Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pooh, Kew, Brighton for Two, Sheffield Park and Meg

On holiday again.  This time we’re staying in Horsham—a charming market town in West Sussex—and renting a lovely, two-bedroom holiday apartment that, for the rest of the year, is known as “our flat.”
Staycations, in my view, offer a wonderful opportunity to get out to those nearby tourist destinations you just never seem to find the time to visit.  So that’s what we’re doing, and the title of this post is our itinerary.  It is also a nod to Trumpton’s Fire Brigade roll call: "Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub."  I expect that will confuse every American reader of this site, and a few of the Brits, as well.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, have a look at this:

So back to our staycation.  The only problem with a staycation is that you don’t actually go anywhere (this, for some of us, is the actual benefit), so to make it seem more like a holiday I suggested that we should get up early, throw some suitcases in the boot and drive around for a few hours.  We could have lunch at a service area on the M-4 then drive back home in the afternoon.  For added verisimilitude, we could tack some notes up in the kitchen explaining how to use the various appliances, and leave out some brochures for local attractions, along with a visitors book we could sign.  But my wife thought she’d prefer a lie-in, instead.
Our week didn’t start off brilliantly.  On Monday we set out for Pooh Corner and the Pooh-Sticks Bridge but, thanks to the charming tradition of not bothering to signpost the bloody roads, we instead enjoyed a lovely morning of driving randomly around Sussex.  Though I have to admit, the experience of being lost, even in our own back yard, served to enhance the notion that we were actually on holiday.

The Shop at Pooh Corner
We did, at least, find Pooh Corner.  It’s in a town.  They are labeled on the map.  I think it’s a law.
Kew was a bit easier to find.  Probably because it’s bigger.  I have, for the past ten years, managed to avoid visiting Kew.  We finally put that to rights.

A view of Kew from the Tree Top Walkway
Yesterday it was Brighton, for retail therapy, sightseeing, fine dining and a show.  We went to see Sarah Millican, who was performing as part of the Brighton Comedy Festival.  She was a scream.

The stage where Sarah Millican performed. I didn't take a
photo of her, that would have been rude. After all,
I wouldn't want people taking pictures of me while I'm working.
Today it’s Sheffield Park for a peek at the autumn foliage.  I don’t know if we timed it right so, just in case the weather is bad or the trees don’t co-operate, here’s a photo I took when we went there in October a few years ago.

Sheffield Park in October
On Saturday I’m dragging my wife along to the Guildford Book Festival.  I enticed her with promises of shopping opportunities, dinner and a show, but what she doesn’t know is the shopping will involve mostly books, dinner will be at Krispy Kreme and the show is a talk featuring my favorite thriller writer, Meg Gardiner.
But she may not have to worry about that; I have decided—as I do not like to admit defeat—to have a second go at The Pooh-Sticks Bridge after we leave Sheffield Park today.  So if you never hear from me again, it’s because I am circling East Sussex, searching for road signs that don’t exist, getting more and more hopelessly lost, but not giving up.  Ever.

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