A long and the tedious flight from Bangkok to London ended with a bus ride to Brighton and a taxi ride to Heathers in Hove. Finally, at long last I arrived at Heather’s lovely flat in time to fall into bed and sleep off at least some of the jet lag. The windy wet weather in Brighton wasn’t very inspiring for walks along the sea wall, but finally there was a break on Saturday and off we went to do a little wandering. The Brighton sea wall is a beautiful place to walk, and the vastness of the English Channel never ceases to awe, and the bones of the old burned pier still stick up out of the water. Along the way the old structures charm; the change rooms, the restaurants etc., but suddenly the eye is drawn upward by a giant thing that looks like a donut on a stick but is in fact a ride that will take you skyward to survey Brighton and the English Channel. Brighton high street bustles on a Saturday and we finished our shopping quickly to get back outside into the sea air. Lucky for me there was a birthday celebration for a friend of Heather’s which to my delight meant a Sunday pub lunch.
Since Heather was working during the week I decided to make a quick trip to Amsterdam. If you fly with a lost cost carrier like Easy Jet, don’t care where you sit and pack a small carry on it is a cheap trip and since I booked on Expedia I added a hotel for a reasonable price. I had not been to Amsterdam since the eighties and I really wanted to see the museums again. My hotel was just a few tram stops from the museum zone. As I was pressed for time I did little else and managed to squeeze in the Reijks Museum, the Van Gogh and the Moco which was featuring an exhibition by Banksy among others.
I only made one trip into the heart of Amsterdam and the rain was pouring down necessitating several hot coffees on my wander and saw some of the more famous sights at least from the outside.
I arrived back in Brighton in time to leave for a weekend in the Cotswolds where a group of us had rented a lovely Cotswold Cottage close to Stroud.
On Saturday, Heather and I enjoyed a long walk to Stroud where we met up with our friends at the Stroud market which dates back 100’s of years. The market had arts, crafts and food booths for blocks with some beautiful items from local artisans. We finished off with a visit to a Brewery on the way back to our cottage and once there we prepared a lovely meal of lamb and veg bought at the market.
One of the party was returning to Milton Keynes and I was able to catch a ride to the train. Milton Keynes is interesting as it is one of the few modern day planned cities in England. The city was built in the middle of three small villages with long histories. A commercial & corporate centre, it is modern and spacious. I caught the train from there back to London Euston and the tube to the flat I rented close to the Tate Museum. A great little place, I had a view of the Thames, Vauxhall Bridge, M5 and the Tate.
Heather came to stay with me on the weekend and we had dinner out and visited a wine bar in a cellar that I had never been to before. Heather knows all the best places. Of course everyone is a nervous about the Covid virus that seemed to have originated in a wet market in China but people are still going about their business. My flight home is tomorrow and I look forward to getting home just in time for spring.
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