Yesterday morning I had a nice lie in and didn’t get up until just after 6am.
I sat in the garden with my coffee for a while before I decided it was too lovely a morning to waste and I should head out with my camera. Now usually I would head to the Common or a lake or something like that, but I fancied a bit of a change and as it was Good Friday, I thought an empty town centre would make a nice change so I headed to nearby Camberley.
I parked the car just off a main road and walked around the corner and saw this little dog tied to a bicycle outside a newsagents and then, in a service area usually confined to parking for Smart cars shrink-wrapped with the McChina Wok Away logo, I spotted an old London Routemaster bus.
So I had to go and investigate. There was a man in a hat standing next to it.
“Hello,” I said, “I like your bus.”
The owner was a guy called Chris, who lives in Worthing and works in Camberley and he was waiting for his mate so he could park his Lambretta in the back of his bus (as you do) and head off for a car rally.
I took his photo and Tweeted it to our live blog team so they could put it up on our website.
Chris has owned buses before but this one is special. The chassis number is RM1955. The number 955 is significant to him because it was his father’s Air Force number. The first time Chris saw the bus, his father had just died. So he bought the bus.
I chatted to him until his friend turned up and then went to take a photo of the war memorial.
I took close ups of the names too for our First World War project at work.
I did have a walk along the river on the way home.
This morning I headed off in a different direction to do a bit of research for a feature I am planning to write. I went to the neighbouring village of Hartley Wintney to follow a trail through the village and beyond.
It’s a pretty little place and I found parts of it I had never seen before.
I had no idea, for example, that the village had planted a Millennium Orchard.
The board lists all the different variety of trees. There must be about 40 different varieties of apple, a dozen or so nut trees, various berries – I thought it was a lovely idea.
I also added another war memorial to my collection. I shall collate all the names from it at a later date.
I was standing by the pond on the village green, wondering whether I have the time to start a village green project, when an elderly man came up and started talking about the young Egyptian ducklings. Good grief, could he talk :)
Within five minutes I knew he had moved to the village from neighbouring Odiham as a teenager and, apart from eight years living in London, had spent the rest of his life in the village (he’s nearly 81). He’d like to move back to Odiham but his daughter wouldn’t be able to visit him there, so he’s now stuck in Hartley Wintney till he dies. And that, apparently, is the fault of the Conservative government and inflation (both of these are also responsible for the fact there are now only two pubs in the village instead of seven). He’s not a big fan of the Conservative Party, in fact, he would go as far as to say the only good Tory is a dead Tory. He’s also very pleased David Cameron got stung by a jellyfish because he probably deserved it.
It was a very entertaining chat (albeit a little one-sided).
When I finally extracted myself from our deep and meaningful conversation, I decided I deserved a coffee and grabbed one from a little artisan bakery with tables outside.
I was sitting there enjoying the sunshine when an elderly lady and an equally elderly dog stopped by the table. She looked a little flustered.
I smiled at her.
“Now I am in a muddle,” she said.
“Why, what’s the matter?” I replied.
“Well I want some bread,” she said, “But I can’t take Rosie in there.”
“Would you like me to look after your dog?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said, “And my shopping.”
And that’s how I ended up with an old lady’s shopping and a random dog sitting outside a cafe in Hartley Wintney.
I have to say the dog was very cute though :)