The sun is struggling to get through the light cloud cover but it is a lot fresher today – the humidity of yesterday has diminished, thank goodness.
Sally, Sean and the boys left for a drive up to Southwold while we started the day with a trip to Tesco’s to buy something for the barbecue later. I found a 3g signal in their car park so published yesterday’s blog with photos.
Then it was off to Aldeburgh where we managed to park easily on the quay. We ate our lunch watching the little sailing boats weaving their way in and out of the boats which were anchored.
I managed to pick up a 3g signal briefly and used it to do some research into Aldeburgh. I knew of the Benjamin Britten link but hadn’t realised that there was a special John Piper window in the Church of St Peter and St Paul which overlooks the sea.
I vaguely remembered parking on the front at Aldeburgh when I took Alexandra to the University at Ipswich for a look around so we drove back through the busy main shopping street still bedecked in bunting from the annual carnival which had taken place a few days ago. We found a suitable parking spot along the road behind the esplanade – not easy when you have someone of Bessie’s proportions – and made our way to the front. Aldeburgh prides itself in resisting change and it is all the better for it. None of the garishness of Hastings or even Brighton.
There are a couple of petanque or boules courts but no crazy golf. What was lovely to see was the small pond where children were sailing their boats happily, harking back to less sophisticated times. The medieval timbered Town Hall housed a museum and the Town Clerk’s office.
Aldeburgh still has a few working fishing boats too and the shore has three or four wooden shops selling fresh fish. And the emphasis is on ‘fresh’!
There is no sand but a number of families had made camp amongst the shingle and even the odd deckchair could be seen. In a small hut they were selling delicious scoops of Italian home-made ice cream so of course I had to partake of one – banana flavour in my case and of course chocolate in Peter’s.
We loved the bronze statue of a Jack Russell dedicated to a couple of local doctors. I assume they must have been vets. All the patina has disappeared from his nose – presumably where he has been stroked by many hands in the 30 odd years he has been there.
Just as we were leaving in Bessie we spotted Sally and co walking along! They had driven down the coast from Southwold and were taking a look around before driving back to the campsite.
We drove up to the Church and parked in their car park (despite the notice banning motor-caravans!).
Inside I found an elderly lady watering the flowers and she told me a little about the church and how the stained glass windows had suffered during the last war when the Luftwaffe had unleashed their unused bombs before returning to Germany.
The John Piper window is extraordinary and photos do not really do it justice. There are three themes based on Benjamin Britten’s church operas, from left to right, ‘The Prodigal Son’, ‘Curlew River’ and ‘The Burning Fiery Furnace’. Amazing depth of colour. The window was commissioned as a memorial to Britten and was executed by Patrick Reyntiens.
Back to the campsite and another barbeque with the Ozzies after a game of boules. Sadly I seem to have lost my winning streak and was beaten hollow. Just as the coals were getting ready for cooking we felt a few spots of rain. Suddenly there was a downpour and we moved all the equipment to the safety of Bessie’s awning.
The rain soon abated but we stayed put and enjoyed another happy meal together, before adjourning to the inside where we explained the complicated rules of Canasta. There was only time for one short game, however, as everyone was getting tired. Maybe tomorrow we’ll continue?