Monday, 4 August 2014

Sunday 3 August – to the Tatsfield Churchyard for an amazing Bakewell tart

I was feeling unwell – but not anymore. It was down to past-their-sell-by-date blueberries and resulted in yours truly feeling the need to be in tune with the location of public conveniences while out and about – but only for a day. I felt weary all Friday and by Sunday I had recovered.
A perfect Bakewell tart made by Phil
I don't often frequent public conveniences as they're not very nice places to visit at the best of times. I remember once, in Sutton, Surrey, my hometown, there used to be a public toilet at the top of the Throwley Way – it's probably still there – but the off-putting bit was the attendant who I once spied eating a Sunday roast in his small office INSIDE the public convenience in question. He must have had a fairly good view of his 'customers' doing what comes naturally and I'm guessing he was used to the putrid stench that must have invaded his space (and his dinner table) 24/7. I don't know about you, but I can think of many better places to enjoy roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (or any meal for that matter) – although he'd be in the right place if the beef was a little past its sell-by date.

"Keep away from my tart! " Phil and his Bakewell
at the Tatsfield Churchyard, Sunday 3 August 2014.
But enough of this crap. Suffice it to say that I wasn't feeling on the top of the world although, oddly, I didn't feel ill, which is always a bonus. I felt well enough to get myself acquainted, on Saturday afternoon, with a rather charming public convenience on the beach in Broadstairs, Kent, but I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that I was glad there was nobody waiting outside my cubicle when I sheepishly emerged from behind the blue door.

There was no cycling on Saturday morning as it was raining during the early hours so nobody went out, although Phil sent me a text to say he'd changed his mind about aborting the night before and was ready for a ride if anybody was interested. Andy hadn't bothered and my phone was off so I didn't pick up his text until it was too late. Instead, I drove to Broadstairs in Kent for a largely pleasant day of walking along the seafront and taking in the fresh sea air of the East Kent coast. I'd felt under the weather all day on Friday and had spent most of the time lazing around due to my generally weary state of mind.
Another awful pair of shorts, a silly hat and that terrible tee-shirt again. 
Yours truly holding court at the Tatsfield Churchyard early Sunday morning.
We rode out on Sunday morning to the Tatsfield Churchyard and Phil had made a tremendous Bakewell Tart, courtesy of a Jamie Oliver recipe.

When we reached the churchyard the sobering sight of new graves reminded us that life was not only too short but too fragile. Moments later and after the shock that we're not immortal – we knew that anyway, but whenever we're reminded it's always a bit of a shock – we watched as Phil unwrapped the Bakewell tart and were amazed that he'd managed to keep it intact in his rucksack on the eight-mile ride. It was in perfect condition. We were equally amazed when he produced a rather dangerous-looking knife to cut it with and another utensil to ensure it made a clean break from the base of the flan dish in which it was baked.

The proof of the pudding was, as always, in the eating and it goes without saying that it was a fantastic Bakewell tart. We drank tea, chatted about this and that and then headed home again.

The weather was fantastic too, although there was a coolish breeze as we headed out at 0630hrs. The day remained bright and sunny, however, and we were all glad that we rode out on what became the perfect summer's day. I later drove to Rye in East Sussex followed by Camber Sands.

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