So I've made my first visit back to Suffolk - my county of origin - since I moved to the Lakes. All is summer hot, Constable country of greens and yellows. The soil is more dirt than soil, baked hard and purple-brown already. There's something unsettling about the sudden lack of hills that I'd never noticed before. And there's an eeriness to what is on the skyline; giraffic cranes, circular watertowers, pylons. But it's beautiful too, not just the At the Fishhouses parts and rivers that barely move with flitting white scalene sails, but the perennial bulbs along the seafront at Felixstowe (the town I come from) all hardy colours: blue, cerise and what passes for gold. And it's a port town, so there's always the sense of being about to move on.
I here present you, courteous reader, with the record of a remarkable period of my life; according to my application of it, I trust that it will prove, not merely an interesting record, but, in a considerable degree, useful and instructive. In that hope it is that I have drawn it up; and that must be my apology for breaking through that delicate and honorable reserve, which, for the most part, restrains us from the public exposure of our own errors and infirmities. (Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater)