Home

Choral music by composers spanning five centuries graced Brampton Church on Saturday night. The twenty strong Hickling-based choir, the Nonsuch Singers, under the Guidance of the urbane Dominic Vlasto, sang works by the sixteenth century composer Orlando Lassus, William Byrd, Vaughan-Williams and Billy Joel amongst many others. Choral pieces were interspersed with readings of short pieces by Bernard Levin, Evelyn Waugh and some authentically delivered Noel Coward musings. The Coward readings alone would have been highlight enough if it was not for the genuine pleasure in hearing a choir in the nave of Brampton church. The church was full and the evening ended with a splendid light buffet. The lack of a proper car park at the church did led to an inevitable excitement at the end of the evening, but all in all the evening was a highlight and a great success.

Green fuse

March 24, 2012

Bud burst is nearly upon us. Hawthorn and Elders in the hedges and Willows on the Common are all showing the emergent tips of fresh leaves. Ash trees on the railway line are also starting to stir, but they tend to take a long time – obviously not in a hurry in their annual race with the Oaks. The poet Larkin compared this emergent stage to “something almost being said” and you do get the feeling of Spring being on the verge of a new stage.

In the Churchyard, the Daffodils (or Lent Lilies) are absolutely at their peak, just in time to welcome everybody for this evenings Spring choral concert. Outside the Church workmen are digging up the road in a perhaps less welcome sign of the season.

After a week of Spring weather the Cherries around the village have sprung into blossom.

Along the river, some summer migrants have arrived and started to announce themselves. A Chiff-Chaff Warbler was singing this morning – the clue for the sound of its song is in its name. This song tends to get grating in it’s monotony into April, but in mid March it sounds foreign, new and slightly exotic. The birds probably arrived over the last ten days or so; I heard one practising on 6th March, but this mornings songster was well into his stride.

Another bird which has a touch of the south about it was present on the marsh, a single white Little Egret was fishing in the margins of the Bure. This visit in Spring has become regular in the past few years; I can remember when the mere site of one caused excitement on the Norfolk Coast. There is possibly a nesting site on a nearby Broad. This small Heron is pure white and a relatively agile flier when compare to the native Harnser.

This morning’s soundscape was dominated by geese and Oystercatchers. The geese being a mix of Canada’s, Greylags and a lone Ruddy Shelduck (presumably an escape from a wildfowl collection). Their collective noise a mix of farmyard honks and squawks.

The Oystercatchers were involved in more serious courtship rituals. Two (males) call musically in their pursuit of a less than keen female – or at least that is how I saw it. Eventually the loser took-off climbed and circled in pursuit of another potential companion, calling regularly as it circled Upper Brampton.