"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on July 3, 2018 by Sioux under General
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After my 3 week assignment in Liverpool, I was looking forward to a 10 day break, spending time with friends in London that I’ve not seen for years, and renewing some training certification. Alas the time with friends was not to be. My anticipated 3-hour train trip from Liverpool became a 13 hour nightmare after a train in front of mine broke down and the passengers got fed up with waiting for assistance and climbed off, walking along the tracks to the nearest station! Completely verboten and totally irresponsible!

 

To avoid electrocution, the power had to be turned off. The result of that was that after 5-hours of being without power, the train batteries had gotten cold and the train could not be restarted so we had to await further assistance. It was snowing outside and icy cold inside – with no power there is no heating, and to make matters worse, there was no catering service on the train and the loo doors all open with – you got it……. Electricity!

 

The passengers all looked like eskimos, bundled up in whatever clothing we had handy. Gloves, scarves, beanies and thick winter jackets started coming out of hiding as the temperatures dropped. We chatted, laughed, cracked jokes and some even managed to get a window open so they could smoke. No one complained, and when we did get going again, the driver thanked us all, more than once, for not making his job more difficult by yelling at him! Which does happen. All the time! A few of us said we would have loved to get hold of the idiots that had walked on the train lines though!

While on the train, I received a call from the agency, asking if I would be happy to take over another booking with immediate effect, as the carer there had fallen and hurt herself. They wanted me there the same day! I explained why I couldn’t get there and asked that they find someone else. Six phone calls later, I agreed to go to the booking in the morning, for a week. There went my break, down the tubes, as fast as the train had come to a halt! A one night break was all I got, after having to walk 1.8km’s through the snow from the station to the accommodation as there were no taxi’s, I arrived at my accommodation close to midnight. Cold and weary, I hunkered down under the warm covers. The area I was heading to wasn’t far away, so I could at least sleep late and get a taxi in the morning. I wasn’t in the mood for trains just yet!

A nice home in a small’ish village; with a duck pond in the green over the road. There wasn’t much of interest to see in the area, other than a huge manor house, which I wanted to explore but never got the opportunity. Loads of woods and waking paths, but in the 7 days I was there, we had 2 days without rain! On the pond, the ducks ignored the weather and the frozen pond and kept up their daily rituals of swimming and foraging.

Other than the homes of residents, there were 2 pubs, one from as far back as 1602, and a butcher shop which doubles as the local shop and greengrocer. I did a couple of short walks along the main road on the dry days, staying away from the woods as the footpaths were slush and mud after the snow. On one of my walks I passed a Christmas Tree Farm! Something I have often seen in movies, but never for real!

The village is made up of a mixture of old and modern houses; many with quaint gardens, and boasts one of the largest village greens in the county of Kent.

 

The village grew around the green, which features a large pond at one end, and is overlooked by the Georgian manor, Matfield House, built in 1728.

 

The clock tower in the courtyard at Matfield House also built in 1728, had a magnificent tower added in 1736; and has been converted into 3 bedroom holiday accommodation. 

 

On hot summer afternoons, the green is the meeting place for the local cricket team and well supported by the residents. 

Once the week was over, I headed back to base to do my training course, have a 3 day break and then off to my next assignment, at a regular client.  

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