I was never a mod in the mod revival of the early 80s. But I always had a fascination for the concept of going to a seaside town for a fight. With that very loosely in my middle-class, middle-aged mind I decided to head off to Brighton as I had been shooting my mouth off to various people that I was doing so in order to get fit for the French trip this year and also some charity rides I’m doing soon (more of which later).
In this delightful age of biometrics I used my Garmin to record the whole trip. You can relive it by clicking on the “View Larger Map” link. If you want you could get into Street View and live and breathe the trip as I did. I recommend running up and down the stairs having not washed for a day of so for greatest authenticity:
It was a pleasant day and I broke in my new accessory – a Camelbak water container – 3 litres of London’s finest, filtered and poured into a colostomy type bladder strapped to my back, which I supped throughout the journey. The route I chose was OK and there was only one major twat on the road, driving down narrow lanes at high speed. I heard him coming and pulled over sharpish. The other thing to mention on the trip is Ditchling Beacon, the South Downs “fuck-you” to cyclists. Here it is on approach:
Innocuous enough, but here it is from the top:
I thundered the remaining 8 or so miles into Brighton quick enough, then stared at the sea slightly longer than the time it took me to take this photo:
Brighton was packed – the beach was more empty than the promenade and I thought about some cheeky fish and chips or buying a “Kiss Me Quick, Share My Needle” hat. Queues everywhere demanded a hasty retreat to the station and a train back to home. Still, it’s the longest ride I’ve had this year – I’ve done a fair few 22 mile burns in 90 minutes but this clocked in at 56 miles. I shall tell them “Quatre-vingt dix kilometres” at my French evening course.
Any band that describes their music as “Red with purple flashes” is worthy of the title “Genius.”
Hello dear readers
I’ve reactivated my delightful cycling/eating heartily/pointing-out-the-faults-of-the-world-and-inadvertently-revealing-my-own-in-the-process blog. We have escaped a bitter winter and I’m left with excess fatty deposits to burn off before my 2013 summer trip to France. There are also some upcoming cycling shenanigans coming up which I will reveal later in the week, but a Chinese takeaway and board games await this evening.
What a day. Been up since 6:30 leaving Toulouse soon after 8. Got to Paris just before 2. I was passing a bike shop and attempted to get the front derailleur fixed. They said to leave it for a couple of hours and come back.
Had a long lunch then found I was near the Pompidou Centre. Was ging to go in but an hour would not do it justice. Besides it had the Gerhard Richter exhibition that I saw in London which was average.
Got to Gare du Nord to find my train is 40 minutes late.
Retard indeed. I am booked into a B&B in Dover fortunately.
This is the modern art gallery of Toulouse. This was actually a bit of a disappointment as there was a leaflet talking about the use of space and form. Most of the installations were a trifle banal. It reminded me of a friend of mine who works in commercial art who said that one of the reasons he did not pursue a career in art was that he didn’t have a good enough line in bullshit.
However, there was some good stuff, notably video installations, which I will upload when I’m home.
Peter Kogler – Untitled
James Whitney – Lapis
Claude L’Évêque – Pulses (this was a neon)
All in all a mixed bag.
I went down to Les Abattoirs, the modern art gallery and had lunch in their restaurant. It wasn’t so radical that they were serving dog’s arse and gravel. However, I did have this lovely starter of raw trout and fennel.
The main was cod and beans. Not bad but the fish could have been fresher.
My dessert was a gazpacho of white peaches: delicious.
However, the service was very slow, the worst in France by a long way. The whole lunch took 90 minutes and I skipped coffee so I could get to the gallery.
I made the short journey to the nearby Basilique which, while not the cathedral, is considered the main church in Toulouse. More stunning brickwork in the Romanesque style
They also had a collection of reliqueries. I was sort of hoping for some Saint’s nether bits that could induce time travel. While I didn’t quite get that, I did get this box that I think contains a fragment of the true cross.
Most of the reliqueries were contained in big chests so I couldn’t see much.
I think they had just finished a service as the whole place smelled of incense. Outside was a market which was full of poor people selling tat. It was a bit depressing.