A weekend of joy and sadness. On the way down to my birthday weekend in Greatstone, Kent my sister told me that my cat, Holly, had died. Holly had been a good friend to me through illnesses, miscarriages, divorce...she was a beautiful Autumn-coloured cat with white paws and bib, bossy but very affectionate and liked nothing more than to snuggle up in bed next to me at the end of the day. She was unique and I will always miss her.
Greatstone was a nice place, a strange mixture of desolation and seventies bungalows. The weather on Saturday wasn't good so we visited the museums in Hastings (lunch at the excellent FILO brewpub) and Battle (1066 Museum somewhat disappointing). The bonfire parade and fireworks were very enjoyable once more, although less bonfire societies were there this year, due to Rye not being last of the season this year. I bought a flashing pink wand to carry along the streets - tasteful!
On Sunday we did a car tour through Felixstowe and Dover to Ripple, the village near Deal which our narrowboat is named after. There was a windmill, a little church and a lovely pub (where I had a good pint of Harvey's Sussex) and a pink thatched cottage called Raspberry Cottage (get it?). Patrick took lots of pictures, he's hoping to put a few on the boat.
Then it was into Deal for lunch at the Bohemian (a cracking seafront pub) and a walk along the odd looking pier and a look at the fishing boats hauled up on the shingle.
Bit of a long drive to stay the night with Simon and Jane and visits to the Good Intent and the Sandrock, then up at 6am for the drive back to work in Midsomer Norton!