Tuesday 15th & Wednesday 16th June 2010

Tuesday. Back to work. Work started on the footpath that runs along the outside of the work car park. We were worried about what they were doing so Christine very bravely went out to talk to them. They are putting a proper footpath back in as was planned since Coty cut off the original one with their perimeter fence. Then they'll ask Coty to pay for it. Not quite sure how that works but that's their problem!

Wednesday. I went to Asda after getting home from work as I found that we had no milk and nothing good to eat. I was also able to change my £4 jeans for some bigger ones. Oh dear, size 10 doesn't fit! Not good! I bought some lovely lamb shanks (2 for £6), washed down with a bottle of Lidl's finest red wine! Don't knock it, it's good stuff at £3 bottle. Maybe that's why the jeans no longer fit! Too much alcohol.

We watched Stephen Hawking's Universe, tonight's episode was on Time Travel. Very interesting, if only I could remember all of the facts! Every time I see and hear Stephen Hawking I can't help but think what he would have achieved had life not dealt him a rough card with the motor neurone disease. He is a truly amazing guy. What an honour it would be to be the narrator of his TV program.

Monday 14th June 2010 - Home again

Home by 11 am and packed away and showered a couple of hours later. We went to look around Camping International. They have some lovely trailer tents and really lovely tents there. As we really only need somewhere to sleep and to be able to stand up, we don't need a big “family” tent. We found a couple there that would do the job. We called in at the Tent Show at Newnham Court on the way home but they didn't really have anything suitable for us.

Bowling in the evening, we were playing against Jose and Sara who had bowled on Sunday. We lost the first game which was Jose's brilliant game and then won the next two games and the overall points. I think we stay in 3rd place for a bit longer.

Sunday 13th June 2010

I woke feeling a little fragile but got up and joined everyone else at a reasonable time. I sat recovering with a cuppa for a little while before making breakfast. We spent a bit of time working together to do the Teston quiz (which we won), I flew my spirit kite again and also had my genki out again. Later in the afternoon, the genki came with us to the group photo. Bryan, CA, Harry and Leah visited. It was good to see them too. It seemed strange that they weren't camping with us.

After dinner, while Dave washed up, Batty and I went to the park to play. Some of the climbing things are hard work, and slide was fast and scary. Having a break with tradition, we decided to pack up most of the stuff this evening, leaving out the minimum needed for our breakfast in the morning. We even got the empties packed away ready for recycling. It might have been a better idea to take the empties to the recycling centre this evening as they did take up a lot of space in the car.

Saturday 12th June 2010

I got to fly my new kite today. It was a birthday present from Dave from a couple of years ago. We'd almost given up hope of seeing it. Glad I've got it though. It's really cool. I've wanted one for ages, since I flew one of the BKF ones. It is a blue spirit kite. We will need to get a reel of line that I can keep with it in the bag. It needed tweaking a bit but is sorted now and I love it.

We had a girly shopping trip mostly get chicken and stuff for dinner in the evening. There were 16 to cook for. Lisa was in charge and we were having chicken stir fry and noodles.

Jose, Maria and the boys came over for the afternoon. Us girls were chatting down by the lock and enjoying watching the boats coming through and decided that we'd like to do a girly cruise, seeing as our men wouldn't be interested. Maybe one day, when we can save up.

Sam, Chippy and Emily also joined us for dinner. Emily was loving playing in the park and in the rubber boat. It was like a personal trampoline for her.

Dinner went down well. We had to part cook the chicken and then cook it in batches of 4 with the stir fry. After dinner, Jose returned with Martin and Chris. The adults had a game of twister which was fun. It was soon time to go down to watched the 1812 Overture by the Grumpy Old Gits. They exploded oxy acetylene in balloons to the classic tune. I drank far too much: beer, sloe gin, port, bramble whisky.... and paid for it later.

Friday 11th June 2010

Not a good start to the weekend. It has been raining most of the night. We had an indoor paddling in the front of our tent in the early hours of the morning. One of the pegs had come undone. It looks like Dave has been mopping up with his socks. As we lay awake about 6.30 listening to the rain, Dave looked very forlorn and asked if we should go home. I figured that we would get more wet getting home than if we stayed put.

After breakfast, we stayed in the big tent most of the morning while it carried on raining. It stopped towards the end of the morning. Tony and I went shopping in Asda. Having spent ages doing the shopping, I then remembered that there was a couple of other things that I needed that were upstairs in the shop at Kings Hill. A car phone charger being one of them. I got one for £3 that has 6 different attachments. I left poor Tony downstairs with the shopping while I ran. If it wasn't bad enough that the sat nav nags, now even the travelators tell you off if you walk on them and don't stand still.

During the afternoon, friends and family turned up at different times and set up around us. We were soon tucked in and not looking so lonely. We had chicken and mince fajitas for dinner. After dinner, we all sat round together to drink until late, some drank more than others!

Thursday 10th June – Off to Teston

I knew I should have got up earlier. It took longer than I thought to get all the bits out to the car. I had done quite a bit of packing of Wednesday night but it still took a while. I was late picking Tony up, and we were a bit late to work. It also took ages at lunch time to find the rain ponchos and pack the stuff from the fridge/freezer, and then I realised that I didn't have enough petrol to get us to Teston. All was going well to be ready to leave at 5 until we received two new orders that needed to be prepared for tomorrow. We got away about quarter to 6 in the end. We had a phone call from Batty to say that he had been stuck in traffic for an hour and it would be better if we went up to Junction 4. That upset Ovi but it was only a few minutes longer and an extra mile.

After unpacking a few bits, Tony and I were given “water” duty. We drove down to make it easier. I got soaked when the bottle got too heavy for Tony. It's not very easy turning the taps on and off either with the pliers. The very nice warden man offered us space in his wheel barrow to take the bottles back as he didn't notice that we had the car. Water mission completed and cookers set up, Batty started the cooking. Sweet and sour chicken. We had found some pre-chopped, pre-cooked frozen chicken in bags in Farmfoods. We have decided that one of these bags feeds 2 hungry people. (3 if it's me, Kat and someone else with a similar light appetite). Then we need 1 jar of sauce per bag of chicken. We cooked too much rice so we're thinking about cooking some up for breakfast. We decided we'd cook up the rice pudding while it was still light and we hadn't drunk much. Usually we cook the rice pudding as a midnight feast. In the evening, I finished off a bottle of cherry Lambrini and then had a bottle of beer. We had walk down to the lock at twilight to see if we could find any bats. Dave saw a few but I missed them. The sky looked really cool with a pink tinge. “Red sky at night..... that'll be Maidstone then!” Tony/Bonefish joined us later and we stayed up chatting until midnight. At bedtime, Tony was nearly wetting himself with laughter when he saw the state of his tent. The front of it had collapsed. No harm done. We pegged it down and cojld hear Tony still giggling as we got ready for bed.

Tuesday 8th June 2010 – Unit Training Meeting

Tonight, we arranged for everyone to meet at Chris's as I wasn't going to be around for the usual meeting. Our training meetings are good and a great chance to catch up and see how everyone else is doing. We sorted out our travel details for going to Harrogate for conference and now we need to book a room somewhere for the Friday night.

After much discussion about the lovely bride and groom piece and how I don't like ornaments without faces, I then won it in the raffle. It is a beautiful piece, but it's not something I'd buy. The instructions state if using it on a cake then don't use the fragrance oil in it. Some people obviously need that spelling it out to them.

I've just seen an advert for the new Shrek film. It contains “mild fight scenes” apparently. Oh dear!

Monday 7th June 2010

I have been helping Dan get together the things that he didn't realise he needed to legally drive in France. I had a red triangle, a GB sticker and some sticky things that go on car head lights. He just needs to find some hi-vis jackets which he says his mate can borrow from work. So hopefully that's him ready to drive to his fishing trip on Friday.

At bowling, I had a good first game but not so good on 2nd and 3rd games. We lost 6-2. The other team deserved to win the last game. Jim got 231 – he didn't miss a single pin in that game, and Frances, who is a new bowler, got her highest score of 114.

Sunday 6th June - Tonbridge Kite Festival

Today we went to Tonbridge Kite Festival as we knew that Simon and Corrine were going to be there. We used the sat nav on my phone properly for the first time which is really useful, especially if you should stray over the speed limit, it tells you so. It even knew the new roads that my old one didn't. We stayed for an hour or so chatting until we saw that there was a big black cloud on it's way in so we headed back to Ashford just in time to get to Lidl's before it closed. I found a new bag for £9.99. It is bigger than my other holdall and has wheels and a handle. I nearly didn't get it but knew that if I didn't I would regret it later. I struggled at conference last year with my holdall being so heavy, and I doubt that I will find a bag for that price again. At bowling later, I beat Jose which makes a change.

Saturday 5th June 2010 - Warehorne

As we were having a later start with our cycle ride, I spent time, with my breakfast, enjoying the sun in the garden. As I was sitting by the pond, a cheeky black bird came for a bath. His beak was so orange it was more the colour of a toucan's. Once I'd got my camera to try and take more pictures of birds, all the birds became camera shy and didn't hang around to be photographed. So I took some pictures and videos of the fish.

We cycled to Warehorne where we had been before but this time the food was not good. There wasn't anything on the menu that Kat liked. She said she'd try a chicken caesar salad, but didn't want bacon. They brought out a plate of lettuce leaves with some yellow stuff drizzled on it with about 4 small pieces of chicken on the top. We sent it back. There was no way we were paying £10 for that, especially as she was not going to eat it. Our ploughman's wasn't good either. How can you get a ploughman's lunch “wrong”! I had 3 small pieces of different cheeses, apart from the one that similar to Brie, I didn't like the others; about 3 small toasted (dry/crispy) pieces of French bread; some strange pastry things, some dry lettuce and a pot of pickle, even that wasn't particularly good, it certainly wasn't Branston. It was all laid out very “nicely” on what I can only describe as a chopping board. Appearance certainly didn't improve the experience for me. Needless to say, we won't be going back there until maybe someone tells us that it's changed back to “real” food! There was only one meal that was enjoyed and that was the burger and chips. We had hoped to be able to get Kat something to eat at the Kings Head in Shadoxhurst on the way home but we barely made it there in time for a drink before they closed.

Once home, I then went to Tesco to get BBQ food. At least then I could make sure that Kat got something to eat. As it was her birthday, I got lots of good stuff. We invited Martin to join us and it was lovely sitting in the garden before Dr Who started. We then all went in to watch this before it was time to go to Chris's.

At Chris's, we watched Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Both good Johnny Depp films.

Friday 4th June - Imperial China

I was invited to join the Support team on their night out which was to thank us for our hard work at the time of the show in March. It took some doing trying to find a date when we were all available in the evening.

As Kat was free and it was her birthday yesterday, I invited her to join us for drinks before the meal. We went to The County. We shared a jug of “Purple Rain” which is a drink that we had there earlier in the year. I'm not sure what is in it but we both liked it. It was soon time to go to the restaurant, the Imperial China, which is almost next door. It is one of these “all you can eat” places and on Fridays and Saturdays it is £14.90. For the starters, they bought out a big platter which was really good. If we want anything else they bring it out as ordered. Then there was the duck and pancakes. We got through a whole duck quite easily so then ordered another half. That was lovely too. Then we could choose a selection from the menu to share. If we wanted more of any of that they would bring it out, as long as most of it got finished. Desserts were £3 extra. Leee had lychee ice-cream and one of the lychees ended up in someone's beer. It looked like an eyeball! A great place to eat. I would recommend it, but if you're paying, go easy on the wine as that knocks the bill up.

After the restaurant, some of us went back to the County where we continued drinking until 12.30.


Sunday 30th May 2010

I finished the latest book today, the 5th book in the series that I've been reading, Hunted. Hopefully I will be able to get hold of the next one soon.

We had a lovely roast dinner with Kat and friends. After dinner we played a round of Scrabble. I lost. Oh dear. We caught up with Dr Who before we had apple or rhubarb crumble for dessert, with custard of course. Then we played a Little Britain DVD game but we didn't find the “only gay in the village”. Not all of the questions were related to Little Britain but a lot of them were. I'm useless at quizzes. I left the hard work to Dave, and Kat answered a question that Dave didn't know.

As Chris didn't host a film night on Saturday, he invited us round for the evening. As we couldn't get hold of Tony.... he was probably asleep again, we didn't watch Transporter 3 as Tony would like to see that too. We watched Speed film as we hadn't seen it for a while, and then some Vampire Diaries. Not sure how much I will get into the Vampire Diaries series. We'll see.