Saturday: Gorillas in the mist...no, my mistake, sheep.

From the same comfy chair, Kent, not too far from the English Channel

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Did I mention that when you step off the train in Carmarthen in Wales after a trip from Paris, the first thing you notice is the smell of cows in fields? It makes you smile.

Staplehurst in Kent has heavy damp autumn air which smells of newly turned soil. That makes you smile too.

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A Saturday morning misty walk to the butcher and tiny crowded fruit and veg shop in the village is best followed by a ploughman’s lunch at a real Kentish pub, then a drive through villages in landscape which is rolling and then rolled flat. You pass a shallow, narrow ditch, I mean canal, dug to defeat Napoleon’s feared invasion. Presumably the horses would get a foot stuck in it...? Your excursion ends at an endless beach along the English Channel. (Is it called the French Channel on the other side?) The tide is way way out so your admiration for swimmers of said Channel evaporates as you realise they simply wade across.

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You might discover a delightful pink tea shop on the way home run by a lovely gay couple, men, each delicate teacup being different, each tablecloth different, then discover how ingrained certain stereotypes are when the men’s wives turn up.

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On the way home the temperature may fall as the sun, already low, gives up the ghost. At the same time you see that mist is beginning to fill the darkening fields, the hedges behaving like the sides of a wading pool. The road is perfectly clear but on the other side of the tangled and shorn hawthorn, blackthorn and rose, sheep and cattle stand legless in the spreading wisps of cotton wool. Your camera tries its best but hasn’t a hope.

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In the evening you might pootle along to a village supper where yet again you discover how paltry your knowledge is of theme songs of movies and famous bridges of the world. Except for Sydney’s. And “Titanic”.