After the torrential rain on the south coast last week, it was good to learn that we wouldn’t end up rusting this weekend as the weather forecast predicted a heatwave!
So, we left home just before 9am, in the direction of Eastbourne, with a plan to stop of along the way, somewhere, and enjoy a picnic. When we left home, the weather was very mediocre, but the further south we got, the hotter it got! So that was just perfect!
First stop was the rather quaint town of Lewes. I don’t think I’ve been here since the late 70s, and it was good to see the town again. We trundled into Lewes Castle before taking a look round the varied shops, before stopping off at a local watering hole – and their roof garden - for a swift one!
Then, it was back in the car to nail the picnic spot – and we found the perfect location – the village of Alfriston – just a short drive away… with free parking… and a view to die for. And that’s where we stayed for the next hour, under the shade of an oak tree with a perfect view of dozens of park benches and a very green lawn area in front of the Church.
Suitably refreshed, we headed back to the car – and to our final destination – The Da Vinci Hotel, just opposite the sea-front in Eastbourne. Parking was initially a nightmare, but I did manage to find the last space almost opposite the front door – and with a parking permit part of the deal, we were sorted for the next two days.
After a lightning quick check-in we headed for room 306. On entering, we felt the immediate need for sunglasses – not because of the local weather, but because of the colour scheme!! The room looked like it had been designed by the same people that make my socks! Bright orange doesn’t even begin to describe it!!! Perhaps they use the hotel rooms instead of a lighthouse to ward-off ships from crashing into the pier!!
..and then we did a quick tour of the shops, stopping off at Zizzi’s for a light nibble in the shape and taste of their ‘Pulled Pork Napoli’ pizza.
..and then we waddled back to the Hotel by way of another wander along the seafront.
Saturday dawned with the sound of the seaside – more specifically, the sound of seagulls! And they were noisy… real noisy… even at 5am!! Bang went the lie-in then! Then, It was a sharpish breakfast for me, as I was off to the nearby Hydro Hotel, for another of the OCA’s informal reunions/get-togethers, with yours truly ‘chairing’ the event. Not a great day then for the Polo to break down on the way to the Station to pick up the Team, due to a knackered ignition coil on cylinder 2. Thank goodness then for the RAC, who turned up in under an hour and, happened to have a spare coil on board! Phew!!!!
The event went well, and after clearing-up, I was back to the Da Vinci ready for a meal out at the nearby The Channel Restaurant. Ann had booked it based on some very good recommendations, and luckily for us it was a stone’s throw from our hotel. The food was great and the service, very prompt – just how we like it!
Then it was a short walk back to the Da Vinci for our final night here.
Sunday – and we were up with the lark (and those b****** seagulls!), and after a swift brekky, we were on the road and heading for my brother’s in Bromley. It was a great time to visit: our Nephew, Frankie had done well in his exams: 6 A*s, 5 As and a C and we also picked up my new PC that Neil had built from a basic configuration with a few extra bits bolted on. We’d also managed to install most of my current software during the preceding couple of weeks, by taking advantage of DropBox and a fast internet connection – brilliant!
After a buffet lunch, we headed home – and the journey was a pig! One hour queuing to get through the Dartford Tunnel plus various other hold ups on the M11 meant the journey of just 90-or-so miles took nearly three hours!! We were knackered, by the time we got home – I didn’t even have the energy to post this blog on time!
Still, looking back on the events of the past few days, it had been a great weekend for us – always good to catch-up with family, and a(nother) successful event for the OCA meant that when I step down next year, at least I’ll have some positive experiences to look back on.