Articles

Cycling Holidays Made Easy

Twenty eight years ago, Andy Patton had a decision to make. An accountant, he did not want to relocate with his banking job, from London to Birmingham, partly because his fiancé was from Ipswich. But what were his alternative careers? He loved two things, cheese and cycling…and he is still glad all this time later that he chose the latter rather opening a specialist cheese shop!

Tips for first-timers at a Book Festival

Meg Reid, Founder of Felixstowe Book Festival

Whether they are called book festivals or literary festivals, there are quite a few events of this type that are held in Suffolk and Norfolk through the year. A selection of authors is invited to a venue such as a hall or hotel, to talk about their books, and to sometimes lead workshops. Some festivals have a mixture of genres, like the Felixstowe Book Festival (held each June) or Aldeburgh Literary Festival (March).

Behind the scenes at the festival

The festival season is well underway in Suffolk. Music of all genres, and books for all tastes, are well represented. Musicians and authors from across the country, and beyond, are making their way to the county.

This month it is the turn of the Bury Arts Festival. In July, Felixstowe welcomes their annual book festival, and in August, lovers of folk music will descend upon Helmingham Hall, for FolkEast.

The Ups and Downs of Self-catering cottages

Once upon a time a draughty caravan or a tumble-down cottage with rejected furniture and mismatched cups, would have satisfied most self-catering holiday-makers. Now most people expect a holiday home that is of a standard that is at least as good as their own homes, and possibly even better.

One Aldeburgh house, that we rented for a short break, inspired us to landscape our courtyard garden to match the one we admired there – and to update our kitchen. That proved to be an expensive holiday!

Review of Two Sisters Arts Centre launch

27 April 2019

Three years after a brainwave struck local playwright Suzanne Hawkes, and after two years of battling with bureaucracy, and all the relevant paperwork was correct, and comfort, health and safety was ensured, a new community arts venue for the Felixstowe peninsular was opening, and I have been asked to be their Patron!

The Two Sisters Arts Centre, in the redundant St Mary’s church at Trimley St Mary, was ready and bookings for plays. concerts and art workshops are already coming in.

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Review of Cinderella, Rock 'n' Roll Panto at the New Wolsey Theatre

I often think that the annual pantomime at the New Wolsey Theatre, in Ipswich, should come with a warning: Once experienced, this show will spoil every other pantomime for you! Once you have seen one of the Rock 'n' Roll Panto's, a fast-moving riot of colour, laughter and pop, everything else will seem a little, well, old-fashioned. Peter Rowe and his team take a traditional story but bring it bang up to date with talented actor-musicians who are each on stage almost all the time.

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Review of “Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere”. Black & White Productions

Review of “Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere” by Suzanne Hawkes. Black & White Productions, October 2018

Last year Suzanne Hawkes wrote and produced a play about the first British-trained woman doctor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, from Aldeburgh. This autumn she has turned her attention to Elizabeth’s sister, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, who led the campaign for women’s suffrage. Millicent has a statue opposite Parliament that was unveiled in this, the 100th anniversary of some British women getting the vote.

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Review of Once, at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

The cast of Once. Photographer: Mike Kwasniak

Once – New Wolsey 6-22 September 2018

Once started life as a very successful film, a love story set in Dublin, of two musicians, one about to give up on his singer-songwriting dreams, and the other, a Czech flower-seller, mother of one. Calling them “Guy” and “Girl” was supposed to signify that they could be any couple, in any city.

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