Good morning. Two more days to go and already time is accelerating away as it always does once the midway point is passed. Right now, the sun is shining but the forecast is dire. Strong winds and rain, it says, starting mid afternoon. I don't care - a walk by the sea in wind and rain is exhilarating.
Yesterday was Framlingham Castle day. Contrary to expectation, I am really enjoying my drives around. The A12 doesn't seem to be very busy around here and the country lanes are beautiful. A good sat nav helps, of course, as I know that even if I get 'lost' I won't be, not really.
I was booked to arrive around eleven and managed to get just about the last parking slot. A quick check of my tickets, and explanation of the rules and I was in.
While I'm thinking of it, I must give English Heritage a big thumbs up for their disability awareness. AT both Orford and Framlingham castles, all I had to do was mention my difficulties when I couldn't see lips and every staff member, volunteer, whoever, took a step back, removed their mask and just carried on. Superb! It makes such a difference when people don't make a fuss.
Anyway - back to Framlingham. Briefly, it was built around the end of the 12th century by the first Roger Bigod and developed by his family in the decades to come. Although the inner part of the fortress has now more or less vanished, the stone walls and the mere look pretty much as they would have looked in the Middle Ages (says the guide book). It also shows a strong Tudor influence with some beautiful Tudor chimneys and was owned, briefly, by Mary Tudor who was there when she received news that the conflict with Lady Jane Grey's supporters was over and she was queen.
Later on, a philanthropist had a workhouse built for the local poor and it served in that capacity for about a century before being used as a village hall. It's now in private hands, I gather.
There's only one portion of the original great hall wall remaining but all round there is evidence of the bustling place it would have been. Holes and grooves in the stone walls for timber supports, alcoves that would have been part of private chambers, fireplaces . . .
Enough of the history lesson. Here's some photos.
Now, the wall walk takes in a museum bit as well so one ascends to the first floor via an proper, modern staircase, takes in a display of the modern history of Framlingham through the two wars and beyond before climbing just a little bit of the spiral stairs to the top. With sturdy should, more strength and better balance (thanks, Lindsey), I got there - and it was well worth it. The views!!!
It was good!
Later on, once home again, I took another walk along the beach, this time to the pier. By then, the rain had pretty much cleared and the sun was out.
Today I have a trip to a garden centre planned. I know! - but it is supposed to be a good one and involves what looks like a very pleasant drive up into Norfolk via country roads. I'll do that this morning. This afternoon I must start packing a few things away and clearing out what's in the fridge so I can plan tomorrow's meals. If we do get the bad weather, I want to take a walk down by the sea front and, if I get soaked, I get soaked! I will also walk up the road to the Adnams shop to claim my free can of beer and get Beth's bottle of gin (10% off) using the voucher we were all given at the end of the tour.
This evening, I will be getting a fish and chips from what has been called the best chippie in the land - the Little Fish and Chip Shop. After all, you HAVE to have fish and chips on a seaside holiday, don't you? It ought to be Friday evening really but I want to have a bit of alcohol with it and need a clear head on Saturday morning as I have to be out by nine (covid cleaning regulations take longer).
I hope things are going well for you all. Take care and, in the midst of this new covid threat, stay safe! xx