August 17th, 2013


On The Town

Tonbridge doesn't have a single tea shop. I know this because we walked all the way down the High Street, then all the way back up again. This tells you what kind of town it is. It may have a castle but it's not a place that draws the tourists and day trippers.  It also has a sizable ethnic minority population- otherwise unknown in this part of Kent. We find it homey.

We went into every charity shop- there are a lot of them-  all except the one with the step because we didn't think Ailz's scooter would get over it. I bought a tiny print for £2. It's a fanciful image of Highgate Cemetery, somewhat in the manner of Marc Chagall- a limited edition, signed and numbered by the artist. When we got home I looked him/her up online but failed to make a positive identification.

A policeman on a bike had intercepted a young guy who was selling lucky heather on the street.  A member of the public had made a complaint. The policeman was being very nice about it. By the end of the transaction the two of them were having a laugh and a joke. If only all policing were as friendly.

Because there are no tea shops we took our refreshment in Starbucks. I avoid Starbucks as a general rule because- well, because- but I have to admit they served me a nicer cup of tea than I'd get in most independent cafes.

There's a big apartment block for retirees going up between the High Street and the Recreation ground. We went and stared at it wistfully.  Moving to Tonbridge would make sense. So would moving to somewhere with a warden and communal living room and all that sort of thing. We criticize our parents for not thinking about old age and disability when they bought their final homes. Ailz's parents chose a bungalow on the side of a hill.  My parents, with even less foresight , chose a rickety old farmhouse that's unreachable unless you have wheels.

Handed Down

I fetched toys from the cupboard for our great nephews to play with. There are things my sister and I had bought for us by our grandparents- including an excellent Noah's Ark,  things that must have belonged to my mother and her brother and some sad little battered wooden cars which, my mother says, are from before her time. If she's right about the cars they've now served five generations.