Anyway, today he made me get dressed to which I objected, but that's life, apparently. We were scheduled to go up the i360 which is the new tourist attraction in Brighton, we went there a couple of weeks ago but the queue was too long so we booked online and here we are!
Taking the earlier road into Hove (the upmarket neighbour to groovy and funky Brighton) like Grandad told us to, we dropped down off the South Downs to the coast and found we didn't have enough coinage for the meter.
But there is an underground car park in Regency Square which is right in front of the Doughnut on a Pole which seemed easy. Along the promenade were some touristy crap shops so we bought some fudge and some seagull droppings which are chocolate-covered raisins. They have sticks of Brighton Rock in sizes you could use to batter a Rhino.
We walked into town and found Café All'Angello which is run by 2 friendly chaps and we sat in the window and looked outside at the procession of lady couples, old queens, dreadfully stylish youths, girls with pink hair, and a chap with a bike whose front bit was a bathtub-shaped kiddie carrier. He even had a bathtub-shaped kid.
Directly opposite was a bar called Dirty Blonde with a side door to a special club called Platinum Lace and another side door called Lola Lo who is open as usual, apparently, she certainly seemed to be open on the billboard poster, mmm.
Once I'd eaten half of my Rigatoni we hastened back towards the i360 down some narrow passages and alleys by the Cricketers' Arms (estd 1547). It is always further away than you think, especially when you've got a full tummy.
They say be there 30 minutes before your flight time but it didn't take us that long to get through security - a full bag check and metal detection. In the first picture I am not moody, just being Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock.
You loiter in the departure lounge (with its own deckchairs) for a bit and that's when we looked closer at the base of the tower. When it comes down again, it goes down one floor so it can disgorge its sated customers right into the Very Expensive Gifte Shoppe. There's a bit as it's descending when it's difficult to avoid up-skirt glances and you can see the steel hawser that pulls the doughnut up and down. On the beach below, a 2-man band played the blues to the rusted frame of the old burnt-out West Pier.
Finally, it was our turn (3 minutes late due to an air traffic control dispute in France) and we all piled in. It is big and round and light and made of glass all the way round and it's got flatscreens showing adverts for the Cayman Islands and a bar where you can buy Bubbly and Nyetimber at over-this-world prices.
The doughnut goes up slowly and smoothly and you all wander around looking out at the various vistas as they open up. Gradually you see just how big this structure is and you stop at 450 feet. It doesn't go quite to the top but right next to the bar is a door that opens out onto the pole and you can climb up the last bit and change the lightbulb on the top.
From there you can see the white cliffs to the east and the Downs to the north and Worthing Pier to the west and a load of sea to the south and lots of ants which are people below. While we were at the top, the flight attendant came over the intercom and said that thingy and wotsit had got engaged, hope they're not too deeply in debt after buying the Champers.
But soon enough it sinks down again and we ended up in Ye Painfully Pricey Gifte Shoppe and looked at the Victorian-style cable drum which held the steel hawser, thick as your arm, and then saw that the tin mug with a picture of the doughnut on was £15, which shows what you're up against.
Once we were outside again I lost interest in Pokémonning on the pier because it would have meant walking, so we just got the car back (ransom £8 for under 3 hours parking) and drove home. I'm going to need some new books.