Friday, 21 September 2012

Goodbye Kent

We love Kent and we've enjoyed our two weeks here in Rochester (albeit interspersed with forays into Suffolk and Wales) but tonight we're packing our bags in preparation for the long trek back to St Andrews. At 540 miles it's a bit longer drive than usual as we're traveling via Richmond in Surrey to drop something off at Marion's auntie's. We had hoped to visit some old friends while in Kent but the man fitting the new boiler for Paul took longer than expected so our only time out was a quick visit to Tunbridge Wells on Tuesday and some time at Bluewater yesterday.

If you aren't familiar with Bluewater it's like a southern Trafford Centre; I hate visiting the Trafford Centre but somehow Bluewater didn't have the same effect on me. I'm not sure why as it has the same Disney styling. Perhaps it is not quite as big as its Manchester counterpart, perhaps it was the uncrowded atmosphere or maybe the shops and restaurants seemed a bit more refined but I have to admit that I quite enjoyed the experience with a good look around John Lewis including coffee and cakes in the basement food hall, a few tapas at Tapas Revolution and a visit to their enormous multiplex cinema.

We went to see Anna Karenina. It's an amazingly original production using the setting of an old theatre instead of going on location for the majority of scenes (although there were some sweeping shots of peasants on the vast grasslands) and it works very well indeed. Marion thought that I wouldn't like the film but I did enjoy it very much although Anna and her lover's relationship seemed to be founded entirely upon them falling in lust with each other's incredible good looks. Keira Knightly is a very beautiful actress and Aaron Johnson is dashingly handsome so their love at first sight was credible but the relationship somehow lacked the depth that I understand was portrayed in the book. Jude Law (once a heartthrob himself but now made up as a curmudgeonly old man) portrays the cuckolded husband with a measured performance and Matthew Macfadyen adds charm in his role as Anna's brother.  

In the few days we have in St Andrews we're celebrating my birthday at the wonderful Seafood Restaurant with a long lunch, making a trip to Edinburgh to do some shopping (and to take some of my detecting finds into the museum) and then I'm afraid it's back in the Prius for another journey to Suffolk on 2nd October for a meeting at the kitchen designers and to have a look at progress on the house in Framlingham. You can say what you like about retirement, but ,in our case at least, it's anything but boring.