That time of year, dreaded rail works. Been ongoing for at least ten years.
Nightmare train journey down to Brighton.
No amended timetable at local station. Female guard on train, fails to walk the train to collect fares. I search her out. She refuses to sell a ticket. Barely sufficient time to leave Guildford Station and catch replacement bus service. No time to buy a ticket, and certainly no time with long queue. Luckily able to get on bus without ticket.
I had no luggage. Worse for those that did. Especially as no clear direction where to go when train terminated at Guildford.
Bus leaves ten minutes late. No explanation or apology. But at least rail personal announce on bus, where bus is going and that mandatory to wear seat belt. Major traffic jams en route. Bus arrives Gatwick 15 minutes late. Two trains to Brighton missed.
Chaos at station concourse, queuing back into airport. Luckily, I am allowed through the barrier. Twenty minutes wait for Brighton train, which is then five minutes late.
Poster on platform stating free wifi. No wifi.
At Brighton cannot exit, no ticket. 10-15 minute wait to buy a ticket. Asked why no ticket? I explain station closed, train guard refused to sell a ticket, replacement bus service.
Walking down from Brighton Station to Grocer and Grain on my way to the seafront, I came across passion flowers growing on a garden wall.
Looked in on Hakan in Grocer and Grain. As always, excellent display of cakes. With the exception of Pelicano, better than most coffee shops, and good coffee too. Not surprising, very busy, people wanting cakes and coffee. I was tempted to buy Union coffee beans, but not recently roasted.
Looked in The Fair Shop.
Clever idea on the side of a bus, where would you like to go?
Off the soup kitchen, bacon and sausages and mushrooms frying, I could not resist, I was starving. I said I felt guilty, as I was not homeless, and offered a donation. Please do not feel guilty, they said. You stopped and had a chat. The guilty ones are those who walk by. The guilty ones are the council that says no homeless on Brighton.
What a difference the sun makes. Very busy people walking down from the station. Seafront packed. More people than Bank Holiday Weekend two weeks ago.
Two excellent musicians playing on the seafront. I picked up a couple of their CDs
Seth playing in The lanes. I said hi. I already have his CD.
Lunch at Iydea. I did not enjoy as much as I usually do. Roast potatoes were not up to their usual standard, peas cold.
Cappuccino at Coffee at 33. I also picked up two bags of freshly roasted coffee beans of their house blend, which is what they use. They also have single origin coffee. Recent roast date 7 September 2016. Single origin even more recent, 9 September 2016.
A criticism. No weight marked on the bags. No price either.
I suggested they talk to Hakan in Grocer and Grain, as he is interested in selling their coffee beans, and using for his coffee.
I just made Infinity Foods. Apples. Very poor selection of coffee. But then makes sense, when probably better to buy from the many coffee shops. Far better selection in Grocer and Grain.
I looked in Small Batch Coffee. Two bags of their coffee beans as used by them. Also single origin. Again recent roast date, 8 September 2016. Shocked though when their barista, at least I assume he was the barista, said roast date does not matter, that he had beans at home in the cupboard at least a year old and he could not tell the difference.
Looked in Bond St Coffee. They are the coffee shop for Horsham Coffee. And yet the beans on sale roasted sometime mid-August. Maybe that is why their coffee is a disappointment.
Graffiti artists in action in an alley off Bond Street. I mentioned the murals in Puerto de la Cruz. They said hosts an annual graffiti festival.
Back down to the seafront. Six o’clock, and yet still hot in the sun.
Watched the sun set from Brighton Pier.
I left later than I intended, only just made the train. But leaving earlier than I wished. My reason for doing so, rail works. A bus journey of over an hour. Had I waited, next bus journey was showing around two hours for bus and train, for a journey that would normally take an hour.
Train Brighton to London Bridge packed. At Gatwick, platform heaving, passengers trying to get on a packed train.
A sign in the airport, wait here to be taken to the bus. No one there. Luckily I knew where to go.
I asked, was directed to a bus. No driver. Bus in semi-darkness. When driver appeared and bus set off, he did not announce where the bus was going, nor state it was mandatory to wear seat belts.
Luckily journey only 45 minutes, but twenty minutes wait in the cold at Guildford Station for a train. Had the train ran all the way, but for rail works, no wait in the cold.
Less time in Brighton. Arrive later, forced to leave earlier. Pay for a train, get a bus. Longer journey time. No compensation. Thus the train companies screw their passengers.
- PHOTOS Sunday in Brighton (more to be added, incl sunset)