The last last weekend England had weather hotter than Spain, the papers proudly bragged. Weather reporters briefly felt like celebrities. People went wild, sales rocketed. An unprecedented amount of pictures of pretty girls in bikini’s in parks popped up all over the paper.
The entire country was engulfed in a warm, deep contentment that only a unprecedented burst of summer in October can bring.
So I toodled off to Hastings again to visit my Great Aunts, and some other bawas who had flown in from Ahmedabad.
Learning from the error of my ways from my last visit (The Aunts drove me down on the Saturday and it took over 4 hours including a stop-over at a store where I ate 2 kulfis and by the end of it I was faintly car sick) and the time before that (6 hour journey due to a signal failure at Tonbridge), I left for Hastings straight after work so I could have an uninterrupted weekend of sunshine by the sea
Saturday morning more distant parsee cousins and relations came down, so it turned into quite the bawa fest over lunch.
I wandered through the old town of Hastings, and bought myself an A3 pop-up paper theatre. It comes in a book, and you just pop-up the pieces (the stage, the sets and the characters) and assemble them.
The story is Cinderella, and the print quality of the book is beautiful. I’ve decided to try to replicate the architecture, but with my own illustrations, decorations and drawings. I don’t have an exact plan in mind for it yet. I also need to find the right paper stock that’s thick enough yet not so thick that cutting it out and illustrating it will be a right pain.
I have a lot of plans – Instead I waste all my time blogging.
The station near my Great Aunt’s place is tiny and unmanned on a Sunday. I walked down to it on the Sunday evening to catch the train from Hastings to London.
I noticed some yellow tape across the entrance to the platform but casually disregarding this I strolled down to the platform.
A short while later a nagging feeling about that tape started to trouble me.
The station guard meanwhile, was following me down to the platform.
I saw him and started to have a very bad feeling about that tape.
The guard came up to me and said,
“The station is closed. Didn’t you see the tape?”
Disregarding the tape yet again I jumped to the more vital part of his statement.
“Closed??… Can I get a train to London from the next one then?”
“There are no trains to London today.”
“WHAT?? NO TRAINS?? OH GOD!!! BUT WHY??”
I’m never moderate in expression when faced with travel difficulties. When I missed my flight once I spent 2 hours crying at the airport.
Really, I hate traveling. It’s just rubbish. It really is. I like to be somewhere, not fucking commuting for hours and hours.
Faced with this outpouring of absolute horror the very nice man at the station told me I could get a rail replacement bus from right outside the station in 15 minutes, which would take TWO HOURS to get to Tonbridge Wells where I could then take a 1 hour .30 minute train into London.
By the time I got home I had spent nearly 4 hours commuting.
Here, some photos.