My Friend Marsha wrote a book. (Okay, she’s not really my friend, but as a fellow expat from the Americas – when I say it that way I can include Canadians – and fellow writer, I feel like we’ve connected on a deeper than “exchanged-a-few-emails” level.) It’s called “24 Hours: London” and it goes through a diurnal cycle, listing what you can do, where you can go and how you can entertain yourself during that particular hour (e.g. naked disco dancing at 22:00 -- www.starkersclub.co.uk ).
To help her launch it, I thought I do a tribute post, in the best, “I know a good idea when I steal one” tradition:
24 Hours: Horsham – the Baby Boomer Edition
05:00: What are you doing up? Nothing is open. Go back to bed!
06:00: There’s still nothing open, but the kettle is on. Make yourself some toast and oatmeal.
07:00: Costa Coffee will be open in a while if you want a frothy coffee and a breakfast muffin. McDonalds and Starbucks will be open, too, but don’t go there, not unless you’re happy to feed the American corporate giants.
08:00: A nice morning stroll along the Causeway to St. Mary’s churchyard. Nothing stirs a bit of joie de vivre like spending half an hour or so communing with dead people.
09:00: Time to queue up outside the Royal Mail office with the pensioners. Or you can queue up outside of Waterstones and vie for a seat at the Santa Fe café.
10:00: Swan Walk Mall is in full swing now; time to do your bit to help Britain out of the recession.
11:00: Elevenses at the Black Olive. Try their bacon butty, it is to die for.
12:00: Have a walk around the Forum and admire the sundial, dedicated by her Majesty the Queen. While standing next to it, ask passers-by if they have the time and tell them that the sundial is broken and is stuck on 6:37 PM.
13:00: Wander through picturesque Horsham park; you can linger by the bandstand and have a light lunch at the Café in the Park or sit on a bench to watch the children in the playground.
14:00: Uh oh! Here comes PCSO Davenport. Someone has complained about a pervert sitting on a park bench leering at the children; time to move on.
15:00: There is still time to pick up a bale of toilet paper and a sack of crisps at Poundland. Bring lots of change.
16:00: Have a browse through Beales and stop off at Café Nova on the first floor, just to admire the look of exquisite boredom on the faces of the waitresses and marvel at how long it can take a coffee shop to produce a cup of coffee.
17:00: Five o’clock; time to roll up the sidewalks. If you haven’t bought it yet, it’s too late now.
18:00: You have your pick of restaurants on East Street—Horsham’s own Restaurant Row; from the plain to the posh, it’s there. And if you’re really feeling the pinch, you can find a bargain dinner at the chippie, Panda House Chinese Take-away or the KFC on the Bishopric. Dine early and you’ll beat the rush.
19:00: Just enough time for a quiet pint at the Stout House.
20:00: Thanks to the Nanny State, it’s back home for a Bolivar and brandy on the balcony.
21:00: If you have Freeview you can get channel Fiver and watch CSI, CSI, CSI, …
22:00: …and CSI…
23:00: A nice cup of tea and a good book in bed.
24:00: A comfy pillow and a warm duvet.
01:00: You may find you’ll need to get up for a wee about now.
02:00 – 04:00: What do you care? You should be asleep like a normal person!