Spring has surprised me. I’ve been awaiting winter, which for me means soft white snow quilts and sparkling sheets of frost and instead, there’ve been grey rain blankets and more grey rain blankets followed by – pillows of spring flowers.
I have geraniums and fuchsias which haven’t stopped flowering since last summer. I have a rambling rose that’s kept on rambling and honeysuckle that’s continued to suckle.
Two days ago my joints were aching, making me feel every bit of my 62 years and I was researching daylight-replicating lamps on the Internet, only to find, the following morning, the sun was shining and my body jaunty with the energy of a newborn lamb.
Our visit to Aylesford Priory was a scouting outing, looking for new local walks rather than a walk in itself. The priory has been on our list of places to visit for a while.
What a gem! And only 20 minutes away by car. Some folks visiting had walked from Rochester so it’s going to be one walk we will be doing this year.
What a destination! It’s a beautiful place to have on one’s doorstep.
It’s a spiritual retreat and venue.
It’s full of art: there’s a pottery (we bought a gorgeous blue/purple vase).
The principal altar, which is outdoors, is decorated with ceramic tiles. (I’ll post more images of these ceramics in another blog which are uncannily like a recent artwork I’ve produced).
There’s a Rosary Walk, a Peace Garden which includes mosaics; and a moss-covered thatched restaurant and shop.
We lunched in the restaurant on soup, cheese panini and carrot cake stuffed with walnuts.
The staff is supernaturally warm and welcoming.
There is a programme of pottery workshops, spiritual retreats and pilgrimages, and lots of swans, geese and ducks.
The refectory has a window recess decorated with old tiles, each a different design.
Have a happy Spring!