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…!