EDitorial ± 20-Sep-2019

Light Lunches: Deben Cafe, HMS Vale

Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there. Wherever there's a half-decent cafe nearabouts, you'll find The Three Amigos! Except that Lucky and Ned are stuck in Dusty's car which is itself stationary on the A12. Dusty has heard talk of onions on the road. Lucky and Ned suspect the hand of El Guapo.

Would have been quicker to canter around (Dead)Woodbridge. Finally, though, we trotted off Melton Road by equally equine The Coach & Horses. Tied up Dusty's car with a bag of oats at bottom of Dock Lane, walked over level crossing, looking both ways, then where? This is a working boatyard, darn your eyes. Right on the footpath and there she blows in the shape of HMS Vale, home to the Deben Cafe.

There be warnings a-plenty before boarding: mind the railings, the deck, the bollards, the chains, and you should be fine. Swedish patrol boat turned training ship then headed for the scrapheap, P155 arrived here in July 2018 at some expense. Today's trip is possible since they're now open not just at the weekend but Fridays and Mondays too. Me and Andy opt for the Sunday roast roll -- beef or lamb? -- while Kev favours the boatyard toastie. Captain Cate, impressively contactless, gives us each a chit and invites us to find a spare picnic table.

View on a blue sky September day is hard to beat. Tucking into our roast lamb baguettes, we gaze towards the opposite riverbank, the very spot where Raedwald's boat was possibly / probably dragged out of the water, up the bank and overland to its resting place at Sutton Hoo. That was over 1300 years ago. This very week, Andy's village has been occupied by a crew filming The Dig, all about local boy Basil Brown and Edith Pretty. While Carey Mulligan and Lily James have the female leads, Basil, the great mound detective, is played by none other than Ipswich-born Ralph Nathaniel Voldemort Quartermaine Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes.

What with our earlier hold-up, no time for coffee 'n' cake, alas, but time enough for those two to re-enact that scene from Titanic. Note that Kev says the on-board loo is to be experienced. As my receipt says, "fair winds and following seas and we look forward to seeing you again soon."

If it was a car -- Vale Special.
If they were passing by -- Arsher Ali.