Sunday, 27 October 2013

Travelling home

to Hertfordshire where, like Herefordshire and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen (1987 not withstanding).

Saturday began with packing of the car and a mad hour cleaning the Headmaster's House before the arrival of the official cleaner.

The forecast was for strong winds, which were certainly in evidence, but we had lots of blue skies over Southwold before we departed.

First port of call was Two Magpies Bakery for our 'on order' ciabatta loaf. I also purchased two take-away coffees and a Tiffin to have for elevenses. Once again, there was a discount for a 'regular'.

We then split forces - MWNN to the butcher for some Suffolk pork, lamb cutlets and smoked bacon. I did a quick run around Tesco Express for milk, butter, vegetables and tomatoes.

There was a Craft event happening in the town. This group of Celtic musicians was busking in the biting cold wind and drizzle. They were there before we arrived and still there after we'd finished our shopping.

Then it was down to the Promenade to take coffee and Tiffin overlooking the Pier. We were lucky to get a parking spot and were loathe to leave the shelter of the car and venture out into the gusting wind.

I was keen to take some fresh fish home, some to cook right away, some to freeze for later.

A quick trip to the Harbour followed. There I purchased an enormous Plaice on which the fishmonger (pictured selecting smoked haddock) plied his magic filleting skills. I couldn't resist a piece of smoked Haddock as well for a 'proper' Arnold Bennet Omlette after Friday's disappointing version.

Having explained that I would be driving for over two hours to get home, the fishmonger filled a plastic bag with ice to add to the cool-bag. MWNN was a little disappointed to hear that the smoked prawns couldn't be frozen at home as they'd previously been frozen at sea.

We were very aware that Ron had been cooped up in his crate for over two hours while we packed and shopped, so we drove to the Common to give him one last ball game before we started our journey home.

The route home takes us within three miles of Framlingham, somewhere we'd never visited. It was also a town which was listed on Norfolk Cordials' website. According to the 'Suppliers' page, Leo's Delicatessen stocked Norfolk Cordials. After the number of abortive attemts at finding the Wild Elderflower Cordial, it seemed an opportunity too good to miss.

Leo's Deli is tucked away in a little 'cul-de'sac behind the market square. We bought the cordial, and a few other items too.

We were pleased to have made the detour to Framlingham. I'd always wanted to visit the Castle ruins but was loathe to waste 'beach-time' to do so. Framlingham is a pretty Market Town, with an enormous 'wool church' and the award-winning Crown Hotel.

There's so much more to see than we could manage in our short stop. It warrants a longer visit next time we're in Suffolk.

After Framlingham, we were on the lookout for a place to stop to eat the picnic lunch I'd prepared before we left the Headmaster's House - local free-range eggs and tomatoes on ciabatta bread, coffee and tea. As we neared Stonham Barns, we decided it would be better to pull in to avail of the facilities there rather than looking for a lay-by on the very busy A1120.

We pulled into the overspill car park near the entrance to the fishing lakes and had our picnic in the car. MWNN then went to look for the Lavatories and I invited Ron to stretch his legs. He was very reluctant to leave the warmth of the car but, with a little persuasion, he had a quick 'widdle' on a gate-post. Back in the car, all he wanted to do was snuggle in his sheepskin in his crate.

The remainder of the journey passed so quickly. The house was clean, warm, and welcoming. We'd really enjoyed our holiday in Norfolk and Suffolk, but, with the weather forecast worsening, it was good to be home again.

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