For the love of ‘swichCraft Written by Shelly Darwin,

Published on December 15, 2023

For the love of ‘swichCraft -

Dear Ipswich, I hope you are having a great day.

You know I haven’t always loved you.

We’ve had our ups and downs

In my youth I found you stifling.

I left you for uni, took you back with feelings that I was stepping backwards rather than progressing. Determined that it was only a temporary fling.

But, my gosh, you are a charmer. Some kind of magic. ‘swichCraft, they should call it.

I’ve felt your spell while kicking crunchy fallen leaves in Holywells, something in your autumn light.

It’s wafted over me with the smoke from a jerk drum at Global Rhythms and filled my belly munching jalebi at Mela.

You had me at hello, bom dia, bună, as-salamu alaikum, ‘alright, wagwan.

Your diversity keeps me warm, the haters gonna hate but we shake it off.

So much Pride seeing rainbow flags reflected in your waterfront sparkle. So much strength and power in your arms of community.

You bring me flowers often, thanks.

You give me freedom, a quick hop to the seaside, countryside walk, forest wanders, all on the doorstep. I miss you when we’re apart. How could I forget the glowing ToysRUs welcome homes of the past?

Your wizardry is part of my children. Born at Heath Road so it’s “driv” not drove. They have “sin” not seen and “bin” not been and will always have one of “them ones”, not those.

You have me caught in your charms. I can’t see us breaking up and even if we did we would still be great friends.

Keep being you, uniquely, imperfectly, ever-changing, lovely you.

It is ‘swichCraft, I tell you! You have me be’swiched, but I’m happily caught in your spell.

Shelly Darwin

Love Letters to Ipswich

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