Monday, 6 June 2011

Monday morning blues

I awoke in the early hours of the morning to the sound of rain on the windows. The weather forecast had predicted this, but I was hoping for their usual lack of accuracy. No such luck. When I woke up fully at a sensible time, it was still raining. Not heavily, but steadily, and enough for it to be a nuisance.

Monday is the rubbish collection day here, and someone across the road had put theirs out in a black plastic bag. This had been ripped to shreads and the contents spilt out across the street, whether by cats or seagulls I don't know. The puddles showed that there had been quite a good downpour during the night. I'm sure the farmers and gardeners were very pleased with this, but us holidaymakers were less so.

After breakfast, we decided to go out anyway, and brave the weather. After all, it wasn't too bad, and skin is waterproof, so what was the harm? We headed out to Southwold. I had been told and read plenty about this town. Everything I had heard was positive, that it was a beautiful and quaint little place that everyone fell in love with.

Maybe it had just been overhyped, or maybe it was the rain, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed with it. The lack of decent signage made navigating ones way around the town very hard, and then, when you did find the carparks, they were full to bursting. One thing that seems very common around here is the large amount of parking spaces, but that few (or indeed none) are actually free of parked cars! I know the whole point of them being there is for them to be used, but sometimes, WE want to use them too!!

Initially, we parked close to the pier, and despite the rain had a wonder along it, taking in the views, the amusements and the shops. There is a very odd water clock which caused great amusement to all those watching it on the hour and half-hour. The gift shops had a good selection of things that no one actually needs, but some of them brought a smile to our faces, in particular some very funny drinks coasters.

The small, but very busy amusement arcade saw us waste a bit of time, and a whole £1 of our money in 2p's on the obligatory coin pusher machines before we attempted to make our way into the town itself. This proved frustrating due to the car parking situation mentioned previously.

We finally did manage to park down a narrow side street very close to the Adnams Brewery, and had to walk past it on our way into the main town.

Many parts of Southwold seem very run down, even more so than in Aldeburgh, and again, a great many of the cottages seem to be holiday lets. (the key boxes by the side of the front doors give them away)

The range of shops was a bit surprising. Quite a few of them being upmarket clothes shops aimed at the well heeled country set rather than us mere mortals. We bought a snack to munch in the car before we left this odd little town with a lighthouse in the middle of it.

We took the scenic route to Saxmundham, going along narrow country lanes, through tiny hamlets, past the "lost" village of Dunwich, past farm land and woods that reminded me of parts of the New Forest.

Saxmundham has a Waitrose store, and much like Kenilworth, this seems to have given the town a new lease of life. While it wasnt exactly bustling, for a Monday mid afternoon, it was fairly busy. Nothing much attracted us there apart from the Waitrose though, and after a quick wonder around the town, we did the all important food shopping.

Once we arrived back "home", we made a pot of tea and indulged in an Eccles cake. Both of which were lovely. Sally then did some crafting while I went to the upstairs living room to read.

Dinner tonight was to be jacket spuds, and while they were in the oven, we went for a walk along the front. Tonight it is so calm, hardly any wind at all, what a difference a day makes! What a difference a couple of hours makes in fact, as it was now sunny and virtually all signs of the rain have gone. It is a beautiful evening in fact, and very pleasant to be wondering around. The town still seems to be deserted though, and it definitely has a strange feel to it.

The jacket spuds were quite nice, a bit of cheese on them and a drizzle of brown sauce to give them a bit of flavour. Hardly haute cuisine, but pleasant enough and filling too.

We retired to the upstairs living room to read, and at 9 o'clock to watch the new series on ITV called "Injustice", which bizarrely is set in this area. The police are based in Ipswich, a murder has taken place in Framlingham, and one scene was shot on Southwold Pier exactly in the spot where I took a photo of Sally this morning. One of the characters is called Martin Newell. Spooky!

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