Afternoon in Winchester



It could not have been a more pleasant day in Winchester, warm and sunny, but not unbearably hot.

I was in luck. I made the train with seconds to spare. At Alton I leapt off the train and made the bus.

A pleasant train journey once past Farnahm, and a pleasant bus journey (though towards the end the bus tiresome). I alighted off the bus last stop before the town centre, then a pleasant walk down the hill into Winchester.

I looked in the canteen of The Guildhall. Never anything worth eating.

The Guildhall mus hold the record for the poshest toilets in the country.

Horrified and disgusted by the peanut butter on sale in Oxfam shop. Cheap rubbish peanut butter, padded out with everything bad, sugar, palm oil, and salt. Quality peanust butter is ground peanuts nothing else, possibly with a  small amount of sea salt.

I found Jimmy Bean, he now only does Wednesdays. He is back to the battered old Citroen van. But unlucky for me, he had sold out of food and was packing up early.

Wednesday in Winchester is street food market, though nothing I would fancy. A good bread stall, a good cheeses stall, a fruit and vegetable stall, possibly the fish.

I had a chat with a man selling beer. They do miniature aluminium casks of beer. Can you bring them back, a deposit scheme maybe say one pound a keg. No. Wh?, Special plastic plug. Why not then change the design. Even if not re-used, a least the aluminium could be recycled.

Why are we so bloody backwards?

When I was a child, there was a refundable deposits on all bottles. We used to earn pocket money by knocking on doors and asking for their unreturned bottles. We took them to the local corner shop and got the deposits.

Where to eat. In the absence of Jimmy Bean, Winchester lacks anywhere decent to eat.

I have tried Ginger Two a couple of times, not impressed.

In the street before, Alexander’s. It was very much like Ginger Two. Pleasant wooden tables, but spoilt by cheap plastic chairs. They need to throw these out and get decent wooden chairs. A few tables were covered with sheet metal. Not very well done,and things slid across the table.

I had a tuna and avocado sandwich (there was not much choice). I found it to be very dry, and the bread dry too. The avocado was not ripe enough and had to be sliced. Avocado needs to be ripe, it is then soft and can be spread like butter.

I caught the food shop next door before it closed. Had an interesting conversation with the owner. Like me, she was disgusted with the peanut butter on sale in Oxfam but like me not surprised. I suggested read This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein (author of No Logo and Shock Doctrine). I also suggested Flatpack Democracy, describing citizen activism in Frome. Had I thought of it, I would also have recommended Revolution.

She said come one evening and give a talk. I said yes, but only later did I think, last bus 1850.

By now 6-15,  too late for a walk along the river and into the countryside.

I along down the River Itchen, where it forms the Roman defensive boundary to the city. I was going to turn back but realised I just had time to go on a circular route through the back streets behind the cathedral.

A little corner shop has watercress soup. Expensive but ok for occasional treat. Not in stock, was not last time I  asked.

Cathedral has flower festival, but ten pound entrance fee.

Stalls behind the cathedral. Did they really have to lay artificial grass. It seemed a mini-version of the Christmas Market.

Winchester Cathedral has degenerated into a vulgar money spinning enterprise. An unpleasant contrast with the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. In front of the cathedral a huge  advertising billboard, ruining the view of the cathedral.

I made the bus with a couple of minutes to spare.

The train at Alton was pulling out as the bus approached the station.

I decided to eat at the Station Cafe with the bikers, then missed the next train.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: