Folkestone: still pretty in blizzardsMonday, March 25, 2013
We bravely made our way out to Folkestone this weekend, despite the bad weather warnings and snow predictions.
We set up camp (in tents), and we explored. In the wind. And snow. And rain.
Despite all the "bad" weather, it was decidedly enjoyable and still beautiful. We had a little sheltered nook in the campsite away from the howling winds and falling snow. We set up a gazebo, and made a fire.
There was chopping and mixing and stewing. We all wrapped up in our thermals and millions of layers, and just got on with it. It was completely fine. We bought hand-warmers and roasted marshmallows. We ate chunks of fruit cake with warmed custard. We had access to hot showers and running water.
Despite the weather and falling snow flurries, we had a little patch of green grass all to ourselves. We also had a potjie pot which went to good use - first, for a fire-baked bread on Friday, and then, for a traditional cider potjie on Saturday. A potjie is a kind of fire-cooked stew with a little bit of everything in it. It usually cooks for around five hours which gives off plenty of heat (perfect for freezing weekends where the temperatures drop to -6!) and delicious aromas as it cooks.
We didn't explore much as it was rather difficult standing up-right in the blistering cold gale-force winds, but when we did, we had the landscape all to ourselves.
I was rather surprised to find how much Folkestone had changed since we were last there. It's all rather closed. Perhaps it's because the "season" has just started, or because it's a summer seaside town. Perhaps it's because of the weather, or the lack of funds. Shops were boarded up, roads were empty, and many of the road-side pubs and cafes were simply shut.
There was a sense of empty quietness, of thoughtfulness, of waiting. Summer is late this year, it seems.