Monday, 6 October 2014


Well apart from the 'stiff upper lip' and a love of drinking tea, talking about the weather is one of the great British Traits, in fact according to a Telegraph survey it heads the list of the 'Top 50 Typically British Traits'.     Hardly surprising given the variability of the weather on our island.       Friday was beautiful, warm and sunny.  Saturday raining and cold and yesterday was gorgeous again - which was fortunate as we had tickets to a local Kent event.

We went to the Kent Life apple and cider Fayre which was interesting - over 60 varieties of apples grown in Kent on display.    We came away with a huge carrier bag full of a variety I'd never tasted before and we paid just £1.50 which is a quarter of the price I'd expect to pay in local supermarkets (for a far inferior apple)      Apart from tasting ciders, apples and juices, there was a wonderful selection of jams and chutneys to sample.    We bought some of the Indian style chutneys for ourselves and some gift sets of jams for Christmas Gifts (Bah Humbug)!     Kent Life has a livestock area with donkeys, goats, pigs, horses etc and I couldn't resist this character.   He won't be on my 'to do' drawing list as don't think he's very saleable .... but what a character

As the weather was so lovely we stopped off for a cuppa/sandwich at Yalding, a village on the River Medway which is very picturesque but prone to flooding in bad weather when the river bursts its banks.

Beautiful house with an outdoor swimming pool (to the left of the conifer in this pic) but I wonder how many times Mother Nature has filled the pool for the owners when the Medway water levels rise?

I spent a long time watching the ducks .... as you do LOL.     When the sun caught the iridescent head feathers they shone brilliant blue and green colours

At the foot of the local pub, the water takes on the colour from the bank sidings and in late afternoon it looked fabulous, if a little unreal.   I haven't done a thing to the colour on this photo - exactly how it looked in real life

and here the water is reflecting the green from the grasses and plants at the side of the river ... this pair of geese seemed to be very devoted and hardly moved 12" away from each other all the time I watched them.   I believe Geese mate for life so this was obviously a happily 'married' couple  LOL

David wanted (yet another) cup of tea so we visited Tea Pot Island at Yalding .... it houses a collection of nearly 7000 teapots and holds a couple of Guinness Book of Records certificates.    They have a lovely garden overlooking the River Medway so a nice place to while away half an hour.

then to cap off a lovely day, on the drive home we saw lots of windfall chestnuts on the roadside/verge so we came home with a bagful of goodies that we didn't have to go foraging in the woods for - they were there for the taking.    We had some last night and I'll cook more tonight but might need to take a break for a couple of days then as I've made my thumbs sore peeling them :-)

Oh, and the weather has been RUBBISH again today.     We drove to a neighbouring seaside town as I wanted to look at one of the Council run function hall/Tearooms which has a gallery area in its tearoom.   The hall is halfway up a steep hill directly overlooking the beach/sea and the wind was howling there today - we made it back to the car before the rain started thrashing down but not a day for being outdoors.

More arty stuff tomorrow!


J. Gibson Art Studio said...

I love it when you post photos of your area as it's almost like getting an inside look at places I'll probably never get to visit.

That one photo of the river looks as if someone poured molten gold in to float on the water.

And we don't have chestnuts readily available so I don't know much about them. How do you prepare them? I know about "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" in the Christmas song but that's about it. Are they ever eaten raw like most nuts? May have to do a little googling here in a bit!

Glad you had a good day and am looking forward to the arty stuff!

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jan
Chestnuts have to be cooked (whether or not on an open fire). I cut a cross shape into the white/flat section and bake them in the oven for 30 mins. Then when they've cooled a bit the shells are peeled off and the nuts eaten (with a sprinkling of salt if we're being a bit naughty). The nuts are quite sweet tasting.

Traditionally they are sold at open air venues in the Autumn/Winter months where they're cooked over coals on a brazier/grill and sold in conical paper bags - great hand warmers on a cold day

hmuxo said...

A beautiful post Sue and these photos are SO amazing!! I bake chestnuts on Thanksgiving and after reading this and seeing the photos I REALLY look forward to them...

Studio at the Farm said...

Loved the photos, Sue -thank you for the vicarious visit to Kent!

Polly Birchall said...

What a wonderful area you live in, lovely places and festivals to visit. I've only been through Kent on the way to a ferry, makes me want to visit. Love you photographs, and LUV' the grumpy pig. He is very handsome. He certainly is a lovely subject to paint.

Sue Clinker said...

Thank for commenting ladies. Yes we live in a beautiful County which I think we don't always appreciate enough. Weather permitting, I'm hoping we'll do a few more ad-hoc visits like this

Jo said...

Kent has always been known as The Garden of England. Friends used to live in Yalding in a converted pub right on the river. Many years ago.

Love the piggy, Fab pictures of the area and I too loved the molten gold.

I envy you the chestnuts, the ones we buy in a store here are usually pretty tasteless. Do you make chestnut stuffing for the neck of the turkey, it's my favourite.

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jo. Back in 2006 the Guardian Newspaper reported that Kent had lost its 400+ year old 'Garden of England' title to North Yorkshire because of the over development, demise of orchards and hop farms etc. But since then I believe we do still claim the title LOL.
I do make chestnut stuffing for the turkey but must confess to using chestnut puree to save time and avoid sore thumbs. I haven't found a way of cooking & peeling chestnuts that doesn't result in sore thumbs

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

most people I know dont eat the chestnuts, just throw them at each other :p

talking about the weather is a canadian thing too, yay more snow, oh look yet even more snow :p