Afternoon in Winchester

City Mill

City Mill

bridge over River Itchen

bridge over River Itchen

River Itchen

River Itchen

As with two weeks ago, even though I set off earlier, I again am frustrated by dysfunctional public transport.

As I leap off the train, and run out of Alton Station, I see the No 64 bus for Winchester leaving. To make matters worse, the bus driver left 30 seconds early. Although 30 seconds may not sound a lot, it is all the difference to my and other passengers catching the bus or waiting 30 minutes for the next bus.

The next bus leaves on time. As it pulls away, I see the passengers emerging from the station. It is almost as though the driver looks in rear view mirror, sees potential passengers desiring the bus, and drives away.

The underlying problem is a bus timed to leave at the same time the train arrives. Whoever was the moron who designed this timetable has to be brain dead.

Winchester

Winchester

I alight at the bus stop before Winchester bus station. I then have a pleasant walk down the hill into Winchester with a view of the town centre and Winchester Cathedral.

I pause for a few minutes, and sit on benches in a little park, overlooking the town centre.

Just before I cross a bridge into the town centre, a cycle shop. I see in the window an electric-powered cycle. Curious where is the power pack, I assume must be built into the frame. I walk in. I learn, this is the workshop of Cytronex where they design and build the bikes, also their showroom, and I am speaking to the engineer who builds the bikes. The battery is cleverly disguised as the water bottle.

My intention had been to make Ginger Two for lunch, retrace my setps, and walk along the river and through the back streets.

Wednesday is market day or rather street food day, lots of market stalls with street food.

I spot Jimmy Bean, selling coffee from a battered old Citroen van, very much like HoBo Co. I see they sell coffee as well as serve coffee. I am invited to try the coffee and we have a long chat about coffee.

A chat with the cheese guy and the bread guy.

Ginger Two, kitchen long closed, but as last visit, they offer to knock me up a sandwich. I then have a cake and a tea. I see why there are complaints on tripadvisor re their tea, incredibly weak and not quality tea.

Ginger Two would be ideal for Jewelia to play.

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

I have time to walk back through the town, along the river and around the back streets, though I would have preferred earlier when it was sunny, or at least the route in the sun.

The route I walk along the River Itchen, the channel was created by the Romans in 70AD. It served two functions, stopped the city flooding and served as a barrier. The river is fast flowing. though not deep.

Bishop's Palace

Bishop’s Palace

I pass by the Bishop’s residence. Anthony Trollope comes to mind. I do not get invited in for tea.

Days gone by, indie bookshops used to be delightful places, lots of tempting books. Contrast that with the High Street chains, windows filled with celebrity crap.

P & G Wells is as bookshops used to be. The window filled with lots of interesting books. Sadly long closed for the day.

I notice shops are putting out their rubbish. Maybe, the shop I visited last visit, will be putting out their rubbish. I see they are putting out flowers, surely bringing them in? I see they are open. I mention last visit they were closed. They tell me now winter hours, open until eight. Before summer hours, they close earlier.

I see they sell coffee, or would if they had any in stock. I ask about roast date. They look at me blankly. I empathise roast date is important if selling quality coffee.

They have wonderful pen and ink sketches of the shop. I say would make excellent postcards.

In the back streets and ugly garish street sign, completely out of character with the street. What is wrong with brain-dead jobsworths?

I learn the ugly sheds on the green near the Deans’s residency are only temporary, which is a blessed relief.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

Setting sun is lighting up the stonework of Winchester Cathedral, but it is of nothing to the setting sun lighting up the stonework of Lincoln Cathedral, quarried from the oolitic limestone of the Lincoln Edge.

I just make last bus in time.

A man from Winchester to Arleseford, annoying everyone on the bus bellowing to the driver, a clear sign saying no one should distract driver.

At Alton Station, 35 minutes wait for next train.

I visit the Station Cafe. Hoards of bikers. I decide to eat breakfast. Miss next train, wait for following train.

Train departs five minutes late. No announcement, no explanation, no apology. I learn could not leave until train had arrived as single track.

As a result of late train, miss bus at Aldershot, 30 minutes wait.

We pay through the nose for the privilege of using this dysfunctional public transport.

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