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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Crayfish

We should be in Scotland.

Alan Sloman is in Scotland. His missus is in Scotland. All the invitees to Derek Emsley's 80th birthday bash are in Scotland....but we are not.

I reckon it's the crayfish that did it.

To explain. Prior to packing for the long weekend I luncheoned on the finest pub fare (hot baguette filled with sausage and onions) and a pint or two of IPA, whereas Miss W opted for a 'healthy' alternative - fresh crayfish salad and bottled water type stuff. You can guess the rest. I am in fine fettle; Miss W has endured a couple of days of gastric discomfort, fever and splitting headaches. A short foray this morning proved beyond doubt that spending ten hours in the car was ill advised, and so our bags are back in the spare room and we remain in deepest Suffolk, whilst our friends frolic in the highlands.

Ho hum... and Miss W with some new gear too!

But it hasn't been all bad. Earlier in the week we had a bracing walk along the River Deben taking in Woodbridge, Melton, Bromeswell and Sutton Hoo. Although mainly dedicated to pleasure craft these days, the river's industrial heritage is evident at every turn. And there are some interesting craft still afloat, such as this magnificent RAF rescue launch.

A welcome sight for WW2 aircrew ditched in the North Sea
Most of the old sailing barges are slowly sinking into the estuary silt, although some are serving as houseboats, and a few moored near the old tide mill are preserved in their full glory. Somehow I rather like the wrecks more, some recognisable still, some reduced to outlines in the mud.















Old trading barges in the Deben estuary

Going, going...gone.

This used to be a busy and productive area. The dead trees in the background of these pictures were once growing in fields and pastures. Now the old sea defences have been allowed to crumble and the marshes are re established, possibly much as they were when the ships were dragged from here uphill, to Sutton Hoo ... our next destination.

A specialist sawmill

En route through the village of Bromeswell we came across a little hive of industry. It was a sawmill dedicated to cricket bat willows with the blocks stacked to season under open sided sheds - and outside was this charming sign.

But on to Sutton Hoo. A site of great historical significance, but, truth be told, the tumuli, all neatly grazed by sheep, look just like part of a golf course to my untutored eye. I'm sure the nearby 'visitor centre' has a very worthwhile display, but, philistines that we are, Woodbridge and its tea shops held rather more appeal as both the sun and temperature steadily dropped.

These river estuaries are fine places to wander about, with many oddities and diversions to make a walk interesting. On a cold day the little (and not so little) houseboats with their coal stoves look really cosy, and it is easy to imagine tea and crumpets by the fire ... or sunbathing on deck in the summer, watching the world go by.

Hmmmm.... I wonder how much one of those might be....?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Martin Rye said...

Go to Sutton Hoe and I will tell my Friend Brian (History Man) link on my blog to give you a tour. He works there now. I went years ago...20 odd years ago. It was interesting once someone explains, shows you a artefact etc.

February 7, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Thanks Martin. I said we were philistines :-) We will return and let you know when...

... but it'll be when it isn't quite so perishingly cold!

February 7, 2009 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Felicitations Miss Whiplash! A whole weekend penned in with Lord Elpus!

A splendid weekend was had indeed with an incredibly generous host. The company was sparkling and a great time was had by all - We toasted 'Absent Friends' for you both and hope Tini gets well soon.

It was minus then & a half degress C when we left this morning at 9:30am!

Lynnie & I had a lovely time together as well. "Which was nice..."

February 8, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

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