Family Life

The Fly Away American (in Kent)

by The Fly Away American (in Kent), with Jessica Galbraith Thursday, June 13 2013

Hello KentOnline readers!


Welcome to my inaugural post here on KentOnline. This blog will follow my travels around Kent, as well as the UK. I am visiting new attractions, taking part in fun acitivities, and attending events around Kent every week. Check in every Thursday for my 'Travel Thursday' column. I will give you tips, share my sucessess and failures, and write about living in Kent as an American expat. 

The short and sweet: My name is Jessica, I am originally from a small town in Texas. (Population >300) I studied Asian Studies at University where I met my other half who was studying abroad from Holland. After a few years of dating, I moved with our daughter to a suburb of Amsterdam. Two years ago we relocated to Folkestone, which we absolutely love!

I look forward to sharing my travel experiences with all of you. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @flyawayamerican and Facebook  as well as my main blog The Fly Away American.

Don't forget to share your suggestions on the best places to see in Kent!




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Categories: Budget | Facebook | Family Life | Football | History | Nostalgia | Tourism | travel | kent

Small talk!

by The Odd One Out, with Dan Millen Saturday, March 2 2013

So I was sitting discussing with my colleague (JS) various different topics when we stumbled across old films we used to watch as children. There is not a significant age gap between us, only 5 years, but our choices in favourite films does differ quite considerably.

Once we had finished listing our favourite films, JS touched on the main actor in one of her films (The Indian in the Cupboard) and how she used to have a crush on him when she was 3 years old! I was more shocked at the age of her first crush then the fact she had a crush on Henri from the film.

After controlling my laughter, JS added fuel to the fire by declaring two further crushes: the first, Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone and the second, Buzz McCallister from Home Alone. This send me into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, some of the others joined me. JS literally smiled and joined in with us.

The dreaded question fell on me when on of the girls asked me who I had a crush on when I was younger? I could honestly say I went blank and could not think of a single crush at such a young age.

So now I've had time to think about it, I think it only fair I declare my crushes from childhood films:

1. Allie from The Karate Kid Part I (She also appeared in Back to the Future)

2. Andy from The Goonies

3. Jessica from The Karate Kid Part III

So there you have it, my three choice.

Keep reading and I'll keep you posted on my life as The Odd One Out.

Categories: blogs and bloggers | Entertainment | Family Life | Film | Leisure | Moaning | Moans and groans | Work

The calm after the storm?

by The Business Blog, with Trevor Sturgess Tuesday, July 17 2012

It was every event organiser’s worst nightmare - writ large.

The Kent County Show posed a classic challenge in disaster management. And to be fair to the Kent County Agricultural Society, organisers didn’t do too badly in that area. Communications combined with action is key.

You have to hand it to George Jessel, the doughty chairman and former military officer who communicated to the media as quickly and frankly as he could. He had some tough decisions to take amid conflicting advice from police, highway chiefs and weather pundits.

He came in for a media grilling but bravely fessed up in a stressful situation.

But there’s no doubt he was let down by poor signage - the show was not closed as stated by the road signs, but most of the car parks were. Many probably stayed away when they might well have got in. Many people were so keen to get into the show that they parked their cars outside the ground. Bad publicity is bizarrely often good publicity, giving the show a profile it’s not enjoyed for years.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it’s easy to blame organisers for not putting down bark chippings, sawdust and taking a host of precautions ahead of Thursday night’s deluge. But not all the fields are controlled by the society.

Many traders had a bad show, with disappointing takings and understandably vowing never to return. Many came a long way.

But they should remember that other shows like the Great Yorkshire were abandoned or cut short. Jessel and his team were determined to keep the show on the road in the face of daunting odds. We cannot change the British weather. The Kent County Show went on regardless of the mud, slipping and sliding - and most visitors showed dogged British grit to enjoy themselves despite the squelch.

And the numbers were surprisingly good, confirmed by the official attendance figure of 50,000, not bad for a virtual washout. If the figures are to be believed, the figure was not too far short of last year’s 67,000.

But that’s a far cry from the 100,000-plus that used to regard the show as an annual must and a marvellous shop window for the high-quality output of the Garden of England.

KCAS faces a whopping loss - probably at least £300,000 - but the show loses money in most years. It’s sensible of the society to invest in conference facilities that spread the risk and bring in substantial year-round revenues.

As for George Jessel, he is due to step down in February after six years as chairman. The 2012 show would be a sad way for him to go. He has shown leadership and charisma at the KCAS helm, taking it into the 21st century and steering it away from reliance on the show. He will be a hard act to follow and, if he can stand more flak, deserves the chance to stay on a little longer. One commentator described his response to trying circumstances as heroic.

It may be against the rules but in this case and in the interests of the society, they could be broken. He should be remembered for far more than the Detling quagmire - and allowed to step down after a thumping success rather than a damp disappointment.

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Categories: Entertainment | Family Life | parking

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