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Moving from Sussex to Suffolk
Tue 23-Nov-10
8:42 am
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paperman
Saxmundham, Suffolk

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Danny asked for a little more information about my retirement and move from Sussex up to Suffolk but before getting into that a little preamble as background.

I grew up in South London and still, for my sins, am an armchair supporter of Crystal Palace (this is a football team that nobody chooses to support it is a team that you are lumbered with from birth!). Thus my background is somewhat ˜townie™ however having passed the 11 plus I went to school out in what was then ˜the country™ in Addington, Surrey. It was about an hour each way by bus and train but somehow the fields and green resonated with something inside. Where there are now housing estates were small holdings and farms and the frequent cross country runs that were inflicted on us were for me pleasurable excursions even if the exercise was not really my forte. When the weather allowed I started cycling to school, the roads seemed safer then, and that led to longer excursions at weekends with friends and holidays were spent Youth Hostelling around the UK. It all seems a bit innocent and ˜Swallows & Amazons™ by today™s standards but that was how it was then, and the apparently swinging 60™s somehow passed me by, I must have blinked !!

Fast forward now through country living in Kent, New England (wonderful!), Buckinghamshire, Shropshire and Sussex then now here in Suffolk. The early seeds of love for countryside have affected my decisions on locations all my adult life.

When we moved down from Shropshire to Sussex (to be closer to friends and family) some 15 years ago it was in tandem with my then plans to retire however having been in the paper industry since I was 19 and fascinated by computer applications in art and photography (my hobby was photography) this was a time before Google, when the latest search engine was Alta Vista, I decided as an extension of my hobby to start importing specialist papers both for my own use and to sell them on the Internet which was something about which I knew almost nothing. I had expected to have a few packs on a shelf in the garage and to ship out the odd pack every now and again which would supplement the costs of my hobby, however along came Google and front page listing on that search engine and within 2 years a business was established with its own central warehouse and satellite warehouses at 2 other locations and my retirement plans were demolished!!

Move forward 12 years from moving down to Sussex, things happen and I am looking at a singular life. Business is becoming a complete animal and has taken my life over again and I decide to get into retirement mode once more before it is too late. It takes a while but eventually I manage to extricate myself from the business but need a complete change of scenery and having spent many weekends up here in Suffolk, location was an easy decision although I had at one point thought about going back to New England but felt that it might be one step too far, so Suffolk it is.

I wanted to live in a small village that was not too chocolate box like and that was easy distance to a small town and my village of Kelsale ticks those 2 boxes with Saxmundham about 2 miles and is only about 15 minutes from the sea. I wanted a small house with minimal garden as I also want to do some travelling so I have a small 3 bedroom cottage with a courtyard garden in the middle of the village. I have also taken up an allotment just round the corner and am planning that at present.

Moving here was probably the best decision I could have made, the village is not a shell of holiday or weekend cottages and whilst it doesn™t have a village shop it does have life and I enjoy a morning walk into Saxmundham each day to maybe get some shopping and to have a morning coffee in the town Deli.

I have not so far uploaded any images but will do so anon. I will also add musings about village life to this post as time goes on.

Hope this hasn™t gone on too long for you, but Danny did ask !!!

I have reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me...

Tue 23-Nov-10
12:30 pm
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Toffeeapple
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Ooh, thanks for doing that Chris!  I love knowing more about people.  What part of New England did you go to?  And Buckinghamshire?

I'll try that again!

Tue 23-Nov-10
1:24 pm
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paperman
Saxmundham, Suffolk

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I worked in Nashua NH and had an apartment in Lowell just over the border in Massachusetts before taking a place up in the forest near Amherst. I was over again over last Christmas/New Year up in Stowe, Vermont staying with friends. Great place, good fun, amazing people and equally amazing also now good coffee, at least up there it is !!

In Buckinghamshire I was in a little village called Quainton.

I have reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me...

Tue 23-Nov-10
1:34 pm
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Toffeeapple
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Quainton with the restored railway centre, not very far from where I live.  

I've not been to New England, only the Carolinas but I do have friends in Rhode Island so have seen pictures.

I'll try that again!

Tue 23-Nov-10
1:48 pm
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paperman
Saxmundham, Suffolk

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That is the one. I drove through there a couple of years back and was sad to see that my favourite old pub near bottom of the green was no longer a pub, many is the winters night I spent an hour there over a pint of ale by the fire and getting odd bits of game from the local 'source'. All gone now, probably it is more like a commuter village - I don't know.

Anyway, I have just got back from my morning constitutional and now I am getting back to normal and can at least get a latex glove over this hand I am just off to make some bread, I made some lime marmalade yesterday it is beginning to feel like old times again, can't wait till Friday when I hope they will take the whole dressing off.

I have reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me...

Tue 23-Nov-10
2:35 pm
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KateUK
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Ah Crystal Palace...my Great grandfather played for QPR and occasionally Crystal Palace alongside one of his cousins. Great Aunt Annie went to see them one Saturday.It rained. She put her umbrella up. Someone threw a brick through it. She didn't go to football again.

This was before the First World War ...South of the Thames?surprised Bandit Country!big_laugh

 

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Tue 23-Nov-10
5:51 pm
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paperman
Saxmundham, Suffolk

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KATE: I am affronted, only someone from north of the river could call South London bandit country. Actually where your gran went was to the original Crystal Palace ground which was at 'Crystal Palace' but after it burnt down on 30 November 1936 the team moved to Selhurst Park which is either South Norwood or Thornton Heath depending on which way the wind is blowing on the day either way it is SE25 !! If you are delving back, my Grandfather and also my Father played in the brass band that marched up and down the pitch at half time, that was before the lads learnt how to really throw things !! In those days they used to open up the gates at half time and you could get in free for the 2nd half. Oh the days of 3rd division south !!

I have reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me...

Tue 23-Nov-10
7:46 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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What a great article, Chris. Thank you very much for revealing your very interesting potted history.

Hope the injured paw is quickly restored.

I have to say that I admire your idea of a morning constitutional that consist of a two mile walk for a paper and a coffee! Far too healthy and vigorous for this puffy being.

Your part of the world has so much of interest on your doorstep that I really do envy your location.

The very best of good luck to you and the latest step in your adventure that began in Sarf Lunnun.

Love Kate's anecdote. Priceless! big_laugh

Never knowingly underfed

Tue 23-Nov-10
9:01 pm
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paperman
Saxmundham, Suffolk

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Danny, it is prejudice innit, just gives an area a bad name dunnit. Bricks through umbrellas, really !! They probably reclaimed it and used it on a shop window later !!

I have reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me...

Tue 23-Nov-10
9:46 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  Thanks for sharing your story Chris.  Isn't it amazing how life turns out differently and sometimes seems to be outwith our control?  But somehow we get to where we are now, not always unscathed, but surviving.  You sound contented with your life.  What a good decision to have made, moving there.  A good achievement in itself.

I too am glad I chose to live where I do.  Not quite how I thought my life would turn out, but happy nonetheless. 

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Tue 23-Nov-10
9:48 pm
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KateUK
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Oh yes, North London.

I'm quite shocked my daughter currently lives in South London.

And, even more bizarre, she LIKES it.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Tue 23-Nov-10
11:04 pm
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paperman
Saxmundham, Suffolk

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Kate: I wouldn't like you to think I am prejudiced, I am sure it is quite pleasant up there north of the river, I have been there a few times and returned unscathed !! Seriously isn't it funny how rivers are real divides, it happens in many cities or areas take Newcastle and Gateshead for instance only seperated by the river a bit like the seperate towns that existed north and south of the Thames before London swallowed them. If I get a taxi when I am in London I will ask where the driver is from " don't know why it is important but I ask anyway and it isn't bad as an opening gambit !

 

Danast: Thanks for you comments, you are right about life not turning out as expected, but we can only play with the cards we have. As long as we are comfortable in our own skins and can look at ourselves in the mirror then, for me anyway, it is finally good. Sadly you don't get a second shot at this so the good things that happen as you travel through have to be enjoyed and appreciated to the full whilst they are there because blink and frighteningly they might suddenly be taken away.

 

 

I have reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me...

Wed 24-Nov-10
8:55 am
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KateUK
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I still live North of the river out here in Buckinghamshire- rather less North as I can reach it in ten minutes, allegedly the South side is very posh here, but personally I wouldn't spend a couple of squillion pounds on a house that flooded every winter, better off high up on the Northerly slope!

People who aren't from London are always rather surprised by the N/S thing- will it die out now that London is so very large and has such a diverse population? Everyone knows about the E/W difference but the divide by the river is something that isn't so commonly known, except by the natives.

I know what you mean by the taxi driver thing,always provokes a response-some of them refuse to cross the river any further than Waterloo!surprised

Rivers are still real boundaries: my favourite river trip was in Cologne, the river there marked the border between the Roman Empire and the outer darkness of the German tribes , we went down the river on a summer evening and groups of people in the parkland on the Northerly side were partying in the darkness with campfires going- the years rolled away, one could imagine Romans seeing similar all those years ago and wondering what the hell the natives were up to.

 

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Wed 24-Nov-10
8:59 am
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ep
Bulgaria

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paperman said:

Sadly you don't get a second shot at this so the good things that happen as you travel through have to be enjoyed and appreciated to the full whilst they are there because blink and frighteningly they might suddenly be taken away.

 

 


Hi Chris

I'm a bit late on this one but welcome from the Bulgarian representative....

 I've just got this idea that this is only the dress reheasal and it somethings don't go to plan, change the plan.  If I don't get it right in this lifetime, there is always the next....takes some of the pressure off...dohdoh

Where about were you in Sussex?  I have a house in Rottingdean and last saw it in April...but I have to finish this house before winter sets in (23 today) but snow is promised for the weekend....let's see shall we...big_laughbig_laugh

 

Who lives long sees much : The diary of my life in Bulgaria

Wed 24-Nov-10
9:54 am
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paperman
Saxmundham, Suffolk

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Hi Elsa: Many thanks your comments, I don't think it would be right to get into some philosophical debate about whether there is some type of afterlife, but frankly I really don't think there is - if there is then to me it seems that someone up there has got a really sad sense of humour.

Regarding changing plans if plan A doesn't work, I agree - you will see my comment about playing with the cards you have in your hand - which means often going for Plan B !!

Yes, when you move away from the benefits of the gulf stream the winters sure get harder, best of luck getting your house in Bulgaria sorted before the white stuff descends. I spent a month one winter in Istanbul some years back when I was working for the Americans and was shocked at how cold it was, I had always thought of Turkey as a hot country and sort of assumed that the winters would be mild, you can imagine my surprise !!

In Sussex I was in a small village between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells called Withyham, best known for it's pub The Dorset Arms. If you don't know it then you may know Hartfield, which is the next village and is where Winnie the Pooh came from.

I have many pleasant memories of Rottingdean, there used to be a good and economical little Italian Restaurant in the village which I think is now a used car showroom or similar, I seem to remember it was called Lombardo's or similar.

I have reached an age where my train of thought often leaves the station without me...

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