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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Well I'm back in Brighton, and the sun's shining. Of course, you don't want the sun to shine when you're stuck in a traffic jam on the M25 in a car with no air conditioning, but on the plus side, I think I sweated off a good few pounds yesterday afternoon. Although I did end up having to listen to Steve Wright in the Afternoon on Radio 2 in the hope of hearing some travel news, so it wasn't all good.

Personally I blame myself. I was the one who turned to Lisa just after the Dartford Bridge toll booths, and said "I think that's the quickest I've ever made it over that bridge. There's just no traffic around today. We'll be in Brighton by 3:15pm." I might as well have added "Oi, fate! I'm over here!"

Exploded LorryThe irony is that the exploded lorry which shut a ten lane stretch of the M25 for most of the day was the least of our problems. Traffic may have been at a virtual standstill for miles around, but it didn't stop a few more cars colliding at the junction with the M23, and closing another two lanes of the M25, leaving us queuing all the way through Kent and into Surrey (I do love a traffic jam which spans a couple of counties).

But fortunately after about an hour we made it as far as the Wimpy at the Clackett Lane services, so we were able to top up our electrolyte levels with some fries and a coke. As for the exploding vehicle problem, well apparently it took them until the early hours of this morning to clean it all up, which is surprising seeing as the lorry was carrying bleach. You'd think the accident scene would have been pretty much pine-fresh already.

But anyway, we got down to Brighton at 4:45pm, ate some Honey Nut Cheerios, and headed off to see The Stereophonics at the Brighton Dome. We were supposed to be going with a work colleague of Lisa's, but at the last minute she texted with some flimsy excuse about being ill, and cancelled. So clearly the thought of wasting a £29 concert ticket was still preferable to the prospect of having to meet me. To be honest it was probably a wise decision - we chose to walk to the Dome, rather than drive, so I took the opportunity to have four Bacardis, and quite frankly I'm an animal when I drink.*

The StereophonicsAnyhoo, The Stereophonics were actually very good, and we had top class seats in the front row of the balcony, hence the high quality mobile-phone-photography opposite. I was surprised by how small the lead singer (I'm not going to pretend to know his name, but he's the one in the middle) is. He reminded me of Prince, only more Welsh. Lisa also enjoyed the support band, Casino (which is the kind of band name you choose without realising that it makes you impossible to find on the internet. I know - I run a website about The Senators), whose lead singer looked like a young Gary Davies, and who opened the show by making an offensive joke about being arrested by police because he looked too Brazillian. But he plugged their CDs, which he said were on sale for £3 in the foyer, so Lisa sent me out to buy one. Whereupon I found they were £4. It was an outrage.

The bigger outrage, however, was that having tempted fate exactly one week ago by saying that they'd better play 'Have a Nice Day' because it's the only one I know, they... um... didn't. Lisa was particularly annoyed as she was planning to get up and leap about at the end, and she thought she was safe to stay in her seat until she heard the opening 'dah-da-dah's of 'Have a Nice Day'. Needless to say she was wrong. And I was forced to come away without any shots of her dancing in the aisles. It was a tragedy all round.

*Although the animal in question is a cross between a lamb and a guinea pig.