Instead of

I woke up at 9am instead of 8. I left the house at 10am instead of 9. I arrived at my destination at noon instead of 10.30am.

10.30 was the optimum time to commence the walk to Blakeney Point and see seals and terns before the tide returned. But still determined to do the seven mile walk, I parked up, turned around to grab my hiking boots. Ah. They are still in the kitchen at home. Two hours in my car, and only now I realise!

It’s a shingle walk. All the way. Flipflops are not the most appropriate footwear. So I walk a little way and sit down on the shingle to watch the sea. You never know, I may see a dolphin…

There are lots of Sandwich terns hunting over the surf. Terns always put a smile on my face and make my heart skip. Terns seem like little angel-birds to me. Everything about them is so utterly cute. Their dinky shape and size, their happy sounding call, the way they hover over the water with faces pointing down, the way they plunge and disappear under the water’s surface. They’ve cheered me and my boot situation up enormously.

I’ve now been sitting here on the shingle for one and a half hours, watching the delightful wee terns hovering and plunging, and Black-headed gulls bobbing along in the surf. Every so often scanning the whole sea for mammals. I got lucky. A Grey seal came up for breath and then disappeared again. Lovely.

The terns seem to move hunting along the shoreline westwards and then head back east along the shingle, with mouths full of food. This suggests that there are still nestlings to feed. Aw.

Too cold. Shivering in this sea blustery breeze for too long. Two hours. Sorry terns, time to go find a quaint tea room.

So now I find myself in the very English and quaint village of Blakeney. Ordering cappuccino and carrot cake. The cake was edible, not the best. Not worth its £5 price tag. The coffee isn’t great either. Why do the Brits insist on ruining good or mediocre coffee with a sprinkling of coco? Grumble grumble. So ‘The Moorings’ is not recommended for afternoon cake/coffee.

I pottered around Blakeney, in the gift/craft shops, peering down the cottage snickets, admiring the Hollyhocks growing everywhere. Puzzled by the people splashing about in the water. I still had my cardigan on!

And then I came across a flipflop friendly walk. Blakeney Freshes. A three mile footpath (plus the walk back which they neglect to mention on the info board). It was very pleasant. And I even did much of it bare foot. The salty side of the marshes were purple with all of the Sea lavender.

There were Reedbunting zipping about disappearing into the reeds. Swallows a swooping. One lonesome Little egret. Greenshank (I think) darting about at the water’s edge. One Oyster catcher snoozing. And I could hear Redshank calling throughout my walk, but never saw them. I saw the teeniest skippers. The Small skipper.
At 5pm, I was finally warm enough to take the cardy off!

Sent from my Sony Xperia™ smartphone


About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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2 Responses to Instead of

  1. Mum says:

    It might be a good idea to keep your 2nd pair of walking boots in your car – rather than sitting in my utility room – too small for me and wrong colour for Rafa!!


  2. OliviaMasi says:

    Agreed… I thought of that on Friday!


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