On Saturday we took one of our regular trips to Marget to visit Tigger’s father in hospital. He is due to move soon to a care home which will probably be his permanent residence from now on. He remained confused, unsure who we were, talking to invisible people and reaching for non-existent objects. When he started to become tetchy with us, we took it as our cue to leave as there was little point on making one another unhappy.
Somehow we had managed to get ahead of ourselves in the morning and had taken an earlier train than usual. We bought tickets for Ramsgate, as we often do, and spent some time there before catching the Thanet Loop bus to the hospital. Ramsgate is a charming little town with a small harbour and a picturesque seafront. Despite desultory attempts at modernization, it still has an air of faded glory, looking back to when it would have been the playground of seaside-loving holidaymakers.
We strolled along the seafront until we came to a beach cafe with a boating pool and a children’s playground. In summer, with hordes of holidaymakers and their children, this might be a lively place but at this time of year, it is quiet and has an almost derelict air to it. At either end of the cafe is a room with slot machines of the kind you see in “arcades”. Apart from a couple with a dog, we were the only people to venture in. As I went past one of the machines, it spewed out a 2p piece. I put it in the slot but didn’t win anything.
Having consumed toasted tea cakes, an Eccles cake and a pot of tea, we went on our way. Somehow we had to fit in lunch between now and 3 o’clock when the hospital opened its doors to visitors. Strange to say, neither of us felt hungry after our visit to the cafe. Undaunted, we explored the town, reading menus and visiting shops, of which Ramsgate has some fascinating examples.
By 2 o’clock, we felt we might be able to manage lunch and the inspection of menus became more serious. In the end, we plumped for Rokka, a strange modern cafe-bar on the sea front which did at least have several items on the menu marked ‘V’ for vegetarians. We had to wait a very long time for the food, for no obvious reason. The waitress actually apologized for the delay and attempted an excuse along the lines of “All food is freshly cooked so takes time”. Hm, maybe.
Feeling very full, we made for the bus stop and found a long queue. When the bus came, everyone crowded aboard until it was uncomfortably full so we decided to wait for the next one. The driver must have been behind schedule because he missed out the Westwood Cross shopping centre and almost missed out the hospital.
The train ride home was relatively uneventful. We often have noisy or drunken (or noisy and drunken) passengers to contend with but today’s ride was calm, perhaps because we were a little earlier than usual. At Victoria, we went into Marks & Spencer and bought something to microwave for supper. We spent the remainder of the evening three-in-a-bed with Freya finishing off the sudoku puzzles in the newspaper.