Driving from Norwich down to Ipswich today to pick up M and C (who has now moved to Norwich), I was struck by what I thought was the changing nature of the landscape as soon as I got into Suffolk. Perhaps it’s imagination, but bear with me. Suffolk seemed sullen, desolate, unforgiving, and somehow bereft. The closer I got to Ipswich, the worse it seemed to get. Norfolk seemed almost more open, more rounded, more grounded, and calm. M and I spoke about this on the way back, and she’d had the same impression. We both wondered if it had anything to do with the 50mph limit which is in place just about all the way from Diss down to the A14 (a dual carriageway), and if this is what makes the surroundings seem harsher, less varied. Bear in mind we lived in Suffolk for 15 years. Perhaps familiarity does breed contempt. Perhaps it is because Norwich was England’s second city, whilst Ipswich and Suffolk are just inbetween places, and the road just bordered by places that sprung up to harbour coaching inns and never really grew beyond there. Once I find some time, maybe I’ll look at the history of that road and the places that people it. A certain melancholy comes with this observation, much the same as the observation that Norwich felt like home just about the minute we arrived up here. The human spirit is strange, and its homecomings even stranger.
The day has slipped past. I started putting Aggie into a separate document half an hour before I left for Ipswich. Perhaps that time would have been more wisely spent writing this. …
1st Advent. I’m not overly keen on Christmas anymore, and never have been of the commercialisation and far to much in advance marketing. But this is a season of darkness, and any festival that brings light into that darkness, be it with candles or Christmas lights, is welcome. I bought a little porcelain house last week to put a tealight in. I’ve put a pic of it on insta. I also have some frankincense cones, which I may well burn in it and see what it smells like. Here again already – we mark our aging with all annual festivals. Another scratch on the wall. Another year passed. And more to come.
Two Aggie chapters tomorrow, I think. I have run out of steam after such a rushed and rushing day.