Jun 21, 2014

Orwellian Country Park

In order to continue our tradition of non-dog-walking around our old dog-walking haunts, we drove out past the ghastly new Retail Park where (ooh) Waitrose and (ahh) John Lewis have set up Aerodrome-sized edifices of mysterious over-the-counter ononism, past Ravenswood with its lovely fence and Toy-Town architecture and out to Orwell Country Park, where once again with pram we negotiated the challenging root-ridden terrain on the shoulders of the Orwell Valley.

Down to the beach we went where you can look down-river to Shitley and up-river to the Orwell Bridge and across to Woolverstone and the Butt and Oyster, the water gently lapping on the malodourous mud, the seaweed dank and sticky as your feet sink inexorably to just the point on your shoes where it leaves a really hard-to-get-rid-of pongy tidemark of green sludge.

And it's especially on this sort of day, when the sun has decided to take his hat off and stick two fingers up to the population below through the medium of thick grey cloud, that the mud is really inviting, enhancing as it does the chill in the air as the niff of mud, seaweed and micro-organisms is borne down the river on a pillow of chill air just blustery enough tickle your ears through your hair.

Am I making it out to be worse than it is? It has a certain desolate charm, quite different from that we'd had from the other side of the river when we were jetlagged at the Suffolk Dining Shed in the blazing sunshine those many moons ago.

We met by chance an old boy who we got talking to and he certainly appreciated the lonely beauty of it, and began to reminisce about playing in the Park before it was a park but a rampant untended wilderness many years ago, and about the old Lido that had been just up the river, now demolished and built over, and about times gone by and traditions lost and generations, blah blah zzzzzzz..... we moved on to experience something really old, wizened and impressive but that could be climbed upon.

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