6 am on our Suffolk holiday up early and queuing for tickets for the Aldeburgh Summer Proms. The organisers hold back twenty tickets to sell on the day from the box office in the town and the box office at the Maltings. First come first served, there’s a surprising sense of adventure followed by accomplishment, in the wait and then the purchase. I don’t think we could have done better than four tickets at £6.50 a head, to sit on the floor of one of the most beautiful concert halls in the country and listen to the London Philharmonic. The added adventure for the children was that they had never before seen the inside of the Aldeburgh Festival Hall with its splendid timber roof, built by their own grandfather, over forty years ago.
I loved growing up ‘owning’ a small piece of Suffolk history: that my dad had been a part of Benjamin Britten’s grand plan to construct a world class music venue from a disused maltings in an obscure village on the Suffolk coast. Its situated in the heart of the places where he grew up, a part of Suffolk that we are totally in love with. If you have been there you will know that there is nowhere else in the county quite like it for experiencing huge skies and whispering reeds.
My dad built barns for most of his working life. When we drove out into the countryside on a Sunday afternoon he would point out a barn he had built, maybe attaching a story to it, about the farmer or something unusual that had happened on the site. I don’t know anything about barns or carpentry but I have retained a love of timber framed buildings and a fascination with how they are made. If you are a similar age to me you may remember the movie, The Witness, set in the Amish communities of Pennsylvania. This crime thriller casts Harrison Ford as the detective John Book but most of us will remember the movie for its amazing barn raising scene. A huge building constructed before your eyes without the help of any machinery.A great thing to watch.
I came in tonight exhausted; first day back at school and Peter flying to the States, I haven’t had enough sleep and I’m still catching up from my Greenbelt weekend. Anyway, I found this lovely video from Esther Emery at Church in the Canyon. It shows her family and friends raising their own timber framed house and it made me feel better.
Have a lovely weekend, friends!