Lately, my sister has started calling Suffolk her ‘happy place’. I know why. The drives are long and the waves are rough. The stars bright and the sunsets vivid. The hydrangeas burn a lively pink and the fishermen wear their wrinkles deeper, prouder.
Suffolk has a reputation for being a ‘curious’ county. Home of authors, countrymen, hideaway farmers. Crime novels are routinely staged here, something in the desolate marshes and inky water inspiring mystery and intrigue. Benjamin Britten was born and died here. George Orwell chose his pen-name after the name of the river snaking towards Ipswich.
Should you go, be sure to take a walk at sunset along the marshes. Be sure to rent a coloured rowboat on Thorpeness Meare, get lost in the tangled undergrowth and admire the iconic House in the Clouds. Pick wild blackberries and tread barefoot across pebbled beaches at dusk. Buy fish from the fisherman’s huts by the water in Aldeburgh. Cycle past the glowering nuclear power plant at Sizewell (and wonder if the fish are radioactive.) Take a blanket down to the beach at dusk and watch the stars begin to twinkle.
Monday marks the beginning of our annual start-of-autumn trip to Suffolk. We’re planning on walking, swimming, laughing, photographing. If you need me next week, you’ll find me on Aldeburgh’s sands, tucked up in my blanket, stars for company.
*All photographs taken with my film camera, September 2012.