Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Small Changes

Things don't stay the same...well some things do and some don't. Karen and I met for hot chocolate at the HaHa Bar - which had gotten rid of the leather sofas and instead had uniform but stylish armchairs. And I opted for the cappuccino. On the way there we passed the Mary Rose pub, now renamed as 'The Dragon'. Who knows why any of that.

In my absence, the Ghost clothes label seems to have expanded onto the High Streets and Karen and I had a good look around in there, I even bought something, but could have spent a lot more on clothes I loved, but had no real use for.

In the afternoon, Kevin and I went on the train to Guildford to meet Ben after work.
We had time to spare and so I spent a small fortune in Marks and Sparks, just on underwear, theirs gets better and better, I even found one to match the dress I bought in Ghost. Then I worked out what I had spent in $ and realised I'd spent SFx2. Seriously, the amount sounded bad when I turned it into dollars.

Guildford is an old, historic town, full of ghosts, even a Ghost.
It's full of swank and decay.
The people there are well-dressed and even better spoken and have wonderful comportment, but there's something amiss that I can't quite articulate, that maybe despite all attempts at modernity, it's somehow stuck in time or a rabbit hole like the Alice in Wonderland of one of its famous citizens, Lewis Carrol.

We went to a large and rambling pub down by the river. I remember it as being called 'The Jolly Farmer', but now it's known as 'The Weyside' and it is indeed by the river Wey. I remember coming here for geography field trips to gasp at its abandoned meanders.
Kevin gasped at a narrow boat that passed us.

The restaurant staff did their best, but English people seem to find the hospitality industry difficult. I know I always did. I think I have become a better consumer since living in Canada, I feel more comfortable communicating my wants and needs to shop and restaurant staff as though they have some merit and not just me being awkward, more able to return things without having to concoct an airtight story beforehand, no longer worried I'll hurt the feelings of the shop assistants and servers.

I have renewed my railcard and have already saved the cost of it. I have also discovered the advance booking system and rock bottom prices.
I love being on the train and I love that you can buy wine from the trolley that moves through the carriages.
But I hate that some red-nosed wino will come and set down beside you on a bench at the top end of Guildford High Street and light up a rollie that smells like burning hay.
And I hate that people throw up in phone boxes and no-one clears it up.
Because really, no-one uses them anymore.

Today I watched cars go past me until finally I saw a woman driving whilst on her mobile phone. She was looking around furtively. When she saw me staring straight at her she clicked it shut and dropped it.

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