A travelogue has not been possible for obvious reasons – but this week the girls manage an escape!
While two of our husbands (Ross and John Pooler) are walking the Cape Wrath Trail, with David Mitchell – the toughest walk in Britain, 380 kms in 17 days, from Fort William to the aforesaid-mentioned Cape Wrath – the two grass widows plan a trip to the seaside, with a fellow Cambridge girl.
We rent the delightful Puddleduck Cottage at the end of Aldeburgh high street, with a bedroom each and a cheery sitting, dining room and kitchen, painted white wooden floors – what could be nicer? Aldeburgh is, of course, the adopted town of Benjamin Britten and Peter Peers so the old town resonates with tributes to him, including the scallop sculpture by Maggi Hamblin; Snape Maltings his concert hall, is near by…
We start our jaunt with a visit to the Maltings where our friend Clare Cooper of Art First is showing Simon Lewty’s take on the Nereids at the Lettering Art Centre. Lovely Clare is there to meet us and explain the meanings behind Lewty’s cursive text-based works on paper. Magical.
After a light lunch, a walk along the coastal path before finding our cottage. And several glasses of bubbly later a yummy seafood supper at Regatta, a few doors down.
The following day Hilary and Fi go off on a coastal tromp while I sadly have to do an appraisal. But we meet for a smoked fish lunch in a shack and, after some extensive retail therapy (Aldeburgh has great shops!), take an evening walk into the marshes.
Having bought more smoked fish we have a night in and, on our last morning, strike out for the Martello Tower, built to fend off the French during the Napoleonic wars, but now a Landmark Trust rental. It is another glorious day and we sit in the lee of the wind, watching the boats whoosh by and the waves breaking on the rocks. Heaven. The sound of the sea on the shingle evokes the eerie and powerful notes of Peter Grimes, written right here. I can hear Bryn Terfel’s voice booming in my head.
Before setting off for home, Fi and I drop in on Ross’s old school friend Lawrence Mallinson and his wife Do, whose sister Henny is a London friend, there for the weekend with husband Piero. The Mallinsons have converted an old farmhouse/barn into a magnificent home, which is temporary residence for a grand Maine Coone belonging to a daughter who has decamped for lockdown!
All in all a fantastic girly time among closest friends, revelling in escaping the confines of our familiar four walls, being together in the countryside and the sea air. It’s definitely on the repeat list!