Coupla Parks & a Priory

After almost a year here, I’ve learned two things:  in England, the weather can rotate through all four seasons in one day, so you’d better bring layers galore, and two, the countryside does bring a little bit a heaven to go with the little bit of hell you might have to endure with the weather, etc.  I can’t drive on the motorway yet so haven’t been able to go to the gajillion nearby gardens I’ve been dying to visit, but today, I’m afraid for C., he was cornered.

Now that the house is pretty much done, C. and I can have time together on weekends to do things as he’s not so busy with DIY, which = significantly less fantasizing about fleeing to South Carolina.  Last weekend we got to go see the X-Men movie (great, definitely worth paying the $ to see in the theater), and we visited a Priory close by.

Today we went to Groombridge Gardens in Tunbridge Wells (pics in separate post).   Last week I walked through two parks in London–Regent Park & Green Park–on my way back to Victoria Station.  It’s been a nice, green week despite the rain.  Or, maybe because of it.

Regent Park, Queen Mary’s Gardens

Green Park, London

Aylesford Priory, Kent

Aylesford Priory is just about a half hour from us, and it’s a great opportunity to see a thirteenth century site with some gorgeous grounds.  If you’re into quiet contemplative places, they have spots for folks to find a little peace, quiet and solitude.  Aylesford Priory was also a resting place for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, which is about a 45 minute car ride away.

Friar. And me.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thestonemaidendiaries
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 13:46:06

    I have just realized that we dont live far from one another at all. (The clue to my whereabouts are in my name,hehehe, not rocket science at all to figure it out I have to say.) I told my husband just this weekend how very unhappy and sometimes almost despondent you seem in some of your posts. He reminded me of how often I used to be quite sad in my first year here in the UK.
    It does get better, in time.

    I have to say though that if I had to live in a town or even a village I would go stark raving bonkers, and the normal brownstone houses here, 2 up and 2 down with the neighbours basically on top of you would also not have done me good. We are lucky enough to be living in the middle of a wood, and apart from the occasional car noise going down the tiny one lane road, all we ever hear noise wise here are the birds. I am trully happy here now and hope that one day you can be the same, Tara :0)


    • taramoyle
      Jun 20, 2011 @ 14:08:53

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, and yes, I could see myself being very happy in a greener spot. The countryside is truly magical.

      It’s embarrassing to be “whinging” in these posts online, but when I’ve read blogs by other expats, I do want to hear about what’s challenging. Groombridge Gardens completely lifted my spirits yesterday, and seeing all of the raptors.

      I guessed that’s where you were. Before C. got his London job, we planned to move out that way, esp. as he has friends there. I’m glad you’ve got a woodsy spot–that’s our aim as well!.

      Very helpful to hear of someone who’s made it through their first year to greener pastures. Cheers!


  2. thestonemaidendiaries
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 14:20:35

    We bought a lovely old grade 2 listed place, and it is now our third summer here. Before that we briefly lived in Ashford whilst looking for a place to buy. I hated every second of it. The hustle and bustle and how eveything seemed so very claustrophobic and small.

    Please never ever feel that you are whinging. We all need a outlet at times, especially when leaving all that was once familiar, including friends family and support systems behind. It does help to voice things. I just wish that I could relay my feelings as clearly as you do in youre posts.

    Do you also find that making new friends here is ever so difficult?, maybe its because I dont have children and thus do not get to meet school mums etc.

    Like you, I also have a cat that gives me so much joy. Have you ever seen the Simon’s cat cartoons on YOUTUBE? My cat looks and act just the same,lol.

    Anyway.. you hang in there, it does get easier.


    • taramoyle
      Jun 21, 2011 @ 23:43:46

      I have found it isolating at times but have been lucky enough to meet some folks at two different writing groups and a local book club. If you’re a reader, you might find one in your area…? They’re all over, and here there’s a trip to the pub after.

      I think that it’s generally tough to make new friends if you’re surrounded by moms, though. A life without kids is very different, and yeah, I think a lot of women new to a place will meet others at school.

      Hmmm, you must have to drive then if you’re out in the woods. I’m working on that one.

      Love the Simon’s cat videos, yeah! Plus a million other cat freak videos like Maru, cat yodelling, etc. Murphy’s definitely been a little bright spark.

      Can’t tell you how nice it is to hear from someone who’s finding it better now. I saw this comment the other day but saved it until I needed encouragement–that was tonight!

      Feel free to drop a line at my name on g mail dot com if you’d like to chat more about meeting people, etc. I’d be curious to hear if you’ve gone to any places local to you.

      Cheers again,


  3. mariellen anderson
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 01:06:27

    Good encouragement from stonemaidendiaries…….allow yourself the luxury of being


    Mar 20, 2012 @ 19:47:00

    Merely a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding design.


    • taramoyle
      Mar 22, 2012 @ 19:23:10

      Hi and thanks for the compliment! Can’t take credit for the Word Press template, but glad to hear that it’s working for you. 🙂


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