Tuesday 2nd March. Brighton, England.
They've let me out again! Call it time off for good behaviour. I've scooted down to Brighton again and am catching up on some writing at Becky's place while she's at work. I couldn't bear to spend nine pounds on train fare again, so I caught the bus into Redhill, and hitchhiked. This was my second attempt to hitchhike in England this trip, and it didn't start out real promising. Yesterday morning was a beautiful sunny morning, but man was it cold. I found a good spot outside a service station, and was armed with a small but clearly visible sign saying 'Brighton', but still the cars just whizzed by. Several times I had to visit the service station toilets, just to use the hot air hand drying machine, to thaw out my frozen mitts. A passing postman took pity on me, and stopped to give me a pair of his woolen gloves. He was a lifesaver.
After almost two hours, I was just about to pack it in and catch the train, when suddenly I had a lift almost all the way to Brighton. From where he dropped me, it was only ten minutes or so before another ride, which took me right into the center of town. The money I saved on train fare, I invested in a delicious vegetarian pizza and a strong cappuccino- only the third cup of coffee I've had since arriving in England. (some of you had expressed concern that I'd been drinking too much coffee in the States!)
Becky wouldn't be home till mid-afternoon, so I whiled away the hours wandering the pebbly beach, and getting lost repeatedly in 'The Lanes'. There's an amusement arcade out on the pier, and I spent a few pounds there, chasing down and arresting no less than four Japanese supercriminals in a video driving game called Tokyo Cop! Then I got lost in 'The Lanes' again.
I bought some 'Brighton Rock' candy to send the folks at home, (I know, I'm the last of the big spenders!) and by then it was time to meet Becky. Of course she insisted we meet in a pub, in spite of my protests. I found a gritty old pub called 'The Victory' and texted her with the directions. We both had lots of stories to tell, but unlike previous efforts, we actually left the pub before being asked to! *although we did visit another pub after dinner* When we got home, Becky hooked my laptop up to her internet connection, and of course I've spent the entire day glued to the screen, catching up on emails and doing some research for a couple of chapters of my book. I'd foolishly promised Becky a home cooked dinner tonight, since she shouted me a Chinese meal last night, so at four o'clock I had to drag myself away from the comuter and dash to the shop for ingredients. Which reminds me, I'd better go get the pasta on!
Phew, that's better! One of my best pastas yet, even if I do say so myself. Apart from a stick of Brighton Rock, that was the first thing I've eaten all day, and I've still got room for pancakes. *yummy* Becky and I are both settled into work on our laptops, and a bottle of cheap Australian red.
As I was sorting through my old emails I came across this message that I received from a reader soon after I arrived in the UK. He had read about the personal difficulties I went through, and thought this might help. I meant to post it in my journal then, but I guess better late than never, eh?
Courage to Endure
It is better for you to stumble
And it really doesn't matter