Nine bodies attended the first BST ride, and with the haar dominating all coastal routes, there was little option other than to take to the hills; namely Gibson's at Wingham. It was good decision for hardly had we reached Sholden, when the warmth of the sun blessed our backs along the Deal to Sandwich road and onward to Finglesham.
It was a lovely Spring morning; one that lifted the spirits that now seem to become more enveloped with age. At Staple, before reaching the church, we turned left and then immediately right, climbing out of the village towards Goodneston, into the vastness of green fields of winter barley. There the bordering hedges were smothered with the blossoming white blackthorn. (Isn't it strange how a species can acquire a disparaging identification to such a glorious harbinger of Springtime?)
But enough of romanticising mother nature. On through the hamlet of Claypits and finally to Gibson's. This rural, semi-supermarket seems to be a very successful business. Two rears ago it added a rustic, oak structured extension to its restaurant which attracts many people-as was the case on our 10.30 arrival. The usual communal banter and repartee was enjoined around the table, and special mention should be made to the contribution by Jerry for his personal experiences, akin to rival that of "All creatures great and small." Some of our group who had indulged in a tea cake seemed to have lost their appetite. Even the apparent popular all-day breakfast on other tables lost their attraction!
On leaving, the group had the customary splintering of those going their different ways. I'm not sure what these were, suffice to say that John Parry and I returned the same way that we had come, and eventually met up with the solitary figure of David Lintern on the bridge over the Eastry by-pass.
For the record:- Those attending:- 3 Mikes' (Elms, Lambourne and Martin). David Lintern, Jerry Swallow, Richard Linning, Malcolm Bernadies, John Parry, Lance Austin
Before signing off, I know that I speak for all when wishing Norman Dance a speedy return to the TT, after his forthcoming operation for the fitting of a pacemaker. (LA)