Proper cooked breakfast for brunch. Tried black pudding. Quite nice – on the borders of ‘would buy for self’ (would certainly eat if I happened to be given it, but not sure it would merit automatic inclusion in a brunch I cooked for myself).

To Hever Castle for the day. Used Tesco Clubcard Deal vouchers – v.good – meant effectively cost £5 for entry, rather than £20. Very warm (sunburned my right arm as usual when driving – note to self that I really need to learn to apply suntan lotion when it is this hot). The jousting to which I was looking forward was not quite as spectacular as expected: less bloodshed, more panto, but fun nonetheless. Hever Castle has a beautiful lake and Italian Gardens. The view from the ‘Loggia’ over the lake is simply beautiful (particularly when standing in the shade!). Lemon meringue ice cream!. Didn’t make it in to look at the Castle (very much the bungalow of castles – but pretty, nonetheless) as we decided to leave the jousting field at the same time as everyone else (therefore QUEUES!). Beautiful, enormous koi swimming in the moat. Yew tree maze rather claustrophobic. Decided that I don’t really like mazes.

Sat by the lake and read poetry. Discovered that I quite like (at least, on the limited sample read) Betjeman, Gerald Manley Hopkins, and reacquainted myself with McGough and Rosen. I hadn’t realised before that much of what attracts me to poetry is the wordplay (GMH, for example) or the rhythm and music (Betjeman – A Subaltern’s Love Song [Miss Joan Hunter Dunn], for example), rather than the images conjured up (I have quite a poor imagination I think).

Back home, and the beef stew had cooked quite nicely in the slow cooker. Joy!