Thursday 13th October, 2011

Day Trip to Bournemouth


A very brief medical update. This week I am starting to phase out my steroid tablets. Hopefully this will reduce the swelling in my legs, but there is a risk I will get more pain from my hip. I have been sleeping with a wedge pillow to support my back and head. In the middle of the night, I removed it and tried lying in a more normal flatter position. I immediately fell asleep for 3 hours. I did wake up with some strange aches, which I need to monitor.

Maybe today will justify its own blog entry. Sue and I are going to Bournemouth on the train to walk on the pier and have lunch. We are trying to fit in one day out per week. These days out are an important break from routine.

We have a taxi booked to take us to the station at 9:30. When we get to Bournemouth, we have a plan. We are going to walk through the lower gardens to the sea front and then walk to the end of the pier.

The first train on which our tickets are valid is a Cross Country Trains service at 10:10. That means we get a free cup of coffee and biscuit and has fewer stops than the South West Trains service.

10:10 Left Basingstoke on time
10:23 Arrived Winchester
10:32 Arrived Southampton Airport Parkway
10:39 Arrived Southampton
10:58 Arrived Brockenhurst
11:14 Arrived Bournemouth

Much better weather than forecast, with sunshine and lots of blue sky.

We got a taxi to the lower gardens and immediately found a cafe for a cup of coffee sitting outside in the sun, entertained by a couple of aging rockers playing passable quality 60s blues music.

It looks like we picked a good day for a trip to Bournemouth. The weather today really is a "bluebird", completely unexpected for mid October.I imagined an overcast day, with Bournemouth virtually deserted. In fact, there were lots of people around.

The weather was much better than forecast, with bright sunshine and virtually no wind. With the reflections off the sea and beach it was almost too hot. We spent a very pleasant half an hour enjoying a glass of wine in the sun at the end of the pier.

As we drank our wine, we reflected on how much has happened since the middle of August. Two months ago, I could not have imagined a day like today, feeling great, no pain and able to walk a relatively long distance without problem.

Lunch was fish and chips at Harry Ramsdens on the seafront near the pier.

After lunch we had a very pleasant ride on the "road train" that travels along Undercliff Drive to Boscombe and back, before walking back through the lower gardens to the same cafe we started from when we arrived and a taxi back to the station.

We sat outside in the cafe, but the temperature was beginning to fall. The occasional sunny period that was forecast has lasted all day, with hardly a cloud in sight.

By now, I am tired, but not having any problems at all with pain from my hip.

Our taxi driver took us to the back of the station, so that we didn't have to cross the footbridge. There was a Cross Country train ready to depart at the platform. It departed 2 minutes after we got on board.

16:45 Left Bournemouth on time
16:58 Arrived Brockenhurst
17:12 Arrived Southampton
17:21 Arrived Southampton Airport Parkway
17:30 Arrived Winchester
17:47 Arrived Basingstoke

Fresh air and sunshine is a tiring combination. Sue and I had a pretty lazy evening when we got home.