For as long as I have been writing this blog, and probably an equal length of time before that, it has been my habit to kick-start Easter by taking part in a ramble. Not just any old ramble, mind-you, but the annual Good Friday Ramble, organised by Maidstone & Mid-Kent CAMRA.
This event is now in its 42nd year, and it can be safely said to be an established tradition. It was therefore with a tinge of sadness, coupled with more than a few streaks of regret, that this year I decided to give the event a miss. My reason was the good old British weather which this spring has been unseasonably cold and extremely wet.
Now before anyone calls me a “fair weather walker”, let me say I can put up with the cold, and I can also cope with a drop of rain, but I had seen with my own eyes, just how saturated the ground was underfoot, and Maundy Thursday’s incessant rain provided the last straw. The area the group were planning to walk through is low-lying, and almost certainly damp at the best of times, so as someone who prefers walking to wading, I reluctantly gave the ramble a miss.
I left it until first thing on Good Friday morning though, to make my final decision, but with increasingly heavy rain forecast, I called my friend John, who almost always goes on these walks, to inform him I was bailing out (if you’ll pardon the pun).
There was however, another option in which to enjoy a few beers at the start of the Easter weekend, and that was to join friends from my own West Kent CAMRA branch on their annual trip to Margate, in order to enjoy the day at the “Planet Thanet Beer Festival”.
A select bunch of members have been attending the event, this past 13 years, but this would be my first time. This is due to the clash of these two events, as given the choice I would rather be out in the fresh air, enjoying seeing the Kent countryside slowly bursting into spring. Being up to my ankles in mud, or possibly even my knees though, swung the pendulum firmly in favour of a trip to the seaside.
I will be writing later about how I joined “The Jolly Boy’s Outing”, on their trip "Down to Margate", but in the meantime, the photos above should provide a nostalgic look back at some previous Good Friday Rambles, undertaken in much more clement weather.