Wednesday 28th July - Archaeology Club Walk

We met up at the square in Lenham about 7pm, after dragging Dave away from the pickled eggs in the chip shop, we drove in convoy to the woods where we were to explore. We had a quick look in the woods at the possible iron age bank. Maybe with a little imagination but I'm not convinced. Then, losing two of our members who were busy looking at other holes, we wandered up the path to do a bit of field walking. I think the intention was to go further on the walk but everyone seemed to be enjoying picking at the field. The best finds of the evening were a nicely shaped flint and some bullet shells.

We wandered back to the cars. Those that wanted to drove up to the next stop. We walked. It was a lovely evening and we didn't feel like we'd really walked yet. We went to a group of houses up the road where some of the members live on the site of an old manor house. It has it's own church which is what we had been invited to see. It was once a lovely little chapel. It was a ruin and the roof has been rebuilt. It is also very close to the site that was bombed during the war and many soldiers lost their lives. The church is used it for parties occasionally. Another member is keen on using his divining rods and was showing us where he thinks the original walls possibly were. Again I'm not convinced but I think there is something in it.

Sunday 25th July 2010

I got up today with the intention of having a clean up, but remembered that I hadn't uploaded the photos from Brighton Kite Festival yet. So I got on with that, while watching Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs. It would have taken a fraction of the time to do the photos if I could have uploaded them all in one go but I couldn't do more than a dozen without it all freezing up.

After lunch, we went for a walk to the Create Music Festival. I could have told Dave before we left that he wouldn't like it but I think he wanted something to moan about in his blog and we needed to get out and do something even if it was just a half hour walk.

When we got back, I got on with the house work and cooking dinner. I found some beef rib in the freezer. It was really tasty, served with potatoes and peas with peppers. Dave and I watched some Sponge Bob and then watched a documentary on Anacondas, currently on Anytime. It was amazing. The couple on the conservation project would walk bare foot through the water as it was easier to find them with their feet and a stick. If they wore shoes then there was more chance that they would get bitten as they would have hurt the beast before they noticed it was even there. It was also interesting to see one eating a turtle. Apparently they can even break down the shell in their stomach once swallowed.

At bowling tonight, my first game was 174 but the next two games were not so good at 120 something.

Saturday 24th July 2010

I had quite a lazy morning. The boys had gone fishing and Kat stayed at home with me. I dropped her off at the outlet, and was on the way towards town when I realised that I didn't have any mobile phones with me. It's amazing how lost you feel without them. I raced around Lidl's and Farm Foods. I drove back passed the outlet and and didn't see her so I went home to find my mobile and unload the shopping quickly. Apparently she had been waiting on the steps and had seen me earlier.

We both then went to the Star to spend some time with Lisa and her friends at their charity music day. We got home later than intended. The boys were already back from fishing. Martin soon arrived, and we had a quick run around Asda before going to Chris's. We watched “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and “DOA”. The first film was OK seeing as it was billed as a thriller. There was one disturbing scene in it but the story was good. I was intended to read the book before but probably won't now. I had downloaded it on my old mobile but I think I lost it when I upgraded my phone. “DOA” is a fun action film that I had seen before.

Thursday 22nd July 2010 - Stories from work & Powerbase meeting

Stories from work today:
Firstly, a warning for the girls. Glynis's husband was driving through the shared space area in Ashford yesterday and there was a crowd of people waiting to cross, with quite an attractive girl at the front. As the car in front of him went past, he reached his hand out and dragged it across her breast. To say she was shocked was an understatement. I hope her friends were quick enough to get his number plate.

The other story was of a little boy in the bath with his Mummy. He said, “Mummy, don't move”. At first she was concerned that he'd seen a spider. Then he said, “Don't move, or it will go off”! Apparently he had seen the string from her Tampax and thought she was sitting on a party popper!! Bless!

I went to a meeting this evening at the location of the recently vacated Powerbase building. A new business tried to continue there but this wasn't working for them. So they have now decided to develop the site into “one or two bedroom cottages”, as the letter said. Actually it is proposed that there will be 8 properties on the site. Two flats at the front, with 3 two bedroom houses behind and 3 bungalow style one bedroom places at the rear of the site. They have tried to keep in line with existing building plots, but may consider adjusting the angle of the rear properties to face outwards. Apparently there are also old fuel tanks underneath the land that will need to be removed. The proposed plans on the site are in keeping with the bay window Victorian design of the other houses here and they do look quite smart. My main concern that I raised was the parking. The owner has said that he is happy for us to use the forecourt and the space at the rear, if available, for the time prior to the development starting. After that, the new home owners will not have allotted parking and it will be a first come first served basis. As there is no garden space at all, these new places will not be aimed to be sold to families, single people and couples. I also mentioned that they consider that there could be a problem with drainage and water pressure into these places. Our houses are over 100 years old and it is likely the current pipes won't cope with the extra volume. Although keen to move on the project, as it is wasted now sitting empty, they don't envisage seeing the building work starting for maybe a couple of years by the time that they have got through the red tape. They might have a further invitation for the locals when they have moved on further with this. I think it will be good for us in the long run. Better to have good looking houses than run down businesses when it comes to our house prices!

Tuesday 20th July 2010 - BBQ for Chris's birthday

At lunch time, I was going to go to Tesco to get food for the BBQ this evening. When I heard that Christine and Glynis were going, I tagged along with them. A quick whizz round the shop for burgers, sausages, etc and back to the car as quick as possible.

I had hoped to leave near to 5o'clock but I broke franking machine again. It doesn't like me. We often fall out. I think I'm too rough with it when it's get jammed.

Once home, the boys had already set light to the coals. Much too early in my opinion as we were using the special bags that are supposed to be ready in 20 minutes, but I was told not to interfere. On with preparing skewers of meat and tomatotes, and chopping onions. There were 9 to feed plus Matt. I asked him to bring along his own food which he was quite happy to do! We had sausages and beefburgers, pork skewers and meatball skewers. The meatball skewers did work in the end but some of them didn't survive cooking. Followed by chocolate swiss roll and strawberries. A good evening had by all, especially Chris who's birthday celebration it was. Today's picture is Dave having a snooze in his new chair after eating loads. Well, it's not like he did any cooking!

Sunday 18th July 2010 - Camping shops again

Back to Camping International to get another bench as the last one that we bought was so good, and another big kettle. Unfortunately, the benches were out of stock. We got a colander, cutlery tray and a cutlery drainer. Leaving there I remembered the camping shop near to what used to be Brambles, WM Camping Centre. So we went down the M2 to there via the scenic route. A quick look round the tents to see that we weren't missing out on anything. We bumped into Jane, Richard and Nicola who were also tent hunting. We're happy that we got a good deal with ours. They didn't have anything similar there. No benches or decent tables either. Dave got a good comfy chair. We had a quick look at the reptiles and fish at the nearby shop before heading off home.

On the way back, we stopped at the Lidl's in Canterbury, for a change of scenery. Much the same stuff in Ashford, as expected. I found a bottle of aniseed drink called Sambuxo. It already has blackcurrant in it so it tastes like Pernod and black. It was also available without the blackcurrant. I don't think I'll bother with that one! Ooh, just been looking for a photo for this blog... I didn't know there was a Black (liquorice) and Cherry bottles too. Wonder where I can find them, even though I think the blackcurrant will still be my favourite.

Saturday 17th July 2010 - To Woodchurch

Today our cycle ride was to Woodchurch. There was just 4 of us. It took us about an hour to get to the Six Bells. I spent most of the time left behind cycling on my own as usual but I don't mind. After all, it's not a race and I do go “at my pace”. It's so scenic and quite relaxing once you get into the country lanes and away from the busy roads. We had lovely baguettes. I had a bacon and brie one. It was warm enough to sit out in the garden. On the way home we stopped off at The Kings Head in Shadoxhurst for a drink, before going home. When we got back, Dave and Dan went off fishing.

At Chris's we watched Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief. I enjoyed it. Must watch it again sometime. I didn't know the main actor but it has some great actors/actresses in it.

Friday 16th July 2010

Another busy day at work, and I got away at 10 to 6, working through lunch break again. I was thinking about going home to fetch my bowling ball but was put off by the thought of the long queues of traffic to get to the cows roundabout. After work, I rushed off to Canterbury to check out the new bowling pro shop in Bugsy's. Mainly to get some new shoes as mine aren't going to last much longer. They advertised competitive prices and 20% off for this evening. My shoes would have been about £32. I also got a new ball although I'm tempted to continue to use my old one to destruction. I did similar with my roller blades. Bought them from Decathlon because I liked them but I've not worn them outside yet as it would be a waste to not finish off with my previous ones.

Thursday 15th July 2010 - Training

I booked the day off work as I had been invited to a special Partylite training meeting at Karen's. Marion had come all the way down from Nottingham to give myself, and the other two Karen's extra guidance. Sarah had brought along two girls in her team, Rachel and Alison. I must get out and do some door knocking and get my diary filled up. Karen made us a lovely sandwich lunch with fruit, and we finished soon after 2.

I came home for a little while and then picked Kat up from Hannah's. Kat and I went shopping in Tesco. I cooked Chicken Rogan Josh for dinner and then had to go out again before 7. I went to Hersden to a Partylite show with Karen, for more training.

Monday 12th July 2010 - Packing up

We were woken really early to a sound that we really really didn't want to hear. The sound of heavy rain on the outside of the tent. We lay there listening to it, possibly wishing that we'd actually heeded the warning of the weather forecasters for a change and packed up Sunday night. Glad we didn't though or we would have missed out on a fun evening with the other Sunday nighters. Somehow we managed to dodge the worst of the rain. I packed up my things in our tent and when it was dry I wandered down to the toilets. We soon got on with a bit more packing with Dave's car backed into the front of brown and smelly. When the heavens opened again, we dropped the front of the tent and closed the car and cooked breakfast. After breakfast the rain eased off again and we were able to get on. As the sun started to come out I noticed that some embers started smoking a little way up the hill from us. Dave chucked the remainder of our water over it to drench it.

We got packed up by 11.30 which wasn't too bad as there was just the 3 of us. Before going home I went to Asda to top up the car as petrol is so much cheaper there by about 6p a litre. That little detour only took 10 minutes and we were soon on our way. I remembered the way home properly and we had a good run back, getting home about 1.30. We emptied both cars and then Tony and I did a bottle bank run before dropping him off home. The car was packed so tightly that we didn't hear the bottles clank once on the way. Back home again and it was nearly 4pm by the time I could get to the shower after putting most of the stuff away.