Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Four and Twenty Blackbirds .......

I've been away again this weekend - that's two weekends running with NO television and therefore no election coverage.   I think I may have to keep this up until the second week in May.  I've been to Rye near Hastings with my friends Jill and Julia. 
We stopped at Tenderden for coffee on the way down and popped in a few shops (charity and otherwise) while we were there.  I DIDN'T buy a very nice dress in Phase Eight, which saved me 90 quid, so consequently that gave me plenty to play with over the rest of the weekend.  (I'm sorry if you don't understand the logic behind that last sentence - I'm guessing you must be a bloke?)
We did buy these spoons though -

All three of us thought they were beautiful and just right for eating ice cream sundaes.    Ok, so we don't do that very often, and we did agreed that none of us really needed six spoons.  But then I suggested we buy one set and have two each, so that was another purchase justified.  Everyone needs two brightly coloured plastic knickerbocker glory spoons, don't they?  I nabbed the fuchsia pink and the bright orange ones and I left the other two to fight over the rest.
I'll gloss over the rest of the purchases for now.
Anyway, we made our way to Peasmarsh and found Carters Farm where we were staying, in Pond Cottage

It was lovely - and we were lucky enough to have the best weekend weather-wise so far this year.  But then, as I've probably said before, the sun always shines .....
Saturday we drove into Rye and explored some of the second hand shops

("Antique" is probably overdoing it a bit, and  the term 'junk shop' doesn't really do justice to the prices they were charging for some things) but we had a lovely time looking and bought a few little treasures.  I then suggested that we drive over to Dungeness as I'd read about Derek Jarman's (Film Director/Artist/Writer) house and garden on the stony beach and I'd always wanted to see it.  The others hadn't read about the cottage and after a bit of driving backwards and forwards, I think they were beginning to think that I was making it up.    But I found it -
I quite liked the cottage, and the garden was interesting, but it's rather an odd choice of location - unless you are a bit of a loner and particularly drawn to stony beaches, broken down shacks and find beauty in the architecture of a nearby power station. 
Anyway, I was pleased I'd finally seen it, and the girls said they were glad they'd been too, that it was an 'unusual' place that was different to anywhere else they could think off (my mates are nothing if not polite).  And to save you the journey, here are a couple more shots of the surrounding picturesque landscape ...
I think I saw the place in the photo above in an Estate Agent's window, described as "Bijou weekend cottage, away from the hurly burly, in need of some modernisation"  Apparently it had belonged to an MP who was claiming it as his second home. 
On Sunday it was back to Rye, but this time, as it was such a glorious day we decided to walk from the farm, across the fields, past loads of these ...
It was all going very nicely until the footpath sign indicated that we should cross here.  Jill volunteered to be the intrepid explorer to go first ....
but then one of the tree trunks wobbled, and she suddenly felt a bit less intrepid and changed her mind
Anyway, we did manage to find our way to Rye and had a really good day wandering around the town
past the author Henry James' house

Then a bit more vintage/junk shop browsing, and finally exploring a fabulous church, that had magnificent stained glass windows, including this one by William Morris' mate, Byrne-Jones.  This window was used in a design for a postage stamp (see bottom left hand corner)

We even bravely climbed up the (very narrow) steps into the bell tower and out onto the roof  for some stunning views.

Our cottage is past the farthest trees on the horizon in the next picture - (AND we walked back too!)

Definitely worth it, even though we did have to come down the steep wooden stairs in the church tower backwards.  So with all that walking and climbing,  I don't think we need to feel at all guilty for popping in here ....
I love these old sweetshops - just like the proper sweetshops my Grandad used to have when I was little.  I got butterscotch filled with chocolate, Julia went for a couple of licquorice wands, and Jill chose Clove balls.  They smelt disgusting and I was very tempted to pop a moth ball into her bag to see if she could taste the difference, but I managed to control the urge.
Lovely weekend, with great company, and we are all in favour of going back there sometime.
PS - Maggie Grey very kindly mentioned my blog in her article in Workbox magazine - and I've tried everywhere to get a copy but no luck.  If there's anyone who has the April/May copy of the magazine and they don't save it forever, please can I have it when you've done with it.  I may never be in print again.
STOP PRESS!! My lovely sister managed to get me a copy of Workbox from Kings Lynn this morning so problem solved!


  1. What a lovely and interesting place to stay,Nice to see some old fashion sweet shops remain

  2. ooh lovely. Do you know you have the same pic in twice near the beginning?