In response to our request for suggestions of quiet places in Essex, I visited All Saints Church in Ulting, which is a few miles south of Hatfield Peverel. I sat on a bench on the south side of the church, between the building and the River Chelmer. There was the first daffodil of the year in bloom but the day still felt wintry rather than spring like. The river made no sound (there is a great album with this name!), and all I could hear was a slight distant hum of traffic and an industrious blackbird. After sitting here peacefully for 15 minutes (the site is used for meditation) a bird scarer went off, twice, to snap me from my reverie.