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Fly Folkestone: Folkestone Airshow 2014

By 9 June 2014 Folkestone, Life, Lifestyle, Travel
Folkestone Airshow collage

This weekend saw the welcome return of the Folkestone Airshow. And the sun didn’t half come out to say hello!

After a spectacular downpour, the sky gradually cleared and turned into a real scorcher. Hubby and I just made it to The Leas in time for the Red Arrows display to start. We should have got there earlier to secure a decent spot. It was really hard to see the planes through the trees. For the last airshow we camped out on the beach for the day and I think that needs to be the plan for the next one.

Red Arrows downwards branch out

Red Arrows flying away

Red Arrows flying in formation with the red white and blue smoke

Red Arrows flying to the sun

Red Arrows soaring up high

I love the Red Arrows and I even felt myself get a tad emotional during their display. Yes, I know I’m a weirdo. Luckily I kept it together.

I don’t know what it is about planes. I’m fascinated by them. I briefly worked near Gatwick and could see the planes taking off from just outside work, and I’d frequently get the bus to the airport to get the train rather than using my nearest station just to experience the atmosphere at the airport. It’s probably because it reminds me of my travels.

Anyhoo, I digress. Back to the airshow. It was packed and it was fantastic to see. We’d totally worn the wrong clothes though and ended up having to walk home mid afternoon for a quick shower and change of outfit. Coming back out in summer clothing was much more comfortable! We walked all the way along The Leas, went on a Eurofighter flight simulator and kept walking until we left all the crowds behind.

Spitfire at Folkestone Airshow

Looking down toward the beach, you could almost be in the south of France. The sea was a beautiful colour on Saturday.

Sandgate Beach

Dinner was fish and chips eaten out the paper on the beach at Sandgate. Bliss. Even if I did have to ignore the seagulls circling hungrily above my head just praying that I wasn’t going to eat all my fish. Those birds obviously don’t know me at all.

We strolled home with full bellies and the sun still warm on our bodies along the seafront and back into Folkestone, where the harbour was looking magnificent in the late evening sunlight.

Folkestone harbour with clouds

Folkestone Harbour

The organisers were hoping to continue the airshow as an annual affair but from what I’ve heard they might not have raised enough money this year so it might not be happening in 2015. I think that would be a real shame.

Meanwhile, I’m scoping out tickets to Farnborough International Airshow but unlike Folkestone this isn’t free to enter. It’s £45 each! Mmm… anyone want to buy me a ticket or two?

Do you like airshows? Where have you seen the Red Arrows?

Rachel x

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A Weekend Wander in Wye

By 4 June 2014 Kent, Life, Lifestyle, Travel, United Kingdom
Weekend wander in Wye

Apologies, posts have been a bit sporadic lately. After doing Blog Every Day in May for three and a half weeks, I felt like having a little bit of a rest. Posting everyday is pretty demanding! From BEDM, I learnt that it’s great to have a schedule and the topic prompts really gave me something to work with.

So I’m going to start working out a plan to keep me in posts for weeks to come. Not sure when though since it’s the Folkestone Airshow this weekend and hubby’s taking me out for Sunday lunch!

How gorgeous was the weather last weekend?

Last weekend, we took advantage of the lovely weather and went for a little jaunt over to a very pretty village not too far from us. Wye is about 4 miles outside of Ashford in Kent and it’s so lovely. I’d never been there before but I’ve always had this feeling that I’d want to live there. And I do! As soon as we got there I felt instantly at home.

We parked the car in the main street and went for a little wander around the village. Not forgetting to visit the pub of course, which is called The Tickled Trout! It’s not the only pub in the village, there are another two, but this is the only one that’s situated right next to the river with a gorgeous beer garden where you can enjoy a drink with the river flowing by.

The Tickled Trout, Wye

Pub beer garden at The Tickled Trout

This photo makes it look like we had the pub beer garden to ourselves. That was definitely not the case!

Marc at the pub

Hubby doing the honours opening the nuts!

The village is lined with gorgeous cottages and matching cottage gardens bursting with colour. How I’d love to transform our patch of pavement at the front of our house, which is home to the wheelie bins and a lonely, straggly dandelion, into a quaint cottage garden. Not likely!

Critically acclaimed village

Apparently, it’s quite normal that I should want to live there. Wye was named third best place to live in the UK by the Sunday Times in 2013, or something along those lines according to the 100% accurate source of information that is Wikipedia.

Pretty cottages in Wye

Wye church

There’s even a primary school (not needed just yet but handy to plan ahead) and one of those much-debated ‘free schools’ for secondary aged kids. The main street houses a butchers, post office, bakery and other little independent shops.

Strolling down the streets late on a Saturday afternoon we hardly saw another soul and traffic was minimal. It was pure bliss. Worlds away from our house with the trains running past, cars revving, and sirens blaring down the main road.

Pretending I can move house, just another average day…

Sitting in the pub garden (which seemed to be where everyone was hiding) we even checked Rightmove to choose a house! Turns out we might be able to afford to live there one day – only renting mind. £200,000 for an ickle two-bed cottage. But we’ve pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that we won’t be able to afford to buy a house for the foreseeable future. Now which political party were talking about rent control?…

As I mentioned above, this weekend heralds the return of the Folkestone Airshow. It used to be an annual event until about 2001, 2002? Not sure. Anyhoo, they cancelled it until 2012 when it came back with a vengeance. The town was rammed. They tried to organise another one for 2013 but couldn’t get the funding sorted in time but we still got the Red Arrows. Seems like they’re non-refundable. A bit like knickers from Primark!

So we won’t dare move the car on Saturday as someone will nick our spot and we won’t be able to park in the town let alone outside our house! Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain and we can take our folding chairs down to The Leas to watch the action.

What are you planning for this weekend?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Leeds Castle Supercar Siege

By 18 May 2014 Kent, Life, Lifestyle, Travel
Leeds Castle Supercar Siege - Caterhams with the castle in the background

We’ve been meaning to go to Leeds Castle for about a year now. Last year it just never happened. Then, on our drive back from Bristol, we passed the castle. I turned to hubby and said, “We really must go to Leeds Castle at some point.” To which he responded, “How do you know I’m not already planning a day out?”

Well, a week later I was invited to look at the printer, and sitting there were two tickets to Leeds Castle! Hubby chose to coincide our visit with the Supercar Siege, basically a car show. What’s cool is that today also coincides with the ‘museum’ prompt for #BEDM (Blog Every Day in May) so I can tell you about our day out without veering away from the today’s topic.

Of course, the day we booked to go is the hottest day of the year so far! The queue into the car park started about a mile away.

The castle is set in such beautiful grounds; it was lovely to walk around in the sunshine. Leeds Castle has undergone much transformation in it’s 1000 year history. The first stone castle was built in the 12th century on the site of a Saxon manor. Throughout the ages, Leeds Castle has been home to Normans, Tudor kings and queens, and private owners. The most recent resident, Lady Baillie, died in 1974, leaving the castle to be managed by the Leeds Castle Foundation as a tourist attraction.

Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent

After a scrummy picnic on the grass we gawped at all the cars! Hubby’s a big car fan and I can appreciate the good looks.

Supercars at Leeds Castle

We had a brilliant day, even though we got lost in the maze for about half an hour and got sunburnt because we forgot to put sun cream on!

How was your weekend?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Gadget Wish List

By 7 May 2014 Folkestone, Life, Lifestyle
Gadget wish list

Today’s post is a wish list. If I was to win the lottery, these beauties would definitely be on my shopping list!

Dream Gadgets - Blog every day in May

One – 65″ Curved Ultra HD TV

I love these sleek, curved TVs! This one promises an ultra sharp picture and crisp colours. It would make all our Blu Ray discs look awesome. However at £4k, it’s not going to be in my living room any time soon.

Two – Gorgeous KitchenAid stand mixer

One day I will have one of these. The stand mixer represents the ultimate in kitchen convenience. How much easier would it be to bake if you don’t have to hold the hand mixer? Again, these a so expensive. So there won’t be one gracing my kitchen work top in the near future, more’s the pity. This white one would go nicely with my white kettle and toaster.

Three – iPad Air

Joining my list of dream gadgets that I can’t afford is the new iPad Air. I’ve lusted over iPads ever since they came out but I just can’t have one 🙁 I’ve had a hold of the iPad Air in the Apple Store and it’s so light compared with the older models. Very nice.

Four – Pink FITBIT Flex

Hooray! A gadget I could actually afford! Although at £80 I’m not sure I could justify the expense. I do love this pink colour though. I’d be particularly interested in working out how well I sleep. I can have 6.5 hours sleep and be knackered but have 8.5 and I don’t seem to feel much more lively. It would be cool to learn how much I actually need. I never seem to wake up refreshed unless it’s about 10am!

What’s on your gadget wish list?

Rachel x

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Colourful Folkestone

By 23 March 2014 Folkestone, Lifestyle, Photography

Firstly, apologies for the lack of Friday Photo this week. I didn’t get home until late on Friday as we had a charity games night, which involved me eating about 5 slices of pizza and later feeling incredibly bloated!

This last week has been busy as usual. What with my exciting news on Monday, and having Wednesday off, the week swept by once again. On my day off I spent about 6 hours on a photographic mission, which was a vain attempt to find the perfect red, white and blue photograph for the #Blog4Trek competition being run by Trek America. The rubbish, overcast sky meant that all my photos were pretty flat and my hopes for using the sky as the ‘blue’, were dashed.  Luckily, I have tonnes of photos from my travels, so I was able to choose a classic from my collection.

Despite the grey day, I managed to explore colourful Folkestone. It was windy but with my cosy earmuffs on it was like I was in my own little world; they block out a surprising amount of noise! I had a lovely, quiet walk around and still took plenty of photos. If you click on any of the photographs in the revolving gallery above, they’ll expand so you can see them in full. No one wants to see half a fox!

I love living in Folkestone, so it gets me down when I hear people complaining about the town. There is a lot of negativity, especially on social media about Folkestone, mostly from the people who live here. I don’t understand why they don’t go and live somewhere else if they hate it so much! We have a great number of festivals, the airshow returning this year and the Triennial, which is very exciting and will be the topic of another blog post 🙂 Actual Yoko Ono is coming to Folkestone! I know, right?!

The creative side of the town means that there are lots of projects and cool things happening, such as the Noel’s Yard community project (pictured above). This forgotten part of town has been transformed into a bright and exciting space. Take a look at this article on the local council’s website for the before and after photos.

I hope there are more projects like this, and particularly, I hope that no one messes them up by scrawling on the walls or stealing the flower pots. Fingers crossed.

I hope you enjoy my photographs of colourful Folkestone. Does your town have any colourful artworks or buildings? If you’ve written about them, I’d love for you to leave your links in the comments.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Rachel x

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