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Gill Buchanan's Blog

Summertime in town feels good

This time last year we were moving house. The reading on the stress-o-meter was off the scale. From village to town, from large house to small – were we mad?

Downsizing is never easy.

Despite recycling/selling/giving to charity shops a lot of our furniture which just wasn’t going to fit, we still had too much STUFF.

Stuff has become a theme in my life (that's another blog)

The other big thing I learned was that we left ourselves far too much to do and should have relied on others more – like getting the removal company to pack for us. When we asked them if they would do it at the last minute, they said that they were fully booked and couldn’t spare anyone. This was because the stamp duty holiday ended at the end of June and we were moving along with an awful lot of other people!

Meeting the deadline seemed like a matter of life and death. If we didn’t make it, the whole chain collapsed. But, of course, we did make it; we were just overly frazzled by the whole experience. And it took me the summer to recover!

Hence, I wasn’t enjoying the delights of Bury St Edmunds.

But one year on, I can honestly say it’s the best move I’ve ever made. I love this town. It is full of lots of independent cafes, restaurants and shops; brimming with art and culture; full of friendly people. It is also a very elegant town with its attractive Georgian architecture and historic buildings. Not only that, but we have Ickworth on our doorstep with its ancient woodland, Italian gardens and numerous walks.

Bury St Edmunds has a Feisty History

Recently I went to a talk at the Guildhall (beautifully maintained building with lovely garden) for a talk on the history of the town. It was part of a celebration of the 1000th Anniversary of the Abbey of St Edmund which was mainly destroyed in the dissolution of the monasteries (Henry V111) but the abbey ruins remain and are maintained in the Abbey Gardens which are a big attraction in the town.

The talk with two characters played out the never-ending battle between Team Abbey with its Abbot and Benedictine monks vs Team Guildhall representing the people of the town. It was a bit like a series of the Apprentice but much more bloody. Overall it was a lovely summer’s evening and we listened with complimentary glass of wine in hand and spent the before and interval in the beautiful walled garden there. What’s not to like?

What I took away from the talk was that this little market town has seen some feisty action over the years. Even today, there is a strong sense of community and people speak up when they fear injustice. The townsfolk were moved to hold a vigil for Ukraine and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was celebrated in Whiting Street.

So, one year on I’m in a far better place.

And that is in every sense of the word. Bring on the summer; I’m here to enjoy it.


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