22 May 2010 (Saturday) - Bethersden

With no reason to be up early, I was still up and about by 8am this morning. If I stay in bed too long I get backache. God’s way of punishing sloth, perhaps?

I spent a few minutes over breakfast going over the financial transactions of buying my new car, and was glad that I did. There’s so much fiddling about with road tax, insurance, MOTs, registered keeping and stuff that it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on. And if all seems well with this myriad of paperwork, it’s very tempting to leave it all alone and to let sleeping dogs lie. I’m glad I didn’t. I thought that I overpaid on the loan on my old car, and it would seem that I had, and I’ve not been refunded for that. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing I was assured the money would be refunded by the end of the week. I shall chase them if it isn’t.

But I’m left wondering if this isn’t a profitable little sideline? – I doubt if many people are completely on the ball with all of the administrative details that goes with selling and buying a new car. I’ve found two refunds to which I was entitled, both of which I’ve had to chase up. I wonder how many people don’t realise they might be entitled to money they don’t know they are owed?

And then the tribes gathered, and six of us got on our bikes and set off via the back roads to Bethersden. There was considerably less “up” than on last week’s trip to Pluckley, and the journey out was relatively uneventful – we only scared two normal people. Bless them – two young ladies weren’t expecting anyone else to be using the back lanes, and were busy doing their singing and dancing routine, and didn’t hear us cycling up behind them. They did scream when they saw us, and screamed even more when we joined in with the dancing.

What was supposed to be an hour’s cycle ride only took forty five minutes, and very soon we were in Bethersden. We’ve walked and cycled past the George before but never called in; always being en route to somewhere else. Bearing in mind this pub is at the top of a large slope we thought we’d stop our journey here today before we got onto this hill. The whizz down the hill is fun, but it is a serious slog to get back up.

Whilst sitting in the beer garden we exchanged pleasantries with some people who’d walked to the pub from Ashford, and were on their way walking to Biddenden. That’s some hike!!

With four ales on the hand pump and the best steak and kidney pudding I’ve had in a long time, The George is somewhere we shall certainly be coming back to.

After a serious bit of dinner we looked at our bikes and decided that we didn’t fancy cycling. But we’d seen the bus go past ten minutes earlier, so there wasn’t much option but to cycle home. We came back via the route that Batty suggested – whilst it looked slightly longer on the map, the roads were much quieter, less hilly and five minutes faster. We stopped off at the Hooden Horse in Great Chart for a pint of DoomBar, as it would have been rude not to, and then home.

Whilst girls went off doing whatever it is that girls do, the blokes found an ice cream van, got some cakes and mooched to the tattoo studio to kill the time waiting for girlie types. And when girlie types found us in the tattoo studio we went home and spent time in the garden drinking tea and coffee and eating cake.

I like our weekend days out on the bikes….

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