Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday - Great holiday - Lucky with Weather

I thought a couple of 'collages' would be the best way to transmit the most information in the smallest space. The contents of the above picture more or less explain themselves. The bottom row are all from the Royal Dockyards at Chatham where we had a brilliant day. In the bottom right corner you can see the 'slip cover' which is applying for World Heritage status in its own right. Historic ships such as The Victory had their timbers laid there, and there they stayed until the wood had seasoned.

We spent some time also in the Royal Lifeboat Museum which Pete B would have enjoyed.

Our journey down was uneventful and the 'Tim Draper Holiday' system worked flawlessly. Our taxi arrived on time, our seats were comfortable. Our driver was Claire and our courier was Neil, both of whom we've had the pleasure of travelling with before.

The Hilton Hotel at Maidstone well justifies its 4 star rating and, if you open the link, the slide-show gives an accurate visual summary of the place. One couldn't fault the food, although I have decided that, for me, with my present fragile digestion, the simpler dishes on the menu suit me best. One breakfast time we witnessed an amazing event. A middle-aged lady (not of our party) literally had everything. Fruit juice, cereal, porridge, large (and I do mean large) fried breakfast followed by substantial continental breakfast with croissant, cooked meats and cheese, followed by more fruit juice, and then toast, then another croissant .... We gave up at this stage .......

We both slept very well. The swimming pool was good, although Y used it more than I did. I just went in the once and managed 4 strokes of dog-paddle. But I was surprised at my bouyancy - I just seemed to 'float' ha ha!

Later in our holiday came Chartwell and Royal Tunbridge Wells and, on the last day, The Imperial War Museum at RAF Duxford.

Chartwell of course, was Sir Winston Churchill's home and we had an interesting visit. Then came The Pantiles at Royal Tunbridge Wells which again we both loved.

The 'different shops' commended it to us. In so many town-centre shopping places one always gets M & S, Waterstones, John Lewis, and Next etc., - not so here. We found a lovely kitchen shop called Mottrams where I found some small glasses with handles, for tea with lemon but no milk etc.

On the last day, during the return journey, we visited the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and managed to spend several hours there.

Claire and Neil's decision to change first day/last day was inspired. The Bluewater shopping complex (first day) held little attraction for us whereas the War Museum (last day) could have occupied us for more than one day. We were lucky with the weather - bright sun, little cloud, and little or no wind (just enough to waft the wind-sock away from its pole) and there was so much to see. Y managed a trip in this Spitfire versus Messerschmitt 109

I'll leave her to tell you about it in her 'comment'.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob ..... Admittedly I did not announce our forthcoming holiday in upper case. but I did say we were going away. Anyway - we are back now and it has been a most enjoyable experience.

Not the sort of holiday which lays one low for a fortnight thereafter.

I understand your '2nd post' remark now. The blog-clock seems to start the moment I put pen-to-paper and, if close to midnight, it is easy to be confused as to the actual day. It is possible to go into HTML to change the time but it is too much faff.

Pleased for your sake that the weather allowed you to avoid Alex's 19th shennanigins. Glad you enjoyed the 'snap' though, even if you over-did it. At the moment very small portions suit me. Not only is it better for my digestion but my weight continues to fall satisfactorily.

Pete B ..... Glad you enjoyed the Mark Twain bit (Tom Sawyer). I think the 'fence-painting' passage is justifiably famous and if it led you back to the novel I feel really chuffed !

The RNLI museum as mentioned above, was extremely interesting and I have more pictures to send you in due course. You are actually our only 'seafarer'. Having said that, Y has a rambling chum Dick Playfair, who served on the Arctic Convoys during the war. He is too old now for active rambling but they exchange letters around Xmas time.

Hope your joint exercise, with the helicopter, was a success. I haven't managed to scrounge enough time yet to visit your site and find out for myself.


Quotation slot ...........

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for thats the stuff life is made of."

Benjamin Franklin

Brave man ! Some would say 'foolhardy' !



Yvonne said...

A truly splendid holiday with unexpectedly good weather - sun every day.

The Spitfire simulator was a real highlight although the whole day at Duxford was very special. I knew from previous exhibitions how small Spitfires and Hurricanes were (and even the Lancasters aren't as big as one might think) but the American Flying Fortresses were spectacular. Don't know how they got off the ground!

Like Graham I loved the Chatham Dockyard and the lifeboat museum even saw the Blue Peter one which I remember my children saving things for.

Chartwell was very interesting with magnificent grounds and I was really pleased we'd got there. But the Blue Water Shopping Centre (THE highlight for all the other women on the coach) was boring - but then I don't like shopping!

Jill said...

Yvonne, I went to Bluewater once- never again, I DO like shopping, but in and out of small shops, like Tunbridge Wells. We haven't even been to Westfields, the new West London shopping complex (where the White City dog track was) near us.

The hotel bedroom looks great, as does the pool. R would like that, he gets fed up with hotel pools that are really paddling pools, just 3 ft deep and the size of our living room.

You were lucky with the weather - we have had some sunshine but lots of rain too.

We've not been to Duxford, but we have seen a Spitfire somewhere. Also in the US (?Seattle) we saw Howards Hughe's huge plane, known as 'The Spruce Goose' - we couldn't see how they got off the ground, I don't think it ever did get very far.

I'm so pleased it all went well - G, 1st collage - top right - where is that? And 2nd collage, middle left, I would guess Tunbridge Wells?

bob said...

Pleased holiday so enjoyable and apparently non-exhausting.

re excessive elderly appetites: there’s always one (or more!).

I like the sound of the kitchen shop.
There’s one at Scarborough and a worthwhile hardware shop at Sutton-on-Sea.

Re Ben Franklin quote:
I’m more Satchmo & Jack Teagarden (Ole Rockin’ Chair) –
or Otis Redding (Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay).

Your further adminition re Order of Mercy noted - must remember your “Had you taken the trouble to…” It could be apposite!)

Last Monday to Sutton for Lidl (plus Aldi, Bargain Shop – decided to omit Netto having called to photograph Stags’ ground at Field Mill on way home).
Too hot.
Successfully refunded on cargo trousers.

Missed 3 bird photo opportunities.
Two wood pigeons mating on fence, wren perched on fence (one also hopped into the kitchen the other morning to see Sandra. She said hello and then told it to go out again; which it did), heron which acted as pathfinder at top deck level of Retford bus today.

Yup, Tom Sawyer extract great evocative writing.
Think I MUST have read it before – certainly recall episode from 1930’s film.

Recall watching helicopter/lifeboat exercise off Hunstanton.
Very impressive.

Pete said...

Graham, thank you for the email and piccies of Lifeboat museum, certainly looks very interesting. Will hope to visit one day and look forward to more photos. You know it still strikes me as rather odd the fact that the RNLI is funded on peoples generosity and get no help at all from the I said before thanks for the Tom Sawyer link....haven't managed to get a copy yet but G and I are off to Wales, staying in a friends cottage after we drop off SD2 at the Arsenal Academy in St Albans in September so I'll get myself a copy for then.......The helicopter exercise was to say the least amazing. I am a very lucky person to be able to experience such things......Glad you had a good holiday and good to see you back posting. Regards to Y...take care.....