Monday, 9 June 2008

Merriments Gardens

Merriments is a combination of a nursery, garden shop, tea room, wild bird care centre and a 4 acre garden - voted as one of the best gardens in the south of England. We took a walk through this garden and it is spectacular. (
It was here that I met Alan and bought our birdfeeder. It did not even take a day for the birds to find the feeder and now we have regular visitors to our balcony. Our favourite was a family of small sparrows (I think) where the little ones were fed by the parents on the feeder.

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Maggies Cafe

We spotted Maggies Cafe in a book, "Go Slow England", written by Alastair Sawday. This book, inspired by the Slow Movement (a renewed regard for the simple pleasures of life), describes "special places to stay, slow travel and slow food". We took a drive to Hastings and had a delicious lunch of fresh fish and chips at this unpretentious quaint cafe. It is opposite the beach and above the fish market. While eating we watched fisherman offloading their catch and others mending their nets.

After lunch we walked along the beachfront - it was a treat to see the displays of seafood at the fish shops. We also visited a fishermen's museum which made us admire the life lead by these men and their families.

I can't quite get used to the "flat" sea and pebble beaches!

"Men travel faster now, but I do not know if their go to better things."
William Cather, 1927

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Our first cycle... on my new bike!

Cycling around Bewl Water was a wonderful way to test my new bicycle. It was lots of fun. The cycle route is 13,5 miles (+/-21kms) around the lake - on gravel, a bit of tar and twisting, muddy forest paths. Every time you turn a corner...a new "picture" awaits. We knew we were half way when we spotted the diverted track to the pub - really quaint and a wonderful spot to take a break.
As we began our cycle we "bumped" into an unusual walking party...

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Wednesday, 4 June 2008

An afternoon visiting Chartwell : The family home of Sir Winston Churchill

Chartwell : Sir Winston Churchill's family home - what a wonderful place - the fish ponds, swiming pool, rose gardens and big green lawns. The interior is very old worldly, each room is well preserved with interesting artifacts and each tells a story about his life. After visiting Chartwell, I have so much more respect for this world reknown leader. Adjacent to the property are fields where one can picnic, a family picnic day has been arranged for next weekend which I'm sure will be very well supported. We would love to go back and have a picnic there, but we will go when it is not so busy - a good place to take our friends when they visit from London.

I love the last picture - this was taken in the garden centre at Chartwell where they sell things for keen gardeners - next door to the tourist shop. This little bird (a Blue Tit) made a nest in one of the next boxes that are for sale - you could hear its chicks "peeping" inside!
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