Thursday, 11 June 2009
Hailing in Happisburgh
Today I was on the beach in the middle of a thunder storm with lightning firing over the sea. It changed in seconds from the odd spot of rain to be weathered in an anorak, to howling winds and biting hail. I suddenly felt very exposed as the lightning rove the sky in two and I felt much taller on the flat beach than I would have liked. But it was awesome -what a place to experience the power of a storm - I got wet through to my undergarments despite a craghopper waterproof and had pools of water in my shoes. I did not flee the beach alone after ten minutes of braving the wind and hail finding my largest belemnite yet -serendipity indeed. The archeaologists on their dig also admitted defeat and carted their wheel barrow of finds up the many flights of metal stairs. They are from a medley of museums form the Natural History to the British and searching for evidence of early man on these shores. The handaxe found on a previous excavation showed that some of the first humans on British shores lived and hunted along the Norfolk coast. They know that where Happisburgh is was the mouth of an important river and the hunter gatherers would have opportunied on the watering animals and tidal foods. It was a pleasure to talk at length to an archaeologist from the Natural History museum. He was interested in my belemnite hunting and encouraged me in my pursuit. I also found a fossilised sea urchin that looked like a beautiful flower imprint on a pebble upside down. From that angle it is easy to see they are related to starfish.