Saturday started off rather dull & wet so instead of heading off immediately we watched a bit of telly - the Bettany Hughes programme about Spain that J & I had watched before (as my father is learning Spanish & mildly obsessed with Spain ;) ). The rain stopped before lunch though, so we went for a wander along the docks looking at the boats in the marina. And got lunch itself in Bistro on the Quay, which we'd not been in before - rather nice, tho possibly a bit posher than J & I were dressed for ;) We got chased away from the marina mid-afternoon by some very ominous looking clouds, so had a relaxing (most people napping!) afternoon in the house. Followed by the only pre-planned meal out of the weekend - dinner at The Galley, which is a part-Turkish inspired restaurant in the centre of Ipswich. So we had meze to start (to fit with the family Mediterranean themed obsessions ;) ), including a beetroot & yoghurt dip that was bright magenta - there will be photos once I've got them off the camera!
Sunday started brighter, so we were off out not long after breakfast. We'd discussed going to Framlingham to see the castle - it's on my list of things to see someday, but somehow I never get there and this was no exception. We decided that it would be better to go for a stroll along the sea somewhere, as if we got rained off halfway round a castle we'd feel cheated, but a walk would just be shorter than anticipated (if that makes sense). So off in the car to Southwold (having been to Aldeburgh with them last year and more recently ourselves). It seemed to be little-dog day at Southwold, everywhere there was somewhere to sit down along the pier & the seafront there was someone sitting with a small dog. Including one of the ugliest handbag-type dogs I've ever seen ... which didn't have a charming personality either as it went into a fit of barking when J had the audacity to look at it for a moment more than it appreciated! We went to one of the many Adnams pubs for our lunch - Adnams are based in Southwold, it's pretty much Adnams town. And what was vaguely intended as a light lunch turned out to be an enormous plateful for everyone - even my mother's BLT baguette would have fed a small family ;) It was very nice though - I had a really tasty 'home-made' bacon burger :) And while we sat there we saw that we'd made the right choice about where to have our day out - a quite spectacularly heavy rain shower passed over while we were safely inside.
Having decided not to linger too long at the seaside after lunch (there were ominous clouds moving in as well as those that had moved off) we returned to the house for a bit more TV watching - the Bettany Hughes programme about Alexandria & then two episodes of The Art of Spain (which we hadn't watched before). Those were more historical than I'd been expecting - a bit like the Seven Ages of Britain programme I guess, so looking at the history of the country through the art produced in those time periods. The first episode was about the Moorish stuff, so a nice complement to the programme we'd watched on Saturday - some places we saw in both programmes but in this case the emphasis was on the architecture & art not the history per se. The second episode covered the next 400 years or so - very overtly pious & Catholic art, with a strong emphasis on suffering and pain as an expression of faith. Quite gruesome in parts, and even the paintings I liked (I forget the artist, but painted for the Hieronymite monks) were rather depressing once you knew what it was all about - like the monks praying, which turned out to be because one had received a vision that he was going to die right then so they all settled in to pray about it.
Then we made a snap decision to head out for dinner - to the Pizza Express on the marina, which turned out to be full. But in the end we got a table in Zizzi's, not near the marina, but still a pizza type restaurant. And walked back along the marina afterwards to see the lights & the boats all reflecting in the river - very pretty & hopefully some of the pics came out well.
And that was the weekend :) Hope my parents enjoyed it too, we certainly did!
Yesterday then was part getting back into the normal routine after Mum & Dad left, and then we were out in the evening so not quite back into the routine. The Unthanks were playing a concert at Snape Maltings as part of the proms they have there every summer. So me & J & Jonathan headed off there for the evening. The timing could have worked out better for me I think, coz I was tired after the weekend, so I was a bit quiet all evening. Still a good gig tho - they've changed their line-up since we last saw them & have more instrumentalists & even a guitar & drums for some songs! I think we worked out that they played most of the most recent album ("Here's the Tender Coming") as well as some older songs. The new line-up wasn't just used for the newer stuff, they'd rearranged the older stuff to make full use of all the new instruments too, which was cool :)