I would be the first to admit that I am generally less than kind about Norfolk. And, given that I live in Suffolk, that might not come as much of a surprise, even when bearing in mind that I studied in Norwich for three years in the mid-eighties. Ros, on the other hand, likes Norfolk, and when she was invited by friends to visit them for an evening of culture, was keen to accept... and bring me along.
So, I caught an early afternoon train from Liverpool Street and was met at Stowmarket by Ros, with the car and a small suitcase, for the journey to Burnham Overy Staithe, a small village on the North Norfolk coast, between Hunstanton and Wells-next-the-Sea. It isn't an obvious journey, and our route took us across country via Ixworth, Thetford, Swaffham and Fakenham, through some rather gentle, although still pretty, countryside. Eventually, we reached our destination, checked into our bed and breakfast, and watched the peacocks in the garden whilst we chilled out.
Our hosts, Tom and Henrietta, host fundraising events for local charities from time to time, and the evening's event was to raise money for the Wells Community Hospital. Luckily, they have a small performance space built into their home, which seats about fifty, including six up on the balcony at the back. We were seated up there...
It turned out that we were to see the final rehearsal of a show bound for the Edinburgh Festival - 'Love Rules', a one-man show by Andrew Clover, a comedian of some repute. Andrew is probably best known for his column in the Sunday Times, 'Dad Rules', in which he describes the trials and tribulations of parenthood. Alright, not perhaps the obvious material to interest a childless forty-something, but why not give him a chance, I thought.
And he was pretty funny too. I won't spoil things for anyone who might be in Edinburgh and was thinking of catching his show (6 p.m., 4th - 29th August, Pleasance Courtyard Below, booking available here) but, prepare for plenty of audience participation, references to Runcorn and a tie that could blind at fifty paces.
Tom and Henrietta had invited us to stay for dinner afterwards, and I got to talk to Andrew over a bowl of pasta. He's the first comedian that I've ever really met up close, and it was interesting to chat with him over a glass of wine.
And so to bed, with North Norfolk to look forward to in the morning...