A week without any posts here? I must have been on holiday. We spent a week on the Suffolk coast, not far from Southwold (no, I didn’t bump into Gordon), and had a wonderful time. I know the area well, having lived there as a child and holidayed on many occasions since with my parents, though this was my first lengthy return since my late teens. I was surprised just how much I remembered, but also how much I didn’t.

We stayed at Priory Farm in Darsham, in the converted Granary. It’s a great spot, really close to Dunwich and Southwold on one side, but also Framlingham and Aldebrugh on the other. The Granary was really comfy and nicely presented, so I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to stay in the area. Here’s how it looks:

We had plenty of trips to the seaside, largely as a result of the incredibly good weather we enjoyed. We went to Dunwich:



and Aldeburgh:

We also spent half a day at Snape Maltings, which is a real cultural treasure-trove, with a musical venue, plenty of galleries and some really cool sculptures:

I also had the chance to get plenty of reading in. I took Charles Leadbeater’s We-Think along with me, and managed to get a good two-thirds of the way through. The latest London Review of Books also contained some fascinating stuff, including a long review of a biography of Raymond Williams, the leftist cultural academic, critic and author. I managed to find the book in the wonderful Aldebrugh Bookshop, and have been dipping in and out of it since, but my real find in the same shop was a copy of Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald, which I have been hankering after for a while.

All the better that I bought it in Aldeburgh – the book is based around a series of walks the author undertook around the Suffolk coast.

The other joy of visiting east Suffolk is the beer, specifically that from the Adnams Brewery in Southwold. My usual tipple at this time of year is the lighter Regatta, but the new and very cold Spindrift was a real pleasure on the very hot days. Favourite pubs include the Sole Bay Inn at Southwold:

And also The Ship at Dunwich, where this picture of Adnams standard (but delicious!) bitter was taken:

All in all, we had a fabulous time and were really sad to leave. Will be paying extra attention to the lottery numbers tonight, just in case…

More photos at Flickr, in case you want them…

The real value of Flickr

Having an iPhone has really liberated me in term of the way that I use Flickr. This would be true of any phone with decent internet connectivity, and indeed there are plenty of handsets out there with better camera functionality than the iPhone. But the ability to easily take a picture and upload it to Flickr via email in a matter of seconds is fantastic – like this, which I took in Chipping Norton yesterday:

Church at chipping norton

This has led me to have a bit of a wonder about Flickr and where the value of it lies. One thing Flickr does brilliantly is to create a community of photographers, from amateurs through to seasoned professionals, who discuss one another’s photos and chat about lenses, resolutions and whatnot.

But Flickr has another community too – people out on the streets with cameraphones, who don’t really care about the angles of the shots they are taking, wh just want to capture the moment and share it online. Such users can easily find themselves at the forefront of important events, thrust into the role of citizen journalist.

These two communities exist side-by-side rather well, despite the fact that they are using the same service for quite different purposes. Which is more important to Flickr, I wonder – and which to society?


Angel of the North

Taken as I sped by on my way to Newcastle. I wasn’t driving, honest, officer.

I remember being mesmerised by this on my first (and up ’til now, only) trip to the North East. It’s lost none of its magic for me.