Saturday, 30 June 2012

Whitstable, Kent

Only just over an hour from home so before landing at our holiday destination we nip to the coast and visit Whitstable.
We make the Castle our first stop on a grey, drizzly and overcast day  

The earliest mention of this site in the history books is in 1588
when a copperas works was founded on this site below where the castle now stands. Copperas was for a time a sought-after mineral extract used to fix dyes in cloth and the licence to mine it was given by Queen Elizabeth I.
Throughout the centuries the castle was lived in by various business and/or political folk until 1935 when Whitstable District Council bought it.
It is now a community facility hosting weddings and business meetings, conferences and classes etc. 

The Victorian Tearooms where we had lunch

before walking along the top of the cliffs

with our binoculars we could just about see our home county of Essex on the other side of the Thames estuary
Can be seen easily on a clear day

As we walk down Tower Hill into the town we pass this pretty house and garden before entering the town and coming to 

and yes one has to squeeze in their gut and walk sideways

The Town of Whitstable grew from the main road to Canterbury, now known
 as the  high street, and the alley ways developed as local residents 
needed greater access to the sea. The multitude of alleys also served
 as convenient escape routes for smugglers, as Whitstable was, like most
 Kentish coastal towns, awash with the  illegal trade in tobacco and spirits,
 as well as people during the Napoleonic wars.

Once known as Granny Bell's Alley, due to the fact that a grandmother
 of sixteen children lived there, the reason for its present title quickly
 becomes clear as you try to pass through it! The walls on each side
 loom high and dark as the alley bottle-knecks at the Island Wall end.
 According to history, the alley way may also have got its name from
 a game local boys once played with a potentially very unamused
 overweight policeman who was unable to pursue them through this
 confined space.

A pretty cottage and garden as we walk along to the see front

where we see one of the old Thames barges returning with some sight see-ers

Time to make our way to Rifleman Cottage where there will be tea and cakes waiting for us

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Back to my Garden

One of the first things I like to do when returning home is have a wander around my garden.
On our return on Friday there was quite a gale blowing and it was showery so the following photos were taken over the following day.
I'll take you along with me

Strawberry Hill rose bush in the front
all David Austin here

Mock Orange 

Escallonia Apple Blossom

Waterfall still not operational due to electricity having to be recited.

Another of my rose bushes in the front

Always like to bring some inside
Hybrid Tea at the top
David Austin at the bottom

The bottom project still a work in progress

We'll get there

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A Change of Scene at Rifleman Cottage

Here we are again at Rifleman's Cottage
These lanes (and many are even narrower) can be hair raising when someone comes in the other direction
Quite a bit of time can be spent reversing or
sometimes the vehicle coming in the other direction will reverse and let one through

As Alan begins to unload the car (top left hand corner)
I admire the Lupins that seem to be standing to attention to welcome me

Go to this link if you were not around last year and want to see lots of pictures of the cottage and grounds

The first thing is a cup of tea. Only an hour away from home but we have made some visits on the way

and would you believe it - it is June and we needed a fire the second evening
Oh! Dear this photo shows how addicted I am to my laptop and Blackberry!

Third day was warm and sunny and here is yours truly enjoying a mug of tea outside after a long day out

As usual lots of photos to come when I get to sorting them

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Children's Diamond Jubilee Certificate

Just in case you miss me!!!
Something I did before going away

Every child in school in our Borough received one of the above to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

I am not a child but I asked our Member of Parliament for one anyway plus 2 for my Grandchildren who do not live in my town

Below is a list of the above flags and the countries they represent
Countries  and Territories, Realms etc. that Her Majesty is Monarch  of

Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II
By the Grace of God of the United Kingdom
Of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
and of Her other Realms and Territories,
Queen, Head of the Commonwealth,
Defender of the Faith

United Kingdom of Great  Britain & Northern Ireland
England,   Scotland,   Northern Ireland,   Wales
Her Majesty’s Crown Dependencies
Jersey,   Alderney,   Isle of Man,  Sark,  Guernsey
Her Majesty’s Overseas Territories
Ascension Island,  Anguilla,  Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Caymen Islands, Falkland islands
Gibraltar, Montserrat,  Pitcairn Islands,  St. Helena
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands, Tristan de Cunha, Turks & Caicos Islands,
Akrotiri & Dhekelia

Her Majesty’s Realms &b Territories

Australia, Canada, New Zealand
Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica
Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Kitts & Nevice,
Solomon Islands, Tuvalu
Ashmore & Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Coral Sea Islands,Cocos(Keeling)Islands,
Heard & McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island
Cook Islands,  Niue, Tokelau, Ross Dependency, Australian Antarctic Territory  

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Bits of Allsorts

Surprised to visit the Olympic site this week to find that we could not enter and drive through the Olympic village. Instead we had to take a long detour to enter from the South side.
From this coming Tuesday all the car parks will be closed for general use until after the Olympics (2 months)
Having these events nearer home do have their downsides

My reason for visiting Westfield shopping centre (next to the site) was to go to the Croc shop to buy a pair of Croc Wellingtons.
We are going away next week and the possibility of tramping through muddy and waterlogged fields was not so appealing without them
These are so light that you can pick them up (using the pull-on hole) with your little finger

The Mother of all cakes in Lakeland

A little progress to report on the bottom garden project
A dry day at present is so precious and here is one
Fence up and stained and roses in place

Having a lower fence in corner as I have just got to know my neighbour over the back as a result of removing the fence and she was sad to think we could no longer chat in the garden.
Result a lower fence topped with some trellis which feels like standing in a cage!

and yes I do some of the hard work

We have had lots more rain and gale force winds since I took these pictures a couple of days ago

The rain held off for our neighbourhood Jubilee Parade and Fun Day but the wind was so strong that tents and Gazebos were blowing down so many had to be taken down prematurely
Hard to stand up out on the sports fields
I took photos of the parade but there were lots of children in them so decided not to post

Our local Member of Parliament in the centre
He is a great guy and supports everything and has brought a Christian influence to Parliament in the 10 years he has been in office

Need I say anything!

Well we are off again to Pomona's cottage in Kent
You may remember we met as bloggers and visited last year and thoroughly enjoyed our break so looking forward to meeting up again and the weather forecast shows some sunny days!!!
Have a great week everyone