#LeGrandeTour2014 – Preparatory Moves – The English Bit.

Currently we’re holed up in deepest coastal Kent, having suffered the 300 mile drive from N Wales. The journey topped off with a stop/start tour of the M25 orbital in 30 degree heat and no air-con, even the dog stopped smiling! If I had to travel that road to work every day, I seriously think I would crack up…F$$%ing HOR-REN-DOUS.


This is a beautiful part of the country, steeped in history, its easy to forget that 74yrs ago, the country expected an invasion to arrive via this coastline. We are on a CL called Spinneys, near the village of Aldington, not far from Ashford. The site, which offers great views of the Romney Marsh is basic, but well maintained and is ideally placed for walking, as just behind the location is the Royal Military Canal.


The Royal Military Canal

This was built as part of the countries defences against Napoleon in the early 1800’s. Excellent dog-walking country, the canal cuts past long-forgotten villages, interspersed with small churches and the occasion pillar box from WW2.


St Rumwold’s at Bonnington




Wiki Him!

Yesterday,  I met with an old mate I’d not seen for 27yrs. Our friendship was built on adversity and as we spoke, the years rolled by,  I could see him in my mind as a 21yr old with occasional flashes of his past character, still today very much a driven individual, a fitness nutter, bolshie, outspoken, uber-confident, but great company. Me, more level headed, ponderous, less of a risk-taker, a better No2. Perhaps thats why we clicked, a great friend and sounding board back in the day. One thing that we both now have in common as middle-aged men apart from the “Moobs” is total reliance on our “Other Half’s” to keep us in check and save us from ourselves!  I can live with that.  We had a great day, the years just melted away.

On Wed morning we cross to France, with an early intention to head towards the area of Crotoy for 24hrs, maybe stopping off on route to get a feel for the place. I’m hopeful we will get a look at “Stella Plage”, which is where my friend Mr Ted Jones MM stepped ashore in the first ever commando style raid of WW2 during Operation Collar (see “The Quiet Man” blog). I’m going to try and avoid the tolls and motorways, so we maximise on seeing the country.

By the way, we have a new camera!! the Other Half currently fancies herself as some sort of roving photo journalist, so stand by for arty meaningful shots of trees and wheat-fields. I’ll just concentrate on shots of the Mutts licking his butt and carrying his toy.


C’est Tout



Filed under #LeGrandeTour2014

7 responses to “#LeGrandeTour2014 – Preparatory Moves – The English Bit.

  1. Oooooh, looking forward to pics from the new photo reporter :)))) [incidentally….I am also awaiting delivery of my new Nikon D800 camera. Expect an explosion of absolutely everything I can get my lens on photographs ;)] Looking forward to seeing France through your eyes 🙂

  2. Couldn’t quite make the leap to DSLR…Need to be able to travel fast and light!!! So moved up a baby step to a Cannon Powershot SX510 HS. Great 30x zoom and still sub £160…Ideal for us really.

  3. Ian Kelsey

    Thanks for your kind words/character assasanation…;o)
    Fantastic to see you and yes not much changes eh…., Sharon is a VERY VERY nice person and you are a lucky man. Ruby has finished her CQB house to house clearance of all things mutley!
    Have a great trip and hope weather holds, I’ll catch up with you next week lad.
    All the very best

  4. Jaymo

    As I read your blog. I thought, Nice photo’s, and that you had changed from a 2km grainy image heavily uprated ISO squadie photographer, into someone who had an “Eye” for the photogenic…….. Of course it was the misses. Bon voyagé…

  5. If you’re going by ferry then you can wild camp at Marine Parade, Dover for the night, or if by tunnel then Military Road in Hythe, by the canal and Sainsbury’s. We’re off on Sunday, Ypres first stop.

  6. Cheers Wendy, have a great trip.

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