I find it impossible to deny myself a wry smile and gentle flashback to a bustling country childhood whenever one of those “20 Things For Children To Do in Norfolk” lists sneaks out to rouse desultory troops as another school holiday break beckons.

The very thought of being urged to consult someone else’s ideas on where to go, what to do, how long to allow  and when to get back without wrecking the entire day-by-day family ritual would have cruelly insulted our brand of rustic wanderlust.

We were spoilt for choice, from old aerodromes and musty barns to dusty drifts and running brooks, while a total absence of any grown-up oversight gave all off-the-cuff adventures that extra tingle.

And a chance to develop a sense of personal responsibility.

Wading through hemlock to touch an electric fence, straddling ditches to reach the richest clumps of cowslips and building a new secret, hideout for wet days deserved another swig from a bottle of cold tea.

Okay, chances of enjoying that kind of roaming independence and home-grown fun have long disappeared over where the flail-free hedges used to nurture nature before prairie farming soured to much of our landscape.

But there’s still enough to lift the heart of a pastoral left-over’ particularly when the corn harvest ripens and blackberry flower buds whisper a fruitful  September promise.

Meanwhile, in the interests of peaceful co-existence, I urge long-suffering locals, crafty commuters, naïve newcomers, testy tourists, well-heeled weekenders, sophisticated second-homers, metropolitan missionaries and other observers drawn to one of  the last great outposts of sensible living to unite in the cause of making it even better.

As an old Norfolk boy said on a day trip to Cape Canaveral : “Wuh, that ent rocket science ….”  Anything designed to reinforce Norfolk’s proud dew diffrunt mantra and draw us all  closer together must improve the quality of life.

There are so many “good things”  to share beyond doing an impression of  Gwyneth Paltrow on Holkham Beach, muttering “Stupid boy!” at  the Dads’ Army Museum in Thetford  and waiting to see when they’re going to restore Baconsthorpe Castle or cobble the A47.

I offer these homely “commandments” in no particular order of merit but merely as they came to me while eating chips on Cromer Pier, enjoying a picnic on Scroby Sands, reliving early schoolday travelling delights via a Poppyland line steam train and diving fully clothed into the moat at Oxburgh Hall to get out of cross-country running on a nippy Monday morning when Swaffham boasted pastoral hinterlands.

It seems right to deal with native sensibilities first as they are more important than anything else. Newcomers and any kind of visitors must accept Norfolk people are different and praise them openly for it instead of criticising them behind their backs. That’s snide and unhelpful.

Spoilt for choice

Jokes about passports, drawbridges, turkeys, ferrets, unhelpful three-armed signposts, trundling tractors and close-knit families should be kept under wraps until a clear rapport has been established.

Pub conversations should avoid most references to housing estates, hypermarkets, incinerators, dual carriageways, Estuary English, electrified commuters and Ipswich Town FC.

Newcomers and any kind of visitors must agree Norfolk people have a marvellous sense of humour, even if all evidence occasionally points to the contrary.

It is vital not to move into a rural patch and then moan about church, bells, crowing cockerels, septic tanks, steaming manure, pot-holed lanes and wandering livestock. They give the place its charm.

A positive reaction to these simple regulations ought to make considerable inroad into doubtful areas where distrust and deception may have reigned too long.

Now members of the indigenous remnants are asked to take note of a few useful guidelines. Norfolk natives must be proud to be different but also capable of pulling up short of proving downright awkward in the face of banal questions and mystified looks. Automatic aversion to change must never be encouraged --except where it might have an obvious detrimental  impact on what seems to have always been there.

Jokes about furriners, estate agents, Received Pronunciation, outline planning applications, the real meaning of “affordable housing” and  and done deals behind closed doors should be kept under wraps until a clear rapport has been established.

Pub conversations ought to avoid all references about “them what move in and try to tearke over” and “blow- ins who reckon they know the lot”  Natives must accept that newcomers and visitors may never grasp the full glories of their local dialect and its humour.

However, these  should never be used to score cheap points-- except to break a dangerous deadlock at parish council meetings or to spice up the annual village pantomime.

There we are friendly advice to be given and taken in the right spirit. It has to be the only way forward as dear old Norfolk squares up to plenty more mighty challenges.

Now I’m off to find Black Shuck and take him for a brisk walk along the Northern Distributor Road to find out how exciting progress can affect that much-vaunted green belt around Norwich – and then train him for Crufts and how to bark with a proud Norfolk accent.