Thursday, 1 December 2016
Kentish Rhymes & Coffee Dates
Met up with Jennifer yesterday in what remains of our usual city coffee shop that now appears to be part of a war zone, surrounded as it is by cranes and fallen masonry. We discussed, among other things blog merging (see https://jenniferbarraclough.wordpress.com), DNA, the town where we both grew up, eighteenth century pleasure gardens, the merits of the Honda Jazz as a reliable vehicle, how she learned to swim in the murky Thames and why I cannot swim at all. Jennifer had found a compilation of Kentish Rhymes assembled by John Alden hiding on one of her late mother’s bookshelves which she thought might make an interesting addition to my recent reflections on growing up in Kent. A fascinating little volume with verses relating to Blean, Ashford, Tenterden, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Sittingbourne and even The Hundred of Hoo. Nothing directly relating to Gravesend or Northfleet but one can’t expect perfection. Before we parted, she to the ferry across to Devonport and me to the Nespresso shop on the corner of Queen Street, we briefly commented on our most recent contributions to literature – her novella `Unfaithful Unto Death’ and my memoir of the 1960s, `In Disgrace With Fortune, neither of which are threatening to break records. Then she said comfortingly, `Well we never sell as many as we deserve to do we?’ - and of course we never do!