Gay Outdoor Club
The activity club for gay men and women and their friends

A fun day out at Groombridge, Kent, May 2012

14 May 2012 | East Kent, London, West Kent Groups
Photo

Swingers or swings… doesn't matter, the Swingers amongst us ( I mean those who participated on the swings, of course), had loads of fun and provided lots of giggles for those with only voyueristic involvement!

I sit here wondering why our day in Groombridge, a private gardens and outdoor 'experience' - for a better term, in deepest Kent, was so special.  A flood of reasons come back, but one factor that stood out about the day, was, fun, good old simple fun!  And the fun was due to the people participating.  On reflection, you realise, that on GOC walks, in general, we can see interesting things… hopefully, have a little or lots of chat with nice people, even sometimes rekindling friendships made on previous events, possibly having a drink at the end, and then going back to our independent bits of the urban jungle.  But yesterday was enormously different.  It wasn't just the nice weekend for a change, after weeks of incessant rain and grey miserable skies, no, nor was it just the walk for 17 of us from Tunbridge Wells through 4 miles of beautiful bluebell and wild garlic woods, even if it meant some pretty interesting manouvering to get through the fiercely muddy paths, and no it wan't the rest of the beautiful countryside in which Groombridge was situated, all exploding into Spring.  While some of the sights of interest in Groombridge were just that, 'of interest', it was the very simple fact of having fun together, that made the day really special!  Might sound corny and sentimental to some, but everyone finished the day with smiles on their faces and a spring in their step, even those who rewalked back to Tunbridge Wells, aquiring even more layers of mud!

So what were the highlights?  For starters, the weather, already mentioned, was brilliant!  Dawn was cloudless, unseen for weeks, the clouds did come over a little, but most importantly, it remained dry!!! Then we had more of the bluebells and wild garlic in the woods within Groombridge, with deer roaming about.  There was a very interesting display of birds of prey flying about, including cute owls (one was tiny and got the 'AAHHH! Award++++'!!), a hawk and a massive bald eagle, and a look into an incubator with 8-10 different species of owl chicks, all wide eyed and fluffy.  The wander through the enchanting forest was ok, though it was more the giant swings that caused the greatest delights, which we took turns to have a go and giggle at each other's attempts to manage staying on.  Against the rules, there was a double act, names withheld, fortunately we escaped before the gestapo arrived!  Rules are really meant to be broken and some went to town, what with ringing of the alarm bell by one nameless GOCette, the entire troops going through the activity course the wrong way (climbing through tyres, small holes, walking along swinging poles… you get the jist?)  Then came the flying fox, real fun and squealing, wasn't sure if we would need a new club Chairman, when we forced David W hurtling down the course!  Some of us managed the formal gardens, some the blueberry cakes, while some of us lay in the sun chatting.  We finished the day with drinks and burgers at the incredible 'Opera House', a Weatherspoon's conversion of an old Victorian Music Hall, in Tunbridge Wells, icing on the cake for the day (Thanks for directing us to the place, Michael Buckland!) 

So, such a fun day, and it was the fellow GOC members, all out to have fun, that made the day so special!  Hearty thanks to Sue for suggesting and leading such a great 'event', you did an excellent job!  It facilitated one of the best GOC days most of us had ever experienced!  And thanks to those of you for coming  (24 in all), including our friends from East and West Kent GOC Groups , for making it the fun and memorable day it was!

Enough of my ravings, the pictures (of which there are acres!) tell all…!

A jolly walk Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge, little did we know what was in store!

A jolly walk Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge, little did we know what was in store!

Mud, bluebells, mud, wild garlic (swathes of their white flowers and pungent aroma), mud, mud, but still a happy team!

Mud, bluebells, mud, wild garlic (swathes of their white flowers and pungent aroma), mud, mud, but still a happy team!

Hooray! No mud!

Hooray! No mud!

The mud gait, Steve has it perfected!

The mud gait, Steve has it perfected!

Better watch out if the wind changes Pawel, else your pose may stay permanent! Mind you wouldn't make any difference!!

Better watch out if the wind changes Pawel, else your pose may stay permanent! Mind you wouldn't make any difference!!

Lunch at Groombridge, a friendly guest…

Lunch at Groombridge, a friendly guest…

Lads meeting a Groombridge resident. Looks like he spent too long at the S&M night, least he had a big smile on his face!

Lads meeting a Groombridge resident. Looks like he spent too long at the S&M night, least he had a big smile on his face!

OMG! Not that GOC London (compulsory) 'wave' again! Troops in the Enchanted Forest, massive spiders web overhead.

OMG! Not that GOC London (compulsory) 'wave' again! Troops in the Enchanted Forest, massive spiders web overhead.

Rules of the Giant Swing…certain persons managed to break at least 3 of the rules…

Rules of the Giant Swing…certain persons managed to break at least 3 of the rules…

Ricky and Sue inspecting the Giant Swing…

Ricky and Sue inspecting the Giant Swing… "Where are the instructions??"

Ricky taking off…

Ricky taking off…

Club Chairman White reaching new heights!

Club Chairman White reaching new heights!

Rules were decimated by this duo act on the swing, lying flat, then they started twisting! Total embarrassment to the club!

Rules were decimated by this duo act on the swing, lying flat, then they started twisting! Total embarrassment to the club!

Boys being boys! Something tells me they have been caged up before looking at the grins on their faces!

Boys being boys! Something tells me they have been caged up before looking at the grins on their faces!

Not sure who or what Michael thinks he is trying to impress with his camp gestures! Stick to the day job Mike!

Not sure who or what Michael thinks he is trying to impress with his camp gestures! Stick to the day job Mike!

Captive audience at the flying fox…

Captive audience at the flying fox…

Wonder why there is such a wicked grin on Michael's face?

Wonder why there is such a wicked grin on Michael's face?

Chairman White letting rip!

Chairman White letting rip!

Amyn adjusting his crutch before take off…

Amyn adjusting his crutch before take off…

For some reason the Flying Fox bar and seat caused a naughty look on everyone's faces. Doug's here says it all!

For some reason the Flying Fox bar and seat caused a naughty look on everyone's faces. Doug's here says it all!

Rickardo is off in a flash!

Rickardo is off in a flash!

Now onto the rolling, swingey things… a 3 year old had just whizzed through ahead of us all!

Now onto the rolling, swingey things… a 3 year old had just whizzed through ahead of us all!

Always seeking attention!

Always seeking attention!

Word has it he is still on his back there!

Word has it he is still on his back there!

Erika and Clara stuck in a hole

Erika and Clara stuck in a hole

Swings suitable for 'children and fit adults'… maybe why my arms ached for days following!

Swings suitable for 'children and fit adults'… maybe why my arms ached for days following!

There were nothing but gays in the village! Some chubby ones at that!

There were nothing but gays in the village! Some chubby ones at that!

Birds of prey display was fascinating! The Bald Eagle here hopped within a metre of most of us!

Birds of prey display was fascinating! The Bald Eagle here hopped within a metre of most of us!

Eagle with its master

Eagle with its master

Having a well earned rest after a busy day leading. Here with a few others at the Opera House. Stunning, and did great burgers!

Having a well earned rest after a busy day leading. Here with a few others at the Opera House. Stunning, and did great burgers!

A great ending to a really fun day

A great ending to a really fun day

While in the Enchanted Forest and following the Giant Swing and the Flying Fox 'experience', David was metamorphatised into something large, colourful, very showy and unlike the lad, frightfully noisy

 
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