Monthly Archives: October 2012
Another long gap between posts, oh well! despite the lack of posts the last two weeks have been far from dull, After the brilliant day out in London I had the week off work, long overdue and far too short. On the Monday we had to take Ziggy to the vets as he’s been scratching at his right ear rather intensely, it turns out that the main problem was that it was excessively mucky but the vet gave him some antibiotic drops just to be on the safe side. All was going well with treating his ear until it was pointed out that the drops I’d been putting in his ear weren’t the ear drops, they were in fact Metacam which is a doggy pain killer, oops. So after using the correct drops the ear has cleared up nicely. On the Tuesday of y week off I had a day out on a bus journey. Starting off in Folkestone I caught a bus to Ashford, A short walk through the town to the stop for the bus to Maidstone. The journey from Folkestone to Ashford is just over an hour, as is the trip from Ashford to Maidstone. Sadly Maidstone was a major let down. There’s far too many empty shops and the shopping centre, that used to be brimming with interesting shops is now full of empty units and stalls selling cheap mobile phone accessories and others selling “retro” sweets. It seems that “retro” means buying a box full of Haribo jelly sweets, emptying them into plastic versions of the jars that boiled sweets used to come in and selling them at three times the cost for half the amount.
So because I didn’t need an accessory for my phone and it was cheaper to buy a pack of Haribo that was still in the proper bag, I headed for the bus stop to get the bus down to Hastings. This was where it all started to go wrong, according to the time table the bus was due to leave at quarter past the hour, fifteen minutes later it finally arrived, a little concerned I boarded the bus and off we went. I’ve done this day out many times and every so often the route is slightly different. Originally the bus would travel from Maidstone right through to Hastings with a ten minute layover in Hawkhurst. It would then head down through Battle before arriving in what I view as being the town centre of Hastings. It changed again after a couple of years and we had to change busses in Hawkhurst before continuing to Hasting. The Hawkhurst layover was a bus depot. So there was me merrily enjoying the run into Hawkhurst, the bus took the usual turn and headed toward the depot, which is now a Tesco, and went straight past it. After checking with the driver I had to get get off at Sandhurst, this was rather worrying as I wasn’t overly sure on the connection. For those who aren’t overly familiar with the Kent countryside, Sandhurst is on the corner of No & where. Fortunately a bus did arrive and I was once again on my way to Hastings. Sadly the route has changed quite a lot. It no longer passes through Battle, which is a shame as it’s quite a pleasant stop if you have the time. Instead it skirts past Bodiam, and I really do mean skirts, I managed to see Bodiam Castle, but only just and that was because I was on the upper deck and I think the trees may have been trimmed. Arrival in Hastings was a bit of a new route as well. Instead of stopping near the shops, it now stops at the train station. So I got off with no idea where I was except for the fact that I was in Hastings, the sign at the station assured me of that. So all I have to say is thank heaven for a smartphone, a quick check with Google maps confirmed that I needed to head south.
It was the same in Hastings as it was in Maidstone, lots of empty shops, stall trying to sell phone stuff and repackaged, overpriced Haribo. Normally I would have loitered in Hasting for a while and taken in the old town, but for some reason I was not enjoying the trip as much as I used to so I decided to head home.
The rest of the week was quiet until Friday, Smiffy paid a visit and we did a spot of painting, (see other blog) and then we went down to the shop to help Sue pack up for the annual model railway exhibition at the Leas Cliff Hall. That done I headed home and settle down to some mind numbing telly for the evening.
Saturday the 6th was a good day, with Sue in Folkestone I was running the shop for the day. I really enjoy covering the shop and only wish that I could do it more often. The day went well but ended all to soon.
Sunday I headed down to take in the exhibition and help Sue pack up and return the stock to the shop. I met up with Steve and Sarah from astro club and we chatted over a coffee, during my walk around I ran into a chap that I have known since he was eleven and just about to start secondary school, he’s now eighteen and made me feel very old, but he’s still a sterling chap and it’s nice seeing him as I miss the times when I would spend with his family who are very special to me, and I haven’t seen them in an age.
Back to work on Monday, nothing exciting there, I had Thursday off to take Ziggy to the vet for a check up. Although I was certain that the appointment was at 11, I walked in to be told that the appointment was actually at ten, fortunately they let me have the first slot on the the next session. Friday was another work day, but Friday meant that the next day was Saturday and Saturday meant a trip to the shop for a days gaming, actually it was a days humiliating defeat by a fifteen year old. I really can’t wait to get those Necrons finished so that I can get some decent wins out of them.
Today was Sunday and the plan was to head down to Winchelsea to join the cellar tours. I was collect from home by Lukey boy and we headed off. Despite missing the turn and driving straight past Winchelsea we got there with minimal fuss but about an hour early so Lukey boy suggested that we do the right thing and have a pint. Well it would have been rude not to. Whilst we were enjoying a pint of Abbots some other patrons had a roast dinner arrive at their table, and oh lord it looked good (sorry Trudes) so after a few minutes of careful thought and consideration we decided to hell with the cost and ordered up a roast beef dinner each. Good company, a half decent beer and a rather tasty dinner, what more could a fella ask for? I was momentarily distracted from my nosh when Tina and Lisa walked in to tell us that they and Manky were sat in the beer garden. once we were finished we joined them, finished the beer and headed over to the village church where we visited the grave of the late and very great Spike Milligan. Just before that we met up with Steve and Sarah and Andy with his wife Julie.
After the grave we briefly parted company as Andy Julie and me headed over to see if the village museum was open, it wasn’t! So we headed to the meet up point for the cellar tour.
The cellar tour was fascinating, Winchelsea has more cellars than any other town of village in the UK, except for Southampton and another town that I can’t remember. Of the 58? cellars in Winchelsea 33 are accessible and we visited three of them, each one was slightly different in it’s design. the final one was huge and had been divided into three separate cellars that were only linked by a missing section of the dividing walls. Our group did get shouted at by an unhappy local who was probably miffed that there had now been three groups of around twenty people loitering outside her house, she was expressing her disapproval in some seemingly arcane language. With the cellars done we headed over to the church for a brief look around it. The church is a fantastic building that is smaller than it was a few hundred years ago, it’s likely that the stone from the missing sections were used for other buildings in the area.
We left the church and returned to the pub for a well earned cuppa before coming home where I had to make preparations for the week ahead.
The last thing that was done this week is the arranging of a trip in February to the British Museum, if the Natural History Museum trip was an indication of how the day will go, it should be another brilliant day out with some brilliant mates. Add to that he addition of the annual trip to the Toy Fair at the end of January, the week leading up to my birthday is turning out to be something to look forward to.
I have a couple of events coming up at the beginning of November but I’ll try to get a couple of posts in before then.
That’s it for now.
Hello, I know it’s been a while, mainly because nothing of note has happened since my last entry. This week didn’t start off too well, I had Monday and Tuesday off work due to a severe case of nearly being dead. Feeling almost healthy on Wednesday I returned to work and then spent a couple of hours on Wednesday evening painting Necrons. Then the week really picked up, I left for work on Thursday morning loaded down with the Space Marines in anticipation of the fortnightly gaming session. On arrival at the shop I found Mikey waiting and he was soon followed by a chap named Sean and then Dan arrived and we chatted about the forthcoming new releases and the new format of White Dwarf for a bit before getting down to the serious business of playing with toy soldiers. Dan and Sean occupied one table with Seans Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines going against Dans Blood Angels. Whilst on Table 2 My Space Marines set to it against Mikes Orks. Four hours later I managed to pull a win from a near defeat with a 6-5 win. Quite how I managed it is beyond me but it was a win so huzzah! We finished early so I headed off home.
Off to work on Friday, I toyed with the idea of taking the telescope with me, but as it was the last Friday of the month and the recent trend has been cloudy skies, I decided not to bother. For a fleeting moment during the evening I was beginning to regret the decision, but the cloud rolled in and that was that. The talk was presented by Drew and was about the possible discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. The talk was, as is the norm with Drews talks, riveting but it was somewhat brain melting. Since Jimbo and me had to be up at stupid o’clock on Saturday morning so we decided to leave Astro club a little earlier than usual, but it was nice catching up with everyone, including Matt and Kerry.
The reason for the need for an early night, was having to be out of the house by 07:30 to head up to Ashford to catch an 08:30 train to London. I was picked up by Jimbo at the ridiculous hour we had agreed, despite setting my alarm for 07:55, had I relied on the alarm I would have scuppered the day but luckily I managed to be ready and raring to go. So as planned we arrived in Ashford at eight and parked outside casa Chippy. to meet Chippy and Sam. We took a gentle stroll down to the train station where we met up with Andy, the fifth member of our team. Tickets were purchased and we were soon on the train and on our way to our nations capital. From Charing Cross it was a short walk to Embankment to get the tube over to South Kensington. Once we got there it was agreed by all that some form of breakfast was needed so we headed to a small cafe named Cafe Floris. After a hearty breakfast it was a short was to the Natural History Museum. We entered via the Exhibition Road entrance where were immediately accosted by a girly type who could easily have been an extra as a Russian spy from a Bond movie, she was very insistent on checking peoples bags, In fact she was rather scary.
Exploring the museum is always a trill for me, and although I have a set route around the building I always notice something I’ve never seen before. This time it was part of the Darwin Wing. Three of us, me Jimbo and Andy, joined a free your called the Spirit Tour. This is a walk around the wet storage labs. The majority of the specimens in jars of various sizes filled with either industrial alcohol or formaldehyde are from Darwins tenure aboard the Beagle. In fact one of the beasties we saw was actually Charles Darwins pet octopus. The wet storage is home to around 22 million specimens so there’s far to many to list here, but included in the list is a giant squid measuring 8.2 metres in length, a Colossal Squid in the same tank for comparison. There was also a Coelacanth, for those who don’t know, the Coelacanth is a species of lobe finned fish that was believed to be extinct until one was caught of the coast of South Africa in the 1930s. Unfortunately they live quite deep so the chances of seeing a live one are quite remote, unless it’s on the telly.
A bit more wandering around the museum, Including the dinosaur gallery where I took a little time to once again ponder the life of the Tyrannosaur that the skull on display once belonged to. until it was all too soon time to leave. Sam and Chippy had left us just before we toured the wet storage as they wanted to visit the V&A. We met up with them in Covent Garden where we visited a hostelry known as The White Swan where a pint of Doom Bar was most welcome. Pints enjoyed and it was off to Eds Easy Diner for grub, for me it was butterscotch milkshake, with a cheese burger with chips, onion rings and a pot of coleslaw. The salad was removed from the burger to prevent further contamination of the meat with green stuff, although I thought it best I showed willing and munched on the salad, I did draw the line at the dill pickle though. My meal was followed by a stack of buttermilk pancakes with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup, oh sweet joy! We left Eds and headed of toward what can only be described as an alley, this alley featured a couple of shops that sold good that can only be described as interesting, and although what they sold is advertised as toys, I never saw a single Transformer or nerf gun. Although there were a few items that were remote control, the mind boggles, but it would make for an interesting walk through town with your girly type (ooer)
Eventually we made our way back to Charing Cross to catch the train home, arriving home at 23:45.
By the end of the day and three very fun filled days and evenings I was absolutely shattered, the original plan had been to spend Sunday trying to find and explore a couple of deep shelters on the east side of Dover, but given the fact that I was knackered and the weather hadn’t been too great over the last couple of days I decided to cancel the event, apologies to the chaps that were going to come along for that but I really don’t think I could have managed it, I hate being old. It really was a case of the mind being willing but the body being broken.
I have the following week off work, I don’t know what I’m doing with it, there may be a cinema trip on Wednesday, other than that it’s pretty much a blank space to fill. I’m covering the shop on Saturday so that’s something to look forward to, and around the middle of the month I’m going on the Winchelsea Cellar Tour which should be interesting.