Sunday, 26 November 2006

Cobham. Oh how different from my Bitterne. I spent a couple of days in Claygate, Surrey, with my parents, staying in their home, where my dad has lived since 1945. Claygate has gone downhill as a centre for purchasing, unless you want to buy a BIG house ( or even a small one for BIG money) or art, or a wedding dress, or a thai meal. We did have good chips from the chip shop, and ate in, which is something of a Bitternesque thing to do, complete with plastic tablecloths.

It rained a lot and we took shelter in a bus shelter en route to my primary school fair. There was a big puddle by the bus stop and in the time we were there ( long enough for girls to eat choc brownie each) some cars splashed past. And, this is TRUE, half of them were Mercedes. I don't think Bitterne has ever seen a Merc.

We went to Cobham for their turning on the Christmas lights event on Friday. Now, if you think Claygate sounds posh, wait till you get to Cobham. It is the home of the American Community School, and hence the american community. It is also the home of Chelsea FC training grounds, and hence Chelsea FC. Here, you need a BIG mortgage just to buy a shed at B and Q and a BIG car to be allowed in to B and Q in the first place.

My dad's family come from Cobham, Oxshott and Downside for centuries, and so he is a local lad and provides an interesting slant on the place. Wandering around the village in the dark, with crowds of Americans, and my dad acting as an honorary blue badge guide and pointing out where the school used to be, the oldest cottage in Cobham, the garage where a vicar committed suicide and other tourist hotspots made for a surreal evening. In fact, he should catch on to a business opportunity and start up Ye Olde Cobham ghoste walkes and that kind of tourist thing to a literally captive audience.

It was good to get home. It is lovely to be there and see family, but as H put it when we got back to church on Sun am ' I have missed being here'. When I drive down my road towards my house when I have been away I always get that excited feeling that I want to be here more than anywhere else. Maybe that is what home is all about?

Not much progress on the morris side to report. Keith plays the accordian so could be a long distance member of the group, as he lives near Scotland, and is in fact Scottish. He could play by satellite or something. I am guessing that playing the accordian is something that is done by Scottish people as a matter of routine, and that no one would bat an eyelid if he walked through Alnwick with badly fitting white clothes and jingly bells on his legs.

When H was born and I stayed in hospital 2 nights, there was a new dad on the ward who wore long flowing white clothes. At the time Rob and I thought it slightly odd, and not very practical, come to that, with new born poo, beige seems the best colour choice. Anyway, now I see the link and guess that he was a Scot, and this in usual attire. All makes sense now. Perhaps he left his accordian downstairs so it wouldn't interfere with the equipment in hospitals that the signs say get freaked out by mobile phones.


Keith said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I must admit that I've never heard of Bitterne. I come from Winchester originally and practically every car there is a Merc, BMW, Range Rover etc., because it's a "nobs" city now. Only rich people can afford to live there now, it's a 'dormitory town' for the London bankers, stockbrokers etc.

Keith Shotton said...

Hi Kay,

Hey, you seem to be attracting comments from a range of Keiths here - what's going on? I hope they're at least as cool as me (OK, I admit, playing the accordion is not THAT cool) and not like lardy, dense Keith from The Office.

Gillian and Rosie say "Hello." They're also quite taken with the idea of wearing bells - they've already mastered tyhe prancing around bit. I think we may convert the whirly-gig in our garden into a maypole.


Kay said...

Please check out the other Keith's blog. Esp the violin girl story. Beautiful. And the trolly rage, which interested me in the first place in the other Keith.