11th February

Beautiful morning this morning and after scraping the ice off the windscreen we set off for Brighton. As we drove down the M23 the sun was still rising above the snow covered fields. Orange and watery it burnt through the mists silhouetting the bare trees against the ice covered fields which were suffused with a rosy hue. The temperature never rose above -4°C and at one point it dropped as low as -8°C and consequently the ice on the windscreen hadn’t melted by the time we parked up at Falmer.

South Downs Haiku
Rising orange sun
shadows bare black trees against
white ice covered field

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Hello ….um…. I’m ….um…. Professor …errrrrrrrr…… Dullard* ….um…. and ….um…. I’m ….um…. here ….um…. this ….um…. morning to …..er….. um….. sell ….um…. the ….um…. university ….um…. to …..er…. you!

It didn’t get off to a good start!

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So after the usual powerpointed presentations the applicants went off for a tour of their departments while the parents were offered a coach tour of Brighton. I complained that we already knew Brighton but Sarah insisted and as she pointed out that if nothing else we’d be in the warm!

In the end we quite enjoyed the tour as it took us all the way down to the Royal Pavilion before heading east along the seafront towards the Marina. I knew there was a Marina but had never been before and was quite impressed by how much was there. We then went along the coast to Rottingdean before turning back inland and heading over the downs and back to the university. As I said we enjoyed the trip but it was noted that they managed to describe life in Brighton without once mentioning the gay word!

We had planned to eat in a bar that is attached to the housing area where we expect she’ll live but when we got there it was packed with students watching he Manchester Utd v Liverpool game on the TV and there were no seats unless we fancied sitting outside!! So we had to go back to the main building to eat in what would have been called the Refectory in my day but is now lovingly called “Eat Central”. It was a shame because the menu in the bar had looked good – but we did come the across what I thought was a cracking advertisement!

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After we had looked at a couple of the accommodation blocks (where at one point we found a Peacock wandering around!) we headed off before it got too dark so we could effectively take her on the tour we’d been on. We drove down into Brighton to show her where the Brighton branch of the shop she works in was and then headed to the Marina. We popped into Asda to buy Birthday cards for Sarah’s Dad and as they didn’t have a cafe we ended up in McDonalds for a coffee before we headed back. As we drove back over the South Downs the sun was starting to set and the blood red sky added to the beauty of the snow covered scenery as we drove. And this is where we came in…….

*Not his real name obviously – he was called Bernard!

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