After a very long break at last an update to life at Great Field Farm. The thing is not much changes – Lewana walked even more during lockdown as only allowed to walk with one friend at a time, and actually had time to grow more vegetables and still seemed to not have enough hours in the day. The horses have continued to keep fit and well so more riding was another pleasure, and we were able to provide limited accommodation for key workers and none of the family or guests got covid. Malcolm was able to use lockdown to build a new house, in nearby Petham, for our son and daughter-in-law (to passiv house standards), a culmination of all the knowledge and expertise he’s acquired through our expansion into “green” holiday barns, which are more popular than ever.
We are pleased to welcome back a family of doves who have rested again in the horse barn, 2 little offspring have just successfully flown the nest. We’ve watched as a very tame robin built its nest in a shed as has a blackbird and pigeon, in the ivy around the kitchen window. The hares are still popping up all around the house and barns and we feel honoured by their presence and trust in us.
Whilst walking in Denge wood at Petham Lewana was delighted at the sheer number of different wild orchids there, and the delicate blue of fields of linseed near-by. https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/woods/denge-pennypot-wood/ More fields of grape vines are appearing and vineyards are expanding into more diverse ways to encourage people to enjoy the delicious wines.
We have just had a most lovely evening gin tasting at Terlingham Vineyard at near-by Hawkinge, with glorious views over the English Channel. The daughters of the family run business entertained and waited on us with generous amounts of gin which we made into cocktails, and delicious platters of nibbles, charcuterie and cheeses, followed by coffee and cake – even we were too full to accept offers of more delectable choc fudge cake. Their vineyards are natural, like organic, only better, growing in harmony with the surroundings. Their wines and gin are really exceptional. https://terlinghamvineyard.co.uk/
We have also enjoyed tastings and events at Hush Heath Estate and Vineyard, where you’re free to wander over 400 acres of vines, orchards, woodland and wildflower meadows. https://balfourwinery.com/
Our daughter and teenage grandchildren are at last able to visit from Australia, so we’re going to visit Go Ape at Leeds Castle https://goape.co.uk/locations/leeds-castle Escape in the Tower, Canterbury https://www.onepoundlane.co.uk/escape Canoe Wild, Grove Ferry, near Canterbury https://www.canoewild.co.uk/ and F51, an amazing new indoor skate park and climbing wall centre in Folkestone. https://f51.co.uk/
Also in Folkestone the Harbour Arm is a delight with a quirky champagne bar in the lighthouse at the end of the pier and little restaurants, free music events and craft markets. https://folkestoneharbourarm.co.uk/
Another treat is going to the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne and see the old planes and White Cliffs in the background. Very evocative and informative. https://www.battleofbritainmemorial.org/
Our local pub, The George on Stone Street now hosts some very good Blues bands on a Tuesday night and has a very friendly and cosy atmosphere. https://www.thegeorgeonstonestreet.co.uk/
The weather has been fantastic here, always the driest and sunniest part of the country, anyway, hopefully remaining that way for August and September, as it did last year, as we look forward to the Air Show in Folkestone https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/airdisplay2022 and the local ploughing matches. https://www.ekpma.co.uk/event https://www.wkpma.co.uk/
I'll sign off now, as I sit listening to all the birdsong around me in the garden, the blue sky above, grateful I live in such a lovely place, where the air is full of delicious scents of wild garlic, pine, new mown hay, honeyed aromas of the wild flowers, wheat and barley now in full beauty as it ripens, just all the greenery around us.