Part One – Sunday
I’m in the lovely county of Suffolk in the seaside town of Aldeburgh, and it’s Carnival time! Part of the fund raising and general festivities is a 10km run on the day before actual carnival day, which is Monday. As I would have gone for a run anyway I joined in the fun and went for a run with a few hundred others.
Starting at the civilised time of 11am I had time to check out the beautiful carousel and the delicious looking products at the bakery stall. But eating just before a run is not a great idea so I just looked at the sausage rolls, the samosas, the buns and tarts – the list could go on but it will make you hungry!
The route is one I know pretty well, as I have done a lot of running around here. It went along the disused railway track which is now a nice flat path. The tree lined path is edged with blackberries and sloes. Butterflies flutter around, and earlier in the summer honeysuckle scents the air. The path then went through Thorpeness and on to the shingle beach. This bit was pretty hard – although most of the shingly bit was fairly packed it’s still hard work, and coupled with a head wind it was tough running. I just kept thinking “it could be worse – it could be up hill too”. Mind you once on to the path it felt like I was flying in comparison!
I finished in about 56 minutes, but both my Garmin and my running app Endomondo said it was 9.8km so…not sure if I can say it was the speediest run ever! I wasn’t really expecting anything, but we did get a medal. Thank you very much!
Post run – beer, pizza and ice cream (well actually the best gelato outside Italy, in my opinion). Well it is a holiday!
Part Two – Monday
Today is the actual Carnival day, and the sun was shining in a beautiful blue sky when I woke (early as usual). Deciding I might as well make the most of being awake at 6.30 I went for a very gentle jog. First stop – the outdoor gym at the nearby playing fields. I did some upper body stuff, and sit ups, interspersed with a couple of short runs across the field. Although I wasn’t really meaning to do anymore than that it was such a lovely morning I could not resist a slow jog through town, which at 7.30am was pretty much deserted, apart from the traffic people dropping cones all along the route of the carnival parade.
In the morning the local lifeboat put on a show for the crowds – launching the inshore lifeboat Susan Scott and the all weather lifeboat Freddie Cooper to demonstrate how they are launched from the steep shingle beach by tractor. One of the crew then set off in an inflatable duck to show just how dangerous these inflatables can be – within 5 minutes it had drifted far from shore. The lifeboats demonstrated saving the ‘casualty’. The crews also demonstrated saving someone fallen overboard. Hours later, just as the parade had finished we saw several people – some still in costume – racing down the street. There was a real call out and the lifeboats were launched for a second time but this time it wasn’t a demonstration. The terrible irony was that they were going out to someone who had drifted off in an inflatable. The RNLI rely completely on charitable donations to carry out their work. And the crews are all volunteers. Amazing.
The theme this year was ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’ to celebrate 100 years of the Aldeburgh Cinema. Led by the Band of the Royal Logistics Corps (brilliant!) the floats were very imaginative. Trailers were transformed into cinemas complete with seats and human sized popcorn containers! Lots of Minions, large and small, accompanied the cast of the Wizard of Oz and Some Like it Hot, amongst many others. Sorry no photos of it all, I was just enjoying myself 😉
Just after the parade finished the heavens opened and it bucketed down. One of the reasons I love this coast is the changeable weather. You can see it coming from miles away because of the flat landscape. I’m hoping the rain stays away this evening for the firework display on the beach!
PS. My cover photo was taken just on the edge of Aldeburgh from the marshes along the estuary of the river Alde.