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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Beaches and Brighton, but not Brighton Beach - 15/2/2008 -17/2/2008

I spent the weekend in Brighton visiting Kate, Dave and Neep in their still lukewarm but due to be cold by April house. Yes, unfortunately, they have to move in the near future.

Flights were delayed all around. One of the flight attendance on the way down kept telling us far too many things were "for our convenience" like sitting down while the plane was moving, not getting hit by falling luggage when opening the overhead bins. I arrived a little after 1am to Brighton thanks to the last Gatwick train of the day. The walk to Kate and Dave's involved an uphill climb out of Brighton town centre and dodging a typical Friday night's worth of vomit on the pavements and street, where the dodging was indeed for our convenience.

Neep wasn't exactly wide awake when we arrived, but she found the usual kitten energy reserve to go somewhat crazy soon after we arrived. Bedtime for everyone soon followed.

After a leisurely morning where Neep helped me cook breakfast (after she got her breakfast, of course), we took the slow train to Hastings and went for a walk in Hastings Country Park. Once we could find it. Food found us first, which wasn't really a bad thing. The wander through the Old Town to get to the park was

The sky was clear and the wind was roughly easterly, which meant cold Continental air but good visibility. Not quite enough visibility to see France (otherwise this post would have been titled "I saw London, I saw France"), but I don't think Hastings was well placed for that. I do think we saw that sticky outy bit just to the right of Hastings, which looks like it is called Dungeness. Kate was a big fan of all of the stairs up and down the hills.

Daylight became an issue so we cut the walk a bit short for a total of about 5 miles. After a leisurely train ride back to Brighton, food shopping and an equally leisurely but less successful wait in the cold for a lift back to theirs with said food, we got back to Kate and Dave's to make dinner. Other friends from Dave's work joined us. Much chopping, stirring and cooking prepared feast of nachos and fajitas. Sadly, the unripe avocados could not be rescued into guacamole.

The next day, we wandered Brighton at the same time as the Brighton half marathon finished, which injected a fit energy to the town centre and waterfront. We never found the appropriate friends finishing but we did find them in the pub eventually! I will confess to feeling runner envy being surrounded by all the half marathoners, but my time will come soon enough.

Dave promised a taste of Scrumpy's but never delivered. We found cider after a Mediterranean lunch, but it was not the Scrumpy that apparently destroyed Kathryn the weekend before my visit. That cider didn't agree with me, so I left an orphan when we left the pub. My train journey back to Gatwick was as eventful as every other leg of my journey to and from Brighton. I got on the slow train in the wrong direction (heading to the right place, but railworks are what they are), got on another slightly faster train at the first stop and made it to the check-in desks before the check-in time expired. Success! Except my flight wasn't on the board! Stress! I annoyed the Belfast check-in people who sent my bag and me to Edinburgh. Eventually. Along with the rest of the passengers on my flight, I got plenty of exercise trying to get to the correct gate, which moved from one end of the airport to another.

I did get back to Edinburgh with luggage, so all was well in the end. A filthy Brian collected me from the airport. He had a fun weekend, too, wallowing in cottage filth with Amy and Bram.

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