My journey had been unexpectedly interrupted. I was now way back on the Isle of Thanet in northeast Kent, right back where I was last year. What to do? If I start out for Cornwall again, I’ll be crossing the moors in the middle of Winter. Not a good idea! Also, I am hoping to receive word as to when I can expect the tribunal hearing regarding my application for PIP. For me to attend that, I will need to be in Sussex. Therefore, there’s no point going too far. I decided to head back to Chilham to catch up with friends.
I popped into the supermarket to top up with some groceries, before tacking down and moving on. We arrived at the car park at Chilham after an uneventful journey. It was very busy with camper vans from an array of different nations. Over the period of time that I was parked there, most were German and French, plus Swiss, Dutch and even British. Of course, there was little to no internet signal. Within half an hour of arriving there, people were waving and saying hello again. Some friends also popped by.
The next morning, I plumped for going to Badgers Garden Centre just along the main road. As you may remember, they had delivered hot food to me last Winter.* I know that the village has little to no internet signal and wondered whether there might be good signal in their café, or better still, wi-fi. I walked along the road and as I arrived at the garden centre, who should turn in but John, who I had spent so much time with during my time in Chilham last Winter. It was great catching up with him. We chatted for ages. John knew that I had returned. Barry had telephoned him after spotting me the previous evening. Later, I stayed to make use of the great internet connection.
Of course, I popped into the tea room to see Barry and Donna. I then went for a walk around the gardens of the castle. It was a lovely day. I was impressed by the amount and quality of garden furniture that has been placed around the gardens. Everything from antique wrought iron seats to beautiful carved park benches.
I inevitably went to the pub, where I discovered that there had been some changes. Staff had left for various reasons, replaced with new. My favourite serving wench, Claire, had left for logistical reasons. She is now working within her own locality. Ryder was as brilliant as ever. It was good to see him and spend some time with him.
After the weekend, I tacked down and relocated to Mountain Street.** I wanted to see Eleodor, the postman. I missed him on the first day; I had gone over to Elham to visit Mark and Kaz. Things had changed there, too. Mark and Kaz had moved to a different pitch, having sold the big American style camper they lived in. Unfortunately, they were nowhere to be found. I hung around for a bit and had a shower. Eventually, I reluctantly headed home. As I opened the door, I found a post office calling card with a note saying ‘WELCOME BACK’.
That evening, just chilling, I became aware of some-one shouting abuse. I looked out of the window and saw one of those modern hatchback cars, a Citroën, I believe, heading towards Hurst Farm.
The next day, Eleodor stopped by for a chat. He showed me the photos of his holiday in Cornwall. If you remember, I had suggested a few places to visit. His family had thoroughly enjoyed their visit and are keen to go again. I said that I could give him some other suggestions with an alternative route through Devon. He said that he would definitely take me up on that. I mentioned the abuse that I had received, which surprised him. He was also disappointed to hear that I wouldn’t be staying long.
That evening, a car pulled up, whereupon the occupant, a fat old woman with a mouth like a sewer, as it turned out, began hurling abuse in my direction. The gist of which was, “Move that fucking heap of shit from here!” By the time I had opened the door to speak to her, she had shot off in the direction of the old farm. I was surprised to hear such language from some-one who lives at Hurst Farm. It was more akin to a chav from a run-down council estate.
I was obviously not welcome. I therefore resolved to move on. I got the map out and planned out a route across the Weald to visit my mum.
*see entry Surviving freezing temperatures
**see entry Mountain Street