Sunday, 30 October 2011
Hildenborough to Tonbridge – (Kent) – 30/10/11 – 6.75 Miles – IVC
One of the great things about a walking group like IVC, is that you can be absent for well over four months, and then slot straight back in again, as if you have never been away. Anyway with an extra hour in bed due to the clocks going back, there was no excuse for not getting up for this one.
This was basically a short walk, down the Medway Valley, admiring the autumnal colours as one strolled along. Although given my long absence, I tended to do more chinwagging about what I have been up to, then I did admiring the scenery. Thus some three and a bit miles in we had arrived in Leigh for lunch.
Lunch was at the Fleur De Lis pub, who promptly explained that all the tables were booked inside, and even with us sitting outside, we could forget about ordering any roast dinners. Thus we made the best of it, by ordering a variety of baquetee’s, which were served promptly enough. They then seemed a bit undecided about whether we could order pudding, but eventually our pleading hungry faces won through, and for my part I had a sticky toffee one with ice cream.
The second half of the walk continued on much the same undemanding territory as the first. Now as you will notice there is only the one photograph on this occasion. Now there are two explanations for this, so choose whichever you prefer.
One – People pulling cameras out are not always welcomed on group walks, especially when you try and surrepticiously include other walkers in said pictures for effect. It’s also quite difficult to take pictures when you are constantly having conversations with people. So what I often do is hang back from the rest of the group, on the pretext (true or not) of having a call of nature, and thus get a group shot that way. On this occasion however whilst I was taking my picture, one group member in front of me and to my left, actually was having a call of nature. Thus he was somewhat panicked by my flash going off, as was I by his startled shout (see picture for proof of me being startled, which he is not in by the way). Anyway despite my embarrassed explanations he no doubt has me down now as some weird pervert. Trying to explain that I wanted the picture for my website (this blog actually) would no doubt have made matters worse, so I left bad enough alone.
Two – When I saw how much my photograph resembled one of the great ‘impressionist masters’ I decided I couldn’t possibly top that, and decided that was all I needed to take for the day.
Anyway we ended up in Tonbridge for our much vaunted afternoon tea stop, in some grimy local café. The menu was pretty ropey, but for my part I had a hot chocolate that tasted like slime and a toasted tea cake. One elderly drunk who had been having his lunch tried to claim, some twenty minutes after we came in, that someone in our party had brushed past him, ruining both his dinner and his life. There are some people in this world who are worth apologising too, and some who just need to be told to fuck off. He was in the latter category, but because the people in this group are of the civilised variety they wrongly tried to take the former approach. Anyway this was all going off at the far end of the table from me, but when I managed to get his attention, and asked him, why didn’t he say this at the time and not twenty minutes later, he stormed out of the café ranting away still.
Still nice to be back walking with IVC again. I wasn’t sure back in June whether that would be the last time, I would be out with them, and for that matter the same applies to today. So watch this space.
Walks since last blog entry:
1 x 7 miles – Osterley Park/Grand Union
1 x 7 miles – Grand Union/Osterley Park
1 x 2.5 miles – Lineacre Reservoir
1 x 6.5 miles – Putney to Kew Bridge