Archive for the ‘Brighton & Hove’ Category

Ditchling dandering

June 21, 2012

I see a fine football stadium thar

This is the last set of photos I took from rambling on the South Downs back in March, when it was unseasonably balmy. What a crap June in contrast. I’ll be walking a lot more now I’m back home from work, and of course sampling the fine pubs and ales you encounter dandering along the most beautiful part of the country.

Leaving Ditchling and approaching the Beacon

This was a big long hike, starting from Ditchling itself, then heading straight up the downs onto Ditchling Beacon. I remember driving up the hill when the Albion were still playing at Withdean, but the new stadium at Falmer was almost finished. The shock at seeing the curved roofs of the Amex from the top of the hill, was soon followed by excitement at moving there after that summer. The stadium fitted beautifully into the surrounding landscape, making a mockery of those fucking bellends – the NIMBYS on Lewes District Council – who said the Downs would be ‘ruined’. A plague on all their houses still, who knows where BHAFC would be now if we’d been moved in earlier than 2011? Bastards.

The view north east halfway up

But I’m getting off topic – rambling around Ditchling. After heading west along the spine of the Downs from spotting Falmer, the view either side is probably the best in Sussex. Then it’s a long, lonely dog leg south to the remote Chattri War Memorial, a fine site, and great place for reflection – no more greater compliment can be paid to the Indian troops who fought and were wounded in WWI, than making this place a perfect meditation spot. The views toward Brighton are worth the extra miles alone.

The vintage rallies still love to come over the Downs at Ditchling

Next up was the Jack & Jill Windmills overlooking Clayton and the north. Finally footsore and gagging for a beer, you head east, then north, down the steep north side of the Downs and into The Bull, on Ditchling’s High Street. A  fine traditional pub, with superb ales on tap. None better than this pint of Dark Star’s Sussex Stout. Forget that Guinness keg muck, this surprisingly light stout is just what a thirsty walker requires after 8 miles over the Downs at Ditchling. Recommended.

Top ‘o the Downs, heading due west

The view at the Chattri War Memorial

Clayton Windmills

Turn left for a pint of……

……this beauty

Best pint I’ve tasted in years

From the Sea to the Deans

May 14, 2012

Looking out over Ovingdean, with Woodingdean beyond

I’m abroad again writing this, so I missed the Albion fail to make the Championship play-offs. I’m not arsed, because the thought of a thrilling knock out comp and a possible trip to Wembley, all on Seagulls Player on my laptop, was too much to contemplate. Next year, next year.

The undercliff walk at Ovingdean

I had a couple of ale rambles at the end of March before flying out to work again, that’s why it looks hot in these phots – it was back in March. I believe you’ve all been freezing and soaking lately, bless.

Sunhattery badging from the Seagulls Shop and Casual Connoisseur

This was a good walk (5 miler) around the ‘Deans’, especially Rottingdean. I was lucky with the sunny views and fresh air, and writing about them now is making me properly homesick.

I was outside here before opening time

I cycle the undercliff walk from Brighton Marina to Saltdean fairly regularly, but this hike on the hills above the sea beats the cycling hands down, and I’m going to walk it in all weather in future. Sussex is the most beautiful part of the country in my opinion, if you live here and don’t get out on foot and see it, you doing yourself a real injustice.

A pint of Harvey’s – walking fuel

The Grange, Rottingdean, where Rudyard Kipling lived from 1897-1902

Heading west from Rottingdean and up onto Beacon Hill

“The Connoisseurs” tee

Looking east toward St. Dunstan’s Home for the Blind

Heading west towards Roedean & Brighton

I never get tired of this place

Come Over The Dyke

March 28, 2012

The weather’s been great lately eh? I picked up a copy of this little book over in Battle last week. It’s got some great walks in it, and of course, as there can no ramble without a beer en route, each hike has a pub on it.

Here are the phots from ‘Walk 27 – Devil’s Dyke‘. A three miler with a naughty climb out of Poynings up to the Devil’s Dyke Inn. I had a crisp pint of Bitter & Twisted after that one. Job done.

More walks will follow until I’m dragged away again for work.

Brighton ‘Til I Die

July 25, 2011

Watching in a Wardy Wonderland

I nearly missed this one, forgot about it in all the build up to the first game at Falmer this Saturday against Spurs. I missed the original show first time round in 2001 (so thanks to R for reminding me it’s on again). The story of Albion’s history, as told through the eyes of two ordinary fans – from the highs of top flight football, through the wilderness years after the death of the Goldstone –  has been updated for 2011 now that the club has finally arrived at the promised land.

Tickets for both shows this Wednesday & Thursday night are still for sale online here, and probably at the Theatre Royal itself. Should be a good show, whetting the appetite for Saturday’s stadium opener. It’s a very exciting time to be an Albion fan at the minute.

A casual buy no. 38

July 6, 2011

I’m getting my mod mojo on here with this latest polo to join the rather large pile I have at home. There’s a proper Fred Perry store in Duke’s Lane, but it has the whiff of “funboy” about it. So, I like to schlep up to Jump The Gun in Gardner Street, where Stockport’s most famous son and his clothing brand are stocked in a true keep-it-real environs. The guys at JTG are cool, and the music they play there is enough for me to pop in even if I’m not after a modish item. Surely Brighton’s hippest shop, and I don’t mean that in that too-cool-for-school way that Brighton sometimes rightly gets criticised for, but ‘cool’ like in Carnaby Street circa 1962. JTG is unashamedly ‘Mod’ with a capital ‘M’.

There’s not much to say about Fred Perry the brand that hasn’t been said. All the style and fashion cliches will suffice. But a FP polo, worn correctly of course (ironed, top button done up, smart sunnys above that, no arse-hanging skinny jeans etc, etc), is a timeless look (cliche!?!). The Mod books in the picture I’ve owned for years now, always good for a flick through now and again, just to ‘keep it real’ for today’s world.

The sheer joy of cycling

June 24, 2011

My running days are virtually over, I’m 15 stone and when I do manage to get out for a run I’m in bits for days after, bad knees and sore ankles. Not wanting to stop keeping fit I’ve taken up cycling again, after a break of about 5 years. I must say I’ve missed it.

Living in the wonderful setting of Brighton & Hove there’s no excuse not to get out there and see the beauty of the place. So far I’ve been bombing along the undercliff walk to Saltdean, getting soaked in Shoreham before racing along the A270 back to Hove, I’m a new man I tell thee. Of course there’s always rough with the smooth, my arse is in total clip from my criminally spartan saddle – but it should toughen up soon enough. Here’s a few shots from the last few days of cycling along the coast, taken with the Vignette app on my HTC camera phone, which makes anyone into a half decent photographer.

Sunday drinking

June 20, 2011

It’s the ideal day for a shant in Brighton is Sunday. The best pub for a midday tipple is the Quadrant opposite Boots at the bottom of Queen’s Road. Get a frothing  pint in a real dimpled glass, find a nice window seat, and watch the weekending stag and hen nighters struggle back up the hill to the train station after a weekend of debauch.  Fucking hangovers on some of them! It’s revenge for them acting like tits on a Saturday night – which also happens to be my least favourite time for having a beer in Brighton.

Sunday is the real ale day, and I’m especially enjoying a pint of Dark Star American Pale Ale nowadays. Cheers.

A great end…

May 8, 2011

…to a fantastic season. But that’s enough of me gassing, here’s the photos from yesterday’s 1-1 draw up at a very accommodating Notts County and the Gus Bus victory parade down on Brighton & Hove seafront today. Enjoy your summer and full speed to Falmer in August. Cheers!

Build Another Bonfire

May 4, 2011

Build a Bonfire, the must-read but currently out-of-print book about the Goldstone Ground fiasco is being reprinted this summer. The chaps over at the Build a Bonfire reprint website are bringing out a verbatim paperback copy, with added words from North Stand Chat, the Albion’s biggest and best independent fan forum.

I’ve been looking for a cheap copy of the original for ages, best price for a dog-eared edition on Amazon is £50 (whoosh). This is a great idea and a timely production, so all the new faces in the stands at Falmer in August should know exactly what the club and it’s long-suffering fans went through in the dark days of the mid-1990s. The first run will be only 2000 copies, you can sign up for the pre-order here.

Winter Wonder Hove

December 2, 2010

That was some snowfall last night eh? I was like a little ‘un this morning trying to get out into it. I took the trouble and my trusty Lumix over to St. Ann’s Wells Gardens, it was like Narnia. All the schools were closed and the kids and their mums and dads were sledging and arsing about in the foot-deep snow. You don’t get too many days like these in Sussex by the sea, so you’ve got to make the most of them.

I was decked out in a pair of very old hiking boots I bought years ago in China, my trusty Stone Island ice jacket, and a brand new Weir Bobble Hat by my good pals over at Casual Connoisseur. More snow forecast tomorrow, I’ll be very surprised if there’s a match at Withdean this Saturday. Who cares when there’s so much snow about to play in?