Out across Norfolk to try on some trousers in Holt, and thence to Wells-next-the-Sea to eat fish 'n' chips in that place that gets around VAT by not giving you a plate or cutlery to eat them with. Norfolk is full of surprises, and on a day like yesterday the low bright winter light pinpointed many things for me. Bayfield Hall sits above the River Glaven between Letheringsett and Glandford, an Elizabethan house with an 18th century frontage sharing the landscape with the ruined church of St.Margaret's. The sort of scene that would've got John Piper's paint brushes working overtime. And then I saw the pale brick entrance piers on the driveway, and this rusty fastening on the open gate. That's what I love about the county. Telling detail in the shadow of trees one minute, bleak atmospheric visions the next. The wooden landing stages mark the course of a creek winding through from Brancaster Bay to tiny Thornham. Treacherous marsh intersected by gurgling channels hiding their deep sucking mud from the unwary, and all the time the incessant cry of a curlew settling down for the night. Listen to their haunting cry here; so essential to any unfolding drama on the wireless that's set on these lonely wind-buffeted margins.
Philip Roth: End of a chapter
2 days ago