Last weekend was a long weekend in the UK, the May Bank Holiday. One of the best things about going to bed on Friday night is switching off the alarm clock, but even better is not having to set it again on Sunday night, knowing that you have another full day off work.
The weekend was full of simple pleasures - having 16yo with me most of the weekend, 13yo winning a squash tournament for the first time (he went from losing all his matches in his previous two tournaments to winning every single one in this one!), good food, a nice bike ride, even though it was a bit of a push to make it home before it was dark, spending a few hours both on Sunday and Monday at Ickworth Church and learning more about its history, hearing a cuckoo in Ickworth Park and last but not least, a few hours on the beach at Felixstowe.
16yo is spending increasing amounts of time revising. I think by the end of the weekend she was ready for a bit of a break, so she'd asked to come to Felixstowe with us. Not sure if it was the lure of the beach or the chips at the cafe there! It had been a lovely sunny day all day but as we drove down the A14, it became very overcast and we even had some spots of rain. According to the local weather forecast, it was supposed to be raining heavily in Felixstowe - not really beach weather! Fortunately, when we arrived, it was dry, if a bit colder than I'd hoped.
We started off with a slap-up meal at the Landguard Point cafe. I really think you have to go for a bracing walk first, but as the cafe closes at 6, we decided to eat first and then walk. The nice thing was that it was much quieter by now, most visitors had gone home and we had the beach almost to ourselves. We watched a Holland America Line cruise ship leave Felixstowe
and then walked towards the old jetty where we can normally find a starfish or two.
What I like about Felixstowe is its total lack of obvious tourism. It's not particularly pretty, there aren't miles of sandy beaches or pastel coloured seafront cottages, but it is nice and quiet, you can watch the big cranes and container ships, and it's perfect for a bit of fresh seaside air.
Last night we also watched the Stenaline ferry from Hoek van Holland come in
By now we were all getting quite cold, so we wandered back to the car park.
In the car on the way home, with a sneaky icecream, we all agreed that even though we'd only been out for a few hours and we had only had three days off, it felt as though we'd been on holidays.
I'm sure it won't be our last visit to Felixstowe this summer!