Faint foreign odour..

Our day started with breakfast at the Garlic Farm. To John, the smell hit you as we arrived in the car park and he panicked at the thought of garlic being added to his porridge. It turned out he needn’t have worried, his food was (fairly) garlic free. As to Kim’s breakfast, let’s just say he’s keeping his distance and the windows are open.

Our different opinions of the Garlic Farm neatly sum us both up. Kim thought it was wonderful, quaint and very pretty. John thought the piped music was atrocious and hated the smell.

Garlic first appeared on the Island during the Second World War courtesy of French soldiers stationed on the island who brought bulbs from France to add to their cooking. Chalky soil combined with a favourable micro climate enabled garlic cloves to grow in abundance.

Since it first started in 1983, the annual Garlic Festival is one of the most popular events on the island. Goodness knows what they do at the festival unless you enjoy Garlic and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream or a pint of Garlic Beer..

Brading was where we started today’s Quest, which was a clue at the top of a very big hill above Bembridge Fort called Culver Down. Both OS Maps and the Wahoo cycle computer were brought into play. It started badly with OS Maps sending us down a footpath when it knew we were cycling, but the Wahoo was for once more reliable. It was less than a 10 mile round trip with an ascent of 340 ft. We don’t wish to dwell on how steep the ride was and will simply say that Kim pushed her bike for at least 2 miles. The panoramic views from the top back across the Solent were glorious.

At the top, Kim felt a cup of tea and sit down were far more interesting than who the Monument was dedicated to so John climbed the final few feet by himself. By the time he was back for coffee, the people at the next table were having a conversation about how easy it is to illegally import whale meat from Iceland into the UK. For a fee, we will pass on our knowledge

Since we’ve been here, we’ve been through Brading several times and each time we’ve asked each ‘What’s that bull all about?’ and ‘why does Brading have a Bullring?’

Before 1835, if you were a bull, you wouldn’t have wanted to be near Brading or pretty much anywhere else in the UK. It was believed that meat was more tender if the animal was tortured before slaughter. Unlucky creatures were tied to the bull ring and attacked by dogs hence the name of a Bulldog. Butchers could be required to have a bull baited before slaughter and were often fined if they failed to do so. Luckily, a sense of compassion prevailed and this barbaric practice was outlawed in 1835.

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