This weekend John and I headed out of London for a little relaxation, 'me time' and walking in Kent. We had booked an hotel in Folkestone which is a coastal town on the English Channel. You can see the french coast quite clearly as this point is the the narrowest part of the channel. The town is an odd mix and is trying to reinvent itself. It used to have a busy ferry terminal but with the channel tunnel this has stopped. The town was due to start redevelopment but the economic recession has put this back. However having said all that we enjoyed our weekend and everyone was so friendly .
Saturday was our explore Folkestone day. John had already checked the internet to see if there was a quilt shop so the first thing we decided to do was find the shop. We managed to misread the map at first but eventually found it. Kathy's Patch had a great range of fabric.
I wanted some fat quarters for use in a couple of projects. John bought me the FQ bundle which has English florals. These will be used in my Austen Family Album quilt.
The pansy and tulip fabric is for use in Lucy's grandmother's garden quilt. The remaining 4 are for projects not yet started.
I also got this lovely bunny fabric. Hannah our young leader at Guides is going to university in September and I want to make her a quilt. I love the sentiments on this fabric, 'cherish the moments' and 'follow your dreams'. I haven't finalised the design yet but this fabric will be somewhere in the quilt. An odd group of fabrics for me as the colours are quite muted but I like them all.
As we walked back in the town center along the Leas we watched a man with a beautiful German Shepard. The dog was so well trained and we stood and watch. I wish Scamp was half as well trained! We got talking to the man and had a fascinating conversation with him about his life and how his first job when he was 14 was as an apprentice poacher. Not something you see on many CV's
The Leas are the town's promenade but rather than along the shoreline it is on the cliff above. It is a pleasant walk with gardens and band stand and great views across the sea. We spent several hours walking around obviously stopping for coffee and lunch. We spent some time down by the harbour. I took this photo of the back part of the harbour but the tide was out.
Oophs I had to trim some of the photo off as I had my finger over part of the lens. I forgot to take my camera with me so was using my phone.
We just had to have a ride on the lift. The cliff lift is a water balanced funicular which opened in 1885. It is still the original lift that is in daily use. The lift has two cars connected by a rope over a wheel at the top. When the brake is released the top car's water tank is filled with water that makes it heavier than the bottom car so it descends and pulls the other car to the top Once at the bottom the water is released from the reservoir and pumped back to the top reservoir ready to be reused. It was a fun ride.
The weekend was supposed to be very wet but the only time it rained we were in the Lavendar Tea Rooms enjoying afternoon tea. I had scone with jam and cream and John enjoyed a slice of delicious carrot cake. They had an amazing range of teas and I chose Formosa Oolong Orange Blossom tea. It was really citrus tasting and very refreshing. I would have bought a pack of it but they had sold out. Never mind with the aid of the internet I will soon have some to enjoy at home.
Towards the end of the day we walked along Sunny Sand beach. Everyone had gone home and the wind was a little blowy but the sand was fun.
Towards the back of the beach were large stones that were covered in algae and seaweed. I just loved the brilliant green. The stones also created pools but we didn't find very much in them.
For dinner we got some take out fish and chips and sat overlooking the harbour to eat them. The fish was really fresh and delicious. Whenever we go away we like to have fish and chips, not sure why but it has become a bit of a tradition.
On Sunday we drove to Dungeness as there was a walk we wanted to do. Dungeness is a headland on the Kent coast formed mostly by a shingle beach. It is one of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe and is classified as Britain's only desert as it is very dry and lacks surface vegetation. It is also important as an international conservation area.
As you can see it is very flat. The black tower in the middle of the picture is the old lighthouse and in the background is its other claim to fame, the nuclear power station
This was taken standing in the same place but facing the other way and is looking out towards the sea. If you can work out where the sea meets the sky you are doing better than I did.
The first two miles of the walk was along the shingle beach which left my legs feeling shaky. The walk then went through the RSPB nature reserve where we were lucky enough to see 9 hobbys.
The last part of the walk was again over shingle again very tiring and not what you want at the end. Still it had been a good walk of 8 miles. In total over the weekend we clocked up 22 miles of walking.
I didn't take any sewing with me this weekend. Instead I took my sketchbook and had fun with that. This was a me (and John) weekend, no work, no children, no pets. Just time to relax and do what we wanted. It was a very successful weekend. We didn't manage any weekends away on our own when our children were younger as we had no one we could leave them with. Now they are grown up we can leave the pets with them and grab a little space for us. Thank you Richard for looking after Picasso and Scamp.
Finally I was recently lucky enough to win a give away run by Sharon at Vroomans Quilts. My prize is this lovely jelly roll.
I have a project in mind but it will have to wait until the summer holidays. Thank you Sharon.
I hope you have had a good holiday weekend and made a little 'me time'.