9 July 2010 (Friday) - Off to Brighton

Once the troops had arrived, we set off to Brighton at 9.15am. I drive to Brighton a few times every year. And every time I wonder which is the quickest route. All the on-line route planners tell me the motorway route is faster, taking an hour and a half. Personally I prefer to take the cross country route which I’m reliably informed is thirty miles shorter, but fifteen minutes longer to do. Once again I took the cross country route, and after fifteen minutes I stopped to phone home to ask ‘er indoors TM to fetch the bottles of gas I’d forgotten and had left in the shed. We popped into Middle Farm – we’d had a request to pick up some cider, and we picked up some ale as well. Will I never learn? The cider was fine – but the ale was like vinegar (again). Middle Farm is *the* place for cider and perry. But ale – no.

We then negotiated the road works round Stanmer Park to get to Asda for fags, and were on site and setting up out tents by midday. As always we drove past where everyone else was camping, and set up our base slightly up the hill. Not to be anti-social, but for the view, and to be above the normal people who crowd the place during the weekend. Most people camp at the bottom of the hill in Stanmer Park, and when the festival is at it’s height it is swarming with normal people so that all you can see is the swarms. Being up the hill is so much better, albeit a long way to walk to the shower block.

Despite having a prolonged sarnie break, and a minor calamity when we discovered the washing up liquid had leaked and had gone everywhere, we had camp all set up by mid afternoon. I’m rather impressed with my new tent, even if I had got the groundsheet in the wrong way round. If nothing else, I’ll know better next time.

We met up with old friends, we had a crafty pint or two, and then we had cream scones. The cream was a bit runny, but you can’t have everything.

Yesterday I mentioned my plan to pop a bit of rubber into the top of the kite banners to stop the poles from poking out. It took ages to push the rubber into place, and when it did get into place, the poles still ripped out through the top of the banners. In theory a stroke of genius: in practice a total failure. So I had another beer to commiserate, and then we had tea – a wonderful bit of lemon chicken. We might be based in tents, but we don’t rough it at all. After tea I carried the washing up to the gents toilets and used the hot water there to scrub our dishes. I’m amazed no one else has come up with this idea – it saves carrying a lot of water up the hill, and also saves loads of gas too.

After a little bit of kite flying, one beer led to another, and in the same vein one bottle of port led to another, and I finally staggered off to my pit at 1am.

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