A National Truss – sorry, National Trust – day and a bit of a conundrum. Beside the village of Oxborough lies Oxburgh Hall. Why the different spelling, I wonder? Go figure, as Amerispeak would have it. Along with woodland walks, the property and grounds advertise a river running through it and a moat, so perhaps something for everyone.
We parked and a very cheerful NT lady scanned our cards to let us in, pointing us to a handy-dandy map of the grounds with the various walks available. She told us otters had been seen in the river so I toted my camera, just in case.
Naturally, no otter offered itself as a portrait subject. A small bridge crossed the river where some dragonflies were active but again, they didn’t seem intent on offering themselves up to be recorded on pixels. One of the problems is that I’m so familiar with most of our UK species that I now only press the shutter if I think the picture would be at least very good, or for species with which I’m less familiar like the Scarce Emerald Damselflies (Lestes dryas) of yesterday.
We stretched our leg around the extended version of the woodland walk and ended up back at Oxburgh Hall itself. The hall is absolutely clothed in scaffolding. [Perhaps then, National truss is closer to the mark.] This renovation must be costing an absolutely mint which, with an annual income  of £680m, the National Trust can probably well afford.
Remember the moat. Clothing a large building surrounded by a wide moat in scaffolding is no easy task. Concrete support plinths had first to be installed to support said scaffolding beside the hall and its watery footings. Though it did, of course, rather ruin the appearance of the building , it made for an interesting sight. On balance it was slightly less bothersome than travelling all the way to Cambodia only to find Angkor Wat clad in scaffolding and tarpaulin.
There was quite a good collection of dragonflies calling the moat home; I think I counted five species but, once again, it really wasn’t worth using the camera as anything more than a telescope for identification.
We had a second failure at finding a decent pub. That is, we found a very appealing looking restaurant/bar with nicely shaded garden tables in the village of Oxborough but were met at the garden gate with, “do you have a booking with us?”. “No, do I need one?” Apparently I did – they were fully booked. Clearly this establishment had pretentions above that of bar.
All I wanted was a blasted pint. Whilst there are some real positives from our lockdown/pandemic situation, this is not one of them.