Friday, May 20, 2011

A family day out in Weston-super-Mare

After days of rain and gloom, yesterday was warmish and sunny so Adrian, Clare and myself took my mother to Weston-super-Mare. Beryl Seel has long cherished the goal of walking Weston's newly-made-over pier, to compare it with her memories of the war years when as a teenager she used to promenade with the Yankee soldiers billeted in the nearby woods. Actually, she denies the last bit while knowing far too much about them.

Clare in the Greenhouse
First we had to do some chores in Beryl's back garden though. Here's Clare in the greenhouse, the site of an epic battle on Wednesday between my mother and a trapped pigeon, in the course of which Beryl was rocked off her feet by the frenzied bird. Peace and quiet today, though.

Beryl and Nigel with UFO
It could be a UFO; it could be a frenzied pigeon back for another pass.

The Grand Pier
Clare to right of shot, Beryl and myself strolling up the pier centre.

The end of the pier
This is the legendary Weston view when the tide is out. Somewhere, there is the sea otherwise you could wallow in mud all the way across to Wales. We speculated what would happen if you jumped off the pier: would you simply vanish into the treacherous quicksand? Despite dares there were no offers to test this hypothesis.

Adrian wanted this snap of Weston beachfront lifestyle.

En route to Weston we stopped for lunch at The Star Inn, Congresbury. While Clare and Beryl sat at their table of choice to peruse the menu, Adrian and myself went to the bar to order. Two halves of lager and lime and two pints of EPA.

The barman was hopeless. The minutes went by as he haplessly fumbled with the electronic till. Eventually the female deputy manager came by and tried to help him. "Two cokes" he mumbled. The woman looked suspiciously at the two half pints and I helpfully said "Lager and lime - two halves."

She shook her head and redirected his trembling fingers. Adrian, trying to lessen the strain on the hapless fellow said to me: "Shall I take these across?"

I couldn't help myself, honestly, it just came out. I replied "You might as well, they're dying of thirst over there."

The woman glared at me as if I was abusing a kitten. "He's just a trainee you know, it's his first day ..."

Later when we ordered our meal, the first-day trainee had been put to manning the only working food till. As I arrived I was directed immediately by the deputy manager to the till in the bar where someone else took my order.

And when it arrived, the bread was stale.