6 March 2010 (Saturday) - Charing, Chilham, DVDs

Up early to iron my shirts, and then off to work. As I drove down the road (before 8am) I saw some of the leaders from the scout group were out and about doing the paper collection. Once every six weeks they do it – they deliver leaflets to 1400 houses, collect newspapers and aluminium cans from those houses, take them all to a skip outside town, and spend all day doing this. It’s backbreaking work, and it’s predominantly only the leaders that do it. Of the eighty-odd families with children in the scout group, maybe three or four parents offer any help.

It’s a fundraising scheme, aimed to reduce the weekly subscription fee. The same amount of money could be raised by raising the weekly sub by eighty pence. But the scout group committee refuses to do this, because that will make the weekly cost too expensive, and parents couldn’t afford it. Or so I’m told.

Parents seem happy to pay a fiver for an hour’s football or rugby or ballet, but would baulk at paying £2.30 for two hours child care at scouting? I can’t see this somehow.

Work was dull, and then after a quick sarnie we went for an afternoon out. I’d typed “Charing Kent” into Google and found that “Charing's High Street is alive with many shops”. So off we went for an afternoon out. Only to find that (yet again) the internet had lied to us. There was an empty butcher’s shop, a closed post office and a licensed grocer. One wonders what the grocer was licensed to do. Certainly not to sell teeth to the toothless harridan we watched staggering out of the shop. Charing was a disappointment.

So we followed a tractor up to Chilham, which was also reputed to be scenic. There’s a privately owned castle there, and we peered through the gate at it. The village square had one shop (closed) and a tea room (closed) and a pub (Greene King IPA & Broadside – couldn’t be bothered). It was cold, so we had a mooch round the church – they’d left it open for sightseers. It’s odd how all churches smell the same, and I was impressed with the level of trust this place was showing. There were all sorts of things for sale, and honesty boxes into which you put the money. Personally I think this is to be applauded – if you look for the best in people, you’ll usually find it. Even though there are those of the scum element who will take advantage.

And then we realised we were cold, so we set off homewards. Via Perry Court farm shop to have a look. There were offering tasters of their apple juice. Three different flavours, all tasting the same, and all costing far too much. And then to Lidl’s. Oh, the tat they sell in that shop. Pikey to the max, and then some!

Home to the new telly. Since I got the thing a few weeks ago I don’t think I’ve ever watched as much telly. A few weeks ago I bought he film “Sunshine” on DVD. If you’ve not seen the film, don’t bother. It is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. After a shower I then watched a very young Malcolm McDowell in “If….”, one of my favourite films, even if I do fall asleep towards the end…

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