Thursday, 25 January 2007

An appeal

My last mention of north Norfolk for a while, I promise.
Something struck me the other day, as I was sitting there considering the frostbite in several of my toes. The area is full of second homes owned by Londoners, and by all accounts Wells and Burnham Market turn into Hampstead-by-the-Sea in summer, so it’s perhaps surprising that there aren’t more novels set in the locality. The Suffolk coast around Aldeburgh, beloved of the capital’s literati, seems to have featured in umpteen novels in recent years, but I can’t really think of any Norfolk equivalents. And looking back, the only examples I could come up with were The Go-Between (great, but set somewhere a bit further inland, I think), and The Eagle Has Landed, which let’s face it, is a good thriller but not literature as such (I know that sounds highly pretentious, but you know what I mean).
I’d be amazed if such a distinctive and evocative part of Britain hadn’t inspired at least a few good books, in the same sort of way as the Welsh border did Bruce Chatwin’s On The Black Hill, so if you know of any, let me know.
Finally, it’s Burns Night. I have only the faintest trace of Scottish ancestry, so I won’t be down at the Rangers Club in Thringstone tonight, but celebrating a national poet in such style is only to be encouraged. I don’t know that many of his poems, but this is a nice one, recommended by my colleague Mike.
Plus, anyone who can be moved to write a paean of praise to what amounts to an oversized sausage is OK by me.

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