“The ghost of Ibn Gabirol over my shoulder as I wrote!” Professor Loewe influential scholar of Jewish studies and a poet had said. Well, the ghost of Grandmother and Anna Freud over my shoulder as I played in Walberswick village is somewhat how I felt as a kid. For who knew when they’d come clopping down the street on their horses, intruding on a child’s free time, looking like NO ONE ELSE, so sort of strangely embarrassingly not with the times back then–two spinsterish plain Janes.
My gut in a knot, I would wave from my bike, shout, “Hello!” but not stop. I did not want their constrained behavior to constrain me.
It was after five on June 27th. I was thinking of taking the ferry run by Dani Church across the River Blyth to Southwold to see if this seaside town was how I remembered it. Discovering I was too late for the operation of the ferry, I asked the pub’s bartender if a bike was to be had. He lent me his and off I went pedaling down the main street to the river, along the ridged path to the bridge, across the bridge following the sandy path overlooking marshes to the large field and a golf course that led in to Southwold.
In Southwold, I zipped along the narrow streets to the view of the North Sea. Put my feet down and snapped a photo. The bathhouses seemed larger and fancier than in the past but other than that the view comfortingly the same.
I wended my way down side streets, admiring the flowers and quaint shops in alleyways. Passing a pub or two where people were sitting outside enjoying the sea air (no seating outside when I was a kid), drinking no doubt the local acclaimed Adnams, I began to long for a sit down at my pub, The Anchor, with a cool refreshing Adnams of my own to sip. I glanced at my watch. It was seven. I had to admit my legs were sore; time for me to go home.
Pedaling slower now, I made my way back towards the River Blyth to Walberswick.