Unbound Episode sixty-one- Fossil Hunting in Norfolk (Kind of)

Catch the rest of the Unbound series here! Catch the rest of the BTS articles here!

Goodness gracious, I hadn’t realised that I had not written a behind the scenes blog post about my series for about six episodes now, but life gets the better of us sometimes.

This is part two in episodes where me and my cousin Olly go fossil hunting around East Anglia, the first one being in Suffolk, and this one being around the Norfolk coast. This adventure was less exciting in terms of actual spoils, but it’s always been about the journey. After all, these fossils have been hidden for potentially hundreds of millions of years, they’re not always just lying about.

We travelled first to Happisburgh again, the place apparently well known for Mammoth teeth, but after camping out with a picnic, we discovered we were on the wrong side of the beach. It was getting quite late in the day when we realised, and we still wanted to go to East or West Runton for a look within the rock pools. The runtons are seperated by this patch of rocks, which is well known by locals for their capacity to hide fossils and critters. Fun fact; I only heard about this earlier in the year, when I was in the pub drunkenly talking to some student friends who are Norfolk natives and promising to one day take them to Cromer for rock-pooling. I had excused myself to go to the toilets, and just as I was leaving, an old regular stopped me and told me I was a fool for going to Cromer, that West Runton was the place to go. I thanked him and he continued on to the toilet, and I never saw him again. He was right though.

I saw a lot of families dragging reluctant kids along to find crabs, and the dads were clearly the only ones into it, and I know feel like I should have asked the dads to take me along instead, as I barely found anything. I was of course preoccupied with placing my camera into the shockingly clear waters, and it is easily my favourite parts of the video. I wish I had done it more just for the video, but one thing I learned editing this video, is that I really need to slow down my recording. I get a bit self-conscious and that leads to me acting erratically and awkwardly, so I whip the camera out, stomp over to the subject, and whip the camera away before anyone notices, leaving my clips very wobbly and with little to work with. That’s why my videos sometimes come across a little rushed. It might be a little late to recognise it, but it is always good to recognise it late rather than never. Hopefully I can use this realisation moving forwards to make my episodes better, but as it is usually dictated by my anxiety, it’s hard to tell really. If I win the lottery then I can hire a camera-operator then I won’t have to worry about that anymore, but then again I don’t play the lottery, so I should probably just get better.

We also explored the ruins of Baconsthorpe, and dramatic music in the video aside, it’s a fairly standard 15th or 16th century guard-house. The people who were also visiting didn’t seem nearly as interested in it as us, mostly having picnics and playing games actually inside the ruined buildings, which made filming it quite tricky, but Olly in particular was mesmerised. When I fossil hunt with him, I’m almost entirely interested only in finding fragments of monsters, but Olly has an equal fascination in finding some worked flint, which you can usually tell by the serrated edges, as they are usually formed in just such a way. I was captivated by his enthusiasm, even as I edited the footage, of things so small as finding the details in the walls. I supposed I would never have tried to look so close to the wall, but as he beckoned me towards it, and as he filmed on my GoPro, the wall was filled with smaller shards of flint, making an ordinary stone wall turn into a mosaic from the world before. It was astounding.

Then we wrapped up our weekend in Cromer, where as I say in the video, we had the worst chips from a coastal Fish’n’Chips either of us had ever had. The teenage staff were incredibly rude, it was crazy expensive, and the sausages and tasted so weird, we couldn’t finish them, and I am not a man to not finish food I have paid for. Funny thing is, we were so hungry, we actually decided not to go to the famous place roudn the corner because of its long queue, electign instead to go to a van right by the seaside. “This is great,” We said. “There’s no queue.”

Can’t help but wonder why.

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