Day 37

Got up at the crack of dawn to meet Elsbeth at the tube station where we caught the District line to Victoria Station to board our tour bus. I use the phrase tour bus with extreme generosity since it quickly became apparent why the tickets were so cheap – the bus was old, mean and completely lacking in any comfort or amenities whatsoever. We were glad to get chewing gum free seats.

This didn't dampen our spirits however, as we boarded along with 50 or so other old fogeys, many sporting very blue rinses. The trip took just under 2 hours, weaving through South East London and the lush Kentish countryside, the Garden of England, to eventually arrive at Royal Tunbridge Wells. Its a small and very upmarket town who's inhabitants I'm guessing are very fond of the Royal association. English towns have generally lost their identity, tending to have similar centres with the same array of dull shops adorning the High Street, but Tunbridge Wells manages to preserve some of its heritage in its Pantiles area, a very picturesque part of the town which also hosts the spring that used to serve the Spa. I don't recommend drinking the water, though – it tastes vile. Not surprising Henry VIII was such a disagreeable fellow.

We wandered about for a good few hours, avoiding the shopping centres and Christmas crowds as much as possible. Elsbeth and I enjoy each other's company without feeling the need to make conversation which suits me immensely as I find conversation quite tiresome.

Its been a good day, and to top it all Harry has returned, looking fat as ever. He even let me stroke him.