Can you call it a mini break if you only went for one night?
On Tuesday, Teenage Daughter #2 and I were up bright and early, all excited (well I was) and loading up the car to drive down to Kent. My cousin (actually The Old Man's cousins's wife, but for the purposes of this she is my cousin) and her Old Man are lucky enough to have a cottage in a village near Deal and we were going down there to see them and spend the night. Now I love it there and will go there at any opportunity. When I was a girl we used to go to a holiday camp in the very village where they now have the cottage so if holds fond memories for me. They've had the place for over twenty years now so I've had lots of trips there including boozy girls' weekends, holidays with Teenage Daughter #1 when she was a baby, summer holidays with my sister and all our daughters and family weekends where there were so many of us we had to pitch a tent on the back lawn. Love it, love it, love it and could very easily live there.
So, we were there by about 11am, had a quick cup of tea and a shufty at cousin's new china acquisitions, and we set of for Deal to hit the shops.
Years ago Deal was quite fusty and old fashioned (although now to me that's a bonus) and there was nothing much to draw you there unless you liked looking at people with anoraks and boring shops. All that has changed considerably and although it still feels quite sleepy and sedate there are a growing number of independent shops, lots of little street cafes and I have even been there once when there was a French market taking place. (Never seen this since sadly, or I would be breaking my neck to get to it.)
So a few (rubbish) photos. Please be aware that Teenage Daughter #2 moaned at me the whole time, threatened to withdraw use of her camera and tried to hide every time I took a picture. I have also not told anyone but The Old Man, my sister and The Teenagers about the blog so the cousin thought I had gone a bit mental with all the photo taking.
Right here goes.
Had enough of side streets now? Yes I thought so, I'll move on. But not before telling you that the last picture is a side on view of the best fish and chip shop in the world ever. Middle Street Fish Bar. They also have a restaurant in the back. The opening times are a bit hit and miss, they don't have to try very hard, but I would walk to Deal from here to eat that fish and chips I tell you. Lovely bit of tucker indeed.
The next bit is called Cafes. (There are loads more but I was getting fed up with the tutting and eye rolling.)
Next we have a few randoms.
Now you have feasted your eyes on all this photographic wonderfulness I will move on to the lane where the cottage is. It is glorious, a typical English country village with a duck pond in her lane (picture to follow I bet you can't wait) and lovely cottages.
Right, ready? (Please excuse bits of my car in the following pictures, I was hanging out the window and driving with one hand.)
Anyway, we had great fun, lots of in and out of charity shops and twiddly dee shops, while Mr Cousin sat on the beach with the papers, fish and chips in Middle Street, then back to the cottage for tea and cakes and a crochet lesson for my cousin. I taught someone to crochet! And she ended up getting it!
We sat at her kitchen table all evening (while Teenage Daughter did some knitting and watched telly with Mr Cousin, bless her,) and at one stage it was looking so hopeless that I ordered a children's crochet book from Amazon to be sent to her in London. (They live in Highbury, right near Upper Street and The Angel. Another of my favourite places and right where I grew up.) But then all of a sudden I could see it was starting to click and when I got up yesterday morning at 6am she was already sitting at the table with her glasses on the end of her nose, her tongue poking out and having another go at her first granny square. She has texted me this morning to tell me she has made five and ought she buy some more wool! I'm sure we all like buying the wool as much as the crochet itself.
So, a good time was had by all and we left yesterday morning, stopping off at Ashford to pop in the Ralph Lauren shop because it is The Old Man's birthday on Saturday and then went straight to my sister's.
Now I took a few photos in Rochester too but I can understand that this could be too much of a good thing so I might save these for another day.
All chazza purchases (and there were loads, believe me...) are going to be photographed at some stage today for later use.
Oh all right...
Oh yes and these from Deal.