It has already been quite a summer – I have not written anything here since the Wensum Swim, so time for a little catch-up. We all know there has been a helluv-a-lot (meteorological terminology) of rain so looking back I’m amazed at how many summery things have been going on.
Theatrically I have had the pleasure of seeing Margaret Catchpole performed by Eastern Angles at the Hush House at Bentwaters. This former jet engine testing site makes an excellent theatre and Margaret Catchpole was a fabulous topic for a regionally based play. It was beautifully performed and the long exhaust chamber that forms the end of the hanger was used to very good effect. The production followed the story of Margaret, from her life in Naction, to ‘stealing’ a horse and being sent to Australia; at heart though it is a love story with a bit of Suffolk farming and smuggling thrown in.
More recently I was invited to attend King Lear performed by Red Rose Chain, if you get the chance this is a must see theatre-in-the-forest production; absolutely madcap and thoroughly entertaining. You are met by the cast before you have even parked you car so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise when King Lear enters on a golden mobility scooter. It is a testament to how engaging the whole piece is that the children in the audience were completely enthralled. There is something magical about outdoor theatre, and the the cast made the most of the setting, entering from deep in the forest as an integral part of various scenes. As night fell and the sounds of the forest changed the sensations became even more intense. It was both hilarious and moving – and it has to be said suitably sad at the end. The cast, staging and costumes were fabulous. The production continues over the next few weeks, don’t miss it! [..and p.s. buy a programme, there is a comic strip version of the play in the back, which helps if you never listened much in Eng Lit – or like me did The Scottish Play]
This summer has also seen Suffolk’s first International Polo match. After Suffolk Show having been blown away in the storm it was good to see Trinity Park back on form as a social centre. I had forgotten just how huge a polo field is, but thankfully as the teams change ends frequently there was plenty to watch, not least is the pitch invasion ‘treading in’.
Travelling has led to some more interesting finds on the hotel front. The first I can thoroughly recommend is the Green Dragon, a pub with rooms, at Cockleford, not far from Cheltenham. This is dog friendly, has very comfortable bedrooms, free wifi and excellent food. There is also fantastic woodland walking just over the road. The second, the Clifden Hotel in Teignmouth, was a totally dog friendly hotel, not surprisingly as it is run by Vision. The staff could not be friendlier and the facilities include ‘spend areas’ for the dogs, grooming areas etc. In both cases the hotels were found through Smoothhound, which remains my favourite source of different accommodation.
The rain has brought on some interesting fungi – one of the cutest was the Witches Butter growing in the moss down the middle of the lane. I think the rabbits have been eating it – looking at the list of things the polysaccharides in it are supposed to cure/prevent the rabbits will probably last for ever!
Now we are in full Olympic’s mode and I’ll admit I’m hooked. I was lucky enough to see the torch arrive at Ipswich and then on the day of the opening ceremony Framlingham had its own flag parade; it even made it to the national news! it certainly brought home to me how the torch bearers role as ambassadors for the games live on after their few minutes with the torch – people were queueing up to have their pictures taken.
Now its time to start looking forward. The full programme for Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival has been published. The main days should be interesting – I’m involved with Food Safari and looking forward to the fringe programme which has almost too many fantastic activities to choose from.
It has been a real British Bank Holiday Weekend. A Royal Wedding, broadcast over a huge TV screen to a packed Market Hill in Framlingham, bike riding and a climb of the church tower. All credit to all involved for pulling the whole shebang together both at the London end and locally. I know it involves a lot of work and many unsung heroes to make such a success. Bill Bulstrode was in his element and all the crew who did everything from catering to marshalling did a fabulous job; even dealing calmly with the few cars and lorries that decided they absolutely had to drive up the Hill. The huge screen supplied by http://odmtv.co.uk/ was very impressive, they even added local adverts to the coverage.
So stuffed full with hog roast I decided I needed a new cycle route challenge. A bit of royal tidying up. I plotted a journey and have remapped it for you as if done from Framlingham (my version was well over the 40 miles). The journey covers
The Queen’s Head Brandeston, The Victoria at Earl Soham, The Crown at Bedfield, The Crown at Brundish, Queen’s Head at Stradbroke, Royal Oak at Laxfield, The King’s Head at Laxfield (aka the Low House), Dennington Queen, The Crown at Great Glemham, The Crown and Anchor at Framlingham and the Crown Hotel at Framlingham. [by the way if you are a website optimiser designer some of these guys need help!)
Click on the picture below to go to the full route on Map My Ride, there is one short off-road section after the Crown at Bedfield which can be tricky in bad weather, but there is a road alternative if necessary.
To add to the pleasure of the weekend I manage a climb up the tower of Dennington Church, great use for the 360 degree panorama app = Click on the picture below to see the view from the top.