We set out on Friday to go up to Ely, for the triumphant return of the Seven Champions. As usual we dithered around most of the day and left far later than we intended – but too early to arrive at Neil and Sarah’s house. We hit the M25 at just the wrong time on a Friday – so escaped to the back roads of Essex, which was interesting in the dark, without a map, and with a husband who has as much faith in a satnav as Liz Taylor is in a 25th wedding anniversary. We stopped for a drink in Bury St Edmunds – although it did take a while to find a pub. Phil knew that there was (one of the) smallest pubs in Britain there – the Nutshell but it had burst its seams already with about 20 youths hanging around outside – so we found somewhere in the backstreets.
We were staying with Neil and Sarah who live in Ely – according to them – but the satnav believed they live in a parallel universe and couldn’t find their address. Luckily it got us close enough so that Neil could run into the road waving and pointing, and we had a lovely evening. (Well Sarah and I did, as Neil and Phil went down to the pub!)
In the morning we all set off to watch the dancing.
The above motley crew are slightly disturbing – as as well as the men dressed as women – they also have women dressed as men dressed as women.
And a wonderful view of the backsides of the Seven Champions!
I have been trying to upload the video of Champs dancing but cannot – so hopefully here is the link to Youtube
Both Phil and Dan are dancing – you will have to pick them out!
I ran away after the first set, and went to Tesco to buy Cheesecake (Sarah and I had discovered a shared and guilty pleasure in Tesco value cheesecake)and then drove into Cambridge, where I spent a self indulgent couple of hours wandering around doing nothing in particular.
Arrived back at Neil and Sarah’s house – this is Grace their daughter. She is gorgeous! She was supposed to be going for a sleepover at a friends house – but was so enamoured of our company that she changed her mind. (I think that was the reason..) So we repeated the night before, and Neil and Phil went off to the pub, and Sarah and I had another good night in drinking!
Grace borrowed the camera for a while.
Neil is an artist – this is his art gallery!
Jill, Jake, Karl and I went to watch Dan dance in Wye (while writing this I totally forgot where he had been dancing – so just said to Dan -‘where did you dance when we came to see you?’ He answered ‘Wye’ I said – ‘because I am writing my blog’ – he thought I was joking – unfortunately I am just senile.)
We left him prancing about and drove to Chilham – no puns there, intended or otherwise.
We stopped for a drink and then set out past the church, leaving the car in Chilham square to be picked up by Dan later, so that he could meet us in Canterbury. We were walking another part of the North Downs Way – but out of sync.
The first part of the walk was mainly on road and confused me a bit as we appeared to be heading away from Canterbury. My sense of direction is atrocious.
British Summer – it is carnival time!
Eventually we turned off into the woods – which opened out into this wonderful view of the downs.
Stopped for lunch and a little light taunting.
And Jill offered me a nut – in a way I could not refuse.
Loads of apples waiting to be picked – and the caravans that the poor pickers live in – looks like a slum.
Best of British.
This is a very blurred picture of a spider which appeared to be floating in mid air – there must have been a web somewhere – but we couldn’t find it.
Spoor of a Polish Picker.
We somehow managed to find ourselves in a pub?!
Karl being attacked by a large snake …
and vanquishing it!
First sight of Canterbury Cathedral glowing in the distance – we rang Dan to meet us and we went onto the Parrot – with thoughts of Pie running through my head!
Lots of depressed faces when we discovered that they had changed the menu to schmantsy pantsy newfangled crap like trout and pork belly.
Karl and I had trout –
Bangers (wild boar -natch) on burnt bubble and squeak. Note red onion marmalade – it was noted and removed.
Shared a pudding which was good ..
..and at least the staff were still brilliant – Jill wanted double cream on her strawberries and was told they only had single – but either someone spent a lot of time whipping or nipped next door to borrow some – as out came strawberries and double cream!
Below – waitress of the Year!