Dorking and Christian Joy

Back to work after such a nice weekend. On Saturday Brodie and I went down
to Dorking to see the pub he’s in the process of buying. Not having much experience of Surrey I was expecting the place to be like Bromley or Oprington, but it wasn’t – it was really quite rural with spectacular countryside. We met up with Charlie who took us to a little pub hidden along a tiny path half way up a steep hill. Fantastic. Badger beer, a ploughmans and a breathtaking view while we ate and drank. After lunch we walked to another pub just along the way and had another pleasant pint each. Wandering around little villages from pub to pub on a hot sunny day is one of my favourite pastimes – I wonder if there is any way to get a career doing it…hmm.. Anyway, we eventually made it to The Cricketers and spent the afternoon chatting to the present landlord. It’s a snug, friendly little pub with a nice walled garden. What a great place to come and visit that’s going to be.
The journey back was bizarre. South Central make Connex look like an efficient bunch of experts… first leg…dorking to Sutton. At the platform a bloke approached Brodie for a light which was a cue for Brodie’s joke de jour. When he’d finished and the laughing had subsided, the guy apologised and explained he had a light all the time. He took his wallet out of his pocket, opened it and it burst into flames. We were slightly shocked as you can imagine, but not as much as we were when he calmly closed the wallet, extinguishing the flame and returned it to his back pocket. We got chatting and he turned out to be in the magic circle on the way to do a stag party, and was kind enough to entertain us with some really rather excellent card tricks while we were waiting for the train.
When it arrived, he said goodbye and sat at the far end of the carriage. Don’t blame him really – it must be a right pain in the arse having to spend your entire journey doing your act. However, more entertainment was coming our way in the shape of a couple of little kids who decided that Brodie would make an excellent dad. “Will you be our daddy ?” the asked. He replied that he was already busy with daddy tasks and so couldn’t. “Will you be our daddy ?” they asked again. Again he politely refused. “Will you be our daddy ?” they persisted. The children’s mother sitting nearby explained that their dad was dead and told them to stop. They didn’t stop. They just moved along the carriage and started to ask other people. The mother really didn’t act surprised leading me to the conclusion that this was a common occurrence – you never know, one day they might get a “yes ok then” and he could turn out to be a handsome millionaire…or something.
The kids worked their way up the carriage towards the magician. “Oh yes that’s agood idea!” Brodie shouted, ” go and ask that guy to do some tricks”. For the first time in their life probably, they obeyed. The prestidigitator turned round and gave us a cold stare and then came down to where we were all sitting and went into a full on magic routine. The kids were in absolute awe. I had to take picture to capture the look of innocent amazement on their faces. The family got off at the next stop, but the magician was on a role and asked if he could do some more tricks for us.
Obviously we answered yes and he entertained us until we reached Sutton.
It was then that the journey changed tack from bizarre-entertaining to bizarre-fucking-irritating. Of course, after 6:30pm South Central don’t run any trains from Sutton to New Cross. London bridge yes. Victoria yes. But not New Cross.
My ticket was to New Cross Gate and from bitter previous experience I knew that I wasn’t permitted to go to either of these stations. So Brodie suggested we go to West Croyden, and then walk over to east Croydon. Not having a better suggestion I agreed and we waited what seemed like hours for the next train.

Up until the train arrived at West Croydon, the weather had been spectacularly good. As soon as we put our feet on the platform it started raining – not just drizzle, a full on thunderstorm. There’s no nicer place to be during a thunderstorm that walking through Croydon in shorts and a t-shirt. We eventually got to the station – of course my ticket wouldn’t go through the gate and so I had to ask the guard. He looked closely at the ticket, and as the water dripped off my nose I warned him that I wouldn’t take kindly to him questioning it because I really didn’t want to be there in the first place. He let me through, joking that in that case he would question it…very amusing young man…very amusing..

Sunday morning was another one of those classic “modern” Christian praise programs where everyone sings uplifting songs holding their hands in the the air. It was so inspiring that I did more work on my Uplifting Christian Song Generator. Later we had a splendid roast chicken dinner at my mum and dad’s, getting back in time to watch the Sunday Big Brother omnibus….ahh…perfection 🙂

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