Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A glimpse into the past




On a hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate with far reaching views over the river Deben is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. It's called Sutton Hoo. My young friend and I paid a visit to this magical place on Sunday afternoon. The photograph I took above shows the famous helmet unearthed in 1939. Sutton Hoo kept its secret for more than 1300 years until, on the very brink of war in 1939, an incomparable buried treasure was discovered there. Sutton Hoo was a symbol. In the early 7th century, about 200 years after the Roman government withdrew from Britain, this place was chosen to make a great monument to a new kind of English Power. For over 50 years an aristocratic group was buried there. In about AD 625, in a pagan consecration, the military - perhaps royal - master of a mighty household was buried at Sutton Hoo.
What a fascinating place it was. Really worth a visit. The house where the owner of the site lived and all the finds were given to the National Trust in 1998. The house is also open to the public and, unusually, visitors are allowed to sit in any of the armchairs there. While my young friend and her mother visited the actual mounds I sprawled in a very comfortable armchair whilst listening to a recording by one of the original workers who uncovered the treasure. Here are some of the other photographs I took on our visit.








Later we drove further north to eat fish and chips on Southwold Pier. This was the view from the pier.


Such a nice little town - it quite reminded me of my boyhood where once a year we would travel by charabang to a seaside resort paid for by the farthings we'd contributed every week at Sunday School.
As the weather has been so hot lately we went over to The Swan at Streately one evening last week for an alfresco dinner by the river. This was the view from our table.


Last week the Henley Music Festival staged its last 5 day post regatta event at its present location. Next year it moves down river to the site of the Henley Management College. We 'promenaded' last Thursday evening. Again we were blessed with glorious weather. The main event of the evening was Jamie Cullum. We didn't have grandstand or special deckchair seats but could still see and hear the performers well. Soon after we arrived we called in to the Salon to hear a young pianist - Oliver Poole - play Gershwin. What a great performer. His hands literary flew across the piano. But part of the Festival is taken up with art exhibits and assorted 'acts'. These girls on stilts for example.


And I'm not sure what to make of these.


Or these rather haughty 'horsemen'.


And if you fancy having your hair restyled why not try this hairdresser?


Just a few more of the sights.











The ambiance of the evening was great. This is looking towards the stage with many of the boats moored close by.


After a tasty meal at the Spice Merchant restaurant we moved along to see the short, but spectacular, firework display.


And finally ended the evening in the Salon Marquee with the TV performer Alexander Armstrong.


I was invited to dinner last Monday evening by my friends Brian and Jane. We sat outside on the verandah overlooking their lovely garden.


Then later Brian took us all on the river. We cruised down to the Management College and back round Temple Island. I'll be so pleased when my health allows me to use my boat again.
A lot of the past few weeks has been spent helping my young friend move house. She's just bought her first house of her own. It's very sweet and not too far away so she's finding it very exciting (but quite tiring in this heat with all the packing and unpacking).
Last Wednesday I had an appointment with Mr Ladas, the surgeon who performed my latest lung operation, at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. My young friend (caring as ever) came with me. We caught the early (standing room only) train to Paddington. First thing I did at the hospital was to have a chest x-ray and then in to have the consultation. Mr Ladas was very pleased with my progress and the x-ray was positive. (When he refers the results to my oncologist I may need further treatment however) This I'll know when I see him. I mentioned before that I'd painted a miniature of Mr Ladas as a thank you for 'keeping me going' so I gave it to him. He was delighted and wanted to have this photo taken of us together with him holding the miniature.