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. . . a slightly off-kilter view of local life and worldly matters
  As a journalist, I shouldn’t be saying this, but hasn’t there been too much ‘news’ recently? There’s been such a blizzard of Covid-19 coverage I almost yearn for the days when information on this kind of crisis was limited to one or two TV channels and BBC radio. Reporting then was more ‘facts first less sensationalist’, and didn’t take up hours of airtime. Instead social media in particular is awash with armchair critics saying ‘their expert is better than your expert.’ Some are calling it ‘digital fatigue.’ I’m not surprised a survey has found many people are switching off television news, or ignoring the over-the-top stories of a few newspapers. And would the world be a better place without Twitter? I sometimes think so.
Back in the spring a Guardian columnist suggested golf clubs and private schools should give up their open spaces for the general public to roam on. A laudable proposal during lockdown, some might say, but sadly one that can be easily exploited. A day or two after this article appeared Walton Heath Golf Club posted a video of motorcyclists wheelspinning around fairways and bunkers.
June 20 is Record Store Day so while talking to Bill Sharpe, a local musician and founder of the group Shakatak, I asked him what was the first album he bought. “Revolver, by The Beatles”, was his swift reply. “I was always a fan from 1963 onwards but I liked it when they became more adventurous and this was a ground breaking album.The father of one of our sound engineers, Norman Smith, engineered the Beatles LPs up to Rubber Soul (another fave of mine) so we heard lots of interesting stories from those days. Revolver was the first album Norman didn’t work on after he left to produce Pink Floyd. I remember buying it, then that almost religious moment when you put it on. As a boy of 14 I didn’t understand all the technology and time that went into the songs, but it was just astonishing to my ears.”
Meanwhile kitchen firm director and Cambridge band member Tomas Hinton says that one of the first albums he bought was All Mod Cons by The Jam. “I had it on a proper cassette, and I played it really loud in the kitchen on my mum’s good quality portable cassette player at every opportunity.The music you get into when you’re in your early teens really gets under your skin and stays with you for life.”
During the lockdown my family have urged me to get fitter by jogging, (apparently playing golf doesn’t count as it fails to up your heart rate). I loathed cross country runs at school, much prefering to play a team sport like football, hockey or cricket, but now I’ve been shamed into shuffling around a nearby sports field. From what I’ve seen it appears several middle aged men have been given their running orders too.
Spending more time at home (and with less traffic on the roads), has given us a new appreciation of birdsong. For several weeks we have been wakened by a variety of chirping and the persistent call of a cuckoo. It reminded me a little of a conversation with some fellow journalists. One had just visited a Suffolk aviary and found herself not being able to hear herself think above the incredible chattering and screeching. “Sounds a bit like the market day bus from Clare to Sudbury,” voiced her friend.
Talking of wildlife some of you may have seen the remarkable picture on social media of a deer in the Arc shopping centre. Few of us may like lockdown but some magical moments have come out of it.
John Seery
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BURY & West Suffolk magazine
June/July 2020 Issue 69
    Our favourite villages Cavendish, Kersey Lavenham, Moulton, Monks Eleigh, Horringer, Newton, Long Melford, Walsham-le-Willows
FORAGING - field to fork at Sudbury
Wildlife spotting in
West Suffolk
Gone fishing!
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