I've been to Southwold many many many times, I've been to the Pier cafeteria and had a chocolate Sundae with 6 (six!) flakes in one dish, I've been to the Pier Amusements and the Pier toilets.
I have never, before today even seen the pier itself. As mind bogglingly stupid as it sounds, I never even knew there was an actual Pier there. (Not sure what I thought, it seems that I didn't think at all, maybe I thought it was like the Lowestoft Piers that don't actually seem to exist beyond an amusement arcade.) Either way,I was surprised to find out that there was a pier, with amusements, restaurants, shops, fishermen and a water clock.
[Said water clock performed on the half hour, I happened to be there at the appropriate time and saw a mini crowd gathering, so loitered with intent. The half hour came and some tulips popped up, a tin man in a bath spat water and then, at the climax of the piece, two other tin men dropped trou and 'peed' water. The reaction was astonishing - such gushing laughter, excitement and amusement. One woman was laughing so hard, then turned to her companion and explained how she has watched the clock many times and always finds it so very funny... I think I must be generally sour.]
There's also an 'under the pier' show, with all these bizarre things - a treadmill with a robot dog on so you can 'rent a dog' and take it for a walk. I frisking machine where you stand and two gloves frisk you. A zimmer cross the road machine, where you walk a zimmer and dodge video cars, a box you sit in to experience a total eclipse... loads of these bizarre inventions. One older couple were trying everything. Rephrase, one older man was being forcefully persuaded to try out every machine by his companion. At the other end of the room a child was screaming in abject terror as a paper mache (how do you type accents?) doctor was looming at her. Grand stuff.
My friend and I then sat in a hotel lounge eating lunch and chilling. Slowly we outsat everyone else in the bar (staff included) until there was just one man there, hidden behind a newspaper. S jokily commented that he was listening to our conversation and would be perturbed, so I said "So, S, tell me about your sex life" and mimed the chap freaking out behind his paper. S must have missed this mime, and proceeded to tell me. In more detail than I ever needed to know.
I win points for calmness however (although I do think this is because I seem to be seeing things from a distance at the moment) - when we were driving home, S misread the road entirely (it is a deceptive bend) and mounted the pavement and I just coolly told her "this is the pavement S, not the road", so calm, no agitation or alarm. (S reacted with slightly more panic!)
Anyway. That was today.