8 November 2010 (Monday) - A Day Off Work

‘er indoors TM  had the day off work today, so I took a day’s holiday as well. As I’m a supporter of the Aspinall Foundation, periodically I get free tickets to the local zoos, and so we’d planned to go to Port Lympne today.
I plan a lot of things, and mostly things go according to plan. So I shouldn’t be *that* miffed when occasionally things go wrong. The weather was against us today. With torrential rain and winds gusting up to 50mph, we decided that we didn’t much fancy walking round a zoo in a monsoon.

Having said that, we weren’t going to waste a day off, so we went to Dover museum to have a mooch round. We’d heard about this museum before, and at three quid it wasn’t overly expensive. The ground floor of the museum wasn’t too sad: prehistoric Dover, together with several artefacts of interest and descriptions of them. There was even a skeleton of a pre-historic Doverian. Going up the stairs were all sorts of articles and displays about the history of Girl Guides in the area.
The first floor was rubbish. To be fair to Dover museum, it will be good when it’s finished. But at the moment there are just endless displays of dull bits of broken pots with no explanation of what they are. Having ridiculed it, we moved on upwards.
The second floor featured an impressive stuffed Polar bear, and there were two main displays here. One was all about Dover since medieval times and was actually reasonably well done. The other was all about Dover’s ancient boat. Twenty years ago whist digging up the high street, diggers found a boat; three thousand years old and ten metres long. It was probably the first ever cross channel ferry, and this display was rather interesting. Which was surprising since we’d had a talk about it at the arky-ologee club (26 November 2008) which wasn’t overly riveting.

Lunch time: as we came out of the museum we found KFC. The rain was still torrential, so we popped in, if only to shelter from the elements. But KFC always makes for a good lunch. And on the way back to the car we made time for a crafty half. Two years ago I visited Blakes of Dover and wasn’t impressed. I would so dearly love to have this place in my top ten list of pubs. It has everything I rate in a pub. It’s off the beaten track. It’s downstairs in an obscure basement. It has decent ale from the best breweries – and some of the ale is poured from the barrel. It even has pickled eggs.
However it also has bar staff who know how marvellous their pub is. And rather than clientele or regulars, it has an “in-crowd” who make a point of staring at the newcomer. On my last visit I rather slated the place on a certain pub reviewing website, and today’s visit gave me no reason to change my opinion of the place.

On the way home we stopped off at another seaside town where a branch of Maplins has recently opened. I thought it might be worth a visit: I was wrong – it was dull. But whilst we were in the area we thought we’d go visit the most recent fruit of my loin. Unfortunately she wasn’t in, but “Thing Two” from Doctor Seuss was there in her pyjamas to welcome us. Or that was my initial reaction. I am told that they are very nice pyjamas, and who am I to argue.

Over the last few days I’ve been mentioning making my own beer. We called in to the local home brew shop today. Getting all the kit and caboodle looked a bit pricey, so I got a starter set which in only fifteen days will give me twenty litres of stout. If it works I will have managed to knock out the stuff for seventy pence a pint (which is even cheaper than Lidl). And if it doesn’t work I will console myself with the thought of how much money I could have wasted if I had bought the bigger kit. Loyal readers are very welcome to point and laugh at my box of “Stout Fellow” as it bubbles away in my kitchen. And loyal readers who respect the stout are very welcome to try some when I open the box in a couple of week’s time... 

1 comment:

  1. When I was much, much smaller, can you imagine? The Dover museum used to be on the same road as the police station, beneath the town hall. Whenever I was taken along that road I used to have to make whoever was with me cross the road to avoid the polar bear, who stood in the main entrance, I was terrified of it. I may have to visit the museum just to see if I still am!