Loves and hates of a Ryer

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One of the things I love about Rye is wandering around the town before 10am and after 5pm, when I feel Rye belongs to me. Very few residents or tourists are up and about, and the place echoes to its ancient rhythms…bells, smells and chimes.

The sound of bells, music to my ears

I love the light on the marsh and on Camber Castle, and as the sun swings gradually round, so does the light. However, open our west facing back door and you can say goodbye to any pretentions to a ‘going out trying to look smart’ hair do; one’s barnet is instantly blown up, and naturally an umbrella doesn’t work one bit. It just turns inside out. But, having been a farmer, I still love the direct contact with bad weather.

I like being able to potter, with or without a purpose, as one always sees something or somebody different. To dive into two churches, the Roman Catholic one, always open, was such a consolation in lockdown, when my churches were all shut up tight. A Roman Catholic friend said to me, when I complained about it, “Come on in, the holy water’s lovely!” I thought quite hard about converting. I love walking on the cobbles, thinking that they might well be doing the soles of my feet good in activating all sorts of different pressure points. Probably just wishful thinking.

Not great if you are in high heels

One or two things I like a lot less. The first one being peacefully asleep at night when the unacceptable noise of a motorcyclist on speed (of both types) roars around the town, and particularly South Undercliff (loving the echo they create). I just think of all the very old, the unwell, the young, the babies whose sleep absolutely has to have been shattered, probably for the rest of the night. How could the motorcyclist be so unimaginative as to do that? Have they no old relatives, or children needing their school time sleep? I would so love to give chase and ask the little wotsits!

I also hate how cars creep up on you as you step off the pavement to avoid some tourists without looking behind you, and very nearly end your life then and there, or at the very least the life of a leg. And conversely, having to crawl along in your car when tourists stay resolutely in the middle of the road. But that’s Rye for you, and it sure does teach you to slow down.

Roads are for cars aren’t they?

On the whole, a fine place to live we think!

Image Credits: Nick Forman , Col Everett .

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Aren’t we lucky to live in such beautiful places? I now live in Hastings Old Town and have pretty much the same feelings; although since a recent tumble resulting in a broken shoulder means that cobbles and uneven pavements are now a definite no-go for me! The crowds of tourists on the pavements are always apologetic when I ask to pass by (at 4’10” and in my late 60’s often renders me invisible), and stepping off into the road can be tricky, due to fast-moving traffic, e-scooters and cyclists travelling the wrong way up our one way street. I’ve come to realise that other peoples actions are not my responsibility, nor can I change them. Things may be very different from when I was younger and was taught how to consider others, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t all get along, and this includes our right to use the pavements considerately.

  2. Having lived the first half of my life in Rye and tracing my family connections to the town several generations back, even though I have lived elsewhere for the last 30 years I still consider myself a Ryer. My mum still lives in Rye and when I visit I most definitely do not consider myself a tourist, complaining about them enthusiastically in the summer. I love my connection with the town and love its history.
    The council sometimes has a lot to answer for and dubious planning decisions make me so mad. There’s not much to do for young people and if you love charity shops you’ll be in heaven
    I still love Rye though along with its proximity to the sea.

  3. I am a regular tourist….addicted to Rye but I too love it early morning and late night walking the streets. It has a magic like a flower opening in the sun. Wow Rye has it all a very special place with lovely warm people. Always say hello –

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