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Monday, May 25, 2009

Who needs Disney World when you've got Brighton Marina..?

There's an 'F' painted on the ground, but I cropped it out of the photo.
If I can just convince Amelie that's Mickey Mouse, we can save ourselves a fortune in air fares.

Anyhoo, yesterday was another day of unbridled fun in the sun for the Gardner family. Unfortunately, due to baby-related exhaustion and possible cinnamon bun overload, Lisa was too tired to leave the flat, so I had to ship in a substitute Mummy from Croydon. I chose my good friend Marie, due to her ability to hypnotise Amelie using nothing but a finger...

You are feeling sleepy...
Marie's visit was actually arranged a week ago, so I kindly texted her on Wednesday to say that I'd cook her a meal for Sunday lunch. At which point she promptly cancelled. But sure enough, at 10pm on Saturday night, just as Asda was closing, and with no possible way for me to buy ingredients, she suddenly changed her mind and said she'd come. I'm telling myself that's just coincidence.

Anyhoo, Marie's on a no-carb diet, so I fed her cinnamon buns, then announced that we'd be paying a visit to the magic kingdom where dreams come true, and took her to Brighton Marina. Yesterday was the 'Big Splash', the closing event of the Brighton Festival, which featured "FREE family entertainment and fun... themed around the lovable quirks of the British". They put the first word in capitals to attract people like me.

And what could be more British than The Beatles..?

That's Pete Best in the ponytail.

Admittedly, I don't remember George Harrison playing the sousaphone, but let's face it, I wasn't even born at the time. I'll ask Lisa.

Hang on a moment... sousaphone... banjo... ridiculous suits... that's no Beatles tribute act! That's THE IRON BOOT SCRAPERS ON STILTS!! I have to say, Ringo Starr looks a lot better without the bandages. But anyone who does a John Lennon impression like that should be shot.

As it turns out, the fab four above are actually known as 'Poles Apart'. Presumably because they're all from Warsaw. Or possibly due to the stilts. It's hard to say.

Silky SkillsBut they weren't the only ones performing from a great height. Take this pair of headless women hanging from a set of drapes. Some people would use ropes, but it's curtains for this act. As Marie said to me as they shimmied up the chiffon and started doing the splits, "I hope they've waxed their bikini lines". Fortunately, I'm pleased to report that the only hairy moment was when they hung upside down by their ankles, twenty feet above concrete.

Amongst the other entertainment (and I use the word loosely), we encountered 'Mr Wippy and the Conettes' (cabaret in an ice cream van) and the particularly baffling 'Tone Float', which was a milk float loaded up with computers, keyboards and electronics, all designed with the sole aim of blowing air at milk bottles to produce a tune. It certainly produced something, but I'm not sure I'd call it music.

So having toured the Mermaid Market, met some more people on stilts, and heard a brass band play the hits of Abba, Marie and I headed back along the seafront, bought ice creams by an illegal travellers site, and took Amelie home before we all got skin cancer.

It was a satisfying, if confusing, day. As we got into bed last night, Lisa turned to me and said "I keep thinking today's Sunday".

I didn't know what to say to that. And the worrying thing is I can't even blame it on sunstroke.