Our own accommodation was an equally satisfactory one-storey building that had been a small dairy long ago. I suspect it had been a "granny annex" after that, and very charming it was, furnished in traditional style, with a crooked apple tree growing around the back door, with blossom just coming out and daffodils everywhere, including on the kitchen window sill.
On our first day we awoke to the sound of birdsong and roaring engines. A quick look out of the window showed this in the farmyard....
We had the beach almost to ourselves, because, despite the bright sunshine, it was freezing. I was really glad I'd bought windproof coat, scarf and gloves. The people in the picture were going at quite a speed, more or less blown along by the wind, which comes straight from Russia.
Walberswick is small, but has a long history and many interesting buildings. The local church presents a strange sight, though. Those ruins exist because Walberswick had been a very prosperous port for hundreds of years, and in medieval times had built an incredibly large and splendid church, one of the most notable in East Anglia.
Unfortunately, a combination of coastal erosion, which silted up the port, the turmoil caused by Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, extensive damage in the Civil War and attacks on its splendid fittings and fixtures by fanatical local Puritans, meant that the church became a liability to the increasingly beleaguered parishioners. Finally, in the 17th century, they sold off the lead from most of their now crumbling church's roof, as much good stone as they could, and whatever fittings and fixtures could raise some cash. They then repaired and adapted part of one of the original aisles to create a much smaller, but still very beautiful and interesting church.
The church has unique features, including a splendid pulpit from the 1400s and lovely altar fittings made from driftwood, but I was puzzled by one unique feature I spotted - strange rune-like carvings running around the bottom of the West Window. Can you see them on this picture, beneath the elaborate old flint work? I couldn't find anything about them in the church guide. They seem purposeful, and are not symmetrical or, apparently, symbolic of anything Christian. This is the runic alphabet
Mind you there are some pretty odd things on this church, including at least one very rude sculpture, high up on the roof, which should not be reproduced in a polite blog like this one. Ancient churches were often covered in symbols of evil as well as of good, and discovering these remnants of past lives is one of the reason I love exploring English country churches so much. There is a lot we don't know about how ordinary people lived, thought and worshipped centuries ago, when witchcraft and fairies, gnomes, demons and dragons were so very real to them.
I can show you this face, though, marooned in what once a window, now blocked with odd blocks and bricks and tiles. That too looks like nothing I have ever seen before. Is it a person? A fish? A lion that has lost its ears?
The orange flavour comes mainly from orange-flower-water, a distinctive taste. They're not too sweet, and if you'd like to try them, I don't think they are too hard to make. I found a recipe from "Chef Sylvain" here. (Sylvain has good recipes for other biscuits too). I think I will give them a go.