

I hope that, by now, you will have recovered from your surfeit of Easter Eggs? We had the good fortune this year to entertain all but one of our nine grandchildren plus three of my sister's grandchildren and two guest children for Easter Sunday. And what a time they had. The weather was great so an outdoor Easter egg hunt became a priority as did the inevitable egg painting competition. Then Maureen set them to a series of games to complete and the competition was fierce; not just between the children but with the adults as well! In fact some adults continued trying to win the prize long after the event was declared closed.

I must confess that, like many of my generation, I feel that Easter has become more a time for consuming chocolate than for remembering its true meaning. That was until I heard the Roman Catholic Bishop of East Anglia on the Mike Ligging's show on Radio Norfolk on Easter Sunday. In response to Mike's question, "Did the Bishop not think that Easter was more about chocolate than Christ?" the Bishop replied, "Well NO! Chocolate was traditionally eaten to refresh people and raise their spirits; that was why it had, over the years, become so popular. But Easter was also a time for Christians to refresh their faith and raise their spirits so, perhaps, chocolate, was not so removed from Easter as it might first appear". What a practical response?

Since Easter I have spent my time preparing my hanging baskets for the forthcoming season. By the time you read this, the threat of over-night ground frosts should have disappeared and we can start putting out our bedding plants and baskets with a degree of confidence. But what concerns me is the ever increasing cost of basket plants! Every time I ask about the cost of Surfinas (or trailing Petunias) I am told the price is so high because of the plant breeders' licence! So when does this licence finally expire? Last year it was this year and this year its next year; could this be yet another stealth tax? But don't forget when you are buying your bedding plants - shop around. Two excellent sources exist here in Stoke Ferry; Trowel House in Oxborough Road and The Woodlands Nursery in Great Mans Way.

To conclude, I must return to my favourite topic of our local bird population. We have been delighted over the past week to welcome the return of the goldfinch and the siskin. What delightful colour they bring to our countryside? I am still totally enthralled by the mating calls and dances of the collar dove and of the blackbird chases we see many time a day. Our only sadness over recent weeks has been the un-timely demise of the beautiful black swan on the Relief Channel. Local experts conclude, having found a scatter of pure black feathers on the channel bank, he was taken by a fox. It seems he had appeared unwell for a couple of days prior to his death which suggests he no longer had the strength to avoid his predator. We miss his cheeky calls for food and his obvious extrovert behaviour, but I suppose that is life in the wild.

Postscript. Please do note the changes in opening hours of Gary Boyce and Michael's Fish Shop. Their new times are contained in their respective advertisement.

Ray Thompson

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