This freelance writer decided today to abandon the devastated living room, strewn with games, toys etc and do something distinctly old-fashioned – a family walk.
Route picked, map screenshot on iPads – we set off to something quaintly called “a village.”
Somerleyton, no less, a rather nice model village slumbering halfway between Lowestoft and Gorleston. The sign on driving in struck me as odd – “Somerleyton, home of the hovercraft inventor.”
Where did he get the idea from?
Was he looking at Somerleyton Hall, built by entrepreneur and MP Samuel Morton Peto in 1844 (home to Hugh Crossley) and felt inspired to design a new travel machine? The incongruity faded though when we entered the fields – what a boggy mess, okay not the antediluvian Lancashire or Yorkshire proportions but very squelchy conditions for dry East Anglia.
Sir Christopher Cockerell was prescient – given the conditions on the walk.
Where does inspiration though come from?
Do we have a lightbulb moment, a flash of inspiration, where we realise something great?
Or is inspiration more prosaic, a steady drip drip of thoughts until these mesh into an inspiring idea?
Odd that such a small village, with a thatched primary school, a railway station, a post office and a pub could boast such an illustrious past: hovercraft design and Peto, the construction manager of the Houses of Parliament and Nelson’s Column.
Perhaps living rurally does inspire?
So for my lightbulb moment in 2016, I need to abandon the sprawling Edwardian town of Gorleston-on-Sea and move from the Futurist (our home) to a thatched cottage overlooking boggy fields.
Perhaps then I’ll invent something that will merit a sign – “Burgh Castle – home to a Roman fort and an obscure pedant (1965 – 2016, died from rural boredom)” or “Haddiscoe – home to the man who brought the tittle to prominence.”
Or conversely, we’ll stay in this town, and take comfort from the fact that Jim Davidson once told racist jokes here and Myleen Klass lived on our road.
Tough choices ahead.