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Return to Thanet, part 3a - Sidley

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

I arrived at Beachy Head in the evening. I had intended to stay for a couple of days. However, the wind had picked up and the warm weather had turned. On top of that, a parking attendant appeared, complaining. I went for a short walk.



I was unable to rise above my sombre mood. Later, I telephoned Michael and decided to move on to Bexhill. Although the car park that I was in was not busy, two vehicles had parked in bays that made turning around difficult. I therefore had to wait.


Eventually, the car immediately behind left. I was then able to reverse enough to make the U-turn. Michael directed me to a bit of waste ground on the edge of the village of Sidley. He and Froggy met me there. There, we had a pleasant evening with a take-away meal.


I ended up staying there for a little over three weeks. During that time, I wandered up the footpath to check out the village, introducing myself in a number of the local shops. The parade of shops include a butcher and a greengrocer, three cafés, two ‘head’ shops, two charity shops, a florist, a tattooist and four convenience shops, including a well-known supermarket ‘corner shop’, which is also the most expensive of the convenience shops. There is also a supermarket and an array of other outlets.



The bit of waste ground is teeming with life; hundreds of butterflies and caterpillars, along with thousands of grasshoppers. As I walked through the long grass, it came alive. I will go through the abundance of flora in the next post.


Common Ragwort heavy with Cinnabar caterpillars

There is also a pond full of life, including loads of frogs and a large family of very shy Moorhens.




It didn’t take long before I was spotted by some of the people who knew me from when I was at Castleham Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Hastings. One, Ian, popped by. I visited Daniel on occasions. I also had a birthday dinner there. Amy, Michael’s ex and friend, invited us over for dinner and use of a bath on a couple of occasions, which of course, was very welcome and appreciated.


Veronica, a neighbour, stopped by offering to fill my water butts when required. She also said that she had firewood, too. I thanked her, explaining that come Winter I would almost certainly take up her offer, (I will probably Winter here), especially as my health will dictate my ability to gather firewood. In fact, I have had a bit of a reminder recently. With the damp weather of late, I have suffered somewhat.


One day, I was contacted by the Trading Standards Agency. They were investigating what I was told was a roofing job in Aylesbury. It was only when they mentioned a certain sum of money that went through my bank account that I was able to shed some light on why they were contacting me. I told them the story of the Pikies who had intimidated me into moving money through my bank account.*


Another day, I received an unexpected message from Peter, the photographer who I had met at King’s Wood. It appears that there had been a flooding at his studio, followed by building work. All of which had delayed his contacting me with the results of the photo shoot.**


***


Eventually, I had notification of the funeral date. The main reason for the delay was that Greta had bought a ‘natural burial’, for which there is quite a waiting list.




*see entry Dogdy deals and weather chaos

**see entry King’s Wood

***photo courtesy of Peter J. Greenwood




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