Afternoon in Godalming

Paulo Coelho three books

Paulo Coelho three books

The previous night, the weather forecast showed cold, wet and raining for Godalming. I awoke to clear blue sky. I checked the weather forecast, rain was due by mid-afternoon.

But first, a detour to Guildford to visit WHSmith. Following the debacle in WHSmith Farnborough yesterday, two copies of Manuscript Found in Accra were reserved for me to collect on Friday. I decided not to run the risk that offer may no longer apply, then have a hassle trying to buy at the offer price.

I looked in Waterstone’s. Did they have the limited edition of The Alchemist. Not on the shelves, therefore I assume not.

I looked in The Keystone. New landlords and already has gone downhill. Big board outside illegally blocking the footpath on a busy road. Six Nations Rugby. The Keystone had the advantage that it was one of the few pubs without a widescreen TV.

Long wait in the freezing cold for a bus.

I alight from the bus, the other side of the River Wey to walk across the bridge into Godalming. A big mistake, because as I walk across the bridge it starts to rain.

But first, I pop in the little corner shop next to the boarded up Wey Inn. It was due to open as Tesco, which no one wants. Nothing appears to be happening. I suggest two things: Jeremy Hunt MP meets with the boss of Tesco and makes it clear they are not wanted (as Sadiq Khan MP did in Tooting Bec) and that they have it declared under the Localism Act as an Asset of Community Value.

Two other things I suggest: In light of the strong community opposition to the Wey Inn turning into a Tesco, they build on that community support and talk with Steve at Café Mila, and that they watch In Transition 2.0.

Death of the English Pub, would also be of interest.

Cold and wet trudging through Godalming.

In Cook, I pick up two packs of their excellent mince pies, on offer at two packs for £4. I had tried Cook in Farnham on Saturday. They only had one pack left, and refused to sell at £2. Cook Godalming found this unbelievable, and yes, would have sold to me at £2, if only one pack left.

I usually enjoy my lunch at Café Mila. Today not, I think the weather has put me off. Plus, I probably should have remained in Guildford, and not got cold and wet.

I miss two buses, the 71 and 46. I thought I may catch the 1530 No 71, if running late, or if not, the 46, but I had assumed the 46 ran at 1545 (as it is usually 15 minutes after I have been waiting for the 71 to turn up), I was wrong, 1540, and both buses on time.

Nearly an hour to wait in the cold and wet for the next bus.

I walk to Waterstone’s. A very helpful charming young lady who I have not seen before. A pleasant change to the staff in WHSmith. She checks, four copies of the limited edition The Alchemist, she can order if I wish. As unable to obtain anywhere, I say yes. First I order one, then two, then three, then finally all four.

I thought, are we talking about the same book? I will find out. But she said not to worry if I do not want, they do not send them back, will be put out on the shelves, and they hold for six weeks.

No 71 bus is on time. Wonders will never cease.

Last week, catching 1530, the bus was very busy, which is unusual, as usually not busy, but then I do not usually catch at that time. The 1630 is not busy.

Heavy rain passing through the Surrey Hills, the roads flooded, more accurately awash with water. Atrocious driving conditions.

Most of the journey in darkness, with only a handful of passengers, and I think at one time, only me. The journey seemed to last for ever. Like being in a film, on a bus ride to nowhere

At Farnham, someone one I know gets on the bus, which relieves the tedium of the journey.

Finally reach Aldershot. Nearly one hour and forty minutes. Luckily, as the bus pulls in and I alight, the next bus I want, pulls in.

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