We’d decided to take a day trip by coach to Brighton, attracted by the £12 return fare for seniors and the convenient pick-up in our Bedfordshire town.
We didn’t realise, and we suspect nor did the coach company, that the day selected of Saturday August 4th was the day of the Gay Pride celebrations in Brighton. With all the traffic log-jams the 3.5 hour journey took 4.5 hours and the road closures meant our coach had to drop us off a good 15 minute walk in the heat from the town, and we had to be back there 4.5 hours later for the run home.
So we quickly headed to our usual Brighton bar, the quirky Font in the Lanes operating out of a de-consecrated church, and seriously enjoyed the sit-down away from all the mayhem and a cold refreshing pint. We then popped around the corner to nab an outside table lunch at Donatello (see Foodie News review in this issue). This was a good move as we could watch some of the revellers walking past and have to say that many of the attractive young ladies were dressed and made up to a high standard, and certainly appealing eye-candy for this 70+ year-old straight.
After lunch there was just time for a bit of shopping around Churchill Square before pushing our way through the crowds thronging around the pier – and we could believe the forecast of up to 400,000 pouring into Brighton – and boarding our thankfully air-conditioned coach for the ride home, which we mostly slept through.
By all accounts we didn’t have a bad day compared to some there, especially the 50,000 plus who attended the Britney Spears gig in Preston Park and, due to the currently abysmal service on the railways, were unable to get home and spent an uncomfortable night on Brighton’s shingle beach. The only beach sleeping we’ve ever done was in the 1960’s on the sandy beach at Walton-on-the-Naze where if you made an indentation for your hip you could be quite comfortable.