Friday: I went to Kent

Leaning back chair, lovely snuggly house, Staplehurst, Kent



From Carmarthen in Wales by car to Swansea, coach to London Victoria coach terminal, train from Victoria Station to Maidstone East in Kent, bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich and cuppa, lift with friend to her house in Staplehurst through lovely lovely lovely countryside.



Communication may be a bit infrequent over the next week as the internet at the house may not want to co-operate. Speaking of communication...

A welsh chap behind me on the bus to London made a very many kilometers long, loud, and personal phonecall to his girlfriend despite the driver asking people to keep calls quite and brief. His accent stopped being cute just the other side of Cardiff. His girlfriend was worried about giving her dog chocolate, but our hero said chocolate is perfectly fine for dogs. Swear. No it’s perfectly safe. I mean, says he, what about those chocolate drops for dogs? They have chocolate in them. Trust me, he said. I should know. I used to eat them...



London’s Victoria station starts out looking exactly like a shopping mall. As you wheel your bag along past women’s wear and mobile phone shops, you have JUST reached the conclusion that you have entered a trendily named “Victoria Station” retail complex which has nothing to do with public transport when you spot a sign actually mentioning trains.
You watch the board for your platform number, then make a dash to the waiting train, settle into your seat and prepare to enjoy the green fields slip past as the woman in front begins a loud and animated dialogue to her husband in a language you don’t recognise and you wonder for the whole hour to Maidstone East what she can possibly have so much to say about.



Then you find yourself being driven amongst hedges, winding roads, pointy oast houses (originally for drying hops), through rich late evening light to a cosy house with a garden in the back from which broccoli is snipped for dinner. Ah, this green and pleasant land.