Crossing under the Orwell Bridge means that you have passed from the pleasant, light Suffolk countryside to the dark mass of lost souls that is the town of Ipswich.
Look, you can see the darkness in the background; it's like Mordor.
Maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration, but my local town Ipswich is just...not great. The countryside around Ipswich (where I live) is lovely, filled with fields, rivers and woodlands. I'm not just saying that because I'm a bit of a hippy who prefers to waft about a field rather than pound a pavement. But even die hard townies don't like Ipswich; there's too many people and not enough to do. Plus the constant new builds and office blocks are suffocating the individuality from the town.
And it has the worst clubs ever, seriously, you should visit the town just to see how bad they are, teenagers don't even bother trying to sneak into them.
Our biggest claim to fame is that Ipswich was the home town of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey; Henry VIII's chief advisor. However, it didn't work out very well for him as he fell out of favour with Henry and only escaped having his head chopped off by popping his clogs first. It's been downhill for Ipswich ever since.
There's a bit of history for you.
However, I always bad mouth the place but I thought recently that it's my local town, the only one I have, and I should really start appreciating it a bit more. So, I passed below the bridge and set off on the perilous journey into Ipswich. I was armed with a camera round my neck and hoped I looked artistic, but I probably just looked pretentious.
It was a tough job, but I managed to catalogue some of Ipswich's pleasanter sites.
I visited the waterfront first, home to an octopus called Digby.
And these pigs.
There are also boats, lots of boats.
I made my way into town, stopping to look at the old buildings that are scattered between all the call centre offices.
Saw this Tweetie Pie Campervan.
Then I visited the market.
Before watching these men sculpt sand dogs.
I don't know why either but it was pretty impressive.
Checked out my future home.
Then finished up with a spot of vintage shopping.
By the time I was finished I had actually surprised myself and I felt a little guilty for all the times I've slagged Ipswich off. I suppose beauty can be found everywhere. From now on I will love and appreciate my town.
Though I still like a good field.