A regular feature of the Association Calendar is a lunchtime celebration of springtime. This year, a goodly crowd from all corners of the County assembled at Hadlow College: Hadlow it was, Annual yes, and Lunch for sure; but Spring it certainly wasn't.
We had memories of the corresponding event a couple of years ago when we sweltered in the College Restaurant but this time the best you can say is that on average the two days represented a temperature fit for human habitation.
Hardy souls - no doubt from east Kent where they know about weather - braved the garden tour before lunch and a visit to Hadlow Castle afterwards. At the time of writing the respective guides were still thawing in their refrigerators.
Lunch was notable for the introduction of Kentish Haffkins to the menu. If you don't know what they are you weren't there and you missed a treat. Dare I say that my broccoli was overlooked? But the Hadlow Lamb and the apple and blackberry crumble were a delight.
So too was Tess Robinson's acceptance of the presentation made to her in acknowledgement of her imminent retirement after thirty years employment by the Association. Much longer than a life sentence; an image reinforced by her reference to Cantium Lodge as a place of work which has always seemed less cheery than prison cells we have seen. But Tess has come out smiling, to reveal that on joining the Association she became member number 30,000. Not quite the same timbre as 007 but certainly prestigious.
After lunch we had a talk on the history of Hadlow Castle. Those of us of a local disposition grew up to see Hadlow as enemy territory but had to admit that in its slightly eery Castle the village had something.
We believed that the tower was built so the owner could see the sea and perhaps still do - when did facts get in the way of a good myth?
As council taxpayers now, we applaud our Borough Council's investment in restoration of an historic edifice.
So another Spring Lunch passes into history with memories of a happy occasion in good company. Here's to next year, wherever that chances to be.
p.s. Kentish Haffkins are soft bread rolls. They dunk superbly.