Into The Unknown…

…Norfolk, that is!

I might have mentioned more than once in these blogs that I didn’t want anyone thinking, even for the very briefest of seconds, that my writing and the subsequent publication of my book, My Way, marked, in some way, the end of my life of exploration, fun and discovery.

If you haven’t got a copy of the book already (I’m sure you’re going to put that right and get yours today!) then one of the things you’ll notice as My Way draws to a close is that there isn’t an Epilogue or final entry that sees me putting my feet up and shuffling off to a lifestyle that includes a retirement apartment, slippers, some sensible trousers, a beige jacket (as if!) and a half open pack of Werther’s Originals.

Maybe in forty or so years time.


But no, that wasn’t, and isn’t, where I am coming from at all. I’ve so many new projects to think about, some of which, of course, revolve around the multiple charity fundraising events that I am working on at the moment, including a football match that will involve a few famous faces-plus me, I might even pull on my boots again, that’s if I can find them.

You’ll find out more about that on here as and when it happens, so keep reading.

One thing I am hoping to get working on is the life story of a well known former professional footballer who many of you will have heard of. I can’t really say much more about that at the moment, other than to say there is publisher interest already, so it’s now just a case of the man in question plus myself and Edward Couzens-Lake, who’ll be the books ghostwriter, getting all the appropriate boxes ticked and starting work.

So, once again-a good reason to keep reading this blog, especially if you are a football fan.

Another possible book project I’m giving some serious consideration to is one about my home county of Norfolk.

But not necessarily the Norfolk you may know or be familiar with.

The River Bure

A Norfolk river in its youth. But which one? And where is it? (Evelyn Simak/geograph)

This book will deal with the parts of Norfolk that lie off the well worn travel routes. So I’ll be keeping well away from places like Burnham Market, Holt, Wells-next-Sea, Brancaster, Cley and Holkham.

They’re all charming of course. Destinations that are becoming more and more popular every year with visitors. If you’ve stood on the endless sands at Holkham or admired the view of the much photographed windmill at Cley, you’ll know why.

It won’t be a view that features in this book.

The idea came to me whilst I had taken myself off for one of my long cycle rides a little while ago. There’s little in the way of planning involved, I just get the bike out, hit the road and start pedalling. I rarely know where I’m going so, if an unmarked road or even a narrow track pops up out of nowhere, I start to wonder where it goes to and, before you know it, I’m cycling down it.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m the first person to have cycled or walked down a particular lane or byway for years.

And there’s always a treat or two in store for me when I do.

I’ve drank in some wonderful views, seen lots of wildlife, much of it so unused to the presence of a human being, that its usually very tame and completely unafraid of me or my bike.

Herringfleet Smock Drainage Pump

Big Norfolk skies near…? (Ashley Dace/geograph)

Scenes that hardly anyone is familiar with these days.

Proper ‘hidden’ Norfolk.

I’d like to feature some of those scenes in the book. I may not even say where some of them are, after all, what would be the point of writing a book that extols the beauty of the lesser known parts of Norfolk if I then go and tell everyone where they are?

You will, at least, be able to sit and bathe in the beauty of the photographs of those secret places that I’m visiting.

Another book I am considering writing is one that celebrates some of the best clubs, bars and restaurants in the world.

I love dining out and it shows. Over the course of my life, I’ve probably visited thousands of them. Some good, others great, a few not so good.

But, again, and like my book about ‘unknown’ Norfolk, the hook is that these clubs, bars and restaurants aren’t that well known.

And I’ll tell you exactly where they are-and who to ask for, come to that, if I know it well. It always helps to have a connection with the owner, especially if it’s sometimes difficult to get a table.

It’ll be fun looking back at some of these places and deciding which ones should be included. Maybe I’ll have to visit some again to sample some of their wares. All for research purposes, you understand.

Cheers! (Russell Baker collection)

That’s two books in the bag then. As I said, I’m not slowing down. Infact I’ve only just got started.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. And I’d love all of your thoughts, feedback and opinion along the way.

You may even have an idea or two for a book of your own, infact, you may have done for a long, long time.

That just might be something I can help you with as well. More of that in a later blog but, if you’d like to find out more about publishing your own book now, drop me a line, I’ll be happy to give you some more information about that….

…but, right now, I’m off to find some more undiscovered Norfolk.

And if I’m back here again in a fortnight then, clearly, I didn’t get lost. Not for too long, anyway.

(Featured image-Andy Peacock/geograph)

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