Well I've enjoyed a sublime couple of days, seeing some of the best of England. First Whitstable, my family home, a fishing town in Kent. Then Aldborough in Norfolk, a beautiful village near one of my Grandfathers where we have a cottage on the village green, then Weymouth in West Dorset with Will to visit Badger Breweries, staying in his family's place there. I've also found a house in London, in Little Venice, near Paddington, and am planning to move in this weekend.
Aldborough with Lewis, my little brother, was fun. We drove up and hit a thick blizzard in the Medway towns. Blizzard in April! Madness! Lots of Norfolk is small winding country lanes, and it's crazy trying to find your way about the place. The Romans never really conquered all of this, that insurgent leader Bodicea kept causing problems, hence lack of sensible straight roads. Sheringham, where Grandpa Cliff lives, is a nice English seaside town, with an incredible number of ice-cream shops open even now in low-season. We also visit Blakeney and Holt, but the weather was awful.
Weymouth was a drive down via Blandford, where Hall and Woodhouse have Badger Breweries.
Temple of Beer
Looks like our living room after a delivery
The visitor centre was open but tours were full. We did however pick up a selection of beers, including old favourites - Champion, Blandford Fly, and then new ones, England's Gold (marvellous session ale), Hopping Hare (very hoppy!), Pickled Partridge (spicy winter brew), Poachers Choice (horrible, so sweet), Pumpkin Ale (as you'd imagine).
At Will's place in Brewers Quay we start the evening with our recent purchases, enjoyed in our Fursty Ferret tankards, then head out, visiting a variety of pubs around town. It ends up a fairly heavy evening, the latter part of which I have no recollection of, including the Dominos Pizza and getting home. Various unexplained cuts and bruises too! I am also barred from a certain pub for ringing their bell after being asked not to do so. Apparently. It was the way the barmaid suggested that bad things would happen if I did it which tempted me. Don't press the big red button!
The following day we cycled along the coast and some pretty villages along pathways which were clearly not designed for bikes - the number of stiles along the way was cruel and unnecessary!
Will and his white horse
The Smuggler's Inn
Long way to go still
Steps with heavy bikes
Ah ha, I sight Weymouth!
All in all, a marvellous couple of days, despite almost flipping Will's car on the way back to London. In other news, I have a Glastonbury ticket! Hurrah! Amazingly they didn't sell out on the first day, possibly because of the appalling mud last year (I am counting on the reverse being the case this year!). Anyone else going? Ursula, Farah, did you get tickets? Anyone have any wellies I can borrow? And lastly good luck to Paul Smith and Will Herrington for their marathon attempt this weekend in Rotterdam!