Diary… Sunday 2 February

Another day in Winchester

Our second day in Winchester begins with a visit to the deep countryside… on BBC Radio’s ‘The Archers’. 

There is trouble down in the pig farms of Ambridge, where an outbreak of tail-biting is wreaking havoc.

Some of the descriptions of tail-biting make it sound like S&M, piggy-style. 

The various types are graded according to severity: “two-stage”, “sudden forceful”, and “obsessive”. 

It looks painful whatever the setting.

Tails of the unexpected

◾Up Winchester’s High Street, past the big statue of Alfred The Great, to the vintage street market the city hosts on the first Sunday of each month.

It’s more flea than junk, lots of jewellery, but nevertheless business today was depressingly slow. 

Winchester is a classic English market town with historical connections to the military. 

It is one of Hampshire’s key administrative hubs with many attractions, not least its impressive cathedral.

It is also the start/end of the South Downs Way, making it a locus for hill walkers looking to take a rolling stroll 100 miles east along the coast to Eastbourne.

◾Further up the High Street my wife Jane complained about the proliferation of travel shops and mobile-phone stores.

Then she had a go at  Anthropologie, which she says is expanding too fast and will soon lose its famed exclusivity. 

Can anyone ever have enough of this kind of stuff, I wonder?

◾Later in the supermarket, the food bank contributions were doing OK, which is a good sign in one way, but a reflection also of a local economic plight that’s seen several Winchester stores forced into closure.

But thankfully the art shop at the bottom of Magdalen Hill still has a few ‘Dylans’ in stock. 

◾Yesterday, the UK (Wales) thrashed the EU (Italy) 42-0. Today France got the upper hand over England, running to an easy victory 24-17.

◾ Read yesterday’s journal.