My mad wee Summer jaunt has just deposited me by the very British seaside in Brighton. My journey here began in the early hours of thursday morning, when I found myself jumping on a megabus in Brussels. A few hours later we were at Calais, & a sail across the channel later, into the ever-widening dawn, found me back in Britain. Not long after this I was pulling into London along the Kent Road, the morning full of teh warming sun I’d brought over from Europa. At Victoria I quickly changed busses, then a few hours more I was in dirty Leeds. Later that day I was ready to play a gig with the Victor Pope band, whose recently finished album can be seen here.


I had a few hours to kill in Leeds b4 Victor Pope, Jonnie & mi bird turned up, so spent it at an old pals house in the highly cosmopolitan town of Chapeltown. A few hours of lazing in the sun later mi best mate Nicky turns up from Burnley with his wife, Clare. Christine had made us all a lovely chicken dinner after which we drove over to the Brunendell Social Club in Leeds. A little later the guys turn up – they’d driven to Carlisle from edinburgh, then caught the train to leeds through the beautiful Pennine scenery around Settle & Skipton. Unfortunately Roy couldnt make it – so we were a three-piece, but we went down pretty well & its great too have a good work out before the forthcoming Wicker Man festival.


After the gig, Nicky drove me & Ellie to Burnley where we slept at his house. Next morning saw lunch with my dad, sister & new nephew, Jacob, before we caught a bus to Manchester. Our journey saw us climbing up onto the moors above my home town, descending into Rawtenstall, then chugging along the motorway to Manchester. Over in Cottonopolis we bought some snacks then jumped on a train which swept us all the way to Cardiff in Wales – my seventh country of the tour! Another train later we found ourselves in Barry, recently made famous by the sitcom Gavin & Stacey. theres one bit in it which is hilarious – alright its set in the Essex half of the show, & its all about english football songs – but its wicked –

We were in Barry for a wedding, Ellie’e cousin’s cousin, a tenuous link but enough to furnish our stay with two nights in an idyllic B&B converted from a farm-house, & also copious amounts of free prosecco at the wedding reception. The groom is a Defence barrister while the bride is a GP, very middle middle & the scene of the reception reflected this. It was held at Fonmon castle; built in the 12th century it was sold off by the royalist owners as part of their civil war reparations, & has been in the family of the new owners ever since. It was great fun getting sloshed in the 32 degree heat, playing boules on the lawn & tucking into a grand three-courser, finished off with a wild Scottish caleigh. there was a funny moment, though. I was taking photos of the wonderful art draped on the castle walls (Van Dyck, Joshua Reynalds) which startled the caterer manager – I think he thought i was sizing them up for a later steal or something, & he even muttered under his breath at one point ‘behave youself!’ Nobhead.


So that brings us to Brighton. Yesterday me & the lass caught a 5 hour train from Cardiff to Brighton, with me glued to the last sessions of this years ashes test (well done there lad -the burnley express, jimmy anderson). Then, with the sun gently fading I found myself on the lawns by the sea near Hove, having a picnic with five of ellie’s female pals – an interesting & pleasurable ordeal. I took a bit of a back seat during the girlie catch-up – which was basically talk about new jumpers & each girls nick-name for their lady-bits! I think I passed the test by the way! Last night we slept in Ellie’s mate’s spare room & today we’ve just been pottering in the sun around Britain’s premier seaside resort. I lived here 13 years ago, & wrote the very first stanzas of Axis & Allies here.

Home tomorrow, but first off, Ellies prepared a picnic lunch by the Pavilions

Sussex, Brighton, Royal Pavilion

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