Saturday, December 31, 2005

It was the Bratwurst of Times...

Well, thank God that's over.

Christmas wasn't so bad, our family doesn't tend to act like it's in Eastenders or Shameless or one of those shows full of the so called working classes that you oiks seem to enjoy, but it's been trying. I went down last Sunday and was supposed to return on Wednesday, so as to have a chance to meet up with friends. Then we had the snow on Tuesday.

Great, Snow!

It was actually very light for us, no more than an inch. But it made my Dad decide not to drive, I checked the trains but the ones that run through Maidstone, where my parents live and I grew up, came from the east of Kent, which got hit harder by the bad weather. So I was stuck there until this morning. We had a day of snow that turned to rain yesterday which got rid of all the snow.

Feeding Time
Impressive Tree
The Old Forest in Winter
A Winter Graveyard

I went for a walk on Thursday, the first walk I'd taken round the village they lived in since I left it eleven years ago. I walked the route I used to do as a paper-round, the way I used to walk to school, and the way to where my best friend used to live. So little seemed to have changed in fifteen years. There's still a few horses in the field down Forstal Lane, they could have been there the last time I walked there.

Christmas Day at Dymchurch
Martello Tower at Dymchurch

We've got a little Christmas morning tradition in our family. It's all of two years old. We drive down to the coast and walk on the beach before heading to wherever we are having dinner. This year we drove down to Dymchurch, a couple of miles from Dungerness. We used to go down there for holidays, there wasn't much to do but sit on the beach, swim in the pool, and go on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch miniature railway. Of course, the place is uninhabitable for about ten months of the year because of the biting wind, so we didn't stay too long.

We drove back to Maidstone, we were having Christmas dinner at a pub near to where my sister and brother-in-law live. I can't remember if I mentioned but they are moving back to Coxheath in a few weeks. They'll be living at the south end of the village, my brother-in-laws parents live over the east side and my parents in the north. Ever since she got a car my sister has somehow managed to get progressively closer to where she started, before she drove she had a boyfriend up in Liverpool for a couple of months. They'd hoped to have moved in for Christmas but things got delayed for a couple of weeks when the buyer for their current place pulled out and had to be replaced by someone else.

After the meal, which was nice but nothing special, we collected their dog, Scrumpy, and went for a walk down by the river. The River Medway, when it passes through Maidstone, isn't that nice. It's practically black with silt, I wonder whether the few fishermen I see every time we drive past it ever catch anything that wasn't man-made.

The Downstream Millenium Bridge
Whatman Field at the Millenium Park
Whatman Field at the Millenium Park
Bandstand at the Millenium Park
Maidstone Millenium River Park

I had no idea the Maidstone Millenium River Park even existed, although it was developed only after I left the area. It's certainly nicer than the other park in Maidstone, Mote Park. Midwinter is not the best time to see it though, I'll have to go back in Summer.

And then we walked into the sunset and were never seen again...



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