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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Amelie's been busy while I've been away...

It's basically a Nobel Prize with a slight spelling mistake. Obviously my immediate reaction when I saw it was to ask if everyone got one, but apparently not. Amelie was one of only a select few who received this prestigious award, which in her case was for outstanding singing. I presume she drowned out the competition like a foghorn.

It's a well known fact that the peak of Lisa's musical achievements was the moment she was finally allowed to play the triangle in class (she waited sixteen years for that day), so it's clear that Amelie gets her melodic talents from me. And as luck would have it, I bumped into Nick Cave outside The Kiosk newsagent in Kemptown this morning. I was tempted to try and get Amelie a record deal, but she was at church at the time, and the only bad seed I had with me was Toby, so in the end I just smiled in a non-threatening way, and continued on to Asda.

Anyhoo, as might be obvious by now, I'm currently back in Brighton, having returned from the frozen north on Saturday. My taxi ride from the hotel back to the station confirmed to me that cabbies in Newcastle seem to pluck random figures out of the air instead of calculating accurate fares, but he did succeed in getting me there nice and early, which meant I had plenty of time for a bit of sight-seeing. And to my surprise, I ended up here...

To be honest, there weren't as many illuminated signs as I was expecting, and a surprising number of people spoke Geordie, but for glitz, glamour and entertainment, it lived up to its reputation. The tent to the right housed The Lady Boys of Bangkok. Although I think they were performing in scarves.

Times Square is obviously well worth a visit, but personally I was more taken with Grainger Market, which according to the blue plaque outside, used to be the largest covered vegetable and butcher market in the country, and has been there for about two hundred years. It's now home to more than a hundred little independent shops selling artisan breads, local cheeses, gourmet coffees, and some decidedly dodgy fashions. I spent a hugely enjoyable half hour strolling around with my suitcase, browsing the wares, and buying my lunch from a master baker, before heading for the nearest charity shop to get Amelie a present.

After an uneventful train journey, I arrived back in Brighton in the late afternoon, and presented my family with their gifts. Lisa got a Marks & Spencer voucher courtesy of Topcon, while Amelie received a cuddly cat from the Salvation Army, plus a furry bug and a set of highlighter pens which came courtesy of the Birmingham eye screening programme. Total cost: 99p. You can't beat conference freebies. Although I worked hard for that darn voucher.


Phil's Mum said...

What about Lisa's triumph on the recorder? And her singing of bedtime songs? That's where Amelie gets her melodious musical prowess from.