16 January 2011 (Sunday) - Battle Abbey

It has to be said that I have been wondering if the neighbours can hear the parrot. However I was woken by the neighbour’s alarm at 6.30am this morning. I drifted back to sleep only to be woken again by the noise of their dogs shortly before 7am. And usually on a Sunday the other side’s continual piano playing sets the first lot’s dogs off barking shortly after 8am. So bearing in mind that the parrot didn’t really make any noises at all until 9am today, I’m not really that worried that she’s being a nuisance to others. A nuisance to us maybe… but that’s another story. But it was as well that we were up and about – the postman rang the doorbell at daybreak. He had a parcel and told us they had a backlog to clear. On a Sunday!

I then spent a while on eBay looking at hoodies. I’m rather conscious that I only wear one hoodie – I’m sure everyone has seen my “Grumpy” hoodie. I like it because it has a full zip front. I have plenty of other hoodies, but none with zip fronts. For some inexplicable reason I would seem to be the only person who wants a hoodie with a zipped front.
I scoured eBay and couldn’t find hardly any, and those I could find, I didn’t like.

Somme relatively recent blog entries have recounted the fact that I’ve made a shrewd investment in joining English Heritage (!) The plan for today was to use our membership of said august body to enjoy the falconry display they had advertised to be taking place at Battle Abbey during the day. So we set off, this time using my sat-nav for real. Yesterday, doing the thing for fun was entertaining: it seemed to work. Today the thing was rubbish; wanting to send us down the narrowest farm drives, and estimating it would take over seven hours to drive thirty miles. Furthermore it had stopped warning us of upcoming junctions: only telling us where to go once we were just past the junction. After twenty five miles of this stupidity I realised I had it set to “walking” mode. Fortunately for my nerves “driving” mode worked fine, and we found Battle Abbey with no problems.

We soon met up with the Brighton contingent, and then we had what I can only describe as “Lullingstone flashbacks”. Two weeks ago we all drove for miles to meet up at Lullingstone Roman villa. Advertised as being open on the English Heritage website, we found the place closed. Today we arrived at Battle Abbey to see the falconry display advertised only this morning on the English Heritage website, only to find it had been cancelled a month ago.
There are two schools of thought about websites. One theory is that they are a useful way to convey information to the general public, and therefore should be dynamic things which are regularly updated. The other theory is that you have a website to quieten those who like that sort of thing, and having set it up you ignore it, because you had no idea what it was all about in the first place.
English Heritage clearly subscribe to the second theory. This annoys me – if they aren’t going to bother maintaining their website, they should shut it down. Better no information than wrong information.

But with our English Heritage membership we got free admission to the abbey and the grounds, so we had a mooch round. It was all rather scenic, and nowhere near as cold as on our last visit of two years ago. We had a good look round, climbed several staircases that we probably weren’t supposed to, nearly upset the normal people a couple of times, and then it was time for scoff.
Thanks to the wonderful bit of technology that is my mobile phone I’d managed to look up the phone number of my favourite pub in Battle, and to book us a table for lunch. The food was excellent – and loads of it, but I was disappointed by the ale selection. On my last visit in December 2008 they had five ales on. Today they only had two – and the selection was rather disappointing: Harvey’s and London Pride. But we were going for a meal, not a booze up. We enjoyed ourselves, and after we’d scoffed we had a wander round Battle before wending our way home.

Once home I took all the astro club stuff back to Jason, and then got the next batch of home brew started. This one should (hopefully) be a dark(ish) best bitter and should be ready to drink in the first week in February. All it needs is a silly name…


  1. Birthday Badger Brew.

    That would work.

  2. Ohhh the new stuff will be ready in time for Bears 45 th ..................lol