Welcome back, Ruth
It was a wet day! The worst for 300 years. It was a good ride, to St Margaret's then Eastry for lunch. Everywhere was flooded. The Nailbourne was in full spate. John of Millstone's email says it all.
Thank you so much, Robert, for hosting yesterday's ride, and for your heroic interventions rescuing weary and storm battered cyclists at various stages of the day.
The idea of lunch at cuddly Mary's was excellent, and the après-ride refreshments were superlative, especially Gibson's special recipe scones, topped with cream and Hilda's strawberry jam; not to mention Hilda's fruitcake!
Peter C and I agreed that if we'd had to cycle back to Martin Mill after that tea, it would have been the definitive ride from hell, given the strength of the crosswinds and torrential downpour. As we waited for our train, which miraculously was on time, I silently paraphrased and expanded the Gibson family adage......."It might be dark over Uncle Willy's; but it's bloody wet and freezing 'ere."
We made quite a sight, huddled in the only sheltered corner of the station, jumping up and down to keep hypothermia at bay; our eyes fixed remorselessly on the overhead display console, as the seconds ticked away so painfully slowly.
The orange digital clock turned to 16.49, and the lights of the approaching rain-lashed train emerged from around the distant bend. As we fished out our sodden tickets, the collector muttered something like: "Don't worry, I wouldn't chuck you off in this weather."