I’m having a fine cup of instant coffee. Flavor buds! Warm bean aroma! The first morning here I made a cup, using the kettle, and was disappointed - rather . . . grainy. Doesn’t really dissolve very well. It had been a long time since I had any instant; was this typical?

Turned out I was using the ground stuff. Well, that explained it.

Today: a quiet scenic entry.

I mentioned we would be poking around Halesworth, the site of my speech. And so we shall. A minute of a back walkway and the streets.

It's an old marketplace town. Antique shops.

There's a plaque that tells you David Frost's forebearers had a shop here:

Charming and typical. To the right is The Cut, an old industrial facility turned into an arts center. I think 87% of the industrial facilities around here are now arts centers.

Evening at the Anchor to cash in our trivia winnings: fish and chips for all! Proper fish and chips, too, with Adnam's ales from across the estuary in Southwold.

That was yesterday. Today: A simple day. In the morning we had a great breakfast, breaking in the new air frier to make sausages. Natalie and I walked down to the Black Dog or Mucky Pup and bought fresh croissants, then the three of us - with Mable the dog, who’s always been here, and is just as spry but a bit blind now - went to into the woods for a walk.







Tromped along for a long time. All the trees and bushes and flowers are different, but familiar. The ancient path had been in use for hundreds of years, and you delight in imagining who might have clopped along on horseback going from village to village.

Let me give you a walk from the next day, just to show the difference between locations. This was, and is, Gorse Row.


It's quite beautiful. Also, the plants have the most ghastly thorns you've ever seen. It's as if they evolved to pierce cow hide.







After the walk we just sat around chatting for a while, then it was time to go to the train station. Natalie has to go back to London by the Darsham train.

There was a jumble shop next to the train station, full of dusty remainders.

. . . packed and stocked with British cast-offs.

"Rare find," according to an Etsy page. Five bucks if you want it. Seems to have been a popular item in its day, and you'll probably find it in every antique shop.

Then the train came and it was time, again, to say goodbye.

But only for a while.

Cocktails at Paul the Architect’s place. Not dinner, but cocktails and nibbly things. I think the last time I went anywhere for cocktails before dinner, it was in Walberswick. It just seems ideal, wandering up the street to a friend's house to meet for cocktails. What is this, 1962?

Fantastic scotch and great chat, with an argument over brutalism, of all things. I took the opposed position. Spirited but genial. One of those chats where you lock in on terms and names so you know you have a common set of references, not just vague opinions, and then you go at it. What was fascinating to me was that two of the people at the table, brilliant worldly folk (One had sailed alone to Tierra Del Fuego) had never been to the states. These Europeans! So provincial! Kidding. But.

They started to talk about a grand tour. Where to start, where to go? They were surprised when I said start in Boston, forget everything above it, head down through Appalachia, go to Florida.

Florida? As if the idea was absurd. Yes, Florida. If you point is to understand the country, you have to see all its manifestations and all the fractal elements of its culture in different settings. And Vegas. And Nebraska. I mean, I’ve learned a lot about England from my Suffolk visits, from the small towns and little groceries and pathways and snugs and such.

Tomorrow we're going to tour a very important aspect of British culture, and compare it with the American version. Very important to your host, anyway.

Tomorrow we go to the grocery store.