Since being in lockdown we have tried to get out for a decent walk every single day regardless of the weather as it keeps us fit and healthy and more importantly helps to avoid that ‘cabin fever’ feeling that is so easy to sink into.
Jo and Wendy have been regularly heading out around the lanes and footpaths of Bearsted and Otham but Ryan and I have been restricted to Mote Park or the town centre. Not really a problem but we fancied a proper walk out somewhere to ‘blow away those cobwebs’.
Whitstable is a small seaside town on the north coast of Kent famous for it’s oysters and shellfish. It’s only 30 minutes away so we headed up and wrapped up for a wander along the beach. We came here a lot when we lived in Maidstone and the boys were young and spent many hours exploring the harbour and beach with them so it brought a whole load of memories back for both of us.
With most of the harbour stalls and cafes closed due to the UK’s current lockdown it felt a little strange but a steady stream of dogwalkers and takeaway-coffee-drinkers kept the place feeling alive. Without Jo beside me it was left to Ryan to take over plaque-reading duties and he threw himself into the role with relish. Reading everything from Oyster fishing to how Peter Cushing lived here he kept the walk commentary running throughout.
Cutting back into the quaint high street we stopped for one of the best sausage rolls ever at Hubbards Bakery. So good in fact that Ryan is planning a return trip JUST to pick up another couple of them next week! We should have taken a photo but they didn’t last long enough. May not quite pip Wendy’s sausage rolls yet but they were so good.
Then a relaxing walk past all of the lovely independent shops that must be seriously struggling with enforced closure this month. Hopefully December 2nd will see them reopening and getting a bit of business going again.
The Richard Montgomery
The most interesting plaque that Ryan discovered referred to a shipwreck located roughly a mile from the shore. In August 1944 a US Liberty ship called the SS Richard Montgomery ran aground on a sand bank and broke in two. It was loaded with high explosives and the wreck still contains 1400 tons of explosives that are becoming more and more unstable as the years go by.
It’s too dangerous to clear and too dangerous to leave! If the ship did blow then the resulting explosion could cause a 10,000 foot high column of water and debris almost 1,000 feet wide. The explosion could seriously damage the nearby town of Sheerness and create a serious 15 foot wave causing flooding on both sides of the Thames. Scary huh?
The three masts or the SS Richard Montgomery are always visible now and pose a significant danger that is monitored daily by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
A quick drive up the hill to Tankerton for a spot of picnic lunch in the car and a seriously windy walk along the front completed our day out. By the time we got back home those cobwebs had been well and truly blasted away!
Fat Cat Patisserie
Whilst we had been messing around and wandering, Jo had been really on it assisting Wendy with some top class baking for the Fat Cat Pattiserie. A wonderful birthday cake by Wendy with individually hand-made flowers courtesy of my fellow JWalker. Clever aren’t they?
Not to be outdone, well perhaps I’m pushing the case a little bit here, Ryan got his chefs hat well and truly on and created this fabulously tasty dinner last night. Neither he nor I are natural cooks so we have been taking it in turns to cook dinner these past three weeks and try and improve our culinary skills. He’s coming a storm I reckon and ‘Hells Kitchen‘ may well have to be renamed soon!
Not long to go now at our respective lockdown locations and although we have both loved our sociable stays we are really looking forward to getting back together. Not sure either of us could handle the single life at all. So fingers crossed now that our Canterbury housesit is still ‘all systems go‘ as we start to prepare to move out of lockdown.
21/11 – 29/11/2020