Decapitation

Another toy has fallen victim to Bella the Terreirist. The victim was decapitated by her persistent biting and pulling…

The head being nibbled by the perpetrator…

After losing interest, she invites me to play…

Let’s see if my fingers can survive from her assault…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Craving

I grabbed my iPhone and pleaded to Hubbie if we could have fish & chips tonight.

The craving kicked off when I was replying to my fellow blogger Agnes Ashe‘s comment in which she shared her memories of fish & chips in Aldeburgh.

Once Hubbie was home, I frogmarched him to his Mac and he duly ordered fish & chips to our local chippies through Deliveroo.

Ta-dah! 

We both rubbed hands with glee.

They were massive.

I was munching on enthusiastically at first but soon, I hit the wall. The serving was too large. 

Hubbie glanced at me and sighed, ‘You barely made a dent on them’. Often, he accuses me of being a pelican – a mouth too large for its stomach. 

In the end, I managed to eat up to the extent of half and threw in the towel.

By the way, Agnes makes beautiful hand-painted silk scarves. Please take a look because they are divine!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Morning at the tower

At the fortress, we all slept like a log.
The night was so quiet, the sound of wave washing over a shingle beach was so soothing and the beds we slept on were so comfortable. We just couldn’t let go of our lie-in so easily.

Morning, everyone!

A beautiful (late) morning.
As I poked my unkempt head out of the door, I saw a couple of mountain bikers, a father and his son, scanning the tower with curiosity. ‘Good morning!’ We exchanged greetings. ‘Do you live here?!’, the boy’s eyes were as large as a saucer with excitement. I explained to them that we rented the tower for a long weekend through the Landmark Trust and they should do so likewise in future because the place would be a dream for boys of all ages. The son looked up his dad with pleading eyes and the dad smiled back to him, promising he would look into it as soon as they were home. We waved good-bye and I returned to the kitchen to prepare our breakfast of toast, fruits, yogurt and tea.

After enjoying our lesuirely breakfast, we climbed up to the rooftop again…

Sea breeze rustling in our hair was the only sound we could hear up there. No noise such as car horn honking or a siren of emergency vehicle zooming past were heard. It was just peaceful and calm.

Hubbie was busy with sorting out his cameras and lenses, so mom and I decided to explore the outside of the tower on foot…

A stretch of shingled bank divided the North Sea and River Alde. As the sun came nearer to its zenith, the path went busier with day-trippers’ cars.

River Alde was the home of Aldeburgh Yacht Club. The colourful sails of sailing dinghy looked so pretty under the blue sky…



Sailors were making the best use of the strong wind which was always present over the river. Some of them were tacking the sails very aggressively and it was fascinating to watch.

A result of £2.2million sea defence work which was carried out in order to protect the area around the tower from coastal erosion…

Over the time, the shingle beach around the fort was washed away by storms and by the early 2000, the situation became too critical to be managed in piecemeal manners. After great deal of effort by the local people, the funding was secured and the work had finally commenced in 2007.

The Martello Tower, you are a beauty…

Military architecture fascinates me.
I’m fascinated by them because they possess a certain kind of beauty and elegance. Their charm does not lie in how opulent they are nor how chic they are. Most of them are anonymous and some of them are not even approachable.
Yet, they have gravitas. Their lack of frivolity and their ruthless pursuit for efficiency and economy emphasise how serious their business is.

In the Martello Tower, I found all of the aforementioned characteristics and qualities…

Mom waving from our bedroom window…

I was so grateful that I could share those special moments with my family. I wished if I could do so with Mr.B too…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Evening at the tower

After inspecting our living quarters and making our first cup of tea, we decided to check out the rooftop of the tower…

There were two staircases which connected the lobby and the rooftop and as we clambered up one of them, we noticed how the rendered internal walls were stained in a various shades of brown – telltale signs of water permeation. The tower was sandwiched between the North Sea and River Alde, a position it stood was at the mercy of the weather which was often not so gentle or calm. Luckily, it did not rain during our stay but we did experience blustery winds which were whipping up the tower almost ceaselessly. Once the season changed and the North Sea became rougher, the weather over the tower would undoubtedly become more unforgiving and it would pelt the brick wall with sea water and pebbles.

Views over River Alde from the parapet…

Today, the tower stands alone, isolated and forlone. Yet, there was a community around the fort once upon a time. A fishing village of Slaughden surrounded the quatrefoil tower and a community of labourers who were catering a garrison of one officer and 15 – 25 men. It is difficult to imagine now how this windswept stretch of singled beach was once a hive of activity. Not only fishermen who were attending to their catches but also there were wash-women, grocers, bakers or possibly prostitutes who milled around the fort, making their living. Sadly, they all disappeared into oblivion by 1936.

Terreplain of the Martello Tower…

On the terreplain, there were four pivots on which cannons were mounted. Each cannon was manoeuvrable up to 360 degrees in order to defend the fort from seaward attacks as well as landward assaults. The cylinder in the middle was a roof light which to introduce daylight into the interior below. Around the parapets there were two fireplaces which allowed soldiers on watch to keep themselves warm and cook provisions.

Diagrams which explains how the tower’s  battery worked…

A flag pole facing River Alde…

The flag pole had an important role to play during the Napoleonic Wars. As the threat of the invasion loomed during the beginning of the 19th century, altogether 103 Martello towers were constructed to form a chain of defensive line along the coast between Seaford, Sussex and Aldeburgh, Suffolk. The towers were positioned at regular intervals and their flag poles were used to relay informations, such as sighting of enemy vessels or orders from the Admiralty, back and fro.

After inspecting the rooftop, we decided to drive to the town for fish & chips.

A view over River Alde…

A balmy summer evening…

Aldeburgh Fish & Chips Shop was extremely busy…

We saw one customer buying a £300 worth of fish & chips! He had to be helped by a staff to carry two large cardboard boxes to a waiting car.

We brought back our piping hot food to the tower and mom tried her very first mushy peas. Her reaction was…’Why do they have to be mashed?’ Oh well, for the experience, Don’t think too hard and enjoy it, mom.

After dinner, I opened a door to admire the late sunset…

The view was breathtakingly serene and sublime…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Market Cafe, E8

Bella looked bored and I was itching for fresh air. ‘Shall we have lunch at Broadway Market, Bella?’ I put a collar around her neck and picked up keys.

Most of the eateries along Broadway Market are canine-friendly and Market Cafe is especially pleasant for both dogs and their owners…

Bella greeting a resident lab…

Their menu is light and healthy. Perfect for a guilt-free lunch…

I had wild rice, avocado, radish, pomegranate, dukka & poached egg. It was garnished with chopped coriander and the whole mixture was very moreish.

Bella wanted to play more…

She is too large for you. You will have to wait for a few more months…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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