No, we didn’t hit the Boxing Day sales. No retail frenzy for us. No need to sharpen the elbows and forge our way through the shoppers who suffer from a temporary loss of sanity and can’t walk past the half price Foot Spa or Karaoke machine with bonus built in Neil Diamond medley. No, the bargains we gathered today were more delightful scenes and special moments.
We headed over to Lavenham and what a beautiful little village. It dates back to the 1200’s and is a gorgeous village, totally unspoiled and still retaining so much of its medieval character. It wraps itself around a central market square and I couldn’t spot a single “new build” in the whole village. Nothing looked modernised, it was utterly charming.
In its prime, it was a wool town. In the Middle Ages, England was famous for its wool, which was mainly exported to Flanders. There, the wool was woven into cloth and then imported back into England. In the 14th century, King Edward III wanted to develop an English weaving industry and that led to the rapid growth of Lavenham and surrounding towns and villages. Today, it is a beautiful, historic town that seems to be superbly preserved.
I must say though, I’ve never seen so many wonky buildings in one place. The slogan could be “Lavenham. Village of Crooked Houses” because every second building seemed to be leaning in a direction it technically shouldn’t be. I’ve decided it must be intentional. It must be a medieval design decision, because it can’t all be age and subsidence. Too many of the buildings had a lower half that sloped in and an upper half that sloped out. Some leaned to the side. The builders and architects of the Middle Ages must have had something in mind! We spent some time pleasantly roaming around the village, which being Boxing Day, was very quiet. “A gem of a place” was Steve’s assessment of Lavenham. It certainly was. Another gem, another delightful little village and another special place to visit. A bargain find!
As we drove back along the country roads, we passed through some of the prettiest parts of Suffolk. The fields were green, the houses and cottages were old and thatched and it was all gorgeous. We passed some horse riders, which I love, because it’s another lovely country scene. A super little day trip.
On our return, I did a quick change act and headed straight back out the door for a run. Oh my, what a beautiful place to run. I just plodded along the country roads and lanes around Burgh and it was quiet, with no traffic to worry about. It was just me, the country roads, fields and trees, oh and of course the wood pigeons, who always like to make me jump, when they flap and take flight from the middle of a tree and create an almighty ruckus. It was like running at home again, where I’m used to running in the countryside, so to do it again, on a quiet, mild day, looking out at the fields and trees again was simply magic.
One of the reasons I love running in the country, is there is usually some form of four-legged cheer squad. At home I usually have the “Moo Crew.” Whenever I run past a paddock of cows, they always run up to the fence and run along beside me, which is always great fun. Today I had a support crew once again, who came up to the fence to say hello and offer some encouragement. We chatted for a while and then I was on my way. It was a fantastic run. Pure fun and delight.
I spent the rest of the evening trying to get the jigsaw puzzle done! I fear it won’t be completed before we leave tomorrow and then I’ll have to pull it apart and start all over again. Why do baked beans have to be so infuriatingly uniform!? Oh well, it’s a gift that will keep on giving…and giving…for a very, very long time! It’s not just the gift of a puzzle, it’s the gift of patience too! I’ll get it done one day.
Another terrific day. A day of bargains. Without a penny leaving our hands, we bought more memories of beautiful places, fun experiences and magic moments. I call that a bargain. The bargain of a life time!