From where I stood between a row of craggy tree trunks I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to hear the hollow drumbeat of a woodpecker echoing around the churchyard.
In fact, as I circled the church I felt sure I could detect a rhythmic tap. But it had an unusual muffled quality, which ruled out the woodpecker, and anyway it appeared to be seeping out of an inauspicious village hall across the road.
Mystery solved as I pressed my nose to the window. I had stumbled across a weekly Wednesday morning orchestra rehearsal. The players were chomping their way through Beethoven’s ninth with palpable application, and due consideration for arthritic fingers.
The tap I had heard earlier was from the resonating skins of a pair of shiny kettle drums.
The timpanist stored her spare drumsticks in a vast wicker basket…. now that’s very country!
And I've a sneaking suspicion there was room in that basket for some foraged wild garlic on her way home too!