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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Kent » Ashford
September 2nd 2015
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 51.1484, 0.875563

Landed; second in line but first through immigration. I had time to make one circle of the baggage carousel before the next person arrived. My bad was one of the first 15 or so. Grabbed it, exited, and then caught the train to St. Pancras Int'l. Had to wait about 15 minutes for the train to Ashford Int'l (and saw my seatmate going through the turnstiles while I waited for my track to be called).

The trip took about 40 minutes to Ashford (arrived right around 9am, so just under 3 hours from touch down). Allison met me and we drove to the farm.

Which is charming! The main part of the house dates back to the late 1400s (and is listed), and is just as crooked and wonky as you would expect. The kitchen is modern, and the house is nicely appointed. There are four bedrooms upstairs, and a very uneven floor. There is also an old dairy, which can be rented out (it is currently vacant), and a small cottage where Libby, the yard manager, lives. There is the stable, with 12 boxes, and a barn with different rooms for feed and tack. There's a sandy riding ring, for training. Then there are multiple paddocks, for the horses. One field has a show-jumping course, and Allison has started building a cross-country course in another field. There is also a wood, which we briefly explored – full of brambles but there's still a path. A public footpath goes through the property, which is kind of nice.

We had a cup of coffee then wandered the property. Back in the house, we chatted and had lunch. Then I went upstairs to work but took a nap instead. About 4pm, the liveries were around, taking care of their horses. There was a lot of activity, people shoveling muck and moving hay about. We discovered that someone had electrified the fences that weren't supposed to be electrified now, so we walked around and made sure it was all turned off.

In the evening, it became a bit cool. With a woman from the livery and her daughter, we walked up to the town, where a mobile fish and chips truck had parked. (It appears every Wednesday night, and the village turns out for dinner.) We ordered fish and chips, which we brought back and ate at the table in the kitchen, which a very nice bottle of champagne.

I had a phone call, then Michel arrived, and we chatted for a while. Around 10pm, went to bed, did a few more emails, and slept very well.

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