Saturday, February 07, 2009

Chillin in Chilham (bad pun)

Last weekend I spent a wonderful long weekend with my longtime friends Lesley and Brian Strange in the UK (students went variously to Florence, Rome, and Amsterdam on "free weekend" trips of their choices). I've known Lesley and Brian since the late 80's when I lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio. They rented a sweet 14th century cottage in Kent, in a village called Chilham. Thus the bad pun. Our goal for the weekend, besides cooking, eating, drinking, and watching videos, was to make a pilgrimage to Canterbury using one of the overland hikes in Brian's tour books. Successful in all ambitions, we had a memorable weekend with the following highlights:

1. Saw "Woman in Mind," a play starring Lesley's friend Martin Parr at London's Vaudeville Theater. The director, Alan Ayckbourn, was in the audience but we did not meet him. However Martin joined us at a cozy pub afterward. The first photo is Lesley and Martin:

2. Went shopping for provisions at the Borough Vegetable and Fruit Market and Billingsgate Fish Market (notice the hare and partridge)
3. Our cottage, "Orion," is on the left
4. Ate - it's true - lobster, oysters, sole, squid, mixed game pie, 3 pounds of French butter. It was the best lobster I have ever tasted.

5. Wandered off to Canterbury (11 miles!) over hill and dale, and through a flock of sheep and lambs
6. Watched videos that I chose. "Downfall" was popular, not so "Trainspotting" and a Lars Von Trier film whose name I forget. I liked that one though. Ate popcorn. 2 more pounds of butter.

6. Returned during a snowstorm
7. Was snowed in! Heathrow closed down altogether. There was at least 6" of snow!
8. Took the train back through the Chunnel, Brussels, and Cologne. All's well that ends this well.

Tomorrow, the group goes to Potsdam, where we'll attempt to rent bicycles to ride to Sans Souci...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great pics. Looks like enjoyable travels. A fun FYI - in this year's new BBC version of Jane Austen's Emma, not only was Chilham the setting for Highbury, but 'your' Orion Cottage was where Miss and Mrs Bates lived!