Behold, we declared this cultural education weekend, and went to Suffolk (east coast) to git us some larnin'.  Artists and composers pointed our way by the places they had painted and written songs about.  We followed their path. 

So I'd heard about Dunwich, a bustling Medieval City on the east coast of England that was a major port town for a few hundred years {that's longer than America's been around!}.  Then one day a hurricane-strength storm hammered the coast.  Two churches and 400 houses fell into the sea, and Dunwich was no more.  Just like that!   

So naturally we had to go see such a place--or really go not-see such a non-place.  We got to Dunwich at twilight, which was perfectly eerie for such a haunted place, and we were the only ones there.  {Besides all the ghosts, I mean.} They say at evensong you can still hear the church bells ringing out in the sea. cool.  

A few hundred years later the famous English painter JMW Turner heard the story, and he went to Dunwich and painted the city as he imagined it had been.  So we went and imagined it too. 

We slept in a car for a free hotel, it's fun every time.  And at dawn we drove to another beach where we knew there was supposed to be a really cool memorial for Benjamin Britten (the English composer who lived in Suffolk, seen here in a great tie).   And it was cool.  It's a giant seashell-type thing with the words "I hear those voices that will not be drowned" from
 his opera "Peter Grimes".  Being there at dawn was again eerie and moving and gorgeous! We cooked breakfast on the beach.  (That's marc in a chair on the right)

And then there's me with some grass, thrilling, I know.  But I tell you, that is some exciting grass!  Have you heard of the Sutton Hoo burial mound that they discovered full of a huge stash of treasure?! (Marc learned about it in like 2nd grade so even he was excited about the grass.)  It was a 600 year old burial spot for Anglo-Saxon kings, then it was an execution mound in the middle ages, when people had no idea that they were on standing on top of hoards of treasure and ancient kings buried in their ships.  So it was a pretty thrilling bit of grass, I tell you what.  Not only is it full of kings and treasure, but also the skeletons of tons of executed medieval criminals.  Plus it's in the middle of the countryside by a river.  We were also the only ones there again: creepy/cool.   Oh, and it's in a region that the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote a song about ("In the Fen Country") so we listened to that song while we drove. 

Then we took a 3 mile walk through the prettiest valley to John Constable's house, what with the Hay Wain and all.  My lord, what a pretty spot.  Picnic + row boat + art + sunshine makes for not wanting to go back to work on Monday.  But at least we's rill cultured now, done seen them's artist spots.


The Hodges Family said...

Sounds fun....looks adventurous! Youg uys always find the coolest things to do!

KT and Lance said...

I love how you make everything an adventure! And I love how you can make even grass, exciting!

Super L said...

What? WHAT? You went to Dunwich and you didn't even TELL ME!?!? One of my all time favorite books is set there! And I bet you haven't even read it. Sheesh. Luckyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Marc and Katie said...

Ashamedly not. What book is set there? I HAVE to read it!