Station Cafe

August 27, 2014

Station Cafe black shed

Station Cafe black shed

In the forecourt of Alton Station, a black shed with a couple of benches outside, never found open before.

As I had forty minutes to wait for a train, I decided to take a look inside.

I was pleasantly surprised, nothing what I would have expected from the outside.

At one end, bookshelves lined with books, very tastefully decorated. I expected a scruffy transport cafe.

I said, I had never seen it open before.

Bikers night, every Wednesday night in the summer, last Wednesday of the month in the winter.

I cannot have been in Alton on a Wednesday before.

Ginger Two

August 27, 2014
Ginger Two

Ginger Two

Ginger Two is a little coffee bar down a side street off the High Street in Winchester.

I spotted it as I was looking for Eat Drink and Be. None too impressed by the lunchtime menu, I carried on with my search for Eat Drink and Be. I eventually found Eat Drink and Be, right at the top of the High Street. Lacking in atmosphere, I decided to walk back down to Ginger Two.

I was too late for lunch, kitchen closed, but they did offer to knock me up a sandwich.

Prawns, lots if them, served in quality brown bread, with a few leaves.

I was not though impressed be served a glass of warm water. They should at least of run the tap, and most places usually drop in a slice of lemon, often ice too.

Lots of delicious looking cakes on display, which I indulged in with a pot of Ceylon tea.

They warned me their breakfast tea was very strong. The Ceylon tea I found to be very weak.

I made the mistake of drinking with milk. I drink tea with no milk, but when out, usually with milk, as never quality tea.

The tea was in a tea bag. I would have preferred loose tea leaves as alwasy better tea. But at least not teapigs which is rubbish tea from Tetley, masquerading as high quality tea from an indie tea company.

Very posh stunningly attractive girls serving. And very friendly and helpful. Knew and took an interest and pride in what they were serving. A marked difference to Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks.

I noticed coffee was on sale, both what they were serving (which I did not try), but only in 1kg bags, which is why they also sold a different sourced coffee as available in smaller bags.

Ginger Two would be a good location for BookCrossing.

Wifi? I do not know, I did not ask, but I did not notice anyone using laptops or tablets.

lack of wifi could be seen as a plus, as people were actually sat talking to each other.

Walls would be better deployed exhibiting local artists.

Open until six o’clock, Thursday, Friday and Saturday until nine o’clock when morphs into a wine bar.

Begs the question why does anyone frequent Costa or Starbucks or Caffe Nero, overpriced disgusting coffee, factory cakes and awful corporate environment? But then why does anyone eat in McDonald’s.

Diagonally opposite Ginger Gelato, an ice cream parlour. Outside, quote of the day. Suggest each day, a quote from Adultery, Paulo Coelho’s latest book.

Waterstone’s Winchester: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 27, 2014
Adultery Why is Love is more important than Faith?

Adultery Why is Love more important than Faith?

Would Waterstone’s Winchester have Paulo Coelho’s latest book, would it be on prominent display?

I looked where latest hardbacks were on display. I could not see Adultery.

I asked at the counter. A helpful man, he said yes, we do have, Paulo Coelho books are upstairs, but should be here with latest releases.

We looked, and I spotted before he did. Three, maybe four copies.

I asked was it selling.

He said yes, slowly slowly.

Dysfunctional public transport

August 27, 2014
Alton Station bus stop

Alton Station bus stop

No 64 bus leaving Alton Station is timed to depart at exactly the same time as the London train arrives.

What brain dead imbecile designs a bus timetable that the bus departs as the connecting train arrives, that guarantees you miss the bus, leaving passengers half an hour to wait for the next bus?

Does Stagecoach hate bus passengers?

Ten minutes before the bus was due a 64 bus arrived.

I do not know why, but I asked was it the bus for Winchester?

No, replied the driver, this bus goes around the estates yours is the next bus.

How can you have two different routes, each with the same number?

I looked again at the timetable, no, no bus shown going around the estates, just a bus every half hour to Winchester, timed to depart that you miss it as your arrive by train.

I then noticed there was a second timetable, and yes, it too was No 64.

I then noticed the bus timetables were the new schedule, not valid until 31 August 2014.

The sign at the bus stop shows this to be a bus train interchange.

Stagecoach which owns the buses, also owns South West Trains.

Afternoon in Winchester

August 27, 2014

Dysfunctional public transport. London train arrives at Alton Station at same time as bus departs for Winchester, then have to wait half an hour for the next bus.

I could have walked into Alton and caught the next bus, but by the time I thought of this, not worth it, and it was drizzling of rain.

I noticed the station had books for people to take, drop off. I suggested they register on BookCrossing.

I was not aware Winchester had a market on Wednesday. Maybe because I usually walk along the river, and the back streets behind the Cathedral, and not the High Street.

I was aware Friday, and that was only because of a couple of wasted journeys last year looking for Wincheter Coffee Roasters, only to learn they no longer had a stall. The only time I have walked the High Street.

High Street interesting architecture but the same rubbish chains which dominate and destroy every High Street in every town.

Either end of the High Street lots of empty shops, even in the middle.

Jamie Oliver Union jacks did not last long

Jamie Oliver Union jacks did not last long

Jamie Oliver, only a year or so ago, opened Union jacks. It has already closed.

Eat Drink and Be

Eat Drink and Be

I was looking for Eat Drink and Be, but had no idea where it was or what it looked like. I walked along the High Street nothing. Having walked so far, I decided to walk up to the City Gate. And yes, there it was. I walked in, walked out. It had about as much atmosphere as a hotel lounge or a train station bar. And when are places going to learn, moronic radio station playing does not attract clientèle. And it closed at five o’clock.

I was there, to try coffee from Winchester Coffee Roasters. Maybe another day. Coffee beans were on sale, which was worth noting for another day.

I asked in Waterstone’s did they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book? Yes, and they knew what I was askiing for, three maybe four copies of Adultery on display with latest releases.

Ginger Two

Ginger Two

On my way, I had spotted Ginger Two down a side street. Nice atmosphere, but uninspiring lunch menu. I asked, sorry kitchen closed, but they did offer to rustle up a sandwich served with a few leaves. An excellent range of teas and cakes, I had a pot of Ceylon tea and a cake.

On leaving, I noticed Ginger ice cream parlour diagonally opposite.

Now, it was time to leave Winchester, well almost, last bus 1850.

I thought I would find a little provisions shop down the back streets behind the Cathedral. I got lost, eventually found, only to find was closed (they used to be open in the evening).

eyesore sheds on the green

eyesore sheds on the green

The Deans House used to have books undercover, help yourself, leave the money. Now two sheds, appalling eyesores on the green. There were also ugly banners draped outside the Cathedral. Does no one have any concept of aesthetics?

I just made the 1850 bus, the last bus. I missed not having walked along the river.

At Alton, 40 minutes wait for next train.

A trip to Waitrose.

Outside the station, Station Cafe, a black shed. I have never seen it open. This evening I found it open. I took a look inside, and was pleasantly surprised. I was tempted to stay, but that would have been yet another train missed.

On the train, a lady asked if she could sit and talk to me. I said yes. She then asked would I like to receive a million pounds.

Vangelis: A message of hope

August 26, 2014

Beauty is harmony which comes from chaos. — Vangelis

We invest in chaos because chaos is much more profitable. — Vangelis

Fascinating thoughts of Vangelis, music corporations destroying music, destroying creativity.

Orthodox Jews oppose Zionism

August 25, 2014

On the face of it, one would expect Orthodox Jews to support the Zionist State of Israel, but a moment’s reflection see why not. One is about a religion, the other real estate, God reduced to an estate agent.

Orthodox Jews oppose the State of Israel, oppose Zionism and oppose the IDF.


August 25, 2014

The horror of the Israeli destruction of Gaza, relocated to Toronto.

The closest we have in London, is the Blitz.

And still there are Zionist apologists for Israel who try to portray Israel as the victim.

And it will not end until Israel withdraws to its pre-1997 borders, stops occupying Palestinian land, removes the blockade of Gaza, releases all Palestinians detained, stops beating Palestinians, stops destroying their crops.

Paulo Coelho: having an affair and saving your marriage

August 25, 2014

Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho talks to Channel 4 News about adultery, depression, betrayal and how he connects with readers through social media.


“I cannot tell you I was the most faithful husband on earth, and the same goes for my wife, she had one or two affairs but we were able to overcome.”


“I thought the big issue was depression today, which is not, it is betrayal. The main focus here is that fear of losing control of the things we take for granted, and among the things we take for granted is marriage.”


“I’m not this nice person who is always forgiving everybody, no I’m a warrior. I’m very passionate about life. It’s not that I’m revengeful, but I’m a warrior.”


“For Brazil, the World Cup was a disaster and we’re going to pay this nepotism debt for the years to come. I can blame myself because I was there for the bid. I really regret when I saw how they were investing the money. It was basically nepotism.”

Middle East

“In Brazil we have this expression, we ask the driver of a bus to put the brakes on when somewhere is too crowded so I think the same thing is going to happen in the Middle East.”

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum.

The Alchemist, his most famous novel, has been translated into 80 languages. The author has sold 150 million copies worldwide.

His latest book Adultery is out now.

You can follow him on twitter @paulocoelho.

Adaptation of Channel 4 News interview with Paulo Coelho.

Lotus Flower

August 25, 2014

Hauntingly beautiful Lotus Flower from the incredibly talented singer-songwriter Jewelia.

Earlier this month Jewelia released Monsters her début EP.

View story at


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