Everyone talks about Bucket Lists - the list of things you want to do before you die. For me, it's never about the things you check off your list, it's about the delightful surprises you discover along the way. The things you could never have predicted - the play of light and shadow on the grass; or the funny guy on the bus who showed us where the 0 meridian is; or finding the remains of Ashdown Forest next to a car park en route to somewhere else.
A case in point: Royal Tunbridge Wells. I have wanted to see the Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells since I was a teenager - I guess Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer must have mentioned it somewhere. When we were living in Brighton, in the 1970's, we actually set out to go there, but had to turn back because it was snowing in the Downs, making roads impassable. Naturally, that only increased my desire. So, this visit the COG and I finally got there. And this is a picture of what we found. I don't think the picture accurately expresses my feelings of 'that's it? I changed 3 buses to see this?
However, there was a moment when we saw the cat in the window above The Pantiles. That, for some reason, was a highlight of the day. The delightful moment that happened on the journey, but which had nothing to do with the item from the Bucket List.