Friday, July 11, 2008

The weather forecasters have been a bit rubbish over the last few days: every time they forecast rain, we had sun. So no complaints there.

Yesterday, we met up with my friend Jane, of many, many years' standing, taking advantage of the only forecast fine day of the week to head off to the beautiful gardens at Sissinghurst, Kent. I was last there in the very early 1980s and have a vague memory of Vita Sackville-West's famous white garden and a very strong memory of disapproving attendants who sniffed at me and my friend Luke laughing at mediaeval eroticism. Sadly, my memories were not to be refreshed as, unmentioned on the website, the gardens were closed. It seems that they close every Wednesday and Thursday. We went to the local pub instead to have some lunch (where the landlady told us that people had come by public transport from as far away as Norfolk to find the gardens closed on these days) and where we were childishly delighted by some tame ducks:


Here you can see Dingo feeding lettuce to a duck. They like it. He doesn't.
After lunch, we headed off to the sadly-changed Canterbury, which, like all too many places in the UK, has become corporate bland, with the usual gamut of "Gap" etc. and a hideous new shopping centre invading the heart of the mediaeval city. We wandered around a bit and had a cream tea by the river:

Jane and Dingo

Today we went on a walk along the river from Cuckmere Haven to Alfriston, which was great. It was meant to have been raining all day, but it didn't. We experienced only one shower and the rest of the time was sunny, though a little windy. On the way to the very quaint Alfriston, we stopped by at the tiny village of Littlington (yes, that really is it's name!) where there is a beautiful church with one lovely stained glass window:

Stained Glass
Littlington Church

There is also the most over-priced teashop I have ever encountered in the garden centre there. Never go!
Go instead to the marvellous "Badgers" tearoom in Alfriston, where you can enjoy the Sett menu. I am NOT kidding. Actually, the tea and cakes there were very good:

Dingo and Tea

I can be very serious about afternoon tea:

Serious Tea Time