Monday, June 27, 2011

Visit to Brighton and Worthing- Part 1

At around 9 on Wednesday morning, we left Milton Keynes for our journey to Brighton. Daniel had booked our over-night stay in a hotel in Worthing, a Travelodge. We went to get the car tyres checked. I was quite surprised how low the pressure was in one of the tyres. It always seems to be on one side of the car. I put it down to the fact that there are so many roundabouts in Milton Keynes, and the poor state of the roads. There seem to be more potholes per mile than anywhere else in England, despite the Council doing repairs. It's quite a job finding a petrol station with an air-line which actually WORKS, or is working at the correct pressure. It used to be 20p for five minutes, but Shell suddenly decided to increase this to 50p, so we didn't have the correct change. If you've ever tried to do this operation, set the correct pressure on the machine, put the coin in, un-reel the air-line and unscrew the little cap on the tyre, and manage to hold the line at the same time as putting the air in the tyre, before the air-line reels itself into the machine, you'll know how difficult it is, and all before the 50p runs out, so having someone else to hold the line with their foot, and moving around to the tyres at the rear of the car before the thing attempts to reel itself back in and NOT getting your hands covered in black from the rubber of the airline. is a real help. Why do they have to make it like this? It beats me. Anyone got any suggestions?

When we drive down to Bournemouth to visit Carol's parents we usually go via the M40, which means driving to get on the Motorway through Buckingham, but this is rather a long way out of our way, and it means making two sides of a triangle instead of driving more directly south and not driving further than necessary. So we went to get on the M40 near High Wycombe, and driving via Aylesbury and across the Chilterns. It's a really attractive route though the countryside, and we went at a more sedate speed and could take in the landscape as we drove. From the M40 we eventually met the M25. It's around four lanes, and you have to keep your wits about you, otherwise you can find yourself accidentally making an exit off the motorway (as I've done on a few occasions.) For some reason or other we managed to come off the motorway a couple of junctions too late or something, and couldn't find the right road to Brighton, so decided to get back onto the M25.

It's quite a complicated business trying to find our way back onto the M25 as where we ended up there are several motorways, all intersecting with the benighted M25. We saw a sign which absolutely intrigued us saying 'Fanny's Farm.' So, we followed the signs and found the most quirky place I've been to in years. As with a lot of things we do as a couple, our propensity for getting lost is renowned, but we also tend to find things at we might otherwise not come across. One time we were going to Claydon House (a National Trust property) and getting somewhat lost and coming across a whole field of alpacas. Quite unusual and unexpected. On another occasion I was driving on my own and saw what I thought was a emu looking over the hedge of a field as I drove past. I had to turn round and take a look, and, sure enough, my eyes hadn't been playing tricks on me, it was an emu, infact it was one of a whole host of emus in a field. This 'Fanny's Farm was a farm shop, but I can't give it justice writing here, it was indeed a farm shop, but also a managerie, as there were all manner of animals, goats, chickens, pigs and so on, and really quirky buildings built out of scrap materials. If you want to find out more visit their website at www.fannysfarm.com or if you have a Facebook account check them out as there is a Facebook page.

We had intended driving to Brighton first, and then going on to the hotel in Worthing later, because we couldn't get into our room before 3 p.m. We had hoped we would find a Park-and-Ride system running in or near Brighton, as most large towns and cities in this country have them. We've been to Cambridge, Bath, Oxford and Scarborough and used these and it saves a great deal of stress as you don't have to worry about looking for parking and then being charged an extortionate amount into the bargain.

As we approached Brighton, we saw signs saying 'Bike Ride Park-and-Ride' so we decided to follow them, with the intention of finding a car park and then catching a bus into the centre of Brighton. After something like 2 hours of searching we found nothing. At one point we landed up in the campus of Brighton University, which includes a new stadium for Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, but no park-and-ride car park could we find. We decided to then go onto Worthing, as time was moving on
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