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Monday, 29 August 2011

Wedding and Fishing....27 August 2011

Before you ask, no the common word is NOT tackle!

Saturday we went up to Higham as guests of our Friends from Valley Park Radio, Mike & Debbie who were tying the knot. The day before Sarah had bought me a new shirt for the occasion, but it had a double cuff, and I had no cufflinks. So it was off to the outlet first thing to buy some, which I did along with a new pair of shoes.

We arrived at the venue to meet the groom and best man, Neil. I have to say Neil looked more nervous than Mike. Anyone would think he was getting hitched! We met up with the other VPR guys who had been invited and made our way to the gardens.

The weather was very changeable. and it was pure chance that as the outside ceremony started the sun came out. Then as they were signing the register the heavens opened and we all took cover, then it stopped raining for the wedding photos. After a very nice meal, speeches, a few drinks, chat, more food and more drinks it was soon late so we left about 11:30pm.

Sunday we had been invited to 'batcamp', an annual event at a friend of a friend's farm in Smarden. We arrived about mid-morning and they obviously had a good night as they were just tidying away breakfast. We started with a beer and a nice game of poker, where Sarah took us all to the cleaners. Lucky it was only poker chips. After lunch of bread & cheese, plus some pie and sausages that I doggy-bagged from the buffet last night, we made our way to the pond for a spot of what Manky calls 'tiddler-bashing'. I haven't fished for about 15 years, so I needed help and after about 2 hours, including losing my tackle in a tree and tangling about 2 sets of hooks and floats. I finally bagged my first mirror carp (see pic) . Jason was on zero as well until Lukey helped him, then the fish started landing. We actually bagged 7 a piece. I could get into this fishing lark!

We packed up about 7:30 pm and made our way back to camp for dinner. Then the evening was rounded off with bit of Bat detecting and a sit around the camp fire making farty noises with our iPhone apps, except Manky who produced the genuine article. We were also subjected to really clear skies, the second time this weekend I've seen the Milky Way in Kent! We had a fantastic day there and can't wait for the next time!

Friday, 19 August 2011

A weeks Holiday at last!

I've been planning this week for months. My Oz cousin was coming to stay with us so I had a bit of an itinerary planned for the four days she was with us.

Monday - Bodiam Castle.

I went into town very early to purchase a new lens for the camera and some PAYG sim cards. So early in fact that half the shops were still closed and I was the first customer in both Orange and Jessops. Then it was off to Tenterden. The weather was perfect, and as we walked from Bodiam station down to the castle I thought to myself 'Why would you want to go abroad when you have weather and scenery like this!' After a bit of pub lunch in the Castle inn (Burgers all round) we needed to walk off all that grub so it was up and down the spiral staircases to the ramparts (phew!) and plenty of photo opportunities. We caught the 3:25 train back to Tenterden Town then home for a bit of a rest before some chinese buffet at Yeungs.

Tuesday - Paris.

Up very early to catch the 7:25 Eurostar to Paris. The trip through the French countryside is actually quite boring. Just a load of flat farmland interspersed with loads of overhead lines and funny looking pylons. We arrived at Gard Du Nord about 10:45 (local) then we jumped on a tour bus which, after a quick change of buses took us to our first stop, The Arc de Triomph. Traffic on the roundabout is just as I imagined it - MAD! It was a case of see a gap and go for it. I saw a BMW traverse 4 lanes of traffic in one go to get down the Champs Elysees. After a quick coffee and cake (38 euros for 3 - ouch!) we jumped back in the bus and headed for the Eiffel Tower.

One of the problems in going to Paris in august is that every other bugger goes as well. There must have been about 3 hours wait for the Tower lifts . So after a hot dog & a beer we jumped on a river boat and made our way to Notre Dame. A quick walk round the Cathedral (Free, take note Canterbury!) we then jumped back on the bus and promptly went the wrong way from the Louvre. Oh well maybe next time, the Mona Lisa will still be there. After a stroll around the shops on the Champs, we got a taxi back to Gard Du Nord in time for our train back to good old Ashford. We were back in time for a drink and Nachos Grande at the Hoodeners Horse. I recommend ordering Nachos on an empty stomach, the portions are massive!

Wednesday - Port Lympne safari.

We promised Jaimee a trip round the designer outlet, so as we weren't due at Port lympne until the afternoon we went into town first then there. I bought some Levi's (they had my size in stock at last) and J bought yet another pair of skechers. We arrived at Port Lympne about 3pm and contacted our friends who had been there since the morning. We had a walk about for a while, in which time Sarah & Julie cadged a lift up the hill to base camp leaving Andy, Jaimee and myself huffing and puffing our way back up hill (well I was doing all the huffing & puffing anyway!) We met up with the rest of our party and made our way to the pick up point. As we climbed on board the heavens opened...It chucked it down. At least we saw plenty of animals. Then as we got back it stopped, typical! The food was good though and we had a very enjoyable evening.

Thursday - Canterbury & Curry

We visit Canterbury regularly, so it made a change to visit the Cathedral. But it is something we won't be doing often. As I said, Notre Dame was free, and I know that CC is a world heritage site but I think £9 is a bit steep to enter the grounds of the Cathedral. I would always be prepared to make a donation, but they can forget it after charging us at the entrance. More retail therapy ensued then it was back home. We were taking Jaimee to her next stop of the holiday, my brother Graham's place for beer & curry night at their local, The Six Bells . The food was really good and we left stuffed after Gill talked us into having pudding ( not that we needed much convincing). I thoroughly recommend the pub, check out the link (that's a pint of Doom Bar when I'm next in guys!)

We took loads of pictures, which I will get round to sharing sometime!

Monday, 15 August 2011

A 1st anniversary....

I can't believe it has been one year since Dance Web radio went on air. I was there on the first weekend, and along with my fellow presenters we still have the same line-up, along with a load of new additions over the year. I think its a testament to the way the station is run that we haven't lost anyone. We popped over to Dobbies in the morning for our free coffee and also picked up a cactus. It seems to be the trend amongst us at the moment! Then it was off the DWR central for a bit of a do. I did one hour on air, had a drink and a chat then left about 5pm to get back home for a meal with Sarah. After much deliberation we decided to head to Cinnamon Spice for a nice curry .

Sunday we went over to my brother's place to collect my Oz cousin. Then it was off to the parents for sunday lunch. We let her have a little afternoon nap whilst Sarah & I went to Bluewater to buy a new lens for the camera. After waiting what seemed an age in the shop, which was hot, busy and had spot lights that just shone in your eyes like some sort of interrogation method, we were told they were out of stock but did we want the display one. Based on the amount of dust and crap on the lens I declined the offer so its off first thing tomorrow to the store in town.

We got back to Ashford and after a bit of food shopping headed off to Dungeness. Regular readers know I like this place and my Oz cousin loved it (well I hope she did!). Then it was home for cheese toasties and TV!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Fancy Meeting You Here......

I can't believe I moved to Ashford five years ago. At that time I really didn't know anyone down here apart from a few of Sarah's friends. We always tend to pop into town on Saturday mornings, and invariably Sarah will always meet someone she knows, and occasionally people I know too, whether it be from work, play, school, former jobs or former neighbours. Today was no exception. We met...three Astro club members, one former colleague, one current colleague (twice) and one mutual friend, all in the space of about 20 minutes.
After a coffee in the department store Sarah saw some rather heavily discounted jewellery so she virtually cleaned out the cabinet. Actually she bought 2 necklaces and 2 pairs of ear rings, for just over twenty quid.

I was going to mow the lawns this afternoon, but by the time I managed to drag myself from the TV and old episodes of Dr Who (The Ood and Sontarans!). Just as I stepped outside it started raining. Shame. I did clean out the aquarium though. The tank has a bad case of hair algae and I'm hoping a treatment of jollop will help get rid of it.

Then it was off out. We were going to Willesborough Windmill to buy some honey from the shop. We had heard they sell good stuff there. When we arrived we noticed there was a wedding on, so the shop/cafe was hosting the reception. It felt a bit rude to crash someone's wedding so we left it and went to the local farm shop instead. They had what we wanted. On the way we stopped at the DIY store. I need some ideas for re-fitting our office room. We ended up buying some bathroom bits and a garden ornament. Oh yes and Sarah met yet another colleague in the DIY store!
Our Friends turn up about 7pm and we decided to go to Zarin in the town centre. Sarah and I had our first date in there in 2002. The food was excellent, best curry I've had in ages. Then it was home for coffee and chat. A really enjoyable evening was had by all.

We had planned to meet up with the family in Herne Bay today, but a call this morning put paid to that. First my Dad wasn't too well, then my brother text me and said that they (and my Oz cousin) got drunk the night before (I think the term my sis-in-law used was 'Wankered') and were still in bed. So after our weekly trip to Asda, we had a spot of lunch then decided to dodge the rain clouds by going to Herne Bay by ourselves.
HB was not too busy so we parked easily and spent a couple of quid in the arcades, then got bored and drove to Reculver Towers. Its one of these places you see in the distance but have never been there, and I quite liked it. OK its basically a ruin but the towers have been there since the 13th Century, and being right by the sea they were used as a beacon for ships in the estuary. They were taken over by Trinity House in the 19th century for that purpose. After an ice lolly (Feast, haven't had one for years!) and a sit down it was back home where my long grass and lawnmower awaits.