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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Blimey, I've been away so long I almost forgot the address of this place. But it's Saturday night and Lisa's out with her work colleagues at a meal paid for from the winnings of their lottery syndicate over the past twelve months. So while she's eating soup at the Salvation Army hostel (the balls haven't dropped in her favour this year), I can get back to business. Blogging, it turns out, is a lot like walking the Pennine Way. Important, satisfying, and filled with a sense of achievement, but not always appreciated by others. Hence the three day week. Negotiations are ongoing, but for the time being I'm back on the trail and campaigning for the right to ramble.

Anyhoo, having made it down to Brighton on Wednesday, I got up at 6am on Thursday morning, dropped Lisa off at work, and attempted to write a pithy, sardonic critique of Space Cadets in the time it took my mother to drive around the M25 and down to Sussex. Needless to say I failed. But I did get to within one paragraph of the end before the text message arrived confirming that my Mum was passing the last service station on the M23 and hurtling towards Brighton at an alarming rate.

So leaving the spaced out cadets behind, I came back down to earth and headed for Telscombe Cliffs, where I successfully rendezvoused with my mother and toured the first of what would turn out to be ten flats, ranging in price from £110,000 (one bedroom, needs a lot of work) to £135,000 (2 bedrooms, no view). I think it was on our way to the ninth of those that the estate agent said she wouldn't recommend trying to see more than four properties in one day. But hey, we're nothing if not stupid. I also took my Mum round to the inlaws for a couple of hours, where I helped myself to tea and offered Lisa's Mum one of her own biscuits. She seemed quite grateful.

On Friday Lisa took the day off work for some serious Christmas shopping, which meant a five minute drive into town and a fifteen minute queue for the car park, followed by a 90 minute wait outside the shopping centre while Lisa selected my present. If I'd known I was so hard to buy for, I'd have taken my laptop and knocked out a few lines about Johnny Vaughan's furry hooded coat, but I'm never prepared for these things. The devil makes work for idle hands though, so I found myself in Barnardos buying a CD rack in the shape of a cat. No, I don't know why either.

On Friday night I had a date with Ben Elton at the Brighton Dome. He slagged off Sharon Osbourne, did a little bit of politics, and spent two hours complaining that everything's getting too big these days. Thus proving he hadn't been near the foyer, where I'd just bought the world's smallest tub of ice cream for £1.70.

As for today, well it's been a day of deja vu, spent touring most of the same flats I viewed on Thursday, only this time with my brother and sister-in-law. The highlight, apart from the owner of the first flat, who took one look at the estate agent and decided not to let us in, was the Rottingdean tea rooms where we ended up for afternoon... um... coffee. They had a signed photo of Blue on the wall, and an invitation to a royal garden party, which made for an interesting combination. Much like the peach and fig sponge cake.

Oooh, just had a message from the gruel squad. Pick-up is 11pm at Laura Ashley. I've heard of late-night opening, but this is ridiculous. I'd better be off.

Oh, and no, I never did finish that last paragraph.