Friday, 5 August 2011

Brighton, July 2011

Photos and links to follow

Brighton, 26th-28th July 2011
The motivation for the visit (apart from the inherent pleasure of visiting our past and future home town of Brighton) was to attend a SuperCollider  course at Brighton University. Unfortunately, the course was cancelled due to insufficient takeup, but as the weather forecast was reasonable, we went anyway.
Minor changes to the arrangements at home made deploying the Puck easier: firstly, in addition to the advantage of experience, I have applied some cement to the edge of the parking space to smooth the passage. Secondly, we have adopted a policy of emptying out the contents before moving it – particularly the awning poles, the weight of which must be a significant proportion of that of the van itself.
This was the first real chance to use the Bromptons and they are brilliant. We are still getting used to the folding and unfolding (there was that embarrassing question to the eBay vendor when we thought that the front fork of the red one was assembled backwards). There are three key principles:
  • The order for unfolding is rear wheel, front wheel, saddle, handlebars – reverse it for folding
  • When folding the front wheel, keep it facing forwards
  • The saddle locks the folded front wheel in place, so, when unfolding, raise the saddle first.
The quality of the bikes, combined with Brighton’s excellent provisions for bikers has resulted in a super time. It used to be a real slog getting into town from the camp site on foot, or even walking to the bus stop, but now, pedalling along the front is a joy (with the additional options of shopping at the Marina Asda and taking a beer at the Marina Wetherspoons).
We have found our favourite pitch at Sheepcoate (113 for future reference), as secluded as it gets here (we first visited in Gerald the Camper in the first year they opened, before any of the  inter-pitch foliage had a chance to grow – there are photographs somewhere) but with good access to the facilities.
The only sand in the holiday’s vaseline is the fridge not working, a fact that we did not realise until the morning of Day 2. Reading the instructions, the likely culprits are a blown fuse or the caravan not level. I bought a set of fuses in Brighton’s 99p shop, but fiddling with the corner steadies to level the floor did the trick. A lesson learned - I thought it was only in gas mode (which we don’t use) that this matters, but that is clearly not the case.
Anyway, events have been:
Day 1
Cycle to town for a potter; back via the Marina Wetherspoons and Asda; walked up and up and up the hill to the racecourse, pausing  at a children’s cricket match; bbq chicken (brought with us en marinade) and salad.
Day 2
Cooked breakfast, including Asda chicken burgers instead of sausages: excellent portions as the fridge had become a warm cupboard.

Cycled to town where Jan met two old neighbours for lunch while I pottered further - an unsuccessful search for a small amount of paraffin for the lamp rescued at the last moment from the Oxfam bag
Then to ? church for some snaps 
And to the library which does not provide internet access for non-members.

Reassignated at the library and cycled around town towards Hove (a likely downsizing destination) then back all along the front, again via Wethers and Asda.
Tonight a chicken curry is planned.
Day 3
A reasonably early rise and a simple breakfast (no cooking = little washing) and back in time to go to the gym.

The Asda <£5 toaster is an excellent thing - we had a strange gas-driven toaster left over from Gerald, but it was primarily a novelty item and I would rather make toast efficiently with the site’s electricity than at length and imperfectly with my gas.
The cheap Asda wok, on the other hand is rubbish. I’ll get a small John Lewis model before we camp again.
Avoiding the excessively expensive French wooden spatula  was wise - the John Lewis 3 tools for £2 was a good deal and Wilko’s 28p model would have been even better. France is remarkably expensive these days.
I lost the boules, forfeited by losing the little wooden dobble in the foliage during the third set, but we played on anyway with a golf-ball dobble and the loss was reinforced, 11-13; 13-8; 8-14.

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