Tuesday 29 May 2018

Tuesday 29th May 2018 - We're back

Did you miss us?

We've been staying here

or rather this is the view from the verandah. Somewhere in the distance, about a mile away across the valley, is Bodiam Castle. It appears and disappears as the light changes, sometimes the exact same colour as the surrounding trees, sometimes a warm, tawny colour, sometimes austerely grey.

Here's our bedroom

and the view from the bed, through the window, looking out across the verandah to the view in the first picture.

There's the bedroom window, on the left of the door way.

It is in a restored, unconverted showman's living quarters dating from 1894. The only concession to modern living is electricity, which allows for electric light (pretend oil lamps), heating (dimplex radiators and a pretend coal stove) and TV (hidden inside a cupboard, which in turn was clearly a pull-out sleeping area.

Cooking happened in a thatched kitchen hut to the left of the wagon

washing, showering and "etc" in a wooden cabin just visible on the right of the wagon, behind one of the two large sofas on the verandah.

We were very, very lucky with the weather. I suspect it might have been less idyllic if it had been cold and damp, like it was when we arrived on the Friday evening and when we left on the Tuesday morning. But the intervening days were scorchers, starting cool but rapidly heating up as the sun burned through the clouds.

We took a river trip, from Bodiam to Newenden along the River Rother, chugging between the high flood banks covered in tall grasses and wild flowers under a blue sky.

We watched a stunning thunderstorm, the lighting lighting up the whole valley as though it was under arc lights, the sound of the thunder obliterated by the hammering of the rain on the verandah roof.

We visited the castle, along with hundreds of other people enjoying a Summer Sunday day out - and discovered that it was possible to take pictures of the far side of the castle with not a visitor in sight, looking old and mysterious and enigmatic 

and just like the jig-saw puzzles

We took a steam train ride, ("Time flies by when I'm the driver of a train, and I stand on the footplate, there and back again..."  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-hQ6-biWoo) , except we didn't drive, but upgraded to First Class. BB took plenty of pictures of trains etc; I took one of the very, very elegant carriage we came back in, restored to its 1890 glory days;

(It was beastly uncomfortable, with the suspension jerking and jumping all the way home,
clicketty clack, clicketty clack, ker-thump, clicketty clack, clicketty clack, ker-thump) but the cushions were so soft they absorbed some of the jolting!)

Tenterden is an interesting town; we didn't stay long though. Lunch in an ancient building, 

The Lemon Tree Logo
"The Lemon Tree Restaurant in Tenterden is housed in a 14th century heavily timbered former Wealden Hall House, reputedly visited by King Henry VIII."

and a slow mooch the length of the main street. BB went to the museum, because I spotted a wool shop...

Image result for hoop haberdashery tenterden
I managed pretty well - just a box of pins and one ball of yarn.

The point of the long weekend was to take some time away from everyone and everything, and just "chill".

I reckon we achieved exactly that, and many thanks to the offsprings, who did the cat- and house- sitting that helped make it possible, and even left a vase of flowers on the table for our return!

Ah well. Back to normal. But with added memories to keep me going through the rest of term...   

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