One of nature's most spectacular sights - and it's on our very doorstep
- Credit: Archant
Boris Johnson and 'partygate', MPs and elected members failing to answer perfectly reasonable questions, being accused of harassment, the future of the BBC and the Western Link debate.
My word the subject matters of these columns have been serious of late.
So this week I've decided to take a break from some of the big debates and issues taxing us locally and nationally - by sharing with you a recommendation for the perfect way to switch off if you think it's all getting a bit much.
Every January my wife and I try to plan a short mid-week trip to West Norfolk for a bit of downtime.
As editor it's a great way to get out to an important patch, but it also gives us the chance to explore a part of the county which perhaps goes under the radar and lives in the shadow of the nearby north Norfolk coast.
These trips have been a staple of our winter for the past five years and each year we manage to find somewhere new to explore.
It never disappoints.
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- 3 Men fined more than £600 for fishing illegally
- 4 A47 clears following long delays after four-vehicle crash
- 5 Farmer says cousin's wedding venue will bring 'criminal activity'
- 6 The best places to eat in north Norfolk according to The Good Food Guide
- 7 Green light for new Sainsbury's store on 850-home estate
- 8 9 of the best campsites on the Norfolk coast
- 9 Factory worker was found dead at home, court told
- 10 Norwich man wins jackpot on BBC game show Pointless
This year we somehow managed to convince ourselves that, rather than make the most of a break from early morning wake-ups from the kids, we'd set the alarm for 6am. More importantly we'd adhere to it, rather than make use of the snooze button.
The reason? To witness one of Norfolk and nature's most spectacular sights.
And so we found ourselves in the car park of the Snettisham RSPB reserve at 6.30am in sub-zero temperatures armed with a pair of binoculars, thick gloves and a flask of warming tea.
A short stroll later and we were on the beach ready to watch, and listen, as the thousands of Pink Footed Geese gathered on the mudflats start to make their tide enforced journey inland.
Even though the numbers are not quite as high as some other days*, it was a wonderful sight and we we're two of just four people gathered on the beach to witness it.
But it's the sound that really sticks in the memory, as the geese screech and squawk, before the flapping of their wings as they took off produced an enormous, thunder-like, roar.
They fly overhead in perfect formation and soon they are gone, a calm peace returning to the area. We soak up the clear skies, which are bathed in all manner of colours as the sun rises to herald the start of a new day.
We're back inside by 9.30am tucking into breakfast and several cups of much-needed hot coffee.
But we feel calm and happy and above all fortunate to have been there to witness the natural world in all of its glory.
Over eggs and sausages we make the usual pledges to 'make more of' Norfolk's wonderful nature and encourage the children to join us on similar trips.
How many of us make similar promises - but never seem able to fulfil them? How many of us truly make the most of this county's natural beauty? I know we don't.
The cost of that 90 minutes of wonderment amounted to the petrol to get there and the ingredients of our tea and cookies. Add in a small parking fee if you're not an RPSB member.
So many of us live our lives at 110mph, rushing from one thing to the next. So many of us find ourselves stressed and worn out by the daily challenges of life.
If we could all find time to just make the odd early morning trip to places like Snettisham, the Broads, our coast, Thetford Forest and more, I'm convinced every single one of us would feel the benefit.
So what's stopping you? Set the alarm, fill up the flask and hit the road. I promise you won't regret it for one second.
* Check the RSPB website to find out when is best to witness the 'Snettisham Spectacular'. I can't promise the beach will be as quiet for people as when we visited however.