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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ok, I've come down from the natural high of holding in my hands a piece of paper touched by the pointy weather fingers of Julie Reinger, Look East's answer to Michael Fish, so it's time for a quick run down of the last 24 hours. And may I just say that having officially turned over a new leaf and vowed to love and respect dear Jules for evermore, the last 24 hours is now the only thing I'd like to quickly run down.

Right, well yesterday lunchtime I met Lisa from work and had the pleasure of being taken to one of her "favourite pubs". Having ordered a Bacardi and Coke, and been told "we don't do Bacardi", I upped the ante with my second drink and went for something exotic: an orange juice and lemonade. The barman politely told me they were out of orange juice (it can happen), but as luck would have it, he was happy to take my money and pop out to the local corner shop, returning five minutes later with a couple of cartons of cheap orangey liquid, for which he charged me ten times what he'd just paid for it two minutes earlier.

I celebrated by spending half an hour leaning against the rustic wooden table, only to find it had left me with a wide brown alcohol-smelling stain across the front of my top for the rest of the day. Lisa still maintained it was one of the best pubs in Brighton.

In the evening we made our way to the Theatre Royal for the opening night of 'Blithe Spirit', a play which Noel Coward apparently wrote in five days in 1941. But I'm sure the days were much longer back then. The programme also quoted Coward, who said that having written the thing from start to finish in less than a week, he then only changed two lines. And people say I don't do enough rewrites.

Anyhoo, the play starred Penelope Keith, ably supported by the usual bit part players from The Bill and Eastenders, plus a woman who claims she was in 'Men Behaving Badly', but isn't Caroline Quentin or Leslie Ash. It was very good though, the only drawback being the Theatre Royal's insistence on cooking the audience at gas mark eight for the duration of the play. Lisa expressed a very real fear of fainting and toppling into the royal circle below, I expressed an equally real fear of being charged £1.50 for a thimble-full of Diet Coke, but somehow we fanned ourselves through the evening and avoided being treated for heatstroke.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end though, and I left Brighton behind this morning, and returned to Shotley Gate. I'd taken receipt of a cuddly bear named Scruffy, who'd travelled all the way from Venice in a cheap plastic bag (which Lisa tried to palm off as an extra gift), so frankly I'd got what I went for. And very sweet he is too.