As a result of Labour's magnificent management of Britain Plc, many of us including me, no longer have the opportunity once or twice a year to admire this country from afar, my own preference being Majorca or New York, now more distant than I ever thought possible.
I have been lucky in past years to afford to travel and will no doubt do so again, currently the choice is stark, since work can be scarce, irregular, and available at short notice, so a planned break is not possible, so even the staycation, is not practical, so its the nocation for me this year.
Still even having the odd day here and there is better than nothing, and certainly there are worse places to find yourself unable to take a proper holiday, even with little money, here in Thanet we have various attractions in the summer months where you can find yourself entertained for free, at events like the folk festival in Broadstairs or the Dippers and Dunkers event in Margate or just have a trip down the beach.
Obviously a proper break generally is experiencing the unfamiliar, something we don't encounter on a daily basis, so the highlight for my year so far, was driving a few miles out of town with Mrs Me, the objective to take a stroll round the gardens at Goodnestone, as it happened, this didn't happen, since driving into the village around lunch time, the pub looked more of a priority destination, than some blooming gardens.
Fortunately Mrs Me agreed and we had a leisurely lunch at the Fitzwalter Arms, the set menu around fifteen quid a head, a bit more refined than my taste buds are use too but very good and as important, a pleasant dining area, with the pub located in a beautiful and tranquil village.
Having relaxed till about three, we took the short walk toward Goodnestone Park, decided that given the time, it was too late to embark on a tour of the gardens and anyhow the village church was open, so we took a gander, around the church instead, followed with a walk in the countryside around the village.
Not having a OS map, we walked vaguely in the direction, suggested by a Public Footpath sign, as with pretty much all these pointers, they always seem hazy the further you walk from them, so within a minute, you have little confidence of the direction your walking and being in unfamiliar territory, you half expect to be challenged with some shot gun toting farmer, requesting you get offa their land, this didn't happen and we walked unimpeded coming across a pen populated with what looked like from a distance a colony of miniature velociraptors ( during this week the papers had been full of cloned cows, giant rats and miniature pigs) however on closer inspection I realised they were in fact err baby turkeys.
That was highlight of our ramble, we returned to the car, having a final encounter with nature, a playful field rat scampered across the road, as I adjusted my newly acquired Iphone Sat Nav app Skobbler (not bad for the price) only £1.19, and set a course for Wickhambreaux, where we enjoyed another another walk and probably caused the residents to consider the downside of living, in such a visually perfect village, as we fanaticised about escaping the cultural riches of Margate.
Hopefully I will get to visit Goodnestone Park another year, still if you have nothing spoiling and time on your side click here for details, but make time for lunch in the local.