by angie lee-foster
One day, ten days before Christmas, we drove into the Market Square in Woodbridge. The scene was magical. A little snow had fallen bringing to life the ancient houses; a true Christmas card scene. Our eyes were wide with excitement and anticipation. Only three hours earlier we had left London packed our entire home in a giant removal lorry and followed it out of the noisy, dirty city to this idyllic place. We were about to pick up the keys to our new home and start a new life in Suffolk.
Very soon we realised that life had a different pace. A sign on the solicitor’s door said they were closed for Christmas lunch. Closed! No frenetic 24 hour life here. There was nothing to do but head off for lunch. We made our way to the Wild Strawberry Cafe on the square where the food was delicious, the coffee comforting and the staff relaxed and friendly. As we sat eating, glowing with excitement, we knew we had made the right decision.
When we finally got the keys to the house we directed the removal men efficiently. Each labelled box was taken to its corresponding room as we waited to identify the box labelled Christmas decorations so we could make the house a home as soon as possible. Ten days later, the essentials unpacked, the tree decorated we celebrated our first Suffolk Christmas.
Still pinching ourselves at our luck the New Year began. I dropped my husband off at the train station for the first of many commutes to London. Just a few minutes later my phone rang.
‘Is everything okay?’
‘Yes, I’m on the train, it’s just that I couldn’t get a ticket’
‘Why ever not?’
‘Because the ticket office is a butchers!’
The first of many incongruous Suffolk moments.
At first if felt like every day was a holiday. While my husband went off on the early train I felt like a tourist. I took my daughter for long river walks. I couldn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t doing the same. How could they not bear to see the shifting tides and light changing day to day.
But as time and years went by I became ‘Suffolkated’. The delights of this unassuming county have smothered me. From famous castles to shingle beach; ancient woodland to ancient treasures. Although I no longer walk daily by the river having moved inland, I still marvel daily at its beauty, continually seeing it in a new light, a different focus.
Thirteen years have flown by. I can’t imagine living in the heave and thrum of city life. I drive with joy along country lanes and through fog smothered mornings. I watch the barn owl hunting regularly in the field next the our house. I slow for deer crossing the roads and old gentlemen pheasants strutting nonchalantly from verge to verge.
And when I do take the train into the city I am always so relieved to return home. A sigh leaves my body, my heart brightens and I smile to know I am home in Suffolk.
Angie lived for 20 years in London as a contemporary dancer then shifting career entirely working in advocacy and public policy before making the move to Suffolk. She leads an eclectic life as a consultant, yoga teacher and is a practicing Buddhist training for Ordination. Later this year she will undertake an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology.
Angie Lee-Foster | Big Sky Yoga
Website www.bigskyyoga.co.uk – visit the website for further details of classes and workshops
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