I know I am growing old. My joints ache after a night out, I ooh and ahh when I have to bend down or pick something off the floor, I love pottering in the garden and, most telling, I prefer Radio 4 these days as opposed to Radio 2. And as if my lack of teeth, sagging skin and expanding waistline didn’t already prove it, a trip to the Beacon’s new eatery Nando’s this week brought it all home to me. The restaurant itself is lovely, the staff great and they serve a decent glass of Sauvignon Blanc, albeit at more than seven quid for a large glass. The food was okay too and the choice was plentiful. But myself and the cronies, who were all Nando’s virgins as well as probably being the oldest people in there, needed a quick guide on how it all worked – or we would have sat there all night waiting for a waitress to come and take our order. The first thing is obviously to grab a table. But after you’ve perused the menu and chosen which Portuguese-style chicken dish to have and the strength of various peri-peri marinades on offer and any side dishes, it all turns into a kind of Wetherspoons experience where you have to remember your table number and order at the bar and pay for it there and then. And then carry your own wine back to the table. Or if you want a soft drink, pour it yourself from the machine at the back of the room. Then you repeat the whole process again when your glass is empty or decide you have room for a pudding. The food is brought to your table and the waiting staff were fantastic. But it’s not my cup of tea really. Although judging from the hordes of satisfied customers around us, it’s certainly a popular chain and a method which the young folk seem to embrace. I do wonder if I am turning into a grumpy old woman.
Talking of moaning and groaning and complaining about things, there are two pieces of good news to report this week. That noisy manhole cover just as you come off the Bird’s Eye/big Tesco roundabout towards St Anthony’s has finally been fixed and doesn’t clang loudly when you drive over it. And when I nipped to the Beacon the other day for a cuppa in Shades, I noticed it was distinctively warmer thanks to some rather nice heat being blown out from above. And the men manning the Sky pop-up shop by Greggs didn’t have quite so many layers on as they did the other week when the wind and cold air first started blowing through the mall.
Like many other drivers on Tuesday morning, I was a tad frustrated that less than a year after traffic lights at the corner of Seaside, Whitley Road and Beamsley Road caused major chaos and long delays, they are back again. I was quite prepared to give East Sussex Highways a bit of a kick in the shins on behalf of all those motorists who suffered the lengthy delays and couldn’t fathom out why whatever work is being done this time wasn’t done the time before. I was reliably informed the latest works are “safety audit adjustments following the works last year”. So, now we know.