Sunday 16 August 2009

Kate Moss woz here

Having previously mentioned that Bristol and I are not as one - see here it's time to report my feelings towards Croydon. I'm beginning to feel a bit like Boris Johnson here, my fellow pickaninnies.

Croydon is the place most famous for producing Kate Moss and....nothing else as far as I'm aware. My main experience of Croydon over the years has been when the commuter train from Brighton stops at East Croydon station. It's not a great place. And neither at the start of your journey nor at the end.

Last year a brave 13 year old (that'll be the boy) and I decided to cycle from Brighton to Buckhurst Hill. The distance is roughly 120km. We did it in a very respectable 10 hours, not bad as it included numerous pit-stops and the occasional detour. I reported on it here. For a thirteen year old it was a real achievement, and something I hope he tells his children and grandchildren about. The high point was when we crossed the felt like we were crossing from one country to the next. Particularly as immediately afterwards we had to cycle up the North Downs, and to be honest at the time it felt we were repeating Sherpa Tenzing's epic achievement.

And I'm pleased to say there were no mishaps.

The low point of the entire trip was Croydon - by the time we got there we were tired, and a wee bit chilly and starving hungry. And most importantly we were neither at the start of or journey, nor at the end. I'm sure it's a point experienced by all long distance athletes....not that we're claiming that accolade.

On Sunday we decided to return from Brighton re-tracing the route of last year's epic ride. But this time were in the Jeep. It was surprisingly difficult to manage, and more than a few u-turns were made. But I'm pleased to report there was only one mishap - the waitress at the pub we stopped at managed to trip and drop our chocolate mousses. The last two they had.

The highlight was crossing the M25 which felt like crossing from one country to another.

But sure as sure, it was Croydon that provided the low point of the journey. Our last year route was blocked by road works, and the end result was a detour that lasted a whole Jose Gonzalez album. Not even the satnav would help. And trust me, the back streets of Croydon have nothing to recommend them. Rows and rows of decaying houses interspersed with empty shops, or shops selling nothing more than rubbish. It's faceless Britain at its worse. And I hope I never have reason to go back. Not even for the impressive shopping centre. Or a gig at the Fairfield Halls.



    not a place to go for my next holiday then and clearly no improvement since 2004. Can't be all bad can it? Oh, ok then...I hear you.

    Belated congratulations on 120km, for a 13 year old that's more than achievement it's awesome and for the father too! well done.

  2. Mr.H. used to work at Fairfield Halls. Funnily enough so did my late godfather's partner but not at the same time. They both used the same desk though!

  3. Fairfield Halls that's a blast from the past. Long story ;-) What a mighty fine jeep, good for the mean streets of Croydon. Bullet proof! TFx

  4. Great jeep. I needed that in Iceland. Can I borrow the keys?

    Croydon is famous in civil service circles for being the place they send you for reprogramming. Really, it is.

  5. You forgot Croydon's most famous son - actor Martin Jarvis.

    Worth a Croydon alone. Sod Kate Moss.

    I think Brighton should have been the destination rather than the start point though.


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