Monday, August 27
Train approaching Bristol, 13:45
Breakfast at the Peckham Rooms stops at 10:00 during weekdays and at 11:00 at weekends. What, then, happens on a Bank Holiday Monday?
According to the woman at reception yesterday evening bank holidays count as weekends. According to the two stern Eastern European women in charge of breakfast, service stopped ten minutes ago: at 10:00 precisely. We could not persuade them otherwise and therefore got no breakfast. However they finally relented a little and found us a basket of apples and some coffee.
We checked out, walked to the station and took a train to London Bridge and a tube to Paddington. The GWR train looked ultra-modern and as soon as we had left the madness and noise of London behind, Irma visibly relaxed.
The train journey proves pleasant and quiet. We have wifi and plugs for our chargers. We both watch the English countryside rolling past, and I take some photographs of random views just before we begin to pull into Bristol. At Bristol we change to a smaller, local train for the final leg into Weston-super-mare.
We will walk out of the station, choose one of the two station taxis, and sit through a chatty ten minute ride to the guesthouse. We will find ourselves fulsomely greeted by Rob and Diane, the owners and sole employees of the six-roomed Rosita Hotel. We will have room 6, enormous the front-facing top floor room. We will like it.
As we got out of the taxi we looked around and saw The Criterion about twenty metres up the road. We will ask Rob about it and he will describe it as a down to earth but friendly local. When we have settled in we will walk out to see what we can see. We will start by having a pint at The Criterion and deciding that Rob spoke the truth.
He also recommended al Michaelangelo’s happy hour so, slightly later, we will walk down to the seafront and eat there. We will have three courses for £16.50, served by waiters whose sheer efforts to act waiterly in an Italian manner will make me feel as though I have wandered into an immersive performance by an amateur theatre group.
We will wander along the seafront and stop briefly at a place called Nick’s Bar & Eatery, before finding ourselves at the bottom of a short road leading up from the seafront to The Criterion.
We will find more people there this time including a local character known to everyone as The Major. He obviously belongs to the same drama club as the waiters, and will play his part as the retired military duffer, back briefly from his home in Spain, perfectly.
“Bloody fools, the lot of them,” he will say periodically about whoever features at that moment in his ongoing narrative.
Eventually he will get up to leave and so will we.