Yesterday was glorious, and I took advantage of the weather and pushed the envelope slightly further by getting up early and cycling to Beachy Head. It was a bit windy to start with and at one point I thought I'd have to give up - rain was forecast for later in the day and it actually took me about 20 mins longer than usual to cycle to eastbourne - once I was off the seafront and the winds blowing in from the Atlantic I was fine - I had a quick lunch in the town, listened to a very over enthusiastic street preacher trying to convince me that 'I must repent today, tomorrow is too late, and the day after tomorrow will be even more too late'.
After a break I started the final part of the journey up a very steep hill to the top of Beachy head - the sun was shinning, the wind dropped down a bit and it was fantastic. I'm not great with heights so I kept away from the edge. At the top you get an amazing view back towards Hastings and my house and over towards Brighton and my old house in the other. The Belle Tout lighthouse was very close - but as this required me to go down a steep hill and back up another one - I decided to save my strength for the journey home. It's pretty clear that I can manage the ride from my house to Brighton in about 2.5 hours, and I'll be planning that carefully for later in the summer - when the wind isn't against me - and on a day when I can meet friends for lunch and come back on the train. The journey home was - to my surprise - much easier, even with a light wind behind me - Eastbourne to Hastings was exactly one hour pier to pier, that's a record for me. I was also delighted that I felt quite fit on the was back, and even managed to get up to the top of my hill without any major injuries to myself.
|Eastbourne Town in the foreground with the Pier jutting out into the see, and in the far distance - Hastings, you can see where I live - the very edge of that pit of land in the distance, with France behind it - about 30 miles all together|
|In the far distance, the white cliffs of Rottingdean and behind that Brighton, which was clearly visible|
|There were a lot of people walking the coastal path at the cliff edge, many more than I expected|
|Really beautiful day, very sunny|
|That's as close as got|
|A very long way down|
|To the recently re-painted lighthouse|
|This wind battered tree at the top of the cliffs has been photographed by everyone I know|
Next week, it's Eastbourne Air show - and I'll be cycling over for that on at least one day. The exercise has done a great deal of physical and mental good, getting fitter and being in the sunshine really does improve your mental well being, work seems to have improved a lot this week and is going well, and I'm generally feeling pretty good. A friend who isn't much younger than me had her unexpected baby on Thursday - the week before she realised she was pregnant we had a conversation about her embracing middle age and getting on with all the things she's been putting off while they had their family - including getting a tattoo - her husband has just been wandering around looking bemused and dazed for weeks.
For anyone who doesn't know Hastings - here is a short but entertaining (if a little over the top) film of the Actress Anna Chancellor, who has been filming 'Mapp and Luchia' down the road in Rye, talking about living here. There are A LOT of people like this down here.
I'm trying really hard to not listen to the news, far too depressing, and I won't ruin this otherwise chirpy post by referencing anything - I'll keep that for another time.