Lost At Sea


Although I’m extraordinarily lucky in respect of where I live (and who I live with) one of the things I’m missing more than anything else is the opportunity to stare out to sea.

I look forward to being reacquainted at some point soon (although if you’re reading this and also happen to work for Her Majesty’s Government not too soon eh?).

I’ve no idea what’s going on with my WordPress account at the moment, although I think it’s reasonable to suggest that the problems I’m experiencing are marginally overshadowed by events elsewhere. This should have been something like blogpost number twenty-two on what appears to be day number fifty (although mathematics isn’t my strong point so I may well be wrong). We’ll gloss over the treasures that you’ve missed in the intervening days, and yes I know you’ll cope just fine regardless, however given that my mental health is back on a somewhat even keel (for me) I’m going to continue posting at a slightly more relaxed pace and release myself from the race to reach the centenary mark.

Today it’s the turn of St Felix, specifically St Felix church ‘in’ the deserted medieval settlement of Babingley, and somewhat less specifically St Felix of Burgundy – the man responsible for introducing Christianity to the kingdom of East Anglia back in (or around) 636.

Over the years I’ve driven past the ruins of St Felix church out in the distance many hundreds of times, sitting as it does out in what I had assumed was a difficult to reach field that edges out towards the nearby coastline. However with time on my hands and a hope that landowner Baron Howard of Rising was otherwise engaged, I spent part of my weekend making my way through the overgrown edges of the surrounding fields and managed to arrive at my intended destination with relative ease.

As a child I recall rumours that building was a local black magick hot spot, however all I found was a largely unloved and slowly decaying church, badly fenced off and housing nothing but a nesting(?) pair of Greylag geese – who on my arrival exited hurriedly from somewhere in the remaining tower, in turn frightening the life out of me. 

Although St Felix is famous for introducing Christianity to East Anglia and guiding the region towards eternal happiness (albeit that’s still a work in progress), he’s perhaps better known (at least locally) for the story of his arrival to the area:

“it is said that when St Felix landed in East Anglia from Burgundy in 631 with the noble intention of introducing Christianity to the region, he arrived at the Wash and began to sail up the River Babingley which was, at this time, still navigable. Caught in a violent storm, St Felix’s ship floundered in the water and he was saved from drowning, so the tale has it, by a colony of beavers which guided him to safety.

In gratitude, the Apostle to the East Angles sought out
the chief of the beavers and consecrated him as a bishop
to thank him for saving his life”

from the people at Weird Norfolk

While it’s perhaps difficult to ascertain the success, or otherwise, of Christianity, the worth of beavers has been extensively checked and confirmed, and as result they have recently been re-introduced to the (relative) wilds of Norfolk once again. So if a latter day St Felix is headed this way to continue with his predecessors efforts then his arrival at least should be a safe one.

For further reference, and to remind me as much as anything, I was also able to add further context to my visit via a couple of books on the shelves here at Weir HQ. Firstly a short extract from The Buildings Of England – North-West and South Norfolk by Nikolaus Pevsner:

“St Felix. Said to be the place where St Felix landed about 636
from Burgundy and thus where Christianity entered East Anglia.
The present church is not older than the C14.
Like so many others in this part of Norfolk, it is ruinous.”

and then this from Bede’s A History Of The English Church And People – Book II Chapter 15, translated by Leo Shirley-Price (a book I have to be honest doesn’t get referred to with any great regularity):

“In this enterprise he was nobly assisted by Bishop Felix, who came to Archbishop Honorius from Burgundy, where he had been brought up and ordained, and acquainted him with his desire to preach the word of life to the Angles. Nor did he fail in his purpose, for like a good farmer, he reaped a rich harvest of believers. He delivered the entire province from it age-old wickedness and sorrow, brought to the Christian Faith and a way of life, and – as his own name signifies – guided it towards eternal happiness.”

And all this just a stone’s throw from where I’m currently sat. Not bad eh?

Normal Service


Again locked out of my WordPress account for a few days – I know that there’s nothing here of tremendous interest but it does seem a little harsh. Back tomorrow, access allowing.




BLOG - Restless Natives

One of the joys of the modern world is that it’s alarmingly straightforward to access a huge variety of entertainment at the click of a button, this is exceptionally pleasing when you find what you want quickly and easily but by the same respect is incredibly frustrating when the thing you want to get a copy of is nowhere to be seen.

Sadly, Restless Natives, a film directed by Michael Hoffman and released in 1985, currently falls into the latter category, although I did eventually manage to find it hidden away in a corner of the internet likely to be closed off by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, in the very near future. The irony being that I would have been more than happy to pay for the opportunity to watch it, but that didn’t appear to be an option.

As a result of the length of time it took me to hunt the film down I now can’t recall what initially piqued my interest to watch it again, however I’m glad I did because it’s an enjoyable, undemanding Forsyth-esque comedy with some fine supporting work by the Scottish landscape, and sometimes that’s more than enough eh?

Another entry in my #001-#100 project, further explained on the first of the posts over here.



BLOG - Don't Hang Up

I do love the radio. 

And Don’t Hang Up, “a BBC radio series about the possibilities of truly random encounters by ringing public phone boxes, and recording conversations with whoever picked up”, is a series of radio programmes that I love more than most.

I think I was initially introduced to it by the people at Speechification, a radio blog that is now disappointingly defunct (which in turn has inspired a number of radio based blogposts here at digyourfins, which you can find herehere, here, here, here and here). Put together by oral historian Alan Dein and radio producer Mark Burman, Don’t Hang Up featured “remarkable snapshots of ordinary people who just happened to be in the right place at the right time” and it’s as good as the premise is simple.

Sadly only one programme from the series still seems to appear (in various locations) on the internet, namely the Night Lines episode, which you can listen to below, however I did manage to record a couple of the others at some point which I’ve also included – although quite why I didn’t manage to capture them all is a concern. 

Still, here’s three episodes for you to listen to, then you too can be as frustrated as me at the lack of access to the others.

Another entry in my #001-#100 project, further explained on the first of the posts over here.



BLOG - Swallow

“One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”

Aristotle may have been right but today we spotted our first swallow of the year, and that’ll do me just fine.

(The image above is a detail from the original picture (I think) produced by artist Charles Tunnicliffe that features on the front of the 1960 Ladybird Book What to Look for in Summer.)

Another entry in my #001-#100 project, further explained on the first of the posts over here.

Normal Service


For some unknown reason I’ve been locked out of my WordPress account since entry number #018/100, no idea why but I’ve now managed to regain entry so normal service will return tomorrow.