Waiting for the soldiers. The people of Tunbridge Wells line the streets to welcome the return from Afghanistan of the 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. There is a parade at the Assembly Hall. The people I talk to have admiration and affection for the soldiers but do not seem to understand what they are being asked to fight for.
In the Grove, three boys come up behind me and roar past on skate boards. One extends his arms like wings and bends his knees so that he is a few inches off the ground. It brings to my mind the games we used to play as children when we pretended to be be fighter planes - spitfires, hurricanes and, I dare say, messeschmitts. There was a certain noise we used to make not unlike the skate boards, but similar: a nasal "aeirr... ung", which, 70 years later, I can still hear in my mind
I pass a few moments with neighbour, Devern, during which we indulge in a luxurious grumble. The town hall building is being sold off to developers, who plan to turn it into a hotel and a shopping centre. The abandoned cinema site opposite the town hall is still undeveloped despite planning permission for a hotel and shopping centre. Council rates cannot be charged for unoccupied buildings with the result that they remain unoccupied much longer than should. The local paper is useless. The ground is too dry and it is raining everywhere except in Tunbridge Wells. And so on. Ah that's better!