Saturday, 8 March 2014

diamonds on the water

when you’re running on empty
and the road has no end
when you’re caught at the border
and no man is your friend
when you reach out for comfort
and there’s nothing but despair
there’ll be diamonds on the water
and music in the air

There was a slight mist that seemingly drifted up from the sea and hung about at the bottom of our road as we loaded up the car ready to drive off up to Snape this morning. The sun soon burned it off I guess but we were bombing along the A14, off onto the A12 and enjoying the countryside whilst all that was going on.

When we got to Snape Maltings dead on the BBC pips for 10 o'clock, we found that we were the first there. Still, after a few frantic phone calls eventually six of us were ambling along the Sailor's Path which connects Saxmundham with Aldeburgh. We were going for a gentle ramble by the river and across the marshes and along the sea front at Aldeburgh to sample the "best fish and chips in Britain".

Along the way we passed The Red House, which is where Benjamin Britten lived and evidently Jimi Hendrix visited as he wrote a song about it. That last bit might not be quite true. Anyway, we came upon it as a bit of a surprise - I'd been reading about it a week or so ago and here it was. The signs around it were written in Greek, German and French. The signs all suggested we should "Beware of the Dog" but it all seemed quite quiet.  And we wandered on. The size of houses in this area reminded me that no matter how much access we have to wander this green and pleasant land, most of it is still in private hands:

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision lingers on

Anyway, following in the footsteps of greatness, we continued the way Jimi did in his search for the "Best Fish and Chips in Britain©" and we quickly found our way to the beach at Aldeburgh where Fag-Ash Lil Hambling's great masterwork is on show for all. I don't know much about Art but I know what I couldn't care less about. But we had bigger fish to fry and a pint or two in The White Hart whilst waiting for the queue to die down in the next door Fish and Chip shop beckoned. Yes, that's the "Best Fish and Chip Shop in Britain©". And, guess what, the fish and chips were wonderful. I hope Jimi enjoyed them and gave him some comfort after realising that his key no longer fitted the lock at Ben's place.

On the whole, then, a pleasant albeit brief yomp across some of the best of Suffolk's landscape with some great weather. We came across those rare Polish Konik horses that
it seemed necessary to be introduced into Suffolk but nobody knows why. It just seemed like a good idea, I guess. Evidently you're not supposed to go near them but as they were standing idly around in a field next to the path we had to go quite near to them. They seemed to enjoy being stroked and someone tried to force-feed one some grass they'd ripped out of the ground but it's all right, the horses weren't interested - obviously they haven't bothered to learn English whilst in the UK. No comment. Anyway, whilst wandering along there were certainly diamonds on the water and, from an early skylark, music in the air.

Which brings me to a brief point about how easy it is to please one such as I. Last night I went to see the Oysterband at Colchester Arts Theatre promoting their new album, Diamonds On The Water after watching a fabulous sunset (Damn! I'd left my phone at home) and then today we walked across a familiar landscape that was making the first forays into Spring.

And who knows what tomorrow may bring? The first proper - but early - day of spring according to the BBC. Oh yeah, decorating the bathroom . . .

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