In golf, technique is all-important...
On the left we see my brother combining years of experience with a natural flair for the game (and an ability to look good in open-toed sandals), while on the right a mysterious masked player attempts to fuse the sports of golf and baseball.
I won't tell you which was more successful.
Well ok, it was my brother. Prize for the jammiest golfer of the day though went to my good self, who despite not having swung a club in anger since 2002, managed to tee off with a sand wedge, putt from the rough, and still achieve one par and three bogeys. It makes me wonder what I could do if I actually knew how to play.
Anyhoo, our day out in Southend yesterday was very nice. It took us over two and a quarter hours to get there, but that was due less to the traffic, and more to the petrol station on the A23 who were quite happy to let everyone fill up with petrol before telling them the credit card reader wasn't working and they'd all have to wait for twenty minutes.
But we made it to the Essex Golf Complex at Garon Park, and hit the 9-hole par 3 course. We didn't keep the score (you lose track once you're into treble figures), but I'm confident I came second, and Lisa a creditable third. Of course it helps when your sister-in-law and niece head off to the café after three holes and miss the rest of the round, but even with more than three players I feel that Lisa's individual style in the bunker, where she resorted to using her club like a spade, would have seen her through.
From the greens of Southend, we headed to the seafront for a late lunch at Rossi's, which is "legendary" according to last month's Guardian. I sampled two flavours of ice cream, Lisa tried another two, and I watched a pensioner try to get a refund after she licked her ice cream straight off the cone and onto the floor. Oddly enough she succeeded. Old people can get away with anything.
From there we walked along to Adventure Island, where Lisa and I paid £3 to ride the Green Scream, a rollercoaster which claims "You will certainly scream and maybe turn green!". If screaming includes swearing, then Lisa fulfilled both criteria. I wanted to buy the photo of us taken as we plummetted towards the ground at high speed, but Lisa felt that she wasn't at her best with a look of abject terror on her face, and refused to let me have it on a keyring.
Adventuring done, we made it onto the pier, which has started charging an entrance fee since I lived down the road in Basildon. As a teenager I could walk along it for free, but to my horror it now costs £2.50. I felt more sick about that than the rollercoaster. But we paid it nonetheless, and trudged the mile or so to the end. I think the novelty of walking down the longest pier in the world wore off after about two hundred metres, especially once the sea breezes kicked in, and at one point Lisa was begging to be left where she was, preferring to take her chances with the seagulls than take another step, but with perseverence we made it more than a mile out to sea, found there was nothing there, and caught the train back.
Fortunately we managed to recover with some medicinal doughnuts, and made our way home to Brighton where, as Lisa pointed out, "the pier's free, and they actually have something on it".
We've returned to the news that I've finally made the front page of The Kemptown Rag. They've cut one of my more offensive jokes, but I'm sure that was nothing to do with being on the front page, and purely down to space constraints. Although with hindsight it's probably not a good idea to make light of fungal foot problems.