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Saturday, May 26, 2007

You know you're missing Brighton when every sign reminds you of Patsy Palmer...

Pasty Parlour
Well Lisa and I are are back from Weymouth, considerably fatter, poorer, and the colour of lobsters. I knew we should have packed sun cream. And what the heck has been happening on my blog while we've been away? I've never seen so many badly positioned photos. It's like Crane Kalman all over again.

And talking of badly positioned photos, we've returned to the news that I've graduated from the position of tired old hack to that of esteemed photo journalist. The Kemptown Rag have dedicated page 2 of the current issue to my photo of the Deep Sea Jivers (and accompanying mishmash of words). I still feel it was a mistake not to put Amy Lamé on the cover, but on the bright side I'm now listed as a member of 'The Kemptown Rag Team'. Just as long as they don't expect me to play football.

Anyhoo... before you ask, yes, we did have a nice time in Weymouth. Seagull Cottage is nowhere near as bad as the reviews suggest. I don't expect everyone (or indeed anyone) to plough through all of what follows, but it's important I get it down for chapter eight of my autobiography, 'The Lisa Years', which I plan to write when I retire in 2038. That's if I've managed to find a job to retire from by then.

Right, well our journey down to Dorset last Friday was, predictably, a nightmare. Having been stuck in a traffic jam near Worthing, followed a tractor through Arundel, and joined a caravan rally in the New Forest, we eventually completed the 125 miles from Brighton to Weymouth in four hours. Although that did include stopping to pay £3.90 for a cheese and ham baguette. By the time I'd counted out the money, we'd wasted a good half hour.

Seagull CottageSeagull Cottage turned out to be far roomier than it seemed the last time I was there in 1997. Which just goes to show how your perception changes when you lose ten stone and move to a flat the size of a cupboard. The first thing you notice as you walk in the door is a bookcase containing such works as 'Jane's Nato Handbook 1988-89', 'International Symposium on the Air Threat at Sea (Vol. 11)' and 'Get Fit With Bicycling'. Which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about my sister. There's also a lot of Ikea furniture, a Postman Pat cookie jar, and no food in the fridge. The place screams 'Big Sis'.

My ingenious plan to bring tea bags so that we could have a cuppa the moment we arrived was scuppered (that's a cuppa scuppered) by my forgetting the milk, so having unloaded our junk, we headed straight off to Brewers Quay, conveniently situated a hundred yards away down the nearest alleyway. Two minutes later we'd forgotten the milk and were in the fish & chip shop ordering sausages.

On Saturday we ventured into Weymouth town centre, a five minute stroll away past the harbour, where we encountered signs for the Weymouth Whitewater, a speedboat ride which is apparently "not for the faint-hearted". I told Lisa I am quite faint-hearted, but naturally she ignored me and insisted we go on it anyway. So when we found that the boat had already gone out, I felt like my boat had come in, and we headed for the charity shops instead.

Half an hour later I found myself hanging around in Boots (the shop, not the footwear) while Lisa shopped for shower gel, which gave me time to investigate their new weighing machine which, in return for 70p, promised to measure not only my weight, but also my height and body fat content. I naturally jumped at the chance to accurately calculate my flab quotient, so I handed over my cash and jumped on the scales...

Fat Chance... only for this piece of cutting edge technology to announce that I'm five foot one. A calculation which it then merrily combined with a weight measurement that was a stone out, due to me being fully clothed with a (particularly heavy) camera in my pocket, to produce a Body Mass Index of 39. Making me morbidly obese and eligible for a stomach stapling.

I looked for a member of staff with a tape measure to protest my innocence, demand my 70p back, and request compensation for gross defamation of character, but the queues were stretching back to the door, so I decided to go and get ice cream instead. And may I say, Thorntons rhubarb flavour is very nice.

Seagull Cottage is conveniently situated just 200 yards from Nothe Fort, so having spent the afternoon eating pasties and ice cream, we decided to walk it off with an evening stroll around Nothe Gardens, which is not only very pretty, but is also the nearest place you can get a mobile phone signal. Lisa and I are obviously no strangers to forts, so here we are with another one. Or, if you prefer, a second fort.

I've had a second fort.
If I'm five foot one, then she's four foot nine.