7 Mo-Vember 2009 (Saturday) - Wallabies, Hobgoblins and Waitrose

The instructions for my new phone battery were to let the thing completely discharge before charging it for the second time. So it completely discharged last night. And overnight it summoned up enough power to set off the alarm at silly o’clock this morning. Just as well as I was due in at work. And so to work, where we spent the morning listening to Xmas CDs. And trying to tell the difference between The Darkness and Shakin’ Stevens.

From work to The Blacksmith’s Arms. I’d worked one Saturday morning over the summer, and we’d then met in the Blacksmith’s for scoff, so it seemed to be a good idea to do it again. The place is under new management, and wasn’t what it once was. Our food took an age to arrive. And when it did, it wasn't what was ordered. The staff were friendly enough, but in this competitive pub scene, there's better pubs out there. Having said that, the place retains my score of 7/10 if only for the ale selection.

We then spent a while going round WyeVale and Bybrook Barn checking out the garden requisites. Neither place stocked metal railings, but I’ve got some other ideas for the garden. And then we had a shufti round Badger’s Hill garden centre at Chilham. They didn’t have what I wanted either, but they had some wallabies, which were fun to watch. From here we thought we’d try the soup at the Halfway House in Challock. Three ales, but the Hobgoblin was on the turn. We ran into Paul & Cathy whilst in here. Seeing as they live fifty yards away, I hardly ever see them, and a pleasant few minutes were spent chatting. Soup devoured, and onto the last pub of the day – the Flying Horse at Boughton Aluph. Now under new management and refurbished, it’s now got four ales on the hand pumps. There were only three when I visited last (regular readers might recall I came here after my adventures with the poly tunnel). It's one of those places I've been popping into on the odd occasion for some years, and it looks like I will be continuing to do so.

And then home. Via Ashford’s latest shopping experience – Waitrose. Which is everything I’ve ever considered the Waitrose brand to be. Very good food, very posh, and a very extensive selection. But they ain’t giving it away. I’m told (by those who know about those things) that their milk, bread and general groceries are reasonably priced. However, take for example my area of expertise in supermarkets. I was impressed with the range of bottled beers. I’ve never seen Ringwood beers in an Ashford supermarket before. Or TEA (from the Hogsback brewery). Or “Bitter and Twisted” (an exceptionally good ale). To be fair to Waitrose, they have got the best range of bottled beers in any Ashford supermarket. But the range in Asda, Tesco or Sainsbury’s isn’t bad, and their beers are cheaper. Similarly in my other area of my expertise – I shall continue buying my salads from Tesco…

And then with everyone else out and the house to myself I did something I hardly ever do – I watched a film on the telly….

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