An 80 minute train journey to the East Kent coast, plus the threat of some rain, didn’t deter 36+ GOCs and several dogs, from joining GOC Chairman, David White’s 10 mile walk along the iconic White Cliffs coastline from Dover to Deal. The rain, fortunately, ended up being a few drops in the late morning and the rest of the day was scattered cloud and a gentle and welcoming breeze, in all, a delightful Summer’s day. I say 36+, as people kept appearing at various places along the way, some disappearing as quickly as they appeared – strange place this Kent! David shared titbits of local information as we passed, about the 3 grand looking castles, Dover, Walmer and Deal, the benefits and pitfalls of the mighty Goodwin sands, littered with the skeletons of shipwrecks a few miles out to sea, and finally, in Deal, with its cute little ancient lanes with equally cutesy tiny houses, to find that many were heaving local brothels in days of old, servicing the many sailors who passed through the local port! Possibly appropriate they now house a collection of gays!! Lunch was a welcome stop, in a stunning location close to the cliff edge overlooking St Margaret below, with many of us attempting a few post prandial zzzzz’s as we succumbed to our restored sugar levels. Shock hit when we found our mobile connections coming via France, making us realise how close we were to that country and that the next time there was war between us and them that modern technology would fail us first! We were a great bunch. It always impresses me the range and depth of knowledge we have amongst our troops, conversations were constantly interesting and stimulating, but could equally descend into fun and trivia! Our final destination was David’s own home (MMMM, how many sailors had a merry time here, some of us did wonder???!!) where we were treated to cakes and tea, with the admission that the very delicious fruit cake, the stunningly rich and scrummy lemon drizzle sponge and the ridiculously yummy Kentish Hop-Picker’s cake, were, in fact, the first cakes David had ever made! What? Call himself a gay man and waited this long to cream his sugar and butter!!! Then it was the obligatory fish and chips (well, we were on the coast!) on the Deal Pier, before, totally exhausted, collapsing into a comfy seat on the train journey back to the big smoke!
A great day, and we are looking forward for an excuse for Mr White to bake again! Thank you David!