Despite the pandemic

Despite the pandemic some relatives came to visit me this weekend. My flat is far too small to house them and in any case that wouldn’t be wise in these times and so they decided to stay in a hotel in Worthing (cheaper than Brighton). Being car drivers this wasn’t as inconvenient as it sounds but did mean that the car would dictate what we could do (it needs parking). This was good and bad. The bad was that I couldn’t really show off Brighton itself too much (anyone who knows Brighton knows that parking is a pain). The good was that it provided a chance for us to go a little further afield, something I don’t usually get to do (not being a car driver). We had rather a wonderful time and the veil of the pandemic that permeates everything at present was lifted for a couple of days.

Jason and Reece drove in from Worthing early Saturday morning and parked in the Regency Square car park where we met up. Smiles all round. I had a plan for this part of the day and suggested we go to The Meeting Place Cafe. The cafe is always busy and its not the best service in town but it has a major advantage in that it is on the seafront and so you can sit down and look out to sea while drinking your coffee (its also COVID-19 friendly being outside). Coffee and chatter ensued until the food was ready the highlight of which was my piece of cake that more closely resembled a doorstop (tasted good though)! This moment gave me a chance to reward my visitors with a couple of paintings I had prepared in advance. A friend of mine had set me a brief to produce a painting earlier in the year and despite the brief being tough the painting was more successful than we thought it might be and it had the additional advantage of providing a template for these two paintings.

Photograph - Jason and Reece

The story of the paintings: After Easter I noticed while shopping in my local Marks and Spencers that they had a large number of Star Wars related Easter eggs left over and when they were still there a couple of weeks later and the price had been reduced to shift them I decided to treat myself to one (we were still in lockdown so a treat seemed reasonable). After it had been eaten I couldn’t bring myself to just throw the packaging away. It had some nice Star Wars related images on it. So I cut them out before throwing the boxes away. Over the course of lockdown the eggs failed to sell and so each week I bought one as a treat and before I knew it I had enough storm troopers to consider producing a couple of paintings!

Photograph - Cuckmere HavenAfter our meeting at The Meeting Place Cafe I suggested we go to Cuckmere Haven as it was a nice sunny day and the location would afford ease of parking and provide us with a pleasant walk. It didn’t let us down and before we knew it we had logged 15,000 steps improving our health all the while chatting and enjoying the wonderful scenery. Watching the swimmers wade out and then let the incoming tide sweep them back in land was the highlight for me. I’ve been to Cuckmere Haven and climbed the hills to get the beautiful view from above but have not actually walked through the flood plain and experienced it first hand so this was a treat. After sitting in the sun watching the tide come in laughing and joking around I suddenly became thirsty and so it was time to walk back to the car. We had thought of having a drink at that point but it was a bit crowded and it seemed prudent to drive on somewhere else for a drink.

Photograph - Jason and Reece Lewes Castle

We decided to visit Lewes on the way back to Brighton as my guests had not been there. We had a very pleasant walk through town and visited the The Castle, Baltica Pottery Shop and the Fifteenth Century Bookshop before meandering back through town visiting The Sussex Guild shop on the way where we made a couple of small purchases for fun. Finally we halted at Fuego Lounge for coffee and a catch up on the footy results. A very pleasant coffee made to taste better by our football team (Ipswich) winning and going top of the table! We are top of the league, say we are top of the league!

Photograph - Fish and Chip shopTime to head back to Brighton. We had planned to have fish and chips in Brighton but parking was a bit of an issue and so we ended up driving through and on to Shoreham where I knew of a good fish and chip shop. Blundens Fish & Chip shop didn’t let us down (even having mushy peas, essential for Vegan customers) and so we had fish (ok none of us had fish but you get the point) and chips beside the River Adur.

Back home to Brighton for some well earned rest.

The next day we met up again and decided to do breakfast at Brighton Marina. Slightly sad to say the marina is starting to look rather tired these days and the service wasn’t that great. We decided to duck out early and go somewhere else.

Photograph - larking about on the golf courseA short drive along the coast we were pleased to see that Roedean Cafe and pitch and putt course was open and decided to stop and have a go. My compadres were sceptical but after they got into the swing of it (see what I did there) we had a good laugh and accidentally added to our fitness count with another 15,000 steps. Judging by the photo I’m not sure we had the technical aspects of the game down pat but we gave it a good go and each of use had a good shot and a bad shot in us. Very pleasant to finish up on the terrace outside the cafe with drinks in hand.

And suddenly its time for us all to go home. Many thanks to Jason and Reece for coming down. Was a great time and I look forward to the next time 🙂