Distractions

Travelling first class to Edinburgh aboard the LNER service to Stirling is pretty good. Mind you the wifi is pretty crap. You’d think this country was in the grip of an illusion the way it thinks its technology is so good. The Empire is no more and with it, technological skill sets.

Still, the seats were comfortable.

I was quite impressed with King’s Cross Station. I’ve never caught a train there before today. I usually just slip by on my way to St Pancras. I thought it was quite modern and airy.

Kings Cross

We have two wheelie bags purposely bought for their bright colours. One is bright apple green, the other a sort of Smurf ice cream blue. Imagine my surprise when we spotted a couple of women getting into the carriage before ours with wheelie bags the same colours. An amazing coincidence and just a touch annoying.

Of course the train was delayed. Again, this is expected so not a surprise. What was a surprise was the number of reasons for the delay and the solution.

The delay was caused by, in no particular order, a fire on a train, a person being hit by a train and, my personal favourite, a trespasser on the track who was a criminal escaping from his police pursuers.

The solution for us and a number of other trains in front of us, was to take an alternative route. I get you’d do this on the road but find it amazing that the network is such that trains can just go another way.

Anyway, we were kept informed (in first class they come and tell you personally) and the times of arrival relayed to us as they became available. It was all a bit of an adventure. Well, for me. Mirinda was mired in documents for work.

We were travelling first class so the refreshments kept coming thick and fast. I especially liked the treacle muffins. I’m assured they have absolutely no carbs in them.

The drink looks like chocolate but is actually coffee

Given all the problems with the train, distraction was very important for Mirinda. Mind you, it wasn’t quite as good as the self distractions performed by a woman I saw driving passed the bus stop at lunch time. She was driving with one hand and, with the other, rocking a baby on the back seat. Her face was turned side on to both baby and road.

Meanwhile back on the train, and over four hours later, we reached Edinburgh only an hour later than expected. Fortunately, the train crew keeps the first class passengers well lubricated so the time slips as quickly by as the scenery.

The walk along Princes Street was a bit breezy, to say the least. Actually, we were walking into a gale. Still, the walk was a major treat after having been sat in our comfortable chairs for so long with trips only to the loo and back.

I’d booked a studio apartment because Miirnda is going to have to work and I figured it would give her a little more freedom than a hotel room. She could also have whatever food she wants in the fridge. Obviously I was very worried about it because she hadn’t okayed it.

When we walked in, I knew I was going to be fine. The flat is compact but very modern and airy with a great view of the castle and the trams going up and down Princes Street. The Waldorf Astoria is just across the road which is a bonus because that’s where Mirinda has a work dinner tomorrow night.

And, the flat is very close to the pedestrianised Rose Street where hordes of pubs and restaurants crowd both sides of the street, vying for everyone’s tastebuds.

Rose Street by night

We wound up in an Indian place because Mirinda had her heart set on a mild korma. And they certainly delivered everything one expects from an Indian restaurant.

The Indian Lounge: A family run Punjabi place with lovely, if plentiful, food

Having eaten far more than we really required, we wander back to the apartment for some much needed snooze time. The bed was very welcome.

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That’s more like it!

This has not been a good season for the Mighty Shots. A new management team and, essentially, a whole new playing team, were in danger of being thrown away as not working very well. In fact, Ade thought the manager should have been sacked after about his third game. Mind you, Ade voted for Brexit so that shows how much sense he has.

Tonight we were hosting Dover, a bit of a bogey side though how that is a thing I have no idea. After all, teams change constantly so clearly are not going to play the same. But, still, football supporters can be a rather superstitious lot so you have to observe the rituals and agree with them or find yourself on the outside of so many exclusive circles.

Before we joined the thronging masses, we had a rather impromptu tour of Aldershot pubs, looking for somewhere to eat. The only place that seems to serve food on a Tuesday these days is the Wetherspoons and, given the racist attitude of the owner, I refuse to eat or drink there. Nicktor, I said, could do what he liked.

What Nicktor liked was to go to the bar in the ground and have beer then eat a bacon bap followed by what is laughingly described as a burger. (It’s like when a restaurant calls a bowl of lettuce a salad. It might technically be correct but morally it lies through its teeth.)

Anyway, we sat in the bar nursing some pints of TEA and chatting to the frankly manic Heather. Heather is a lifelong Shots supporter. She buys three seats in the South Stand so she won’t have anyone sitting next to her. She goes to every game and talks like a stalker. She also haunts Comicon things and poses with ‘stars’ wearing her Aldershot supporter stuff. She’s a bit mad but strangely entertaining. I’m not sure if she’s harmless.

Eventually it was time for the off and we joined the old Slabbers for a game that sprang into action from the beginning and didn’t really stop. I was amazed at how well they played. I haven’t seen our team play with such commitment and skill for ages. The game was incredibly entertaining. Even Charlie enjoyed it.

At halftime we wandered over to the north side so Nicktor could ask Miserable Roy if he was happy yet. He wasn’t. While we led 2-0 he sighed that we could easily still lose. We heard what promised to be a funny story from a chap from Cheshire but it failed to deliver on its promise so we wandered back to the Slab for the second half.

The Slab

Two more goals and another 45 minutes of unrelenting pressure saw us win the game convincingly. I think if an alien had watched the game tonight she would have thought we were the best team on the planet. Last week she would have thought, quite rightly in my opinion, that we were shit.

Afterwards Nicktor suggested that we head round to the clubhouse and watch the presentation of the Man of the Match Award. This is something I’ve never done before. It was, oddly, fun with the MoTM, Shamir Mullings (an excellent choice I thought) suitably pleased and gracious. Mind you, typical for a footballer, he wasn’t particularly articulate. But as I always say, who needs words when your football skills can do the talking for you?

After the presentation and general back patting, we headed back downstairs for a chat with the driver of the Dover team players coach. Nicktor wanted to chat to him because the coach had Sheffield United stamped on the back bigger than life and at odds with the tiny cardboard sign in the front window proclaiming it to be Dover’s.

I didn’t really understand the reason why Dover uses Sheffield’s bus but it seemed to satisfy Nicktor so with a shake of the driver’s hand, we went home.

A very satisfying night of football.

Dover man down
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Sparkies

The week before I went to Naples, I had a quote from a couple of electricians to supply power to the greenhouse. Then, on Friday the boss electrician knocked at the door to say he was running a bit late and wouldn’t be able to start work till Monday. I looked somewhat confused because we’d not set a date at all. Anyway, it was all fine and we arranged (or re-arranged as far as he was concerned) for this morning.

While he promised ‘bright and early’ they turned up at a far more reasonable 09:45 and set to work. They were finished by lunchtime.

First thing I was worried because it was raining but the wet blew away and the sun actually made an appearance. The electricians agreed that this made things somewhat more pleasant than anticipated. They said they’d have done the job regardless but were happier with the dry.

Come the afternoon and the heavens once more opened up and drenched everything. As they were leaving the electricians told me their next job was in an attic. I reckon, given the rain, they’d be quite happy about that. Though it does rather depend on what’s in the attic I suppose.

So, we now have power in the greenhouse so Mirinda can order a heater and a propagator, two things that are essential when one has a greenhouse. Apparently.

Can you spot the power point?

Something quite odd is how they didn’t get rid of the bit of rope in the conduit which the slab guy left for the purpose of pulling the electric cable through. I guess they didn’t need to use it as the cable is quite stiff but, even so, you’d think they’d have removed it. Not that it’s any real difficulty for me to do, I just think it’s odd. I mean, did they think I’d want to use it for something else?

The cable runs along the fence and patches into the electricity board in my office – the electrician that did that years ago left me a couple of empty spots for just such an eventuality – an excellent bit of forward planning. Apart from a moment at the end of their visit, the main electricity remained on. It was all very painless.

There it is!

Emma was somewhat annoyed with the weather today. Freya merely slept through all the downpours dreaming of catching rats. I hope.

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Putting the star in Starbucks

Today was momentous for a certain little white-ish cockerpoo. It was just after I’d walked in from the shops, trolley bulging with supplies for tonight’s roast chicken, when I heard a low, grumbling sound that resembled a small gremlin. Freya was nowhere to be seen, yet I knew it was her because that’s the sort of noise she makes.

Walking to the terrace I could hear her slightly louder and realised she was somewhere inside the winter fire dogwood. I walked over and peered through the stalks. She was there and she was growling at something but I couldn’t see what it was. I took the stepping stones for a closer look.

Freya had found a rat and was standing about two feet away daring it to move. Ratty, for its part, was crouching, staring at Freya with an occasional hiss emerging from its mouth whenever Freya took a step closer. A classic stand-off.

I couldn’t see how anything was stopping either of them doing anything so I left them to it and went back to unpack the shopping. I also told Mirinda about it and she raced out to observe the action. She agreed that there appeared to be no injuries to either party and they were just trying to stare each other out.

Eventually the impasse was broken and Freya appeared on the terrace and the rat had vanished. I closely inspected Freya to make sure she was free from injury then, satisfied, I washed her paws which were quite dirty. Of the rat there was no sign so I can only think it must have managed to run away when Freya was momentarily distracted.

Little hero

While on the subject of dogs, this morning when I entered Starbucks, I was confronted by Victoria holding a tiny bundle of adorable. It was Dexter, Sue’s daughter Charlotte’s new puppy. He’s eight weeks old and utterly gorgeous.

He was extremely popular with everyone who came into Starbucks while I was there. He was so much the centre of attention that, by the time I left, he was fast asleep…which is why my photo of him is like it is.

Dexter

For scale he’s about the same size as Freya. He will grow a lot more.

Moving on to another type of animal, tonight we had Persian chicken and I actually used my own preserved lemons. And they worked very well.

I think next time I shall preserve smaller lemons. Normally I can fit about six inside whereas with the full size lemons, it was a bit of a squeeze managing two.

Regardless of the lemon size, the chicken emerged a few hours later smelling delicious and tasting twice as good. I’d call that a success. Though it does appear that the second lemon was trying to escape.

Then, to top it off, I made Mirinda a lo-carb parfait. I was inspired by a lo-carb recipe in what I call The Blood Book (actually The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey with Dr Sarah Schenker). I thought it deserved to be somewhat bigger and with layers.

And so, presenting my version of a lo-carb parfait:

From bottom: creme fraiche, ground and chopped pistachio, passion fruit, raspberries, creme fraiche, ground Brazil nuts, raspberries, passion fruit and a dribble of single cream.

Mirinda declared it delicious. I had goat’s milk yoghurt.

Interestingly, the Brazil nuts came from Bolivia.

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Dining with a hat

The Brasserie Restaurant in the Minerva Theatre opposite the Chichester Festival Theatre is incredibly efficient when it comes to serving food in time for their clients to get to their production on time. They are so efficient that sometimes your food arrives while you’re in the loo. Not that that’s a problem but if one wears a hat and leaves it in one’s place at the table one’s wife could be excused for thinking that she was one of Oliver Sach’s patients.

We were at the Brasserie because we were booked into the almost completely booked out matinee of Macbeth. The reason I’d dragged Mirinda to a Shakespeare production was because it had John Simm and Dervla Kirwan in the cast.

Before talking about the production, I think it only right that I review the restaurant.

Atlantic prawns entree

Food, drink and service were all excellent. While the staff ran around making sure people were in and out in time, we didn’t feel rushed at all. They were also happy and smiling, which is always very pleasant.

I have to admit that we were a bit naughty and had dessert. While Mirinda had a ginger cake pudding, I decided on the cheese plate which featured the most amazing little fig loaf. I didn’t take a photo but imagine a Lilliputian loaf of bread with drizzled fig sauce on it. It was something quite special. Well worth the carbs.

After lunch we went for a wander around the theatre. The Festival Theatre is at one end of a series of playing fields. Because of the rugby that is presently taking over our televisions, there’s a sort of pop-up pub showing the games and generally serving beer to fans. One of those fans was outside proclaiming his allegiance to his preferred team.

Sparticus!

And then, the play.

I am a great admirer of John Simm and his abilities as an actor. The second half of the play showed just how good he is. His portrayal of the corrupt and increasingly desperate Macbeth was excellent. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case in the first half.

I’m no Shakespearean scholar (obviously) but I do feel that, at the beginning of the play, Macbeth is an innocent and successful soldier who is easily led astray by his increasingly mad wife. His pleasure at being promoted should be tempered by her insistence that he could be so much more. He is complex while being simple. This is difficult to achieve but can be done. I wasn’t convinced this time.

On the other hand, I thought Dervla Kirwin was a superb Lady Macbeth. Her exhortations at the banquet were perfect. And her ‘out damn spot‘ mania was unforgettable. For me, she owned the stage every time she stepped onto it.

Speaking of the stage, the set was excellent; a glass floor with rocks beneath, a scrim at the back showing various back projections or ‘other’ scenes worked very well. And the cauldron scene was amazing.

Speaking of the cauldron, I was not impressed by the witches. While their movement was excellent, they resembled three mischievous fairies rather than old crones. I could be forgiven for thinking I’d stepped back into A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the fey folk around Titania. It was a pity because they are such an integral part of Macbeth’s slide into absolute corruption.

On the plus side, I thought Banquo (Stuart Laing) was excellent. His deep, resonant voice, his strong stature, his command all combined to make him a standout. I liked his ghost.

While I’m talking about voices, this was yet another production which relied heavily on amplification. John Simm had an obvious microphone which I found distracting and disappointing in equal measure. Such a shame when the theatre seems to be more than acoustically adequate. Mirinda wondered why actors aren’t trained to use their voices better and I couldn’t agree more. Project! I wanted to yell.

This was even more required when it came to Duncan the King. Maybe Christopher Ravenscroft was saving his voice for the evening performance because he was very hard to hear and, therefore, understand from where we sat. I do wonder what the director was thinking, allowing such slack vocal work. I’d be ashamed of myself.

All that sounds like it was shit but it wasn’t. I enjoyed most of it very much. Apart from Lady Macbeth, I thought Malcolm (Beatriz Romilly) was played well though the director really should tell Beatriz not to stand with her hands behind her back so often. Mirinda reckons this was because she was playing a male which is fair enough but very few of the males who were playing males did it. Still, that was a minor irritant – I thought she was very good as the young soon-to-be king.

Still, overall, the whole day was a great success and we promised ourselves more trips to the Festival Theatre and definitely more lunches at the Brasserie.

SPOILER ALERT

Something I would have added is when Macbeth makes the claim to Macduff that he cannot be killed by anyone of a woman born. In the delightful twist Macduff tells him he was born by Cesarean delivery. I think this could have been greatly enhanced if, after Macbeth made his claim, Macduff just burst into laughter before admitting the truth.

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Filling the fossil fuel gap

The black eyed Susan in our garden

This morning on the Today programme there was a piece about the RSC and National Theatre stopping the sponsorship they receive from BP and Shell. The reason is because groups of children have written letters to both organisations saying that both companies continue to develop, dig up and generally endorse the use of fossil fuels. The children maintain that the world they inherit is in their hands and demand better from the adults.

There was a chap on the Today programme from the RSC. He was, obviously, defending the decision. The interviewer put forward the argument for the continued production of sponsorship money being that it helps pay for reduced ticket prices for the same children who, otherwise, wouldn’t be subjected to any of the Arts. (This debate is for another post.)

That was batted away by the RSC guy who said it was an initiative before BP sponsorship and that it would continue after BP. He cited other examples of arts organisations finding other sponsorship alternatives that could fill the fossil fuel gap.

The person who was arguing the other side was Matthew Parris. Matthew is a journalist and sometimes presenter on Radio 4. I have no idea what his credentials are for being the defender of the oil people but that was his position this morning. His argument was that because the chap from the RSC had probably taken a bus or a car or a diesel train to the studio he was clearly condoning the use of fossil fuels and, therefore, cutting off the cash cow teat was clearly hypocritical.

Meanwhile, in our extension, I was yelling at the radio “WHAT ABOUT TOBACCO? TALK ABOUT TOBACCO!” I might as well have been miles away from the studio for all the notice they took.

Clematis on the Don King Arch

I remember back when the tobacco industry sponsored sporting events. The big Malborough McLaren F1 car racing around the tracks of the world looking like a big red and white packet of fags. I remember the Embassy World Snooker Championship where the players were flanked by numerous advertising hoardings imploring people to smoke – because smokers make better snooker players, I suppose. (I even remember the days when players would smoke and drink a pint while they played but that was a LONG time ago.)

Then, because tobacco is bad for people, the organisations who benefited from their largesse decided to stop it and find alternative advertising. Which they successfully did. Okay, the snooker is now generally sponsored by a bookmaker but gambling addiction is a bit different to something that could cause your lungs to stop working.

Now, even though people still smoke and tobacco products are still available for those that want them, all advertising, worldwide, has been banned. Which means, of course, that there is no longer any sponsorship money for any organisation. To use Matthew Parris’ argument, it would be very hypocritical for a smoker in F1 or snooker’s governing bodies to reject sponsorship money. And, in fact, anyone who is subjected to second hand smoke is obviously a hypocrite as well.

Of course, that’s stupid. Money at all costs can be very costly indeed.

Busy Lizzie in the Candy Bed

The photographs in this post have absolutely nothing to do with the content. They are because I noticed how many flowers there are in the garden which is odd at this time of year. It’s like we’ve had a second flush of colour.

Mind you, if a late blooming garden is the result of climate change then maybe the photos do have something to do with the content.

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A treat on Thursday

It’s not often that I indulge myself in making something that takes a long time to prepare and then cook during the week. But on Tuesday Waitrose had swedes. This might not seem like a good reason but it was. Given we don’t eat potatoes, swedes and turnips are an excellent alternative but Waitrose seems to rarely stock them. (Of course that will all change with Brexit given swedes and turnips are possibly among the only vegetables we’ll be eating in the UK.)

Having bought the swedes and the rest of the required ingredients on Tuesday meant I didn’t have to go shopping this morning but I decided to go to Nero’s after the gym just because it’s so close. I rather wish I hadn’t.

For some reason, Nero’s was busier than usual and all the tables had been claimed. This wasn’t a problem for sitting of course, because there were lots of the comfy chairs however, it makes typing difficult so I didn’t bother writing my blog until I returned home. Still, the coffee was nice.

At least the weather was kind, unlike the bastard who decided that a footpath bend in a road was his own private parking space.

Lesson 1: How to be incredibly inconsiderate

The sign is indicating a double gate leading to the Swain and Jones building site. The inconsiderate driver is parked completely on the footpath because he’s decided to park on a quite tight bend. And before anyone reading this assumes the driver was just ‘popping in’ somewhere, the car was still there over an hour later when I left the gym.

Normally I’d obscure the number plate but given he inconvenienced me, I don’t see why I shouldn’t return the favour. Besides, he’s an arsehole.

His arseholery didn’t bother me for long because I have a happy life and his is obviously not. The weather was dry (though cloudy) and the temperature set to Crisp. I walked home, chatting to Archie’s owner’s grandmother for a bit.

I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone with so many health issues. Following the hip replacement, the knee problem and the gout she now has to have a front tooth replaced with an implant because the crown she’d had years ago fell off. She now has a temporary single tooth denture and hates it.

I always feel a lot better about any affliction I have after speaking to her. Perhaps that’s her aim. If so, it’s very generous of her.

At home I set to with housework prior to lunch after which I started making a hotpot for dinner. (This is what the swede was for.)

By the time we had dinner the hotpot was melt in the mouth perfect. A success, I’d say.

I wrote a post regarding the introduction of the swede into Britain back in 2016. It’s here: Neeps and Tatties.

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Washing on the line

What an excellent day! No rain and almost all sun. I was actually able to put a couple of loads of washing on the line. Along with my runners, which suffered greatly during yesterday’s deluge. There was even a light but not menacing breeze. Not that it was particularly warm. In fact the temperature has taken a sudden downward turn.

The gym was delightfully empty – I do like having the place to myself because it means I can try out new machines without anyone there to laugh at me – and I pedalled and lifted and pushed my way through an hour of sweat.

I was going to just go home afterwards but I had a message from Mirinda saying she’d be home tonight (she wasn’t scheduled to come home until tomorrow night) so I had to go shopping for food. Generally, Wednesday dinner for me is bacon and eggs but Mirinda needs something a little more substantial.

Back at home I did the aforementioned washing then, after lunch, took the girls to the park where a chap commented that he didn’t know I had two dogs. When I said that I did he then commented on the fact that “I only see the brown one in the window.” I corrected his choice of colour for Emma then said that she barks enough for both of them. He agreed. Besides, I added, Freya is usually asleep.

I saw and spoke to Katie today. She didn’t have Daisy, just Harley. When I asked where Daisy was she told me that Harley’s owners wanted to reduce her walking time to 45 minutes while Daisy gets an hour. I told her I thought that was a real shame because they thoroughly enjoyed walking and playing together. She agreed.

Harley proved the point by playing with Freya and chasing Emma chasing the ball.

Apparently Harley’s owners are about to have a baby so Katie might be surplus to requirements soon. I hope that doesn’t mean I’ll not see her anymore. I rather enjoy our little chats and I would really miss Daisy and Harley.

And, apart from housework, that was just about my day.

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Narrow and not so narrow escapes

Today was the dreaded weigh in. Normally it’s only been a week between scales but because of the bug I had and then going to Naples, I’ve not mounted them for two weeks. Given the Naples Carbolicious Extravaganza, I wasn’t expecting great things. Imagine my delight and joy therefore when the electronic numbers declared that I’d managed to lose 1.1 kilos. Weird.

Not so weird was the prospect of a wet day. The weather report claimed there would be rain at about 10am then sunshine until the early afternoon when there would be torrential downpours and the chance of thunder and lightning. Apart from the thunder and lightning, they were pretty much 100% correct.

As I was walking to Waitrose I ran into Vivienne and Luna rushing to reach home before the rain fell. It was close to 10am so I wished her luck as I headed down Long Garden Walk. As I shopped I looked out the big plate glass windows and it was raining pretty heavily. I figured that Vivienne and Luna were probably about halfway home.

Then, as I left Waitrose, during a lull in the rain, I thought I might have struck it lucky. Halfway through the park, the rain poured down on me, drenching me and making my shoes squelch. The puppies appeared to laugh when I walked in the door.

By the way, I managed to get a photo of the vacant property this morning, the one I suggested yesterday might become a bookshop. I’m thinking not given the To Let sign but who knows?

Castle Street shop front

Another building in Castle Street has obscured windows as well. At first I thought that Bill’s was closed which would be odd because it always appears to be busy regardless of the time or day. As I walked by I realised it’s actually being refurbed.

In fact, a very jolly woman handed me a ‘scratchie’ card as I walked by, letting me know that they would reopen on Sunday and the ‘scratchie’ would reveal a gift for me. Naturally I completely forgot about it until quite late. When I scratched it, it revealed my ‘present’ which was a free dessert. Shame.

Bill’s, Castle Street

Anyway, eventually I managed to dry myself out (apart from my shoes) and settled down to do some housework as the sky turned blue and the sun beamed down like a cheeky child that knows there’s a frog in the teapot.

After lunch I decided to risk the weather and take the girls to the park. The day was looking glorious and there were no threatening clouds or hints of rain anywhere.

Peaceful bliss

Then, after about an hour, almost out of nowhere, I noticed a definite blackening of the clouds coming from the Castle. I decided the girls had had enough and headed for home. I walked in the door, closed it behind me and walked into the extension. And then it fell.

Great torrents of water. It was Niagara-like both in intensity and noise.

I guess that’s a big welcome to October then.

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Matching top and bow

Today saw me return to the gym. It’s been a few weeks (what with being on my deathbed with some pathetic bug then in Bristol then in Naples) so I wasn’t anticipating anything special. Mind you, I was very surprised that it all went okay and I didn’t have an overwhelming feeling that to stop working out would be putting my best foot forward.

My morning walk

Of course, tomorrow I might ache but today, at least, I felt that old familiar surge of post-exercise pleasure as I walked into Farnham for a Nero latte.

I was sat at the big table when a Schumanian lady asked if I minded if she sat opposite me. Of course not, I said and she did. She then spent about ten minutes trying to re-arrange an appointment with someone about something. That was not the most exhilarating conversation so I didn’t listen. (It may have been her hairdresser though, because she kept touching her hair.)

Then, a chap with one of those silly little wispy beards, a key chain clamped to his nose and side plates in his ear lobes sat down and shook her hand giving her his name. It wasn’t long before I realised he was there for a job interview. I felt a bit sorry for him given they were in the middle of a busy coffee shop rather than some secluded corner. So, of course, I listened in.

Her first question to him was: Why a bookshop? So, obviously the job was selling books and, given the only bookshop in Farnham is Waterstone’s, I assume a new one must be opening. Mind you that does assume the job is actually in Farnham. Coincidentally, there’s a vacant shop opposite Nero at the moment.

His answer was that he loved books. If he won the lottery, he said, he’d build a library in his house. (Given the Tories over the last decade he could probably pick one up quite cheap at the moment, I thought.) He had a Kindle, he said, but never used it because of how much he loved books. At this point I wanted to ask him how much weight he likes carrying around with him. And what he has against convenience. But, of course, I didn’t. I continued to pretend to write my blog post.

When she asked him what he thought the job entailed he said that it would be about making sure the stock was always ‘out front’ and available because there’s nothing worse than empty shelves. She paused ever so slightly then said “What about the customers?

This had him backtracking and swearing that he considered the customer before anything else. He worked at the Marlborough Head for about five years (back when it existed) and he knew how important good customer service is. (When I told Mirinda about this she reckons he thought the job was just in the stock room.)

Anyway, eventually I left them to it and went shopping. Then I walked home.

Remains of the Farnham Food Festival

The gardeners were with us today but no Gardener Dave (I don’t knew where he was). Instead we had Matt and…someone else. Apparently Matt has been to ours before but a long time ago. Anyway, normally if Dave isn’t coming, Mirinda cancels the gardeners but this time she didn’t know so Phil (the boss) sneaked another couple of guys in. And, to be fair, they did a splendid job.

The rest of the day involved washing and cooking and cleaning up. Mirinda, of course, was working. The weather continues to be on and off, wet and dry.

I had a message from Denise today. It came with a couple of photographs and the caption “My new baby!

Noice!
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