I checked into Graffham campsite the next day. I was quite impressed with it. Good price for an electric pitch in a beautiful forest with showers and toilets available. Admittedly the toilets had those awful ‘inspirational’ quotes stencilled all over them (“Life isn’t about basking in the sun, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” I mean really) but they were clean and the showers, while not boiling, were at least nice and warm and strong enough to wash under.
I’m going to have to skip ahead nearly two full weeks here, because literally the day I arrived at Graffham I started to feel something wasn’t quite right with me, then boom, next day, fever and illness. Fun as it was for me to endure I will not bore you with the details.
As it was I didn’t get to see much of the South Downs at all as I only had a day an a half of wellness before I left.
Now I did something a bit mad here, I drove back to my friend in Surrey, the opposite direction of Brighton, which was my next stop. You see when I’ve been ill I always really struggle to start eating again, even after my body is perfectly fine. As it was; nothing was appetizing until I was talking to my friend and they mentioned their lasagne. Now my friend is Sicilian and has mastered the power of lasagne. So I went back to Surrey just for pasta night, because sick me is weird and insane.
However, it was back on track the next day, doing touristy things in Brighton so I actually had something to blog about.
Having only been to Brighton once before for little more than a few hours I was eager to see everything and Brighton Pavillion is one of the things on my list of 118 things to do in the UK.
After a walk on the pebbles with Caspian (who found the concept of a not sand beach to be deeply disturbing), and getting ice cream from a fantastic shop that did flavours like mojhito, sour cherry, marscapone and caramel and chocolate orange(my choice) it was straight to Brighton Pavillion.
Which is not cheap, was my first reaction. On top of not being very well priced they did that thing that I hate in museums where they charge you to go in, but there are no information plaques so they then try to charge you for information booklets.
Unwilling to allow myself to be robbed I just paid for entry and decided I would look at the pretty things and learn nothing.
Despite the jacked up price I was happy to have paid to see it, the eastern inspiration is fused in everything and the reds and golds are so fantastically garish. As someone who likes Ancient Greek history and doesn’t usually look at anything from after 1BC, it was all quite novel and colourful. The needlessness of having giant coiling snakes as curtain holders and the chandeliers and the minute detail on everything certainly made it all something to look at.
After the pavilion it was around lunchtime, it seemed remiss to go to Brighton and not have fish and chips on the front. Unfortunately, I forgot it was half term weekend and the place was heaving. I decided to go on the i360 first and eat later.
This wasn’t quite as rammed and I got on the next ‘flight’, I say flight in quotes because they treat it very seriously to a hilarious degree. All the staff are in air hostess uniforms and you get a ticket with a booking reference and stuff.
I was almost expecting them to ask for my passport.
I managed to shove myself into a space looking out over the ocean as we rose up, the old shell of the Brighton Pier right in front of me and I watched the coastline stretch out into the white cliffs down the coast.
The view was pretty spectacular. Brighton isn’t as big as I thought it was and you can see the South Downs in the distance and a lot of the buildings are unique enough you can building spot. That’s not to mention the ocean, on the fantastic clear day I had it was seriously unmissable.
My slight weird fear of the ocean aside it was something worth seeing.
After that, it was back to the front for food, which was 100% not worth waiting for. The chips were pathetic (to the point I didn’t eat them) and while the fish was amazing the squid taco was badly cooked on top of the wrap being stale.
I walked it off going back to Enid to check on and walk the fluffy monsters and then took myself on a trip to the pier. First thing I did was go to the very end and enjoy the sun setting over the ocean. Pretty sure I just stood there for half an hour. Don’t care.
Then it was time to enjoy the attractions of the pier. Now I don’t consider myself to be frightened of rides in general, but the huge rusted swinging arm the spun people out over the ocean was a bit too much. Instead, I opted for the much safer haunted house.
This was a virginity-losing moment for me. I have never been on a haunted house ride. Because I was deprived as a child.
I am also, it’s worth noting, the jumpiest person alive, so, despite the general low budget nature of the ride and cheap glow in the dark paint spattered everywhere, I grabbed the poor soul who was sitting next to me a good five times…
Time to eat again I found a nice little Korean place at which, I must admit, I was not impressed with, my meal was dry and tasteless and I barely ate half of it.
Apparently, Brighton can’t do food.
On the plus side they can do cocktails as the little cocktail bar I found up a flight of stairs near the pavilion was phenomenal, and the staff knew exactly what they were doing, so I enjoyed a few whiskey cocktails, one of them a cool twist on a whiskey sour, looking out over Brighton Pavilion before I took myself back to Enid and completely collapsed.