Posts Tagged ‘Afternoon in Guildford’

Afternoon in Guildford

May 5, 2017

Morning cold, or at least a very cold wind blowing. Afternoon warm in the sun out of the wind, cold in the shade in the wind.

The intention had been, lunch in Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage, and had I gone straight there, it would have been possible.

Looked at coffee beans in Surrey Hills. A wide range of coffee beans, which maybe explains why they were all too old. They should know better.

A coffee in Coffee Culture. A big mistake, coffee not good and too late for lunch at Thai restaurant.

Usually on a  Friday, Thai restaurant open all day. Not anymore. I arrived to find too late for lunch.

Lunch at their takeaway shop. Green Thai curry. Not good. Usually very good but not today. The chef had screwed up, overdosed with spices. I told the guy behind the counter it was awful and he must throw it away.

Food for Thought is a  little wholefood shop tucked down a side street off North Street. I occasionally pop in to see what they are offering.

Today, Hummus Chips. I enjoyed munching as I had a look around the same. On my way out bought a bag.

Coffee in Harris+ Hoole. A marked contrast to Coffee Culture.

Afternoon in Guildford

November 4, 2016
River Wey from Debenham's restaurant

River Wey from Debenham’s restaurant

Raining all day, often heavy.

Taxi to the station, else I would have got soaked. I forgot I have got a large umbrella.

Cappuccino off FCB coffee kiosk at Guildford Station.

I could not see the rain, I could hear it hammering on the roof.

It eased off, I made it Debeneham’s.

Turkey. It was turkey on Tuesday. It has been turkey every time I have looked. It is bad enough turkey every day over Christmas. Do they not realise pople do not want turkey, they are sick of turkey. Customer feedback, what is the point if no one listens? Staff know customers do not want turkey, but turkey is served on dikatat from head office. They used to serve excellent roast turkey, but instead they serve turkey.

Turkey it was. The vegetables were stone cold. Kitchen staff kindly hotted it up. Now it was piping hot, but it was not good. I only ate about half.

I regretted not eating elsewhere.

Still raining. A cheesecake and pot of tea. This was far better than the roast dinner.

It was still raining when I left, but at least not heavy.

Market deserted.

Pomegranates even dearer than last week. Now £1-20 each.

Nothing reduced, even though end of the day and no customers.

At least it had now stopped raining.

Looked in the cheese shop in Chapel Street. I wanted Caerphilly cheese. Cheese stall had none, neither the cheese shop. I had excellent Caerphilly cheese off the cheese stall in Winchester. I will have to find out what is is. Winchester cheese stall did tell me.

Excellent glass of red wine in La Casita.

Appalling piss-poor service in M&S. Easy to see why it is a failing retail chain.

Only two check-outs serving. I asked to be served at information counter. They refused. Asked they opened more tills. They refused. They directed me to sue the self service.

I should have dumped my goods on the floor and walked out.

Afternoon in Guildford

October 28, 2016

Mid-morning a chill to the air, by midday, pleasant and warm and sunny.

By the time I reached Guildford, cloudy, but not cold.

Last week, left stranded by sick bastard guard who thought a great joke to leave passengers stranded. Trains were re-timed two minutes early to that shown on the timetable. Sunday I found alternate trains re-timed two minutes early.

To date, no reply to complaint to cowboy rail company, no information at station that an alternative timetable in force.

North Camp small print on station timetable

North Camp small print on station timetable

I queried at the station. They said, check small print on the timetable, it says an amended timetable from 10 October 2016. In the past, there would have been new timetables published, now a tiny note in the timetable, old timetable still displayed at stations.

This is the contempt the rail companies have for passengers.

A cappuccino off FCB coffee stall at Guildford Station. A mistake, as by the time I reached Debenhams, literally no food left.

Vodafone stole £1100 from my bank account

Vodafone stole £1100 from my bank account

A lady in the High Street mounting a one woman protest against Vodafone. They had stolen £1100 from a her bank account. Whilst I was talking to her, several people stopped to tell of their bad experience with Vodafone. She said she had had people telling her all day long of their bad experience with Vodafone.

Vodafone are infamous for piss-poor service. They have recently been fined £4.6 million by Ofcom for their appalling customer service. It is the largest ever fine imposed on a telecoms provider.

They also dodge tax. They were the first company targeted by UK Uncut for tax dodging.

Not a company to touch with a barge pole.

Guildford cheese shop cum deli

Guildford cheese shop cum deli

What was an awful record shop in Chapel Street is now a cheese shop cum deli. A good selection of cheeses, and chatting to the guys, they know their stuff. Fancy breads. I would rather see a wholemeal loaf. A rather poor selection of cakes.

I tried Colston Blue. Excellent cheese. I suggested they stock Lincolnshire Poacher.

I told the cheese stall on the market, now a cheese shop. Out of curiosity, I tried the Colston Blue. I was surprised a big difference in flavour. I can only assume age.

Four o’clock, and a chill in the air.

Why are pomegranates so expensive?

In Lidl 79p each.  Off market stall in Aldershot, three for a pound, but small pomegranates. Waitrose two for £2-75. Off the market stall in Guildford, two for a pound, but as large as a grapefruit. I weighed in M&S, half a kilo each. In M&S no pomegranates. Only seeds in a tiny plastic box, works out at £20 per kg. On the market in Winchester, no pomegranates. I asked the stall after they had closed. The answer was what I expected, too expensive.

To think,  a couple of weeks ago, I was picking pomegranates, last week piled up in Monastiraki, though I did not inquire the price.

Afternoon in Guildford

September 16, 2016
Guildford Grammar School

Guildford Grammar School

Yesterday was hot, Tuesday the hottest day of the year. Today, at least at lunchtime, cold, though it did warm up a little by mid-afternoon.

Last night a violent thunderstorm, very heavy rain. This morning, many places flooded, trans cancelled, a train derailed following a landslip.

Government promises flood protection. Hard flood defences do not work. Even if protect one area it simply sends the flood water downstream and another area floods.

We need soft defences, slow the flow of water, rewild the countryside. We also need to address the causes of climate instability. The government is doing neither.

Reading-Guildford-Gatwick train running at least five minutes late. By the time Guildford reached, ten minutes late.  Announced train will only go as far as Redhill, alight and catch another train to Gatwick. But, at least train guards, there were two of them, walked through the train and explained the situation to passengers. Unheard of customer service.

Excellent cappuccino from Chase at FCB coffee kiosk.

I was unable to buy ticket at station, machine in ticket office not working, guards on the train could not sell a ticket as they lacked a ticket machine between them. Queue at Guildford to buy a ticket.

Lunch at La Casita. A always excellent. Sorry to learn my friend Katalina returning to Spain.

Beans off Surrey Hills coffee roaster, single origin from Brazil, roast date 8 September 2016.

I could smell the beans all  afternoon, until I put books in the bag they were carried in. The paper of the books must absorb the aroma of the coffee.

AeroPress on Guildford market

AeroPress on Guildford market

AeroPress coffee maker, £25 in coffee shops in Brighton, £26 on coffee stall on the market in North Street, £27 in Steamer Trading. It goes up by a a pound every time I look.

Coffee machines in Steamer Trading not worth buying. Domestic espresso machines do not make good coffee, no one tales them seriously.  Nespresso machines forget it.

Deliveroo Guildford

Deliveroo Guildford

Chat with serfs working for Deliveroo. I thought they were a Guildford company, but they are now everywhere. I only noticed them in Guildford a few weeks ago. Now they are like a blue plague all over Guildford.

For the first time seen in Guildford on motorcycles. Unlike Brighton where cyclists only paid for delivery, maybe different for motorcyclists, I was told both get the same rate, £6 an hour, ie less than minimum wage, plus a pound for each delivery. No delivery in an hour, and earn less than minimum wage. Deliveroo serf bears all the costs, cost of motorcycle or cycle, insurance, deposit of £150 for box, clothes and other gear (but is it refundable). For the motorcyclist, and only a low power motorbike, insurance of £200 per month because being used for business. . He said needed to work 70 hours a week to make any money, he would prefer to work 30 hours a week. The Deliveroo serf bears all the costs, because deemed to be ‘self employed’, In reality, not self-employed, as only working for Deliveroo.

The takeaway pays a  fee, either a minimum or a percentage of the value of the order. The recipient of the order pays two pound.

No, or little costs to Deliveroo, they cream off the profit, the serfs put up the capital, do all the work,  take all the risks.

Afternoon in Guildford

September 9, 2016
narrow boat on River Wey

narrow boat on River Wey

A strange day. Warm and humid. Then it rained. I was not expecting rain.

Week after week, no roast pork in Debenhams. Always turkey. Today nothing, only fried fish.

I asked why no roast pork? Orders from head office.

Looking out on the River Wey. It turned dark, then heavy rain.

I forgot until a got there, best fruit and vegetable stall on the market was not there. Had I remembered, I would not have had  a wasted trip to Guildford.

At the station I picked up a flier for Always the Sun.  Guilfest went bust, came back, then went bust again when washed out.  Always the Sun is aimed at being more a community event, less a commercial festival. £10 entrance on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday sadly will be a washout, heavy rain all day, which will make it muddy for Sunday.

Afternoon in Guildford

September 2, 2016

Second day of September, autumnal weather, cloudy and cool.

What is going wrong with Debenhams, apart from owned by tax dodger Philip Greed? Every week I have looked in their restaurant, roast turkey. What has happened to roast pork?

gazpacho en La Casita

gazpacho en La Casita

Excellent lunch at La Casita. Gazpacho followed by chicken covered with a mushroom sauce, laid on a bed of roast potatoes.

I would have had a coffee at Harris + Hoole, but upstairs closed and only 3-30. Something going wrong. Downstairs not busy, but always noisy, not a pleasant environment.

Surrey Hills Coffee packed, unusual, as usually empty or near empty.

I walked to the station to get a train at 1600 and a cappuccino off FCB coffee kiosk. When I walk by at lunchtime, always a good range of cakes and cookies, but not this time of day.

Temperature dropping all afternoon.

Afternoon in Guildford

August 26, 2016
Angel Hotel

Angel Hotel

During the week, records were broken for hottest day of August. Tuesday hit 31C, Wednesday 33.9C. Although very warm last night, it was cool this morning, but soon warmed up and turned into yet another hot day. Too hot to be in Guildford.

Why do morons think it is ok to smoke on station platforms, when there are clear signs indicating No Smoking?

1204 First Great Western Reading-Guildford-Redhill train, one toilet out of action, the other the toilet bowl full to overflowing. Disgusting. This is what we pay our extortionate rail fares for. And the profiteers laugh all the way to the bank.

Surrey Hills Coffee had a couple of people as I walked past.

Excellent lunch at La Casita. Chilled gazpacho was just what I needed on a hot day.

Laden down with shopping from the fruit and vegetable stalls on the market.

Cappuccino not very good in Harrs + Hoole. First one, by new barista, was not good. He offered to do another one. No, it is ok. I was upstairs, and to my surprise, he brought me a second coffee. He said he was not happy. It was too hot a day to enjoy a cappuccino.

Harris + Hoole seriously understaffed. Two members of staff to serve, operate cash till, make coffee, clear tables, wash dishes.

Saw Neil playing guitar outside. Complimented him and his band on excellent performance at Staycation Live a couple of weeks ago. Did he have his new CD? Yes. OK, next time, too laden down with shopping.

It was then catch a train. Too hot to remain in Guildford. Time to spend the rest of the afternoon in the shade in my garden.

Afternoon in Guildford

August 19, 2016
how not to a narrow boat on the River Wey

how not to a narrow boat on the River Wey

All week, hot and sunny. A change today. Cooler, raining, though not heavy, still pleasantly warm.

Chat with chase at FCB coffee kiosk. Excellent cappuccino. He has improved.

When hiring a narrow boar for the day, you are not in a race, the idea is to leisurely sail down the driver, not turn the engine on full throttle, create a racket and cause a bow wave that damages the river banks.

Too late for dinner at Debenhams, but would not have had, as once again turkey.

Excellent lunch at La Casita. My only criticism, too salty.

Surrey Hills Coffee empty as I passed by, but were a few people in, when I passed by again.

I suggested they apply to the council for a stall on the farmers market. It will be interesting to see how they get on.

It looks like the work to the High Street is finally finished. But a tragedy to allow traffic back through, as it is going to destroy the surface.

Excellent smoothie from what was Glutton & Glee. But no sooner did I try to sit down, told we are closed. It has gone rapidly downhill since the original owner sold, name change and now owned by a catering company.

In the summer why close at five when thee are loads of people about? Last time I was there, they were turning away a steady stream of people, and even today, people were being turned away.

Looked in on Ben, bought On an Island by David Gilmour. I have bought before, but I think I gave my copy away.

Afternoon in Guildford

August 12, 2016
The Weyside

The Weyside

Clear blue sky, hot and sunny.

I looked in the YMCA. They used to have a very nice restaurant. It has been ruined. Explains why last couple of times I have looked in, it has been empty.

On a hot day like today, in the past I would have enjoyed lunch in the back courtyard of The Keystone. A new landlord took over a couple of years ago and ruined the pub.

Roast Pork in Debenhams? Sadly not, once again roast turkey.

meat paella at La Casita

meat paella at La Casita

Lunch at La Casita, an excellent Spanish restaurant. Sea bream with rice. It was excellent. As was the gazpacho soup I had for starters. Though never before had served in a glass.

Three Chinese girls were sat at the next table. Their food too looked excellent.

Very pleasant and attractive waitress from Madrid.

Surrey Hills Coffee empty both times I passed by. Not even sight of any staff.

I looked in London Camera Exchange. Temped by an  Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. I will have to check it out.

Popped in Ben’s Records.

narrow boat moored on River Wey

narrow boat moored on River Wey

As it was a hot day, and I had not picked up anything from the market, I decided to take a walk along the River Wey to St Catherine’s Lock. Luckily most of the walk in the shade.

At St Catherine’s Lock, two idiots swimming in the river. OK to swim in the river, but not by a lock adjacent to a weir, where the current could sweep you into the weir.

On my way to coffee at Harris + Hoole,  I looked in Lakeland. I was surprised how large the shop is. Quite a range of blenders. Picked up two books on juices.

Excellent cappuccino at Harris + Hoole. I was their only customer. Depressing it has been sold to Caffe Nero.

It was then catch a train to Farncombe to see Gryphon, who were in concert at St John’s Church. Excellent concert.

I did not leave until about 10-20. Luckily able to catch a train to Guildford, then long wait at Guildford.

Afternoon in Guildford

August 5, 2016
electric boat on River Wey

electric boat on River Wey

A pleasant warm sunny afternoon.

Coffee off FCB kiosk at Guildford Station.

Looked in St Mary’s, last day of Rooted exhibition.

Even more than before, Biblical verses appended to many of the paintings not suitable. On the other hand reminded of Robert Frost ‘The Road Less Travelled’ which is actually ‘The Road Not Taken‘. Paulo Coelho  refers to ‘The Road Not Taken’ in The Winner Stands Alone.

I noted in visitors book. I also corrected my last observation, Love Wins is by Rob Bell, not Robert Bell

On my way out,  I picked up a poster for a forthcoming event and said I would hand it in to the Tourist Information Office. They refused to display, apparently they only display events for which they act as box office. This is very wrong, they should support the local community, not events for which they get a kick back.  They did though say they were happy with fliers.

Excellent lunch at Thai restaurant in Jeffries passage.  I only ate there because the owner was there. When she is not there, not usually very good.

It is such a pain all the indy coffee shops shut at five. Ridiculous when it is a lovely day.

At Glutton and Glee people kept walking in to be told they were closed.

A smoothie in what used to be Glutton and Glee. Their slow juicer had broken. They used a blender. I persuaded them to make a zinger: three carrots, one apple, one orange, and a piece of ginger. Sorry we cannot use an orange, we have only one left. It was the end of the day, what else were they going to use it for? It won’t work, it will break the blender. They tried, it did not break the blender, but it did not work. I can only assume not powerful enough.

And so I settled for one of their choices which I accept, was good.

green coconut smoothie

green coconut smoothie

Green Coconut: coconut water, coconut, yogurt,  spinach, banana. agave nectar and ice.

It was then catch a train, to a garden party of a local Labour Party.

All meetings are banned by diktat of Labour NEC, so two fingers to NEC and be imaginative and hold a garden party.

I was pleasantly surprised at the contempt for Owen Jones, aka Oily Jones. A great deal of anger at Labour NEC, coup plotters for treatment of Jeremy Corbyn, disenfranchisement of members, diktat telling party members they cannot meet. Quite heartening.