Two Sides Of Suffolk
I finally got to use my Thermos mug in the situation it was designed for. I spent the past week in the calm Suffolk countryside, 2 hours away from London on the A12. This part of England is my second favourite, after Kent. It's chuck full of quaint little villages and towns, most of which are historic and very beautiful.
When I come here, I always prefer to stay on a camp site. I don't actually enjoy camping since I love my conveniences too much, but I do love being in nature. This is why I always opt for something called "glamping" (glamour-camping). It's camping, but in a specially made pod or cabin with the basic amenities like water and electricity.
It was my third time on this site. The first time I booked it because I liked the look of it. The second time was years later, when I booked it by accident without realising I had actually been there before. This time round, it was an active choice because it was a winner both times. It's a very nice balance between absolute peace and quiet and a secure environment. That's because it's situated on a farm land right next to a small village. In the day time, there is the noise of workers mowing the lawns, tending to the vegetation, and cleaning, but at night time, it falls totally still.
The pod has no stove or cooking hub, but it does have a microwave, a toaster and, most importantly, a kettle!. I'm not a big fan of heating water in the microwave and I sure as heck wasn't going to fire up the BBQ every time I wanted a cup of coffee. That was reserved for dinner time. I was also wise this time and opted for those cheap single-use BBQs.
The mug is called "THERMOcafé" by Thermos, the heat preservation and insulation experts. It's old technology of isolating conducting materials and insulating with air, but it works so well. At home the mug has kept me drinking from the same coffee serving for two hours indoors. Outdoors, even though I didn't spend that long drinking the same serving, the coffee stayed hot till the last drop. Good stuff.
In terms of coffee, I filled a sachet with enough ground coffee to last me the week, and it did. All I needed for each serving was one scoop and hot water. I also took a few black tea bags, in case.
I enjoyed the late evening coffee sessions the best. The weather was nice and dry the whole time with fresh gentle winds. I quite loved watching migratory birds all flying in the same direction every evening. I checked the direction on my compass ad it was directly east. I found it a little odd since I had only birds either migrating south or west. I googled it and apparently this is a thing now, and it's a climate related issue apparently. I need to look more into that when I have the time.
Coffee by the sea /
Southwold has a fantastic non-smoking pier like the one in Hastings. As a non-smoker myself, it's always very hard to find an outdoor dinning or cafe space without cigarette smoke. This is why I always look forward to coffee on the piers, be it in Hastings or Southwold. I did this on my last visit, but this time it was just too windy to enjoy. The sea wasn't calm at all and even the birds weren't feeling it. The normally pleasing, gentle splashing sounds of the waves had been replaced by more violent surges.
I wondered if this had to do with the hurricanes happening on the other end of the Atlantic. My brother, who lives in New York, had sent me a text earlier that he was under an emergency weather warning. Scary stuff.
I decided to explore the beautiful, old, and very picturesque town of Southwold instead. There is a trail from the town centre to the harbour. While on the path admiring the beautiful river and cattle grazing in the distance, the decorum was briefly but severely interrupted by a chinook helicopter that flew directly overhead. It was at such a low altitude that I instinctively ducked as it flew past. The previously tranquil cattle also took flight in panic, as did the birds. I was reluctant to photograph or make a video recording of the craft because I wasn't sure it was allowed. I decided to err towards personal preservation on that front :)
I didn't like the feel of the place at the harbour, nor the strong smell of the marine life, so I decided to postpone my coffee to when I got back to the town centre proper. There wouldn't be a view, and, as I learnt later, it would have to be taken away since they closed minutes after my order.
Two Magpies Bakery serves some seriously delicious edibles with very good quality coffee! I highly recommend this place if you're ever in Southwold.
It was only 4pm. I wonder if they were still under covid era adjustments, even though the regulations have been lifted now. One thing I noticed about Southwold is how strongly they adhered to the Covid-19 regulations regarding masks, social distancing and whatnot. They really committed to it way more than we did anywhere in London. There were semi-permanent markings on the floors and even their footpaths were apparently made one-way, with each side of the road only moving in one direction. I even witnessed a man being told off by an elderly lady for walking the wrong way down a footpath! I thought that was a little excessive, but you never know, maybe she'd had a bad experience with this darn pandemic. It's affected everyone differently.
Coffee made with love /
I spent one afternoon with family friends who own a cottage way out there in the countryside. There was a BBQ and some very delicious salads and other things all made from scratch. I was there witnessing the desert being made and placed in the antique looking oven. I was also made a very special black coffee, made perfectly to my taste, and I must say it tasted heavenly.
There is something about when someone who genuinely cares about you makes you something - it always tastes a lot better! I don't know what the science or psychology is, but it's true.
I won't post photos from there, but the cottage is honestly one of the most beautiful living spaces I've ever been in. The natural feeling decor and amount of indoor light both add to the already amazing place.
As beautiful as the cottage and surrounding garden are though, I made a comment to the owners that what I found most appealing were the 'weeds' growing wild and free. We laughed and they agreed with me. Nature at it's finest I think.
Peace & Love, ☕️ 🌸