6 November 2011 (Sunday) - Leeds Castle

We had the boiler serviced a couple of days ago – is it really a year since we had it replaced? And I’ve noticed that since Friday, the central heating comes on when the thermostat is set to a lower temperature. It never used to come on at all if the thermostat was set below 22oC. Now, even when set as low as 15oC, there’s a gentle heat coming from it. I wonder what that’s all about.

Whilst my mind was on thoughts of boiler, I checked out my meter readings. A year ago my gas meter read 9074 – now it reads 9405. Is that good or bad? And I read the leccie meter too, and tried to put the numbers into the on-line read your own leccie meter site. “Tried” being the operative word: the web site wouldn’t have it. My night rate for electricity shows I’ve used a negative amount of electricity since I did my last meter reading back in May. Regular readers of this drivel may recall that I’ve had leccie meters go wrong in the past. It looks like another one has gone west on me. Which is a pain.

And then to Leeds Castle. Regular readers may recall that I’ve been there twice this year with the kite club: we flew kites as an attraction for a couple of events that Leeds Castle were running. Today we were flying kites as a prelude to the firework display. So we flew kites. Which was easier said than done with the wind varying from hurricane to perfectly still on a regular basis. In between kite flying (and rescuing kites from trees) I had a mooch round the various stalls. All of which were selling food. Or that is they were offering food for sale. But they weren’t giving it away. With a bag of chips costing £2.50 I was glad we’d taken a pic-nic. And we attacked some passing Star Wars stormtroopers. I’m not sure what they were doing, but they seemed fair game to be attacked.

As the light faded we flew spirit kites (which look like Dementors from Harry Potter) before sitting down in front of a huge open-air screening of Toy Story. And once this was done the fireworks started. They lasted for half an hour, and as part of the show there was a spectacular light show which illuminated the castle, and the whole thing was set to music. Don’t get me wrong – it was a very good show: especially for us as we’d got in for free with the kite club. But the general public (all several thousands of them) had paid eighteen quid each. And in all honestly I think I would have expected more for my money when you bear in mind that the show probably wasn’t that much better than fireworks and music I’ve seen at local displays (admittedly on a smaller scale).

Coming home was fun. We made our way to the car and sat in the car for fifty minutes whilst everyone else queued to get out. Inching forwards imperceptibly, blasting hooters at each other, tempers got very frayed in the car park. We just sat and waited, and once the queues had mostly subsided, we drove straight out.
Same time next year…? If it’s another freebie. I wouldn’t pay for it.

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