This morning Jackie drove us to Emsworth, near Chichester, to help Becky in the first stages of moving into their new flat. She was collecting the keys at mid-day and taking in ‘a few boxes’ before the main move tomorrow. I became slightly concerned when I knew that Matthew was involved. This would surely expand the ‘few’. It did.
It didn’t really surprise us that we arrived some way in advance of our two offspring. We had coffee in the Cafe Moka, virtually next door, before ringing the doorbell at the appointed time, whereupon we were admitted by the estate agent, who herself, admitted that we were not who she was expecting. However, by the time she needed to attend to her car parking meter, she had grown to trust us enough to leave Becky’s parents alone in the apartment.
The cafe can be seen from the small balcony, euphemistically termed ‘garden’ by the estate agent, as can the fish and chip shop and various other restaurants opposite.
I was delighted to see that the Chinese takeaway, the:
had used an apostrophe in one grammatically correct way. It is a pity about the comma underneath.
I was right in my assumption that Matthew would stuff all he could into his little Able Assignments van. And on top of it. The stairs up to the third floor of the building were not as elegant as those that had so intrigued us at Athelhampton Hall two days ago, but I was to get to know them quite well over the next hour, during the unloading of the vehicle. (I could have stumbled upon an intriguing staircase photographic theme here).
On the ground floor of this building, there is a chiropractic clinic. This was somewhat reassuring, for if we did our backs in during the process, we wouldn’t have far to go for treatment. A dentist’s is on the opposite corner; a hairdresser’s across the road from, and a Tesco alongside, the Moka. As Becky said, she’d never have to go out.
Mat and I got pretty hot and sticky. Becky got very dry. At one point Jackie and Becky had repeatedly cried ‘sit!’ in stereo. Once I had realised Scooby wasn’t present, it dawned on me that I was being addressed by the two ladies concerned for my health and safety. It must have been the heavy breathing that caught their attention. Or maybe what Matthew termed the light patches on my dark blue shirt.
So it stood to reason we needed a drink. This was obtained at the Blue something or other that ‘I disremember’. I’m sure I will have a chance to reinforce my memory before much time has elapsed. The staff there were extremely friendly. As the barman offered me a tray and I thanked him, saying ‘I was wondering how I was going to get the drinks outside in one’, he responded with a smile and: ‘I was going to help you myself, but I thought I couldn’t be bothered, I’ll give you a tray’. I might get to like him.
Before arriving at the pub we went to check out a choice of Indian restaurants for tomorrow night. ‘A Taste of India’ stands next to ‘The Spice Village’. What could have been a problematic decision was made easier by Matthew, whose report on the first of these, where he had once eaten, was that it rivalled Mitcham’s ‘The Raj’. We booked at ‘The Spice Village’. The man who took our booking, noticing Becky cavorting to the rhythm of the music that was playing, told her he would try to have it on when we arrived to eat, and to remind him if he forgot.
The tide was out in the harbour, and the day rather changeable, but it was easy to see why it was such a tourist attraction. Later, Elizabeth told us it was one of Mum’s favourite walks.
Our return journey took us close to The Firs, so we dropped in on Elizabeth and took her off to Eastern Nights for the usual excellent curries, Bangla, and Cobra. Jackie drove us home in the dark amidst heavy rain.