My Sydney ~ Felixstowe ~ Paris Life

Field and sky, Felixstowe

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

Felixstowe docks from our balcony

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

Beach huts, Felixstowe

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.

Ship at Landguard Point, Felixstowe

Cheers and stay tuned for more details about what we’ve been up to during the past month.

2 Responses

  1. Hello Carolyn and Clive … You both seem to be so happy and well … settling in to the British way of life .. A very interesting post .. You are near the sea, which is so good for everyone, and in a town with a Happy name meaning …

    At the moment I am nursing a broken ankle , went dancing and it just went. So I am out of action , (no work) no nothing , for the next few months 😦 ..

    When is your next trip to Paris ? The ease at which you can get there now .. so wonderful. I have been over , went and saw a few friends in June…. so I do have blogging to do , but lost my mojo.

    Take care love Anne

  2. Hi Anne, and thanks for your comment! Yes, I think the sea is definitely good for everyone 🙂 and we are indeed happy about the ease with which we can now get to Paris.

    Hope your anke continues to improve and you will soon be rediscovering your mojo and dancing again. And I hope to be posting from Paris again sooner rather than later – stay tuned!

    Hang in there and cheers.

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