Sage cafe, East Grinstead and Eternal Beauty
Friday 2nd October
We were brought our breakfast in the Cabin, but didn't go out until nearly 12. We'd got caught in a downpour on our cycle home in the pitch dark last night, when we were nearly back anyway, and we didn't take our bikes with us today as there was a storm forecast, arriving from France. Instead we walked to Christ's Hospital station and caught a train to Crawley, where I was picking up a birthday present for Jack from a clothes shop. Crawley is a horrible post-war town with an indoor shopping centre and an ugly town centre, but the vegan 'Sage' cafe was in the original high street, part of the original market town and the only attractive street in the town centre. The waiter advised Jack not to have jacket potato with his mushroom stroganoff, and also told me to order a hot version of the chocolate brownie (it was with ice cream), even though I knew I would prefer the cold one.
There were a surprising number of middle-aged women in the cafe - in fact, apart from a baby, Jack was the only man of about twenty people in the cafe - though this was mainly because it was during working hours. There were three young ladies at a table by the window, but like the various girls in the restaurant last night, although they'd made a good effort with their hair and make-up, they wore dull, unattractive clothes. However, earlier I'd enjoyed watching a young assistant with bare, slim legs, moving displays in the clothes shop wearing a very short black dress. Then, on our bus to East Grinstead, some upper-school girls got on wearing flared micro-mini skirts as part of their uniform. I don't think the school uniform skirts are so short in North London. When we got off, it was good to see one of the girls from the bus in low-denier tights waiting proudly outside the railway station, the thick winter jacket round her top half accentuating the fact that she was displaying her full, shapely thighs.
East Grinstead was surprisingly attractive; two or three of the main streets featured 16th and 17th century brickwork. We investigated St Swithun's Church and Sackville College. Looking for some out-of-town countryside, we chanced upon a disused railway line which had been turned into a 4km country walk to Forest Row, staying flat as it cut through hilly countryside on either side, though my ankle is still not right and gets tired easily. Forest Row was a small, pretty suburb with a 14th-century pub.
We got a bus back to East Grinstead, where we went to the Atrium cinema to see 'Eternal Beauty' with Sally Hawkins, who I enjoyed so much in 'Happy Go Lucky', David Thewlis and Penelope Wilton also appeared. This was a rather downbeat film in which Miss Hawkins played a schizophrenic, while neither of her sisters, her mum or her brother-in-law were very happy with their lives. One of her sisters was played by Billie Piper as a sexy tart, which suited me as she showed off her shapely legs throughout. We went in early and had a coffee and tea in the cinema. The staff were very attentive and the Covid precautions were good. We were the only ones watching our film - this has only happened to us once before, at a Christmas Eve morning showing. I don't think people are keen to return to cinemas during the pandemic.
The rain held off most of the day and our walk down the country path was in complete dry. Again we heard the rain hammering down while we were in bed in our cosy cabin.