On tour at home and abroad with the Sumpners

The view below is Toad Rock, Tunbridge Wells

Brighton – 3rd to 6th May

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Brighton? On a Bank Holiday weekend? Bit of a cliché but what the heck? It’s a great place to spend a few days so we set off on the Friday at lunch-time. We had very little in the way of traffic problems and arrived at the CC site (formerly Sheepcote Valley) by around 2 pm. In sunshine. We are not used to this! We hastily set up and settled down in the sunshine with our Kindles. A lovely treat.

It is a very pleasant site with plenty of wildlife and the usual good facilities. It’s like a haven of peace and calm – you’d hardy know you were near a vibrant seaside holiday town. And I mean that as a compliment.

As you can see below, the rabbits are very accustomed to human company – the ones in the pics below were only a few feet away. Archie could barely believe his eyes – but he is too well trained to try to give chase, bless him. He just stands and quivers with excitement.

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RABBIT Brighton van on site

Saturday morning though – that dawned very dingy indeed. We were scheduled to meet up with friends (Linda and Anna)  for a walk round The Lanes and a bit of retail therapy.  We decided that the rain would not deter us and set off. We started off in the North Lanes and had a good poke around all the quirky and different shops. Such a refreshing change from the bland, corporate, globalised high streets of today. It was pretty chilly and you can see below how much we enjoyed our coffee stop.

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After we had finished our mooch we walked down towards the Pavilion.  Such an amazing sight. Brighton is where comedian Max Miller was born and we noticed that some wag had augmented his commemorative statue  A tad irreverent but quite amusing, really.  (If you look closely he has a Heineken can in his hand)

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As the day wore on, the weather started to clear, so in true British style we decided we’d have that barbecue we had planned anyway. A quick trip to Waitrose for provisions and then we cooked up a storm. We sat out whilst the cooking was going on but retired indoors to eat as it was pretty nippy.

We had tickets for the the Foodies Festival at Hove Lawns on Sunday, which was a lovely sunny day. We met our old chums Bob and Barb (whom we met on our Canada road trip) at the festival, which was a bonus. It was a lovely atmosphere, with lots of lovely food to try and buy and bands and cider. Strawberry cider. Wrong but lush. And you can see the effects of it below as I attempted to take a photo.  Fail!)

Could not have wished for better weather though. It was almost too hot to sit inside a marquee where there was a demonstration on how to make Gin & Tonic cakes. Not to be missed! The demo was by a very nice lady called Emily Ladybird who is a Steampunk and also makes jewellery and writes books. She also gave us an insight into the world of Steampunks. I rather like their style and might well have adopted it, had I been young, currently. Which I’m clearly not!

Cider - makes me take shoe photos.

Cider – makes me take shoe photos.

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Cider with Archie

Cider with Archie

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After the show we had scheduled a meeting with a friend of long-standing (Emma  aka Dotty D or Twangy Pearl)and the new people in her life (Leroy and Lucille).  It was lovely to finally meet them and Lucille enjoyed meeting Archie.

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Anna and Linda joined us again for the evening and we polished off the remains of the previous evening’s BBQ – with relish. See what I did there?

All too soon it was Monday and time to leave, but not before another visit from our very own Brighton Belles (or our stalkers as we tend to put it).  Another beautiful day and as soon as we arrived home, Paul could not resist a quick dip. Rather him than me – still a little chilly for my taste!

On the brink

On the brink

And he's in!

And he’s in!

And out again - PDQ!

And out again – PDQ!

The perfect end to a lovely weekend. Here’s to the next one, later this month, with my dear old Mum and Uncle.

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