There I was, walking up Belgrave Rd on my way to an appointment, more about that in a moment, I was passing the now boarded up Sherwood. I paused for a second or to, just for old times sake when an elderly gentleman spoke to me. He recognised me from a previous visit to Torquay when he had stayed at the hotel. He told me of the phone call from head office in Dunoon telling him that the holiday he and his wife had booked would not now take place due to unforeseen circumstances. I asked him which hotel he was staying at, The Rainbow which is the next hotel up the road. I had plenty of time before my appointment so I walked slowly up the hill with him. I asked him where he was from and he told me "Cannock, lived there all me life. Except for the seven years I spent in the army. Should have been 6 but I stayed for an extra year because of that trouble in the Med." I guessed Cyprus but he said no. I tried to remember who else Britain had been beating up in the fifties in the Medertarainian Sea as my companion was struggling to remember. After a while he said, "The place with a canal." Oh yes, Egypt, that's in the Med.
Then as we got closer to the hotel he told me he had lost his wife. I put on a suitably sympathetic face and started to say how sorry I was to hear that. "Just recently?" I asked. "Yes," he said. "just this morning. We were on the beach and I told her I was going to the shop for a paper. When I got back she had gone. He had looked along the beach for her and not finding her had gone back to the hotel but she wasn't there. The police were called. As we entered the hotel two police offices were just coming out. He spoke to them and they said they hadn't found her but had all available officers out looking for her. I hope she turns up safe and well. If I find out any more news I will post it here.
Back to my appointment, It was with a driver from a holiday coach firm, one I had emailed begging for work. It seems my services could be required as a part time driver which is fine by me and I was to prove that I could actually drive a coach. And to show my driving licence and tacho card so they could be photocopied for insurance purposes. Anyway the drive went OK, nearly knocked a cyclist of his bike when he tried to get through a 6 inch gap between me and a parked car (are cyclist mad?) but no other problems except the tacho machine. I have only ever driven coaches with a digital tacho but this coach had an old fashioned paper style thing so I needed a bit of help filling it in.
Finally, if you are wondering what to do on Sunday then get along to Shedden Hill car park just up the hill from Torquay sea front where loads of old and oldish buses will be parked, some will be taking passengers for trips round the bay and I will be there with my camera, provided it doesn't rain. Forecast is for sunny intervals.