I cannot believe a whole decade is over! At the (immediate) start of this decade I was actually in Val D’Isere, France, for the Millennium, about to go and hurl myself off a mountain paraskiing. That was a ridiculously scary thing to do. Thankfully the only planning it involved was getting outrageously drunk the night before with my (now ex) brother-in-law, and saying “betcha won’t do it!” a few times poking fingers at each other. As it turned out, I should have bet for money, as he chickened out, and I got to go solo, albeit strapped to some mad French ‘instructor’ who made me scream a lot spinning in circles all the way down.
And so the end of this one finished in Broadstairs, Kent. Hardly Val D’Isere, but a damn good time was had by one and all. I had never been to Broadstairs before, and I thought it was a great place. Special thanks indeed to Col and John for asking me down, and for putting me up, feeding me, etc. etc.
Thankfully no photos were taken on New Year’s Eve (or that I know of yet:)), and that’s the way it should be. I shall leave it there. For posterity though, I do recall (at least) drinking (in this order I think) champagne, white wine, red wine, gin, vodka, Abbot Ale, whisky, Jack Daniels, red wine, red wine, red wine, vodka, sambucca, sambucca, Jack Daniels, and Calvados. I think it may have been a dodgy Calvados at the end that finished me off, but after a few hours’ kip on the sofa I did not, it is fair to say, feel good. I think I got to my sofa at about 5.15. It is difficult to say as no-one, including me, remembers:)
So anyway the next morning I tried to walk it off a bit, which was a stupid idea. I actually stumbled around Broadstairs like someone out of Shaun of The Dead. If someone had had a cricket bat I think I would have just asked them to finish me off. I walked into the very salubrious ‘Submarine Cafe’ near the sea-front and asked for sausage, beans, fried bread and fried egg. In fact that was pretty close to what they served me too, but as lovely as I’m sure it was, after about two mouthfuls I had had enough. No way could I eat, and that is a bad sign, although I did finish my tea I think:)
Got back to Col and Kai’s house about 11.45 to find them up and about and about to walk down to the beach. In Broadstairs they have an annual charity ‘swim in the sea-athon’, and as it was snowing I decided not to tale part:). Here’s a piccie of some of the brave souls who did:
And then with a flourish they all went into the icy waters:
So then we walked along the coast for a bit to ‘blow the cobwebs away’ as they say. Didn’t do a lot for me I have to say, but it was certainly bracing stuff. Here is a view a little further along the cliffs:
As it then started to snow and hail pretty badly, we headed back to the direction of Col and Kai’s house, here is a picture of me and Col on the way:
As we rounded the corner to what I thought was going to be their house, we passed one of Broadstairs’ landmarks, which is called “Bleak House”. This is the place frequented by Charles Dickens, where he apparently wrote David Copperfield, and pictured here in part for posterity:
As we rounded the bend we did not in fact come to Col’s house, but to another pub, called the ‘Tamar Frigate’ (I think – someone correct me here if I am wrong?). A Bloody Mary was the start of the day’s ills, which included a holy host of more Bloody Mary’s, a plethora of Abbott Ale and IPA, and a good old kebab to finish the evening, with chilli sauce, probably. Kilimanjaro seems like an eternity away.
I return from Kent on the 2nd, and resolve to start training seriously, like never before (which will in fact be easy), the very next day. More about that in the next post then.
Meantime I give you, below, the Lord Nelson pub, site and host of New Year celebrations 2010. Gawd bless her, and all who sail in her, of which I believe was one:
Happy New Year!