The coast and homewards

Surprisingly we were up and organised earlier than expected so began the detour to Norwich via the Suffolk coast. The route took us past Snape Maltings and to a coffee shop in Aldeburgh before heading for the beach. After admiring the scallop shell tribute to Benjamin Britten by Maggi Hamblin it was a trudge through the shingle. More had been brought in recently to protect coastal erosion  so the best beach combing was a little further back from the water where plants were beginning to take hold. I tried to avoid walking on them. I only picked up one item, a black dog fish egg case which will inspire some art work I am sure. Towards Thorpe Ness, coloured houses back onto the beach and behind the road is a nature reserve. The day we visited mute swans, black headed gulls and mallard were the most common sightings. We sat outside the shop to have our picnic, accompanied by jackdaws who hoped we might drop something. Amazingly the shop was shut (on a Friday) and must have lost quite a bit of business from the walkers and other people around. Afterwards we cut inland to a nursery which advertised that it sold unusual plants. I did find something new to me: Mathiasella bulperoides (no common name here – it hails from Mexico) and it should be a good addition to my woodland garden which is under renovation. We stood in a queue to pay and the process seemed unnecessarily convoluted. Ironically the queue was in front of a sign advertising their ‘efficient mail order service’ . Plant purchased, it was off to Norwich to spend a night with Rob & Julie and then back home today to start planning the next venture. The sky ahead was very black, the radio was reporting snow showers on Shap and we are back to the rainy northwest.Scallop shell Aldeburgh

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