Felixstowe Suffolk UK
This post continues the story of our new life in Felixstowe, and completes the ‘top ten’ list of how we’ve been spending our days. In my prior post, I shared items 1-5: settling in, daily life, renovations, friends and family, and walking.
With continued thanks to those who have sent good wishes and who provide much-appreciated local and long-distance support, following are several additional ways we’ve been spending our time.
6. Other Outings
In addition to the seemingly endless choice of walks available to everyone in this country, an enticing array of other events and possibilities tempts us every day and we are inevitably lured away from carpentry and paint in an ongoing effort to balance our time.
We’ve been fortunate thus far to experience a wide range of what Felixstowe and Suffolk have to offer. At one end of the spectrum are large events, such as the Suffolk Show, a Rock ‘n Roll night at Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion, and a terrific evening concert at Christchurch Park in Ipswich, where, along with 5,000 others, we enjoyed a picnic with friends – complete with Pimms and lemonade – followed by the National Symphony Orchestra accompanying Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins.
On a smaller scale, we enjoyed a local model railway exhibition and, one Saturday afternoon, a traditional English garden fete. And at the level of personal history, we joined our good friend David for a tour and exhibition night at what was once the Felixstowe Grammar School. In one display, I found Clive’s name in a late 1950’s Speech Night booklet, for winning his form prize. Way to go, young Clive!
7. Food – Eating Out
As well as making frequent use of our combined rice cooker/slow cooker at home and becoming rather fond of English cheeses and parsnip crisps, we’ve had fun occasionally dining out and exploring local eateries.
It may be a cliché that some of the world’s best Indian food is found in England, but clichés are often true, and we’re certainly enjoying the local Indian fare, particularly one restaurant that is – fortunately or unfortunately – within walking distance and thus a much-too-easy ‘oh, let’s go there’ decision. On our last visit, the owner recognised us, asked what we’d liked so far, and based on our preferences, suggested an ‘off the menu’ dish especially for Clive. It was fabulous (lamb, mince, chick peas, and a mild spicy sauce).
We’re both delighted with the number of cafes in Felixstowe – one must always be able to find a good coffee! – and the range of other restaurants, including a second Indian one close to the seafront.
And of course, walks and pubs often go together in England, and we love knowing that after a beautiful tour of the countryside, we can often find a great pub for a drink or a meal.
While Clive does his magic (that is, hard work) to progress our renovation projects, and when I’m not needed as his assistant, I’ve been able to spend a little time pursuing my interest and enjoyment of writing. I’m pleased to be back posting on this blog, and have joined my first ever writing group, the Felixstowe Scribblers (a name I love because it doesn’t take itself too seriously). This wonderful group of creative individuals vary in age as much as they vary in their writing styles and preferences, which makes for always-interesting meetings. Thank you, Scribblers, for the warm welcome! I’m thrilled to be part of the group.
Last week, I also began another intensive online writing course, which I’ve found helps me maintain forward momentum with the larger project I’m working on. And thanks to the spreadsheet guru of the family, when I needed a certain book for reference, he was able in about ten seconds to tell me exactly what box it was in. Not bad, considering the hundreds of books we shipped from Sydney and the many rows of book cartons sitting under our airbed.
9. Travel Plans
As thrilled as we are to be in our own home – where we’ve now lived for eight weeks straight – we haven’t lost the travel bug. In the next few months we’ll be on the move again, having built our plans around two family birthdays, one a 92nd in England, the other a first in Australia.
We’ll also be in Paris in the near future (where I look forward to spending considerable time writing), the U.S. in late summer, and – our first trip to a new destination since we visited Wales in 2009 – the Isles of Scilly in September. We have a growing list of destinations here in the UK alone, including the Lake District and a return to Scotland, though we haven’t scheduled those quite yet.
10. Our Global Family
Living in England has caused us to readjust our ‘family communication clocks’ now that we’re in a northern hemisphere timezone, and to continue to focus on maintaining communication and connection within our global family.
As with so many families today, our loved ones are scattered around the globe and busy with their lives: Clive’s daughter has returned from her volunteer work in Rwanda; his son’s been travelling for work while his daughter-in-law continues her brilliant job with three growing and thriving children; my son loves his work and life in Washington, D.C., where he’s received some recent accolades; and my stepson in Connecticut and his wife are also busy and well raising their three active boys. Clive’s mother and her husband have moved into an assisted living facility in Australia, my mother’s doing well in the U.S., and we see Clive’s father regularly here in England.
As the world turns, we think of our family members and what they may be doing – some going to dinner when we’re going to bed, others already rising for the next day when the sun sets in England.
On that note, I’ll wish all of you reading this a happy summer, or winter, wherever you may be. As for Clive and me, we are loving these long summer days and extended twilights.
Cheers for now from Felixstowe and the coast of England.
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