Two buses to Aldershot failed to turn up, as a result missed the train to Alton and had to wait for the next train. Two-clapped-out double-decker buses in a convoy. Not low loaders. Two girls at bus stop with kids in a buggy. One girl had to fold the buggy, child in her arms, struggled onto the bus. The other girl left stranded.
At Alton Station, leap off the train, run through the station, to luckily find the No 64 bus to Winchester, only not, it is the next bus.
I learn from fellow passenger, buses have been re-timed. They were timed to leave as the train arrives. Now five minutes later, sanity has prevailed. But not all good news, No 65 from Guildford, no longer carries on to Winchester as No 64, now have to change buses.
A woman pipes up. We should know, as there has been meetings, and we are lucky to have a bus. She said we should know. I asked how, if no posters on the bus, none at bus stops? She said the onus on people to find out. I ask her how are people to find out about something they know nothing about? If you do not know about something, how do you know what is is you are to find out about?
Timetable changed this week. I would not have known had my fellow passenger told me. No new timetables on the bus. Woman pipes up again, it is the onus of people to find out, they should check on-line or pick one up at the library.
Unbelievably stupid woman.
I alight off the bus and walk down into Winchester. Driver tells me the new times are being trialled until July, and will be reviewed in March. After that there may be no bus.
Bad time to conduct the trial. More people likely to use in the summer.
Pleasant day in Winchester, sun keeps popping out.
I find Jimmy Bean, but only coffee, all the food has gone.
I go to a stall selling Japanese food. Wednesday is street food day. I tell the woman the food bears no resemblance to any Japanese food I have ever seen. I ask if she is Japanese, she says no, she is from Singapore. I ask why does she not serve the food she knows. I pick two pancakes, and a something she says has octopus inside. She pours some sauce out of a bottle on the pancakes. I have no idea what it is. I tell her I do not want, and she should ask. I ask why is she serving food in disgusting burger-style polystyrene boxes, when card is available,and why plastic spoons and forks, not wood? Very bad for the environment. I receive pathetic excuses
Ultimately the local council is to blame. They licence the market, set the standards for the markets. They should set higher standards. And why do the not do the research, supply every stall, every takeaway, with information from where they can obtain biodegradable products for food? Basically it is hypocrisy and bone ideal jobsworths, happy to draw a salary, but less happy to earn it. They tell us to recycle, but do not get off their backsides to encourage recycling.
I tell Jimmy Bean. He is not surprised. He says the woman probably does know, but cannot be bothered. He shows me a plastic spoon, which he says is better than a wooden spoon, it is made from plant cellulose, and thus will compost.
I do not not think much to the so-called Japanese food. One tine of the brittle plastic fork breaks off. No idea where it went. I probably ate it. Another street food stall to avoid.
I ask Jimmy Bean, any cookies to go with my coffee? He says chocolate brownies or ginger shortbread. I try the ginger shortbread. It is excellent, though bears no resemblance to shortbread. Cappuccino is excellent too. He says it is his mother’s secret recipe, and she got from her mother.
I see signs pointing to a coffee shop and an indy restaurant. The restaurant I have been told of before and that it is good, but it appears to have changed hands.
I investigate Forte Kitchen. An excellent job has been done, though rather pricey, £6 for a bowl of soup is way over the top. £4 maximum.
I have a long chat with a charming girl called Emma. She wishes to go to Greece. As she has not yet booked a flight, I suggest visit Athens, and tell her a little about Athens.
I wander further up the street. No, Waterstone’s does not have Change Everything.
I walk back down the High Street. Full marks to the fruit and vegetable stall. They are down to a small table, selling off the last of their stock. I ask any strawberries? No, all gone. As we are talking, a police patrol car drives through the pedestrianised area, no indication, and deliberately drives over their pan and brush smashing to smithereens. Sick bastards. I persuade the stall to sweep up the broken fragments of plastic, else someone will only get cut or tires shredded, and they will get the blame.
A walk around the back streets, just time for a short walk along the River Itchen.
The bookshop P & G Wells not open. Not that I would expect it to be open, but in the summer, I have often found open. The little corner shop not open either.
On the grassy green in front of Winchester Cathedral, a huge advertising hoarding has been erected. This cathedral is a disgrace.
I just make the last bus with a few minutes to spare.
Bus arrived at Alton Station just in time to see train leaving. And to see No 65 bus leaving.
I asked the driver, was that the connecting 65 bus to Guildford. He says yes, but it goes into Alton, then returns to the station. It arrived back as we were talking. Thiis brief overlap gives opportunity for exchange of passengers, but drivers are under no instruction to wait.
This is crazy. Until this week, No 64 bus Winchester to Alton, then same bus continues to Guildford as No 65, and vice a versa. Now each returns from Alton, leaving passengers in the cold and the rain.
It occurred to me, if you was not aware of this change, you would remain on the bus at Alton Station, then find you were going back where you had come from. I said to the driver, passenger must be reminded of the requirement to change buses.
As I am leaving, in walks a friend, whose eyes pop out to see me with the bikers.
Hopped on the train at Alton Station, to find a singer-songwriter friend sitting on the train.
She mentioned David Attenborough in conversation with President Barack Obama expressing concern about the environment. I tell her hypocrisy, he expressed the same concern on visiting the Arctic. The same Barack Obama who has signed a licence for Shell to drill in the Arctic. She mentioned a protest outside Shell in London. I said check out Charlotte Church accompanied by string ensemble Ligeti Quartet performance of This bitter earth outside Shell HQ in London in protest at Shell drilling for oil in the Arctic.
If we are to keep global temperature rise below 2C, 80% of known deposits of oil and coal and gas have to be left in the ground, and yet Shell is exploring for more in one of the world’s most hazardous environments. If there was an oil spill in icy waters it would be impossible to clean up and a disaster for the Arctic. The Arctic is also becoming militarised as countries squabble over who has rights to the resources.
Train to Aldershot leaves me one minute, to leap off train, run out of the station and catch a bus.
On the bus the girl who had to dismantle her buggy and carry a small child onto the bus earlier in the day.