Wednesday 28 August 2013

The Brighton passengers are fatter and slower on their feet 60 years on

I bought, possibly for the first time in my life, some jelly babies the other day.  In fact I bought a bag of liquorice allsorts at the same time....they lasted all of five minutes as I find them irresistible, yet invariably feel quite sick to my boots afterwards.  It is the power of the promotion...buying two bags rewarded me with 5p a litre discount.  I didn't do the maths.  I didn't need to.  If I'd been filling up the Jeep, I'd have been quids in - it takes the entire output of oil from Saudi Arabia between Christmas and Easter everytime I fill up.  But in this case I was filling the motorbike which has a tank smaller than a gnats bladder.  Anyway, I've been enjoying the jelly babies, but I have noticed that they seem to reflect the growing size of the population.  They are fat babies.  In fact they're obese, and the local health authority would no doubt take them away from their parents and having accused them of neglect.

I mentioned in the last post that we'd popped in to see the women's cricket.  England vs Australia.  It was quite surprising how many people were there.  Not full.  But full enough.  And some of the audience was quite passionate.  It would have been nice to have read a match report in the papers the next day.  But no, there was nothing.  Not surprising really, as most newspaper sports editors remain of the 'fat, middle-aged, white, football-loving variety'  It's a shame really, because there's so much sport of one sort or another that it would be good to read about it....and perhaps even go and watch it.

Ready, steady go.  Camergoon is fast catching up the Warmonger Blair in numbers of conflicts he's got us involved in.  I laughed until I fell off my perch this morning when The Times front page headline blasted out that WB now supported intervention in Syria.  Really??? The man who is the most trigger-happy cowboy east of Texas Boy Bush.  If it was down to him, we'd already be across the borders of Persia, keeping those damned rag-heads in their place.  I've plenty of opinions about what's going on in the Middle East and why, but one thing I'm totally clear about is the need for Western powers to keep their noses out.  History, common decency and common sense clearly demonstrate that the more the West interferes militarily, the worse the situation becomes in the long run.

Egypt is a mess, but fortunately the West is so confused as to who is the least worst bad guy, that it is managing not to form any policy whatsoever.  And long may it continue

Once upon I used to do the daily commute from Brighton to London.  Really it was a pretty stupid thing to do.  It was a long, expensive journey, spoilt my social life (last train at 11) and exhausted me.  These days, if I do the trip, it's an enjoyable experience.  Sixty years ago, the BBC filmed the journey from London to may well have seen that film, it's quite famous, quite fun, and very speeded up - if only we could all do the journey in four minutes.  They filmed it again in 1983 and again now.  The article and video have been posted on the BBC News website, and well worth four minutes of your time.  Perhaps you can confirm that my headline, taken from the article is accurate.  Click here

Monday 26 August 2013

There's (no) such thing as a free lunch

We managed a few days away, which is nice.

On Thursday we headed off to Deal, which is a quite delightful old seaside town on the Kent coast to see some friends, who have recently returned to Blighty having spent so long living and working abroad that they still appreciate just how wonderful England is.  Naturally it was a barbecue.  Naturally, Mr Abroad stood outside under an umbrella cooking whilst we watched him, and the rain, from inside.

After that we headed round the coast to Brighton.  I'd quite forgotten just how far it was and just how up and down it is.  The clue was in the alpine-style switchback bends that kept me concentrating.  We loved the drive...there's so much to's quite lovely...even when passing through Dover and Folkstone.  We loved that every time we crossed the Romney Hythe Dimchurch railway the sat nav gave us a toot too train whistle.  Well I loved it, and the rest of the car despaired.  Truly.  As the miles piled on I promised The Cats Mother that the De La Warr Pavilion was well worth staying awake for.  And indeed it might be.  But it was late.  You come to the back of it first, and that part looks like a council car park.  And here may have been a little strop as no one would get out of the car to have a look at one of Britain's finest pieces of architectural heritage from the front.  The journey continued in silence.

As they say, the best things in life are free.

So we will ignore our trip to the Brighton aquarium with the Muffins and Up, because even with a voucher for 40% discount, it still came to over £100. Actually it was quite good...aquariums can't help but be fascinating.  We also went to The Pavilion.  I've been there a hundred times, The Boy slightly less, The Cat's Mother once - six months ago when it was so cold, we went from one room to the other merely searching out the radiators...anyway The Muffins loved it.  It is truly a splendid place indeed.

We then rushed off to the cricket ground to see England thrash the Aussies.  You may have read that England just drew with Australia...but that was not in Hove where it was women's cricket.  We turned up late enough in the day to get in for nothing and early enough to see a finely balanced match tumble England's way.  I may not be a cricket fan as such, but this was definitely fun...

But best of all was the #BAbeachside .  On the  seafront, we were lucky enough for us all (or at least those over 1.5 metres to win lunch courtesy of British airways.  This was not just any lunch.  This was lunch 150 foot in the air....the UK's highest pop-up restaurant  Hoisted up by crane, strapped to our seats, this was true dining extraordinaire.  Our trip was sponsored by Lanzarote, so the food was appropriate to that was the very delicious wine.  It was a terrific experience.  We loved it.