I arrived in Woodbridge, Suffolk yesterday somewhat apprehensively.
The reasons for my disconcertion were several-fold.
Firstly, the pressure of work, even taking into account my reaffirmed acquaintance with the philosophies of Ferris Bueller. No office day in sight to prepare reports, a tough trip to Scotland next week and yet no more office time to prepare those reports either were all thoughts lodged deeply in the back of my mind as well as at the fore. In short, I had a lot on my mind. Not to mention the potential stress of the next two days work which might have required me to call on additional help.
Secondly, I couldn’t easily find my lodgings. Oh wait, second trip around the square and there they were. Additionally, when I did find my lodgings, alas, restricted parking outside between 8am and 6pm. Also, the building could best be described as old. Make that really old. At the time of booking, Hill House Hall had sounded quite grand. Fool, I thought to myself. I hadn’t looked at the pictures hard enough. The establishment was boasting a whopping 9.3 review rating on Booking.com. There had clearly been a lot of very happy customers and the accommodation was close to site. What was I supposed to do? Look at the pictures? Check out Google Earth? Come on, don’t forget I am super busy.
Thirdly and perhaps, most importantly, I felt I was lagging behind with my writing. Despite some half decent strides over the weekend, I have been lackadaisical. I am finding difficulty linking the current bit of one story plot to the next bit. I need to get my shit together. In addition to this, the WordPress blog. What can I write about? Warehouse racking? Really? Is that what it’s come to? I could tell you all about guide rail lead-ins if you really want me to. You do? Okay, I need to improve my writing and move this sorry tale forwards.
So, several things on my mind. But how quickly they change. How fickle a mistress is happenstance, at once causing strife and through happenstance in the next moment, lifting a veil of grey to show me the wonders of life in the most positive way. In other words, I was feeling a bit depressed but things picked up fairly quickly.
Hill House Hall. What a building and what a host! Within a minute of shoehorning myself through the door (I’m not that fat, but I would have been a giant in 1365), Sarenka, who was to be my host for the next two nights, was giving me a detailed history of this wonderful little building.
Hill House Hall. Most excellent lodgings!
Originally thought to have dated from medieval times (or around the 1500’s), it was later discovered with some help from an Architectural Historian, that the property dated back to, most likely, the latter part of the 1300’s. Just after the Black Death. Apparently, it couldn’t pre-date the Black Death because at that time, rich people were far too busy living in their houses in larger towns and cities. I understand that this happened mainly to avoid being robbed by brigands. However, AFTER the Black Death, rich people got a bit worried about larger populated areas and some started building stuff out in the “wilds” of rural England.
The building itself has been modified through the ages. My room was to be a separate building in the garden, from which I am currently writing this piece. Spacious but not overly so and full of mod-cons (USB charging ports to name but one!) it is decorated in a modern fashion with furnishings of a more traditional country cottage theme. It also boasts a very comfy mattress and flat screen smart TV too.
The property also boasts a Priest Hole. A Priest Hole is somewhere a Priest (quelle surprise, or, if you prefer, quelle surpriest) would hide. You see, in the 14th century, Catholic priests weren’t very popular (some might say not much has changed) and they were persecuted and many were executed. For this reason and also for reasons of smuggling, tunnels and holes were built under properties. I understand that there is a tunnel from Hill House Hall that leads to The King’s Head Inn over the square! I daresay that grateful Priests might turn a blind eye to any sins of theft if they were protected in a Priest Hole. Interesting stuff really.
A wander around the square at dinner time and conversation with some of the locals indicated that breakfast was going to be pretty good as well. So, all in all, I needn’t have worried at all about the accommodation.
After an excellent pint of Adnams Ghost Ship at The King’s Head Inn followed by an extremely tasty fillet steak meal at The Galley, I was pretty much looking forward to two days hard work. After all, I’d be back in the evening and be able to experience even more tasty beer, great food and fantastic wine.
The King’s Head Inn and, two doors down, The Galley where there is a Pauillac wine for sale. A snip at £3000.00 a bottle. I bought a Marrans Fleurie at £30.00
My work related worries subsided when I arrived at site. All went swimmingly well and I was introduced to A few boxes of Dow’s Vintage 1977. I cannot say any more than this aside from, “no, I wasn’t allowed to drink any.”
Get your thirst on for the 1977. Apparently a very good year.
I guess that the moral of this story is stick to your beliefs and remain positive. I stepped back from my worries, started thinking positively and things fell into place. Especially after spending £30.00 on a bottle of Marrans Fleurie 2014 (on company expenses of course).
All hail the mighty Marrans. And a not quite so mighty laptop to write stuff on.