Afternoon in Alton

River Wey water meadows

River Wey water meadows

Sometimes a day out is not quite what we had planned.

Last week, I went to Alton looking forward to lunch at the little Italian restaurant, only to find it was closed.

This week, thought I, get to Alton early afternoon, lunch at the Italian coffee shop, then afternoon tea in the Allan Gallery, but it was not to be.

The day started off coolish mid-morning, but rapidly warmed up, by midday hot, and getting hotter during the afternoon.

Sometimes on arrival in Alton, if I am lucky I see a steam train.

Today was one of those days, a steam train. Before it pulled out, I noticed down the line something waiting to come in. I waited to see what it was. A freight train, pulled by two steam locomotives. They shunted the freight wagons up and down, I was not sure what was going on. Then in came another train, then another. What I had chanced upon was a steam rally on the Watercress Line, hence the large number of steam locomotives.

Two and a half hours, maybe nearly three hours later, I left the station.

No time to look in the bookshop, I headed straight on down to the little Italian coffee shop.

I was very disappointed to find nothing to eat as the chefs had gone home early. By now I was starving. I settled for prawns in a roll (all they had left), followed by a pot of tea and a cake. Not much left by the way of cakes.

I sat in the garden out the back and got chatting to a group of people who were down from London for a wedding. As they were leaving, I said I was happy to show them Alton and the water meadows as that was where I was heading.

By now, everything was closed.

Down the side of Costa Coffee, a narrow alley runs alongside the River Wey. The alley almost completely obstructed by tables and chairs from Costa. This is the norm for Costa. As is opening without planning consents. Baffled why anyone would wish to frequent Costa when Alton has a lovely little Italian coffee shop.

We popped into the local Methodist Church which was open. We were invited to join them for prayer, which we declined.

We then walked through the water meadows alongside the River Wey, and came back to the main road via St Lawrence Church.

As we were passing O’Connor’s Secret Garden, I suggested they may wish to take a look as I was dying of thirst and fancied a drink. We sat for a little while in the lovely garden out the back, then relocated inside as it was becoming cooler and we had decided to stay and eat. The meal was excellent.

For me, a long journey home, finally getting home very, very tired, not long before midnight. For my friends I guess much later as they had to travel back to London.

It had been my intention to travel down to Brighton the next day, but somehow I did no think that was going to happen. I was far too tired.

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