So Why Do You Want to Live Here, Then?

The Prom, Felixstowe -- one of many reasons


This is the question many people have asked about our new adventure in Felixstowe, Suffolk, England.

We have just returned to Paris for two precious days before we travel back to Sydney and our home in that magnificent city. There is much to share about our visit to England, but for the moment we are a bit mentally and physically wiped out.

I have however been able to muster the energy to open a bottle of Saint-Emilion from the local wine shop and report the following items:

1. We are not yet home/apartment-owners in Felixstowe, though I think it’s fair to say we are minor experts on the local real estate market. We viewed what seemed like a hundred properties, made a low offer on one, chose not to respond (yet, anyway) to the counter-offer, and are contemplating future moves. All options remain open, including renting there in the short-term.

Victorian terrace houses, Felixstowe

2. I reconfirmed my love affair with Felixstowe and Suffolk, added to those with Sydney and Paris.

Maybe both Clive and I have the Northern Hemisphere in our DNA, and more than that, some sort of ‘coastal DNA’ that seems necessary to us now. Certainly we’re both used to living on the eastern edge of a country — me growing up near the New Jersey, USA shore, then living in Darien, Connecticut, on the coast of Long Island Sound; Clive growing up in Felixstowe; then both of us living in Sydney, Australia.

Sunset, River Orwell, Suffolk

3. Of all the experiences of the past two weeks which I hope to share on this blog, my heart was especially touched two days ago, somewhat unexpectedly, at Clive’s nephew’s wedding.

Without going into details of a complicated family history and its present-day dynamics, for now suffice it to say that despite a number of sensitivities around the situation, when I stepped out of the marquee into the evening sunlight and saw a fairyland of children running in the grass, I was overcome by the same surge of emotion as when I saw my mother dancing at her assisted living home. Maybe it’s because it came at the end of an intense two weeks, or maybe it’s because childhood inevitably evokes an innocence we no longer possess. For whatever reason, I couldn’t help feeling I was in a setting laced with magic.

English garden wedding, Suffolk

So we hold on to our dreams. Cheers for now and more soon.

7 Responses

  1. Well Carol, many interesting, exciting, and perhaps scary decisions lie ahead for you and Clive. As the cautious type, I might suggest renting in England for a year before you commit to such a major change! I agree the sea is fascinating, but I have been surprised that I have gotten to like living in the mountains. I didn’t expect to.

    Enjoy your time, albeit brief, in Paris and have a pleasant trip home with much to ponder I imagine.


  2. Hi Carolyn,

    Looks charming and beautiful and a nice place to live!!

    Hope you make it over to our end of the world, then!! It will be nice having you and Clive closer– We can even make trips to visit– London — etc…
    Well, I’ll check back in a few days because you’re probably REALLLLLLY wiped out (I’m feeling that way, too)… Get some rest…

  3. I am stuck for words .. but I am sure that you and Clive have gone through all the pros and cons and also your feelings and thoughts.

    I do know that your heart yearns for more Paris and family, so you would be much nearer. 🙂

    Yes I am sure you are totally wiped out, I would be, so enjoy and rest .. before returning home to Sydney.

    Hold on to your dreams 🙂 🙂 take care Hugs to you both love Anne

  4. Great photos and remind me of why I love living here in Felixstowe and in Suffolk – it is a wonderful place. It was great seeing you both last week and catching up. I’m not surprised you are shattered and hope the two days in Paris will be a time of ‘catch up’ before you head home and try to make sense of all that you have seen and done. Some big decisions ahead and we’ll be thinking of you! Take care of each other!

  5. Eleanor, the sea is indeed fascinating and Clive and I both love it, and living near it — but mountains are good too and it’s nice you’ve come to love living where you do.

    Leesa, thanks for the good wishes — meeting in London would be FAB 🙂

    Anne, it’s true about pros and cons and much in between — there is no perfect alternative in our situation but we will hold onto those dreams!

    Fiona, great to see you too — we really appreciate your support and good wishes (and the word ‘shattered’ is perfect for that all-encompassing wiped-out feeling — which you may also know from your own world travels!). We will gradually get back to normal …

    Cheers all.

  6. It was good to read this post. I am glad to be caught up to date with all the decisions you and Clive are making and where they stand. I send every bit of good vibes that I have for you to be able to see the right doors open for you and I hope that all your dreams will come true in everything you are setting out to accomplish!

    I love what you wrote about the wedding. I have had similar magical moments, too, and knew just what you were getting at with what you wrote. I look forward to reading more about it all.

    Take care, Carolyn!

  7. Karin, thanks so much for your comment and good vibes! Much appreciated.

    I’m happy you understand about those magical moments 🙂

    Cheers and take care.

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