It's bank-holiday Monday evening, and for the second such holiday this year,
the day has been spent at Southwold and Covehithe down on the Suffolk coast.
Unlike last time, this was no day-trip, though, coming at the end of a long
weekend away with a load of friends. We booked a holiday caravan just a little
way up the coast from Southwold, at Kessingland, near Lowestoft, and just had a
generally relaxing time - though I'm still pretty exhausted anyway.
I was going to drive up myself, but managing to get away from work in good
time, I agreed to go with Alan and Helen, which worked out very sensibly,
though stopping off in Lowestoft for a McDonalds - by the way, their McChicken
Korma is definitely flavour of the moment - we arrived at the site just after
reception had closed, so struggled to get our key, and were eventually sent to
the wrong caravan... We found the right caravan in the end, though, which was
right on the cliff-top, with good views over the foreshore and on to Lowestoft,
where we could watch the illuminated ships arriving and leaving at all hours.
Rosie arrived with Ian - Andy being waylaid finishing off an assignment - just
as we were looking clueless about what to do next, but all was well in the end,
and we settled in quickly.
The caravan seemed a little more civilised than the ones we stayed in last
year, somehow just a little wider and better furnished. The beds - apart from
the "mum and dad's" one, which Alan and Helen took - were still mainly shelves
with padding, but seemed perhaps just a bit more bearable than before, though
still Ian decided he couldn't fit comfortably and ended up sleeping in the
kitchen after the first night. Any shortcomings weren't too serious, though,
because apart from a rather damp Sunday morning, we didn't spend a lot of time
in, and at least the lounge area was comfortable and spacious enough.
Saturday's main attraction was going to the local wildlife park, which was
quite fun, including a ride on the "train" that took us round the bigger
attractions like the lions, zebra, cheetahs and so on. Andy arrived later in
the day, giving a nice choice of three cars for us temporary non-motorists.
Pick of the bunch had to be Ian's Eunos Roadster - basically a Mazda MX-5 in
disguise - though both Andy's Ibiza and Alan's new Astra seemed to hold their
own a lot of the time and with a lot less noise, fuss and fun.
We went into Beccles for the evening, having a nice meal at this very extensive
pub, choosing the Library. Pity most of the books were stuck together or
sawn-off to fit - there were some quite interesting titles amongst them; I
remain particularly curious about "Naive Set Theory" - but the food was top
stuff, and the puddings were enormous. Back at the caravan, after a game of
beach croquet in the rapidly dwindling half-light, we watched Psycho on
television - the first time for most of us, I think, and although it was quite
watchable, it's not too clear in this day and age what the fuss was all about.
It might have helped if we'd not known half the plot - apparently audiences of
the day were told to keep it secret, and cinemas turned away late-comers -
because that took away most of the shock aspects.
After a damp game of crazy golf on-site, Sunday was spent in Norwich, which we
have to say did not live up to expectations. There was a quite interesting
museum at the castle, but you had to pay extra to look at the battlements and
dungeons and so on, which we politely declined. In the evening, we drove into
Great Yarmouth and found a Pizza Hut we didn't have to queue at for about an
hour to get into, though it was very cramped, and they still managed to bodge
up the order - all very well for Alan and Helen who ended up getting their
pizza for free. After watching The Firm - well worth a watch, by the way - us
lads toddled down to the beach for late-night luminous frisbee and playing
chicken with the waves.
We had to be out of the caravan by ten this morning, so it was a bit of a rush,
but we just about managed. As previously mentioned, we went via Covehithe and
Southwold, just a little bit south of where we were staying, and that ended a
good weekend away most pleasantly. I'm sure if I was sorting out a holiday for
myself, I'd have chosen very little of what we did, but it was great anyway,
and so good to get a change of scenery and a bit of fresh sea air.