I was up early and on the road by six. I walked a couple of miles in the general direction of the rising sun until I arrived in the general vicinity of that other well-known source of radiation: the Sizewell Nuclear Reactor. If I ever do another walk of the UK (which seems unlikely at the moment on account of my not being a masochist) I will include a Geiger counter in my kit, along with a non-disposable sleeping bag.
The nuclear power station does have the virtue of a majestic view of Sizewell Beach and the sea, looking like a grounded alien mothership and sitting amid a wildlife sanctuary. I recall the nuclear plant at Dungeness sitting in a bird sanctuary and wonder what is this thing the government has for siting nuclear plants in the middle of the country’s wildlife? Is it some sort of atonement or simply a love of irony?
Be that as it may, the walk northwards that ensued was the best day yet. I am going to focus on the coastal walks and paths from now on. They are a lot more interesting than the main roads and a lot less dangerous.
Today I walked through the Suffolk coastal Heath and its abundant wildlife and up through Gun Hill and Southwold along wild coastland and deserted shingley beaches where I did not see another human being for several hours. From memory of history I was aware that I was walking through Queen Boadicea’s country, the lands once owned by the tribe of the Iceni that took such I’ll-fated umbrage at being shoved around by the Romans, who were sort of the Americans of their era except without drugs.
I crossed the river Blythe by another, smaller ferry. I have noticed the ferries get progressively smaller so imagine that by the time I cross the Mersey, it will be in a coracle.
I would like to say hello to and acknowledge the ferryman Murray who so kindly refunded my fair when he found out what I am doing.
The weather, which had started brightly, had one of its frequent mood swings. Heavy grey cloud bubbled up from the South West, driven out to sea by the charioteer of a strong, blustery wind. It brought rain and the world was filled by the sounds of the wind and the restless waves crashing next to me upon the beach.
I passed through terrain more or less still wild and relatively sparsely inhabited. I fell a little bit in love with Suffolk. It reminded me too of a phenomenon I have seen everywhere: bird and animal sanctuaries, conservation areas, preservation areas, myriad efforts by sincere people to do right by our planet and take responsibility for its husbandry. My early jibe about nuclear reactors notwithstanding, there are efforts everywhere to befriend the planet and many are assisted by the government. There is much that is right about this country and it is the rightnesses that can and should be nurtured, built upon and expanded.
But leaving the government to muddle through without me, I continued my long but fulfilling walk northwards and arrived at my destination earlier than I expected, which I think is a first.
Tonight I am staying at the Old Rectory guest house, which is a stunning, top-notch B and B in Kessingland, just south of Lowestoft. I would like to sincerely thank owners Michael and Sally for their generosity in donating this night’s stay. I would also like to thank Sally for the superb scones with cream and strawberry jam she gave me when I arrived. Best I ever had!
So I am looking forward to another good night’s rest before I tackle another day toiling northwards tomorrow. I would only ask God, whom I consider to be one of my best mates, if he could please do something about the weather and tweak the environmental controls so as to dispense with the wintry bits and give us some vernal clemency before winter lingers into summer, confusing the hell out of everybody.
Oh and I was supposed to record another radio show this evening but I fell asleep. My apologies to Roger Landry and I hope we can still record the show tomorrow. It is just that nine thirty at the moment is way past my bedtime.
Here is the link for the Old Rectory, which I HIGHLY recommend. www.theoldrectorybandb.com