Horsham, pretty as a picture

So with work on Friday in Maidenhead and the following Monday in Brighton, it seemed a good opportunity to sample some Sussex delights over the weekend rather than going home and Martin was happy to join me.

Overnight Friday was in Horsham. I thought I knew the towns of Sussex reasonably well but this one had passed me by, it is truly pretty.

Horsham was partly picked as I’ve been toying with the idea of dramatically downsizing our coachbuilt motorhome to a car which can be used for the day to day and can be slept in. We had opted originally for a larger vehicle due to Martin’s head height requirements and my preference for an onboard toilet, but it was time to reconsider priorities to ensure we made more use of it. I was drawn to the campercar/campervan offerings by Sussex Campervans and thought we would visit.

..and so we did.

The start of our campervan adventures

Trying to find the good in Maidenhead

So I was hoping a work trip to Maidenhead would reveal a hidden treasure that I had previously failed to find. It’s the constituency of our former PM, Theresa, who clearly likes the finer things and the surrounding villages are both delightful and upmarket. So surely it couldn’t be that difficult?

Cue hideous multistorey carpark, a building site and my inability to get from A to B without hunting for and having to use the sort of under passes you know you should not use as a women on her own, especially late at night, carrying a backpack.

Things didn’t start well when I realised I had left my phone charger on the train and more annoying than that, I had somehow failed to charge it. I have a ritual checking process with hotel rooms, to deal with my scattiness. Unfortunately it didn’t extend to searching under the table in the train carriage and this time I had no spare. Valuable lesson learned. The hunt was on for usb-C lead after most of the shops had closed.

So I headed to a large Sainsbury with late opening. After checking the various areas displaying electrical items and venturing up the escalator to find a carpark, I saw the Argos concession. Triumphantly, I took my order to the till but it was shut up with nobody there. Phone charge was now on 1%.

I made one final check round the shop, past all the chiller cabinets belching their freezing air like someone though this was the antidote to global warming, not the antithesis of it. Then, as if by magic, a lady appeared at the till in Argos. Apparently she had been in the stock room, had heard my order come through and gone to find it. That was why the tills were closed up! Grateful I paid for my overpriced lead and plug adapter and made a swift exit.


Retracing my steps carefully to get to my hotel, I went the wrong way to avoid a menacing group and this took me past The Bear, Wetherspoons. It felt wise to keep on walking…

I arrived at about the last place for a drink before retreating to the Travelodge. The Honey Pot, ah that sounds nice. Maybe I had found my hidden treasure in Maidenhead?

The Honey Pot –
Lap dancing and strip club

Realising the women, most welcome in that establishment, were of the performing variety, I retreated rapidly to my hotel and passively handed over the requested ID. Yes I needed ID in a Travelodge!

Remembering the reason I came to Maidenhead, I ran through my demo for the following day. It centred around the role IT would play in the life of Roland the rat catcher and Cyril the cesspit emptier. It seemed somehow fitting….

Brewdog Instamatic, the highlight

Maidenhead again, next month, I think I need help to find the good in it… 

Guilty Pleasures

So at the last minute, a call came to help out a client in Brighton. As soon as I finished work, I booked a hotel and hopped on a train so I could be there bright and breezy at 8.30am without leaving at silly o’clock in the morning. I like Brighton and would have welcomed a longer trip but there’s always a next time, unless of course I mess up…which is not impossible.

Now I’m not saying I don’t like spending time with family and friends but I do have a guilty pleasure. It’s having a meal out and a drink on my own. If that’s a let down after reading the title of this blog, then sorry, not sorry.

Arriving after 9pm meant I was faced with ‘closing soon’ options all around so plumped for Franco Manca, an Italian close by and open long enough to serve me. It did not disappoint. I tend to find ‘table for one’ means you are greeted with an especially warm welcome, so with my choice of table selected, I eagerly perused the menu. First thing that caught my eye was ‘no logo’ beer, so that decision was made before anything else. The ‘if you don’t know what it is pick it’ approach delivers variable results, but hey I’m still alive.

Not sure what I was expecting but I was met with a blandish IPA from Shepherd Neame. I forgave it as I was born a Kentish woman (or woman of Kent), I really should remember the difference by now, plus it was relatively local to Brighton and local is good. Gotta think if those food miles.

So, as I tucked into my main, I was rewarded with a good view of the pizza chef working devilishly hard kneading pizza dough and making sure he kept his kitchen area spotlessly clean. This is the sort of thing I am impressed by…

Realising I was going to be facing ‘closing soon’ options on the pub front, I moved on and found the nearest good beer guide pub to my hotel.

Met by a cosy atmosphere, wide choice of craft and real ale and people at the bar drinking a third of a pint of something dark, I thought, yep that’ll do me. So Troubadour it was.

Sipping that and chuckling to myself as I received a few quizzical looks, really was an exceptionally good way to end an otherwise quite hum drum day.