Thursday, 7 August 2008

Hurt of Tunbridge Wells

Another great weekend to write about (sorry, I know this is not interesting for you, (in)Constant Reader, but I have to tell someone and there's no-one else, at least not up here...). On Friday, I was again Kentward-bound: West Kent, this time, camping near Royal Tunbridge Wells. And it was a beautiful campsite, with a little firepit for each pitch, so after our barbecue we got a lovely fire going, sat propped against a log with a blanket and lantern, and read alternate chapters of a book to each other (and no, I'm not going to tell you which book, that's private - suffice to say it's good). It was a near perfect evening, but not perfect, and that hurt. Still does.

On Saturday morning we trekked into Tunbridge Wells and had a great time browsing the eclectic collection of shops that is The Pantiles - definitely recommended if you are in that neck of the woods, especially the secondhand book shop. And then, in the afternoon as the weather picked up, we drove down towards Brighton to visit Monk's House, the former home of Virginia Woolf. Lucky for us the weather held, as our evening was spent at Hever Castle watching Cosi Fan Tutte in the open air. We even had time for a glass of red by the lake first. Again, it was a near perfect evening, but not perfect, and that hurt. Still does.

Sunday saw us back in Tunbridge Wells, trying to give the tent time to dry off by taking an extended breakfast in The Pantiles. But the weather wasn't playing ball so, despite leaving it at late as possible, we ended up bundling a wet tent in the boot of the car and heading off to Knole Park for the afternoon - a beautiful house, this time with connections to Vita Sackville-West, and amazing grounds full of fallow deer, one of whom stuck his head in the car as we ate chocolate brownies. All too soon, we drove back home, said a chaste and hurried goodbye, and that was it. A near perfect day, but not perfect, and that hurt. Still does.

When will it stop? And what would Virginia and Vita make of it all?

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