Miriam’s Bicycle Adventure! – Saturday 31st August

Setting off from Ipswich at 9.30am and cycling to Shotley to catch the 11.00am ferry – loads of time to spare, I can hear you say. We thought so too!

It wasn’t until we encountered a sign suggesting Ipswich was only 4.25 miles behind us and Shotley was still something like 5.5 miles away, and we’d spent 70 minutes getting there, did it become apparent that we weren’t likely to make it!

However, being late for the ferry did have its rewards. Time enough for refreshment in the establishment opposite, and a rather protracted tour of the nether regions of Ipswich. We certainly seemed to experience parts of the town I imagine are rarely enjoyed on a cycling trip to Shotley!

Catching the noon ferry still left us plenty of time to relax in the sunshine beside Miriam’s beach hut. The tide was in, the sea pounding against the concrete defences, but this did nothing to deter Rachael and Lynn from braving the choppy waters for a half mile swim, or more. Others (Ian, Miriam, and yours truly) were shamed into joining them for their second dip. ‘It’s lovely and warm’, they fibbed, without a hint of embarrassment at such an obvious falsehood!

Francis resisted their underhand tactics until later, and Emma feigned sleep throughout!

Peters 1 and 2, and Barry, joined us for much of the afternoon. Somehow, they were awarded a slice of Rachael’s baking triumph despite avoiding the rigours of the cycling and the swimming. Some might say that Peters 1 and 2, having driven to Harwich to deliver the cake, were deserving of a portion. You can form your own opinion!

A game of boule ensued, with Miriam, Barry, Ian and the author vying for the honours. Ian didn’t seem to realise the the gentlemanly thing to do was to let our hostess take the prize, despite Barry and my superhuman efforts to do just that. He won without the slightest hint of embarrassment. Some people!

Grand day, Miriam. A hearty thanks on behalf of all your victims!