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  • Ian Dudley


Mural of George Orwell on Southwold Pier

I spent the week of half term in Southwold. Orwell lived there for a time in his teens and again in his 30s—hence the mural on the pier, which also houses Tim Hunkin's wonderful "Under the Pier Show" of slot machines. You can ‘Whack a banker’ (like whack a mole), pass a ‘Mobility Masterclass’ by helping grandma cross a motorway with her Zimmer frame, and many more, including 'The Housing Ladder' ("buy the house or die trying").

Southwold is close to Snape Maltings where Mitsuko Uchida gave a recital of Schubert piano sonatas. I was reminded of Emily Dickinson: "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry."

While I was away Neil Laurenson kindly added me to the 'Heroes' section of his website. I recognise a number of partners in crime, including Clare Pollard who was my mentor on the Jerwood / Arvon scheme. Being a father tends to inoculate you against the idea that you could ever be anyone's hero, so this was even more unexpected than it was welcome.

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