Saturday, 26 October 2013

The final day of our holiday

What a change in the weather.

We spent the morning packing and sorting at the Headmaster's House as the rain bucketed down and the wind picked up speed.

By lunchtime, it has eased off a bit so out we went to lunch. We decided on The Swan because MWNN had gone to enquire about dress code and spotted Eggs Arnold Bennet on the Menu. I've searched for a history of The Swan Hotel, without success. The Hotel has a framed poster on its wall showing a potted history of various spots in Southwold, but no information other than that.

I tracked down snippets of information that suggests the hotel was beloved of 'artists' of various types in days gone by. There is also a section in The Accidental Immigrant that devotes itself to East Anglia, and Southwold in particular. But more of that at another time and back to the topic of lunch.

The Swan Hotel is a Southwold Hotel  in the Adnams' stable, so lunchtime drinks were not a problem. The anticipated Eggs Arnold Bennet Omlettes were - a disappointment. There was very little of the complexity of flavours one expects from the dish. The omlette was thin, the smoked haddock neither smoky nor flaked into the omlette, and the promised Parmesan topping decidely lacking.

As I said to MWNN at the time, my stomach is very disappointed, my ego is not.

After lunch, it was down to the Common to give Ron a few minutes of the chase game. MWNN had brought more stale bread for the gulls and we had another episode of Agatha Christy's 'The Birds'

We picked up a ciabatta loaf and a particularly sinful-sounding Eccles cake from Two Magpies Bakery (at 20% discount for being a regular while we were here) and drove down to the beach for our final walk of the holiday. The sea was rough and getting rougher. As we passed Gun Hill Beach Cafe, the manageress was busily taking down the flags and packing tables and chairs inside. Further along the beach, two para-sufers were dismantling their sails and carrying them across the dunes to the car-park.

We eventually had to put Ron back on his lead as his penchant for rushing into the water was looking more and more hazardous. Huge waves sent spray high into the air and roller after roller crashed over the shingle banks to fill the shallow pools.

As we made our way back to where we'd parked, I spotted this strange-looking object. MWNN lifted it using a stick so that I could get a better shot. Thanks, again, to Debs for identifying it as a piece of living coral. Not living for much longer, it's been ripped out of its habitat by the cruel sea.

This view shows the 'stalk' (closest to the camera) and the damage to the coral's 'pleats'

More people were leaving the beach than were joining it,  and, at about 3.45, we too, took our leave and headed 'homewards' for afternoon tea.

Just look at that chock-a-block-full-of-rum-soaked-raisins Eccles cake from Two Magpies Bakery.

And so our holiday is at an end. It has been delightful from beginning to end. This morning we will buy some Suffolk pork and some fresh fish to take home. We plan to leave after an early lunch and should be in the safety of our own Headmaster's House when the worst of the forecasted storm strikes - such good timing.