Thursday, 31 July 2014

Living is easy

Summertime in North Norfolk is very alluring just at the moment. The heady mix of music, eating, art and friends is hard to beat. Last Saturday was a case in point. For music lovers you could choose between Gluck at South Creake, Byrd and Tallis at Salle, Handel at Aylsham, and there was more. A day later Vaughan Williams and Mendelssohn rounded off the Holt Festival while just two days later Music In Country Churches was in Old Hunstanton with the English Chamber Orchestra playing an exciting programme of Strauss, Debussy and Tchaikovsky.

With over 300 others, we went to Salle. Beautiful all the time, this miraculous building was at its most stunning. With early evening sun illuminating the nave and the choir, the pairing of the music of Taverner and Byrd and the incomparable acoustic was sublime.

Prompted by a visit from old friends in the north, Sunday found us visiting another jewel on our doorstep, Blickling Hall. Not normally a great fan of the National Trust approach to things, I have to say it was hard not to be impressed, even when it's so familiar. The only thing to disturb the beauty of its symmetrical approach is the current positioning of the clutter of plant sales in the main forecourt. Very strange. One can only hope this is not permanent.

Somewhat perversely, on the other side of the house, the clearly very temporary tent canopy between the Hall and the lake seemed to actually add something - and judging by the yet to be cleared debris visible within had been put to very good use the previous day. A fantastic setting for a party.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Give way

By way of explanation of my previous observation that the A11 dualling scheme is flawed, the problem lies at the Barton Mills roundabout. But only southbound. 

The two principal roads leading out of Norfolk towards London converge here. Given that we give way to the right, traffic on the A11 - however adequately catered for on the new dual carriageway - will always have to slow, if not stop, at this point.  Much as it did previously at Elveden. It seems fairly clear that the new scheme will simply have moved the previous pinch-point closer to London.

A southbound flyover, for which there would appear to have been room, would have resolved this

Friday, 25 July 2014

In Season

Every year, round about this time every 'journalist' who has a friend here or indeed has met someone who knows someone in Norfolk puts pen to paper.  Most simply recycle what they've heard or already read - some clearly have not been here recently.

That's bad enough but then you get the occasional one who has been - and that can be even worse. Country Life recently blew the gaff on one of the more private spots, identifying it and how to get there rather too clearly. And then there are those who either really like estate agents - or whisper it quietly - are paid by them and peddle a heady mix of beaches, geese and their selection of desirable properties.

I would rather they didn't but that clearly isn't going to happen. One can only hope that the almost laughably poor train services into Norfolk together with what I think may prove to be a flawed scheme dualling the A11 will continue to ensure we're not that attractive to their readers.