A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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11 December 2014


... is just down the road from me - maybe half an hour's drive, as is Sudbury and Haverhill, though the latter is probably more like 45 minutes away.

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What an odd sensation then to be not in Suffolk, England, but in Boston, Massachusetts (that's my sister's house, mine's not quite so shiny) where the suburbs of the city have some of the same names as those of the towns near to me at home. I seem to be doing a lot of travelling lately and the first leg of this trip, stopping in Boston on the way to Cape Cod, was courtesy of Virgin Atlantic in one of their brand-new Boeing 787-9's. The 7 hour trip, er... flew by.

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After years of cheap flight, cattle-truck discomfort, even steerage with Virgin was a revelation. That's not to decry the discount airlines; most of us have been pretty pleased with ourselves in the past when we've slipped across the Channel and down to Biarritz for less than the price of a strip of raffle tickets.

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I wasn't long in Boston. The main event, a family wedding, was to be held on the Cape. The bride and groom live in Hawaii and chose Cape Cod (where they met) in December for the celebrations; I packed my recently coiffured furry hat.

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Of course, another attraction of Cape Cod is its connection with the artist Edward Hopper who brought his distinct style to bear on the architecture and landscape of the Cape. He concentrated his work in an area that could be a bit difficult for me to get to in the time allowed as it's in and around Truro at the other end of the island, but there's enough in Falmouth to get the flavour of things if I can't get away.

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I've discovered that Falmouth has several claims to fame amongst which it boasts to be the birthplace of Katherine Lee Bates, author of  'America the Beautiful', and the 'centre of discovery of the RMS Titanic' - the locally based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution playing a major part in that operation. And it was what became known as Provincetown, at the very northern tip of the Cape, that was the first port of call for the Pilgrim Fathers. I really must try and squeeze a visit into the programme as I don't suppose I'll be here again in the foreseeable.

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The Nobska Lighthouse. Probably painted by a zillion artists but remembered best for Hopper's treatment. I would have liked a closer study but the corporation had stuck a 10ft Christmas wreath on the front - Philistines!

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Yet more wonders; it appears that at the Cape you don't have to be that good with a camera to get a shot of a gull in flight.


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