Cold afternoon in Farnham

Dambusters on display in Oxfam Bookshop

Dambusters on display in Oxfam Bookshop

I thought Saturday afternoon would be a pleasant warm afternoon in Farnham, or at least not cold, I was wrong.

The day started off cold, that was to be expected. Raking up leaves, spiking the grass, the sun came out, it was pleasantly warm. But it was short lived. Waiting for a bus to Aldershot, then to Farnham, it was cold, it was very cold on arrival in Farnham and cold all afternoon walking the streets.

Synchronicity: Walking into the Oxfam Bookshop, as I walked in the door, on display Dambusters, a book on the Dambusters raid. Only the day before, I had been sat next to a girl on a train reading autobiography by Guy Gibson, the leader of the Dambusters Raids. Not only that, as I walked further into the shop, a DVD and a book on display on the Lancaster, the heavy bomber used in the raid.

Very busy. This is a very popular bookshop, charming girls serving. They know about books. Puts Waterstone’s to shame. Also good for music and film. Puts the bankrupt HMV to shame.

I picked up a few Paulo Coelho books, including hardback edition of The Devil and Miss Prym. I was hoping to find The Angels Game, but no shop ever seems to have it. The Shadow of the Wind yes, but not The Angels Game.

Oxfam and British Heart Foundation are two charity shops that rip people off on books, though I hasten to add not the Farnham Oxfam bookshop. British Heart Foundation finally got the message and dropped the price of paperback novels from £2-50 to £2 (Oxfam bookshop in Guildford is still ripping people off at £2-50). In the window of British Heart Foundation dog-eared copies 50 Shades of Crap at £3. No book has ever been offloaded so fast onto the charity shops.

Cook is an excellent little food shop in Downing Street. They must though have very high staff turnover as I never see the same staff twice, or when I do, I never see them again. A very zealous woman. Not having seen her before, I asked who she was. She told me she was the new manager of the shop. I wondered was she on commission only. She would not leave me alone, what did I want, did I want to know what was in the food. Hassle, hassle hassle. I only got a moment’s peace when a new victim walked into the shop. She is going to lose Cook an awful lot of customers.

Butcher in Downing Street was empty. I thought they would be lining up down the street with the horsemeat scandal. Butcher was non-committal on the scandal. One would have though he would have a lot to say, chance to win over new customers.

Waitrose, on the other hand, very crowded. As bad if not worse than the run up to Christmas.

There was more people in the Lion and Lamb Courtyard than on the streets of Aldershot.

Passing through Aldershot is was empty, the first casualty of the Westgate development, a French restaurant has closed down and is up for sale.

Earlier on arrival in Farnham, I had a chat with the girl selling the Big Issue. I was surprised to see it was now £2-50. I thought it was £2. It was a big mistake when it went from £1 to £1-50. When £1 people would fish a pound coin out of their pocket or purse. If change needed hand back pound coins. Now both sides have to fish for lose change.

Girl selling Big Issue joins me in The Barn. Tells me she is cold.

Very late lunch at The Barn. Excellent falafel, pita bread, homous and a little salad.

It was light when I walked in The Barn. Now dark and very cold.

I catch a bus just outside The Barn. Luckily no wait in the cold, the bus is early and waiting. Not long to wait at Aldershot for a bus.

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