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Brighton Beach Day Out

"Today, should have been the start of my 50th birthday celebrations in Menorca. An island I have never visited, an island with miles of golden beaches but most enticingly, an island with one of my favourite gins. Eight days of fun, frivolity and foolishness had been in the making for the last 12 months. From Thomas Cook going out of business, to the corona thingy happening, we knew pretty early on that all this plotting and planning would have to be put on hold. But I now have a redundant 8 days on my hands – what’s a middle-aged birthday girl to do? For the next week, I shall be busying myself by sharing some snapshots and fictitious diary excerpts from the holiday that never was…"

Day 1 (Sunday) – With all the very best intentions, I thought it was a good plan – an additional 4 staying at mine the night before our early morning flight. As expected, sisterly scraps broke out for baggsies of the best bed and floor space, the house turned into a tentless camping field with blankets, sleeping bags and pillows of varying colours and designs turfing the floor. Buttered toast was prepared in magnificent quantities and empty prosecco glasses refilled with water for the night ahead.

The alarm startled us at 4.00am. In our considerably dishevelled state from the night’s pre-celebrations, we vow not to touch another drop until the airport, well, it would be lunchtime somewhere in the world then, right? The ‘well-rested-3’ who had the good sense to stay in their own beds last night, knock the front-door at 5am. We jump in two cars and head to Glasgow airport.

7:00am, 8 of us board flight BA2519 at Glasgow (no delays) and we fly quickly down to Gatwick. One of the sisters, although looking gorgeous, quickly regrets the decision to wear a jumpsuit as her chosen flight outfit. I decline the invite to go and help at the toilet door and I unzip her at the seat. Up the aisle she staggers gracelessly clutching at her shoulders to ensure the garment remains on her body for the journey to the loo. The zip decides to make its own journey further down her back and she’s all but exposed from the back. I meet her at her exit with rolled eyes, a snigger and a fake reprimand as she exits the loo; she’s not to wear that again this holiday.

Garments firmly in place, passports in hand, we depart the plane and head to the hotel. After a quick freshen up, the jumpsuit is exchanged in favour of a two-piece, she grumbles at my lack of sisterly concern. We board the train and head south to Brighton for a day of paddling, ice-cream-licking and touristy thing doing. The weather was glorious if not a bit too hot so after a long lunch in Brighton’s Lanes, we head to the beach for a spot of paddling…

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