Monday, August 03, 2009

Sussex, part 1

Current work: very end of medical
Listening to: too early for anyone else to be up yet
Reading: Arianna Franklin, The Death Maze (enjoying this)

We had a wonderful week away, but it’s lovely to be home. (And very nice to come back to lots of emails telling me that I'd hit the top of the eharl charts with a book that's a year old... blimey!)

Travelling south, last weekend, took us a couple of hours longer than it should have done because the traffic on the M11 and M25 was atrocious. The weather was decent, though, so it wasn’t a horrible journey.

The cottage was absolutely gorgeous – a 16th century barn conversion.

Really tastefully done – everything was soft white paint or light oak, and the whole place was just full of light. (This is the view of the interior from our bedroom.)

We had our own bathroom (and our own staircase) and the kids had their own bathroom and staircase. Really loved the ceiling and the central light. And the water was incredibly soft, after the hard water in Norfolk!

This was our bedroom.

And the view from our bedroom over the paddock to the South Downs.

Given that I was sneaking in an hour of work most mornings (yeah, I know, divorceable offence, but necessary) and we did a LOT of walking (note the pedometer stats at the end of each post for the next week), I didn't have the time or energy to read much - in fact the only one I read was Katie Fforde's "Wedding Season", which was light and great fun and just what I needed as a holiday read.

On Sunday, went to Standen – a National Trust property that was built in the late 1800s and was completely furnished with Morris fabrics, wallpaper and tiles – absolutely gorgeous.

The house was the sort you could actually imagine living in; I especially liked the morning room, which was full of books and comfortable chairs.

After that we went to Newhaven Fort, where we experienced a simulated World War Two air raid. I was shocked by how loud the drone of the planes was, and the sound of the bombs dropping.

And then we went to Brighton. The Georgian bits are very pretty, and of course we had to stroll along the pier. The beach surprised me, though: all shingle. And a LOT of seagulls... (And this picture wasn't that late - about 6pm - but it was so dramatic that I couldn't resist it. That's the sun, btw, not the moon. And it didn't rain, either.)

We decided to eat on the way home. Except the local pubs didn’t serve food on Sundays. OK, we thought. We’ll use the SatNav to find a restaurant... except it wasn’t playing. It directed us to several restaurants which didn’t exist (including one in the middle of a housing estate, and one where it kept telling us to take the fourth exit off the roundabout – fine, but there wasn’t a roundabout anywhere near because we were in the middle of a car park...). Practically crawled out of the car when we got back to the cottage (pedometer reading: 16568 steps). And I lost my trust in the satnav: back to having a proper map in the car as backup.


Jan Jones said...

Glad you're back, Kate. Cottage looks gorgeous! Keep up that pedometer!

Lori x said...

The shingle beaches aren't so great for the kids and a bit rough under foot aren't they! Though when I lived in worthing, in a flat just across from the beach we often used to take a bottle of wine and watch as the evening took hold! And when we visited last week the beach had an attack of sea weed and was covered in the stuff, didn't put the kids off though!
Sounds like a great week. I do think that west sussex holds a special charm, the beach and the south downs are both so beautiful. And of course quite different from the beauty of Norfolk!

Carol Townend said...

Great cottage, and traffic notwithstanding, you seem to have had a lovely time. Did you get to see the Pavilion? I have always wanted to go.

Liz Fielding said...

Great to have you bck, Kate. Brighton is great for shopping -- I hope you managed to squeeze some in! And the cottage looked fabulous.

Deeply envious.

Shirley Wells said...

Welcome back! Glad you had such a good time and that cottage is just gorgeous. Thanks for the pics. I'm very envious of course. ;o)

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - thank you, and it was. (Lots more pics to come...)

Kate Hardy said...

Lori - they certainly are, and on the Friday I wussed out and let the three of them go paddling on their own. (Missed our sand!) Loved the downs.

Hope you had a good week, too.

Kate Hardy said...

Carol - we had a great time, thanks. As for the pavilion... come back later in the week to hear tales of Brighton :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Liz - thanks. My main shopping was done at Portsmouth (loved the regeneration of the historic quarter there and really liked Gun Wharf). I did know about a Pandora shop in Brighton but got an evil glare, so am saving myself for next week (when DH is back at work and not around to moan).

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - thanks. It was beautifully done and a really good base for exploring.

Lacey Devlin said...

Congrats on your ebook Kate! I just love that cottage it's gorgeous!