I've a busy weekend ahead with a varied programme of events to keep me amused. Early tomorrow morning (Friday), I'm off to Canterbury, on the train, with a group of fellow CAMRA members. We'll be visiting the Kent Beer Festival , for the lunchtime session and then heading back into Canterbury, to enjoy a few of the city's pubs in the evening. It must be over 10 years or so since I last attended this long-running (now in its 35th year) festival, held in the rural surroundings of Merton Farm, and I'm really looking forward to it. As well as beers from just about every brewery in Kent, there will also be a good selection from outside the county, plus a variety of foreign beers. For lovers of fermented apple juice, a range of traditional ciders will also be on sale, along with stalls selling hot snacks, curry and local cheeses.
The evening in Canterbury also promises to be good, as there's some excellent pubs in the city, and a return visit there on my part, is long overdue. I'm particularly keen to visit the City Arms, scene of the first ever CAMRA meeting I attended back in 1974. The pub is now owned by Canterbury Brewers, who also own the Foundry Brewpub in nearby White Horse Lane. (We may also call in there as well). Finally, as we make our way back to the station, there will be a chance to call in at the Bottle Shop, which stocks an incredible variety of bottled beers (both British and foreign) to take away, or enjoy in the historic surroundings of the adjacent Goods Shed.
Saturday sees a complete contrast, as my son Matthew will be dragging me over to the Hop Farm at Paddock Wood for the War & Peace Show; an event billed as The Largest Military Vehicle Spectacular in the World, and a show we have attended on several occasions in the past. There'll be no decent ale, of course, but I'll probably have had enough the day before, and I'll also be driving. I'll be driving later in the day as well, when Eileen and I attend a party hosted by one of her former work colleagues, over at her family's farm near East Peckham.
Hopefully, Sunday will be a day of rest and relaxation, although the hedges need cutting, and all this rain has made the weeds grow even taller!