Felixstowe Suffolk UK
Welcome to My Sydney ~ Felixstowe ~ Paris Life.
I hope you enjoy the new header (thank you, Clive), updated photos (taken by me) and continuing posts from, and about, these different parts of the world that mean so much to me.
Felixstowe: A Happy, Blessed Place
Recently I’ve been researching the origins of the name of my new home.
According to ‘A Brief History of Felixstowe’, published by the Suffolk Coastal District Council, ‘Felixstowe’ means ‘happy or blessed place’. ‘Felix’ is Roman Latin for ‘happy’ and ‘Stowe’ Anglo-Saxon for ‘place’.
In January, when we were ensconced at the Rental Palace, we bought a wonderful book, John Craven’s Countryfile Handbook (BBC Books, 2010). In Craven’s chapter on villages and market towns, he states ‘stow’ was, in old English, ‘a place where people gathered, a meeting place’. For example, Bristol was once Brycg Stow, meaning ‘the place of assembly by the bridge’. Craven reports many of these assembly places were also linked to places of worship or pilgrimage.
Wikipedia confirms ‘Felix’ is Latin for ‘happy’ or ‘lucky’ or ‘blessed’. I also learned a new phrase, ‘Felix culpa’, which apparently means ‘happy fault’, referenced in historic Catholic, Hebrew, and literary contexts. As I understand its lovely meaning, it is simply that sad (or sinful) events can nevertheless lead to a happy outcome.
I think it’s fair to say Clive’s and my decision to move from Sydney to Felixstowe was the natural step in a chain of events neither of us would ever have predicted in our wildest, past-life dreams. I don’t presume to say we’ve endured more sad events than anyone else on this planet, but I do feel that somehow we were led to meet each other and ultimately to embark on this adventure to relocate here.
Felixstowe: A Place of Pilgrimage
I like the idea that part of Felixstowe’s name. that of a gathering place, also indicates a place of pilgrimage. It seems appropriate, given the town’s history as a destination (per the Suffolk Coastal brochure) as ‘a relaxing and entertaining haven, away from the rigours of everyday life’.
I can’t say our move here was a pilgrimage, but there’s no doubt the place exerted a kind of spell on me, and in a different way on Clive. It attracted both of us and we both felt drawn to undertake a huge overseas move, overcome a number of physical and emotional obstacles, and relocate to a small seaside town in coastal Suffolk. We don’t expect it to be perfect, but we are indeed happy with our decision.
Cheers and stay tuned for more details about what we’ve been up to during the past month.