D4D

You look like one of them, but talk like one of us

Archive for the category “Travel”

Brighton Images

On Sunday, I trolled off down to Brighton for the day. I haven’t been there in years – the last time was a flying visit five years ago for an interview, and before that it had been a number of years too – but realised it’s just about the same distance as Felixstowe is (they’re both a two-hour drive time) to get to, so what the hell.

I don’t know Brighton as well as I should, and so having a wander around was also appealing. It’s on the list of ‘places I could re-locate to at some point’, so seemed like a worthwhile explore – and I was right on that score.

Being December, it was pretty blowy and chilly – although less cold than a December Sunday would suggest – but that’s never bothered me all that much. I lived by the South Coast for a couple of years before, and have no real issue with cold. That was the flat where the freezer shut off because it was colder outside the freezer than inside it, and where more than once I woke up with frost on the top of the duvet. Sunday, by comparison, was almost summery.

Brighton Beach

As it turned out, the weather made it ideal for what I actually wanted – waves, and the sound of the sea on shingle beach. Walking along one of the groynes/piers (not one of the Proper Piers, but the little jutty-out ones) was a joy, just for getting out to be where the waves were hitting the beach.

Brighton Waves

And then the sun came out, and it was even better…

Sunlight hits Brighton

All told, I think it’s a place I’m going to go back to a lot more in the coming year. It’s an easy run, and I think I could really get to quite like the place.

There’s others still on the list too – something I’ll be writing about at some point this month, I’m sure – but yeah, Brighton is definitely now more of a destination, and pretty high on the possibility levels too.

Two Hours

Over the last couple of weekends, I’ve looked (again) at just where I can get to in a two hour drive from home.  As has been said before, I live between Milton Keynes and Bedford, so I’m sat right between two decent North/South access roads (The M1 and A1) as well as vaguely decent cross-country connections with the A428 towards the West, and the A14 to the East.

What this means is that a two-hour drive covers one heck of a lot of the country, and I decided to have a look at just how far (via use of Google Maps, and their route predictions) I could get in each direction.

Two hours North takes me up to Sheffield, and South gets me to Brighton. That’s a total distance of 225 miles top to bottom.

Two hours West gets me to Bristol, and East gets me right across to Felixstowe and Aldeburgh – roughly 234 miles in total.

The area within that circle comes out as roughly 43,000 square miles (if my maths about area in circles is correct) or 111,000km², which in terms of the UK is just under half the area of the UK as a whole (going by CIA’s Worldbook figure of 243,610km²)

Not bad, all things considered…

Coastal – Brighton

Following on from last week’s day-trip to Felixstowe for coastal stuff, today I’m off – assuming vaguely decent (or at least non-abysmal) weather – down to Brighton for similar reasons.

I realised afterwards, looking at maps, that actually the two places are a very similar drive-time (and indeed mileage) away, so sod it, go for something different.

I haven’t been to Brighton in yonks – well, I had an interview there a few years back, but that doesn’t really count – so it’ll be fun to go back, and have a wander around, plus spend some time on the beach (I know, it’s stones rather than sand) and see how things go.

That’s the plan, anyway. I’ll update later/tomorrow with how it goes, and any relevant photos etc.

Coastal – Felixstowe

Over the years, I’ve always known that I love being by the sea. It’s an environment I love – although it makes a lot of other bits of life more complex. (For example, working in London or other techie environments) I’ve lived by the coast a couple of times, and would certainly consider doing so again.

Which all makes it a bit weird that the location I live in currently is about as far away from the sea as it’s possible to be in the UK. And I realised recently that I haven’t actually been to the coast properly since I moved here. Which is quite a surprise for me, it’s fair to say.

So today I upped sticks, and buggered off to Old Felixstowe. It’s an easy run, but still two hours. (And all coast is at least a two-hour run, from the look of it) It made for a really enjoyable day, leaving earlyish, getting over there, walking along the seafront, having lunch, walking back, sitting on the grass above the – well, it’s not a cliff, I don’t know quite what to call it – and just enjoying the sound of the sea on the shingle and so on.

I had been going to take the camera as well, but in the end I couldn’t be arsed. I did get some nice stuff with just the iPhone though, so even that qualifies as a bit of a win.

Felixstowe

Felixstowe Ferry

I had sort-of forgotten how much I like that environment, and it’s certainly something I’m going to look at and consider as part of the plans for 2015 and 2016, depending on how things go. Ideas are bubbling, so we’ll have to see how things go…

One of the tidal pools at Felixstowe

Looking Back

While looking back at historical D4D™ stuff for other birthday-related reasons, I realised that this month it’s eight years since I moved to Norfolk with Herself.

How time flies, eh?

Of course, in that time I’ve lived in

  • 2 places in Norfolk
  • 3 in Suffolk
  • 1 in Bedfordshire

Six places in eight years. Some things never change – but apparently my living situation isn’t one of them.

Feastless

This weekend just gone, I was planning to go to Feast in London, but events conspired against me.

I was going to go on Friday, but didn’t even get out of work ’til gone 8pm. It would’ve been at least 9 by the time I got there (by which time I could also have been home), another hour to get back to wherever I’d left the car, and then an hour to get home. And frankly, I was knackered anyway.   So no.

Saturday was never going to happen – I was seeing parents during the day, and getting domestic sluttery out of the way in the afternoon/evening.

Sunday was a maybe. And turned into a no. Work stuff rose up to bite me, along with a general disinclination to travel back into London on a day when I didn’t need to make the journey.

And so I missed it.  I think if I’d been really enthused I’d have made the time/effort to go (as I will with Meatopia at the same place in a month’s time) but everything else just made me think “Blah”.

Of course if I’d booked it in to go with anyone else, things would’ve been different. But I hadn’t, so they weren’t.

And that’s that. I’ll try to go to the next one instead.

Leisure Mileage

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve covered over a thousand miles just for social stuff.

Last weekend (the Bank Holiday) was notably mental, even by my standards. It involved :

  • Friday. Go to work, come back at lunchtime, drive down to the O2 to see Nine Inch Nails in concert, and drive home.  Home at 1am.
  • Saturday. Drive down to Tunbridge Wells for a friend’s birthday do. Enjoy that, not drink much, then think “sod it” and drive home at the end of the night rather than sleeping in a tent. Home at 1.30ish.
  • Sunday. See the parents for a fleeting visit, just so we all know that each other is alive.
  • Monday. Drive over to Brentwood to meet up with friends. Drive home.

All told, that little lot amassed some 750 miles – and meant I travelled the same section of M25 (from M1 round to Dartford Crossing, or thereabouts) no less than three times in four days..  And then a meeting on the Tuesday down in Hampshire.

This weekend is a little bit calmer, but still consists of

  • Friday. Normal work travel, cinema in the evening, then home.
  • Saturday. Into Milton Keynes, collect new glasses and do some other domestic tat. Then drive down to Somerset for a house-warming thing, stopping off at Bristol to collect a couple of train-travellers and get them there too
  • Sunday. Come back. (Unsure yet whether that’ll also be via Bristol or not)
  • Monday. New job, new office, similar commute to the last month.

And next weekend involves a trip into London to meet up with friends and visit a couple of galleries with exhibitions I want to see.

I must be bloody barmy…

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