Sunday, 12 June 2016


I've been writing a piece about an unusual place I grew up in, which I've just sent off to my publication of choice. To jog my memory, I stopped by there when I was in England last month.

I lived in Lakenheath, Suffolk between the formative ages of 4 to 10. It's a place that has a real X-Files vibe, in that it's right next to a US air base, one of the only ones left in England. It started being used in WW2 as a European base for the Americans. Since 9/11, however - which happened a couple of weeks after we left Lakenheath - it's been the place where bombing missions to locations including Iraq have started. Not a fact I am at all comfortable with.

To be clear, there is Lakenheath the village, then Lakenheath the air base right next to it, which is inhabited by servicemen and their families. A lot of these kids went to my school, so I had a weirdly transatlantic primary educational experience (featuring a lot of novelty candy, with possibly-illegal-in-the-UK E-numbers). I have fond memories of going onto the base with friends sometimes, as a visitor on their parents' passes, to go rollerskating, or going to neighbours' who had satellite dishes that could pick up US TV.

Lakenheath also has an incredibly interesting ancient history; it's the site of prehistoric geological sediments, as well as many Anglo-Saxon archaeological discoveries. All this comes together with my subjective childhood memories to create this place that almost transcends time and space.

I hope to soon be able to share the piece I've written, but in the meantime, here are some photos I took of the Warren.

The base in the distance, behind a tall fence. Some craters (once Ice Age pingo ponds) in the foreground. The word "pingo" has its origins in an Inuit language and can mean "hill" or "pregnant woman"!

I am impressed; I think I only learnt the word "elusive" in 2011, so kids are doing well these days

Mum in the ferns

P.S. If you're looking for my personal updates, from now on I'll be sending them out in an email newsletter. Why not sign up here?