Friday, 17 September 2010

A Grand Day Out

"Didn't we have a luvverly time the day we went to .....?"   It was a magical-mystery tour, getting on for a couple of hours from home and the two passengers in the back of the car were kept in suspense about our destination.   About an hour into the journey they were getting restless and I hadn't had the foresight to bring something to entertain them with, so I passed over the AA Road Atlas, being the only reading material to hand.   I gave them a clue, "We're on the A14 heading east and we've just passed Newmarket."   After a lot of reading out of road signs and stage-whispering from the back seat, they announced that they had worked it out.   They were being taken to the docks at Harwich to be sold into the white slave trade.   Hmmm, tempting, but wrong.      As we got closer to the destination it was hard to keep it a secret and it finally dawned on them that they were going to Constable Country.   This, of course, necessitated a juvenile joke or two about policemen.....  
We all had lunch in a nice pub  in Dedham, and not too much squabbling about who could have a spoonful of who else's pudding.   Then on to Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's Cottage, where John Constable painted the Hay Wain. 



I tried to take a photograph from about where I though the picture was painted, though the banks are now overgrown.

Willy Lott's Cottage

Flatford Mill

The route home through Suffolk took in some places I used to live when I was a little girl.   It was quite hard to recognise our house in one village, everyone now has very tall hedges and the trees are all over 50 years older!   And my little village school is now a private house.   I'm not surprised, as there couldn't have been more than 12 pupils altogether when I was there.  I remember being late for school one day (we lived opposite the school and I only had to cross the lane ...) and being mortified because everyone was already gathered around the upright piano singing "Jesus bids us shine".   Another house we lived in around that time is now in the grounds of a prison.   When we visited the other day there were loads of kids around riding bikes in the road.   The years just fell away as I remembered doing the very same thing in about 1957/8.  


So after a nostalgic tour, we set off for home once again.   This time the two in the back seat decided to speed the journey by providing their own entertainment and singing along together.   Unfortunately, it was never the same song.   Except the one that went, "lalalalalala, pub with no beer, lalalalalalala, pub with no beer, lalalalalala, pub with no beer".   They don't write 'em like that any more.  

So if you know anyone in Harwich who wants to make a bob or two by exporting a septuagenarian and an octogenarian, (soprano and tenor), I'm only at the end of a phone!


Hope you have a good weekend!

                                   



p.s No, I'm not sucking my thumb, I'm chewing my necklace.  Different thing entirely.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic, funny story. I've been to Dedham and Flatford Mill myself and it is gorgeous there. We even messed about in boats for the afternoon just like mole and ratty, though we let our teenage son do most of the rowing! What a lovely nostalgic day you've had and, if I may say so, you haven't changed a bit .......... girl on bike, girl on holiday ..... I can hardly tell the difference. Would there be any more room on that luxury liner from Harwich? I'm sure I could rustle up a couple of candidates!
Anne

julielea said...

What a great read Chrissie... felt like I was there with you. Would have loved to have joined in the sing-song on the way back... And what a beautiful part of the country.

Chrissie said...

Anne - I think I could guess who you might have in mind ...!
Julie - You'd have been very welcome - you might have known more than one line of all the songs!!

Jee said...

If you find anyone, Chrissie, can I have their number? I have a 92 yr old passenger to add! Love the area around Dedham.

PG said...

I've never been to that area before, how wonderful that the Constable scene is still so recognisable and the cottage mercifully intact. It sounds like a wonderful area to have grown up in, and lovely photos of little you cycling away proudly!

Jill said...

I've not been for many years, but it is a magic spot to stand and view the cottage as Constable did. Sounds like you had a grand day out. (Love the bikes 'n trikes)

Menopausal musing said...

What a lovely trip out! Brilliant that the magic spot still exists looking almost the same as in the painting. I have to admit that I never really thought much of Constable paintings having only seen them reproduced in books and then one day I saw one in a gallery and was totally blown away..... somehow painting "lose" something between being photographed and printed..... Brilliant photo of you on your bike.... quite a gang there! :O)

Printed Material said...

Great story Chrissie, took me to places I'd never been. Like Cathy I've never quite understood the appeal of Constable but can see why he was inspired by his surroundings.Love that photo of you on your bike . Did we all wear long white socks in those days? I remember getting oil on mine from my bike chain and Mum gave me hell! I think I would have enjoyed the sing song in the car with the oldies but goldies. Lesley xx

julielea said...

...I recognise that little red bottle! Thanks Chrissie for including it! ...Oh I feel happily 'curated' now! *blush* Thank you muchly x