27 June 2010 (Sunday) - Meeting a Hero

On Monday “My Boy TMbought me a sterlet for the pond. Despite cleaning out the filter midweek, and the water noticeably clearing, the sterlet died. A shame – I wonder why that was? Needless to say, fish shops don’t offer any guarantee on a fish for as long as six days.

Talking of pond stuff, today we ran out of Koi food. Last week, whilst shopping for camping gear we drove past a pond shop I’d never visited before. It was near Staplehurst, and it was on today’s route so we popped in for a look-see. Their fish were very reasonable priced; they had some very nice water features, and they had some very cheap fish food. I had to haggle a little with the lady on the till to get her to sell the food at the price it was advertised. Eventually she conceded that with a great big sign in front of bags of fish food saying “buy two get one free”, I should only have to pay for two of the three bags of fish food I was trying to obtain. Let’s just hope the Koi like this food – it’s only a bargain at fifteen quid if the fish eat it. But a similar amount of the expensive stuff would have cost me over forty quid more.

And then to Marden for the main business of the day – the Kent Air Ambulance open day. We did the obligatory tour of fire engines and stuff, had a look at the helicopters, smelled everyone else’s B.O. (it was a *very* hot day) and bought a couple of souvenirs. And then we got to the bit I had gone for; my childhood hero was starring there today. I got to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The star of the 1968 film; not just a prop, but a fully working car. Personally I’m not that interested in cars, I fall asleep during “Top Gear”, but this was one worth seeing. As was Doctor Who (number three)’s car “Bessie”, which was there as an unexpected bonus.

After half an hour we’d had enough, and so moved on. We were hungry and a spot of lunch was in order. The Tickled Trout in West Farleigh is somewhere I’ve driven past on occasion over the last few years. We popped in today. Three ales on the hand pump – a shame that the ale selection wasn’t what it might have been – London Pride and Spitfire can be obtained everywhere, but a pint of Everards Tiger went down well with a cheese ploughman’s. Sixteen quid for a meal and drink each – I was impressed. The beer garden was really scenic, and whilst busy, there were none of what might be described by the less tolerant as the “council estate element”. The food was really good, and was served fast too. All things considered, I would certainly go back.

Round the corner from the pub was Teston Bridge picnic site – somewhere I usually visit twice a year for the kite festivals. The rangers had organised a dog show for the day, and had been told by the Council that if it wasn’t successful they wouldn’t be allowed to stage another, so we thought we’d show our support. We turned up, and it seemed very odd to be there without all our kiting friends. We had an ice cream, said hello to the organisers, watched a couple of the events, mooched around the stalls and then left. It was too hot. As we drove out I noticed something odd about the gate to the field. The gate to the field isn’t the widest of gates, and over the years several caravans have got scratched at kite festivals as they come on and off the field. Today they’d demolished the gate post so the traders could get on to the field. I wonder if they will leave the gate like that for the festival in August?

Just up the road was somewhere else somewhere I’ve driven past on occasion over the last few years – Aylesford Aquatics: another fish related shop. They had some really pretty fish, and a sturgeon as long as my arm. He only costs two hundred and fifty quid. I wonder if I can get another leccie rebate? And then home. Whilst others basked in the garden, I sat inside in the shade and slept though “Carry On Up The Khyber”. They don’t make them like that any more, thank God…


  1. I like Carry On up the Khyber it certainly cheered me up after I turned over in disgust from the footie.
    Were there many dogs at the dogs show cos you didn't say ?

  2. Oh how could you poo poo a Carry On Film?
    They are the bestest ever. I even have them on DVD to watch over here. I know that if ever I feel a bit glum I only have to put on Carry on Camping or one of the others to cheer myself up.
    I agree......they don't make them like that any more. I don't think they could.