You may or may not know that I love a musical and I couldn’t resist the temptation to refer to this one (even if I did have to change a letter to make it work). More on her ladyship later, first our farewell to Aldeburgh.
Bye Bye Aldeburgh
Truth be told, it was a bit of a wrench to leave the coast and, of course, Ed. We will always have special memories of his bouncy happy nature, his unique way of “talking” to us to remind us that it was nearly time to put our boots on, head to the cellar for his food or that it was time for bed. Without him we have been staying up till crazy times.
Ed did have one final trick up his sleeve to test our pet-sitting skills. A few days before we left, Jon let him out into the garden only to see him seconds later vault over the gate into the neighbour’s garden. Ann, an elderly lady, was sitting on her quiet secluded bench and took it all in her stride. It was only us that were anxious about this whole event. Later, we discovered, this had happened a few times before. It wasn’t a bid for freedom, Ed just liked to go and say hello to her.
We have to admit that even after one month we didn’t manage to get to all the eateries and coffee shops but we gave it our best shot. After promising ourselves a trip to the small local cinema since the day we arrived, we eventually got to the box office one morning to buy tickets for the evening showing of Hacksaw Ridge. On arrival the entrance hall was full of people. They were cheerfully and busily completing a mail shot of their forthcoming events programme. The cinema has a fascinating history. It was originally opened in the 19th century at the back of a shop in the high street and has continually been showing films since 1919. Since the 60s, when it was threatened with closure, the community took it over and it now runs as registered charity. Odeon’s and Cineplex can take a funny run. Give me this cinema any time especially as you can even get a glass of wine (in a glass) at the small counter before the film.
Mini Film Review – Hacksaw Ridge
The film depicted the story of Desmond T Doss an American medic in WWII who would not carry a weapon. This gave him the label of a Conscientious Objector. He did not disagree with representing his country in war but would not personally arm himself or take another life. To me this should have a different name to someone who totally abstained from the war. It was a good film overall but extremely graphic, brutal and very gory. We looked up some more facts about the real Desmond and were amazed to read that there were even more astounding things that took place but these were not included in the film as they felt they were too unbelievable.
What time did we have left and what could we fit in? Always time for one more bag of chips on the beach and watch the sun disappear. Shame The Golden Galleon didn’t open for breakfast because we would have had some with our cornflakes the day we left.
Our next arranged house sit was two days later in a village called Mears Ashby between Northampton and Wellingborough. We booked a couple of nights in Northampton with a view to having a mooch around. The Langham Hotel was in our budget and the reviews were good but, without going into too much description I will give you a list:
- Wifi? Answer = None – Sorry I should say one chair by the shuttered up reception desk. “Being upgraded sometime this week”
- Broken window – cannot be opened or shut? Answer = “Hotel is in a conservation area and planning permission is being sought to replace them”.
- Bright artificial flowers? Answer = “We love them – they are everywhere”.
The family owned and run business felt like stepping back in time but it was clean and the breakfast was a feast so not all negative. The hotel backed onto The Racecourse which has had a varied and, in some cases dark, history. As the name suggests originally as a racecourse, then uses such as allotments, host to the European novelty sports programme ‘Jeux Sans Frontier’, balloon festivals, billeting for troops for WWII, a variety of sports, trench digging training for WWI and site of public executions for around 100 years. Despite the rain, we found a mix of joggers and dog walkers using the park during the day but it could feel a bit bleak and sinister in the dark.
Ever heard of Mears Ashby? No? Us neither which is what is go good about house sitting. We end up in locations we either have never heard of or had never intended on going. We are sitting for Susan and Tim in their recently converted barn who have headed off to Australia to visit their daughter. After showing us the ropes and the usual run through of meters, alarms, bins etc we shared a lovely meal with them and hope they felt comfortable leaving the property in our care. The star of the show, however, is Molly. She is a gorgeous 10 year old Bassett Hound who was a little reluctant to head off round the village with us on day one but we were told that this is normal. With lots of encouragement she can get quite a trot on which is quite something with the little legs that the breed has.
It is a lovely village and I already have a good few snippets of local history up my sleeve but will leave that for next time. All I will say, to lure you in, is witches!
22/2 – 2/3/2017