Every single person that we’ve told about housesitting in Aldeburgh has said the same thing. ‘Aldeburgh is lovely, you’ll love it there’. So no pressure on us to like the town and enjoy our stay then? Is it lovely? Do we love it here?
Where are we and what’re we doing?
Well we’re on our third housesitting assignment booked through TrustedHouseSitters and we’re staying in the little town of Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast. For those non-UK types, Suffolk is a county on the east coast of England nestled between Norfolk and Essex and is about 80 miles from London. We are looking after a German Shorthaired Pointer called Ed and are staying in Simon and Mary’s holiday home overlooking the town. Oh and whilst I remember it’s pronounced ‘Orld-bruh’ and not ‘Old-berg’. I’ve been picked up on that already!
Sincere apologies to Ed first as we mistakenly called him an English Pointer in the previous blog past and he was mightily aggrieved. He said that he has nothing against the English guys but was seriously offended as he is unbelievably proud of his Hannoverian heritage. Apparently he can be referred to as a GSP.
Arriving in Aldeburgh
As Jo mentioned previously Simon kindly collected us from Colchester and drove us the 45 miles to Aldeburgh to meet Mary and of course Ed. More about Ed later but we immediately felt comfortable and so welcome as Mary showed us around the house and let us settle in. It’s an old end of terrace cottage that sits above the town so the views at the back are of the beach and the North Sea just 4 or 5 minutes walk away.
Our first evening was spent chatting, walking Ed, and then meeting a few of their friends down at the White Hart pub for a drink or two. All the locals refer to the pub as the Potty Bar which had us wondering a little as to the type of clientele we were rubbing shoulders with but Simon explained it was because a previous landlord collected Pottys and hung them around the bar. Nice.
Time for a little History of Aldeburgh
The town of Aldeburgh has just over 2000 residents and dates from 1529 when it was given Borough status by Henry VIII. It was originally a Tudor port with an established ship building community and Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship The Golden Hind was built here in 1577. The ship was originally named The Pelican but Drake renamed it in the mid-Atlantic as he sailed to discover the New World in 1578. Most of the Tudor port has been claimed by the sea unfortunately and Aldeburgh is now a seaside resort.
It’s most famous inhabitant was Benjamin Britten the composer who lived in the Red House in the town and worked here for many years until his death in 1976. Perhaps one of the most famous attractions is one of the most controversial with opinion divided as to whether it should remain or not. Maggie Hamblings stainless steel sculpture ‘The Scallop’ sits on the beach a few hundred yards north of the town and is dedicated to Benjamin Britten and his love for the town.
We’re not being badly-behaved tourists by the way, everyone is encouraged to climb up onto the sculpture and enjoy the views. So we did, of course.
Older than the USA
The town is extremely old and the oldest building is undoubtedly the Moot Hall which was constructed in 1520. It was, and actually still is, the town clerks office and council meeting place. Oh and it now houses the local museum which we haven’t yet visited (we will though). The town contains over 60 listed buildings and monuments which all add to its unique character.
The weather’s been a bit changeable this first week, mornings seem to be sunny and the rest of the day a bit duller. Not a problem for walking obviously as we virtually wear all the clothes we have and keep beautifully warm. The views change though as the weather changes and even those grey misty days look great around here.
Ed the GSP
What we’re really here for though is to look after Ed, or Fast Eddie as he most definitely is! Once Mary and Simon had left it was just us and him and what a delight it has been. You can never be totally sure with a dog whether they will take to you or even if you’ll take to them but Ed has been a dream. An moderate early morning walk and a long mid afternoon stroll are what he likes and we’ve loved it.
The town is so picturesque and it takes minutes before you are out in the countryside walking beside the river or through the fields or even, our favourite, walking along the beach. Ed would walk all day I’m sure and when we let him off his lead away from the town he just explodes and charges off. It was slightly worrying the first time and Jo almost ran after him but he’s so well behaved that a quick shout or blast on his whistle and he comes sprinting back. You’ll have to forgive us in coming weeks for all the ‘Ed Pics’ as I’m sure there will be loads.
This Housesitting Life
So what do we do apart from walking Fast Eddie? Normal stuff I guess. We’ve been getting back into the emailing and blogging routine and Jo has been working on a few needlework projects. We do spend a lot of time walking though as we can’t seem to get over the fact that the sea is just there!
Oh and someone found a puzzle in the cellar so that magically appeared. I try and avoid puzzles but all it takes is a quick look and you’re suddenly bent over searching for an edge piece and an hour passes by.
But the best times of the day are when we’re out in the middle of nowhere with our new best friend.
25/1 – 31/1/2017