It is out of season here on the Suffolk coast. The Idle Skiers are in Southwold, with winter beckoning and the half term holidays over. For the beginning of November, however, the town is remarkably busy yet again.
It has been a sunny day, with a strong northerly wind and a lively sea. It was a marked improvement on yesterday. It seems par for the course whenever we travel that the skies open and torrential rain falls. Yesterday, we surfed up the A12.
For a while, it seemed that not only was it low season, but that Suffolk was closed completely. To start with, the Orwell river crossing cafe, renowned purveyors of bacon sandwiches to hungry travellers, had closed its doors and was fenced off, shut forever it seems. When we reached Southwold, we discovered that the Crown hotel, a local landmark, was also closed, apparently for maintenance works. Even the Co-op had shut, for a major renovation.
We struggled also to find refuge in the Lord Nelson hotel (our favourite pub in the U.K., a point made ad naseum in this blog). When we were last here, the pub was full of people eating dinner and it was almost impossible to find a table. Currently, the kitchen is closed (there seems to be a common thread here), but the pub has been full to overflowing with locals out for a beer or two. We first set foot in the Nellie in 1988, when it was very much a locals place. In the intervening years it has been colonised by tourists like us and by second home owners. At the moment it seems to have come full circle.