Monday 13 July

A grand day out, so a later blog entry. A friend and I decided we needed to have a swim in the sea, but somewhere not too crowded, so not Brighton, and anyway, parking there is almost impossible. So we went to Selsey Bill where neither of us had been before. En route we stopped to have a look around Arundel, which is a very attractive town, dominated by the castle.

The Catholic cathedral which also has a commanding presence, owing to the fact that the Dukes of Norfolk, who own the castle, are Catholic, was closed because it was Monday. Hey ho. But we found a delightful coffee shop, festooned in artificial flowers at the front, but real ones inside and on the terrace and indulged in coffee and cake. We realised as we left that we had lighted upon the only gay cafe in town. Interestingly we only saw one person in a mask all day, and there was no particular attention to social distancing, and all seemed extremely normal. I think the obligation to wear a mask in shops from 24 July will be very ill received.

This was an interesting poster in a window of a small house in Arundel:

We drove on to Selsey Bill which was predictably windy and had dire warnings about dangerous currents. So we went around the corner to East Beach, where there a few people swimming, and we swam too. It is a pebble beach like so many along this part of the south coast, but it means the water is very clear and little seaweed. It was just lovely and we had most of the beach to ourselves, not a taped off 2m x 2m as you apparently now get in Spain. We had a look at the West Beach too, which is dominated by a massive caravan park, but they seemed to be doing good business, with lots of happy families there, cycling and playing.

On the way back we called on another friend who lives near Burgess Hill, in a very quiet village. He said the virus has brought the community much closer together as everyone had time to stop and chat. He is a big fan of his electric bicycle, so I had a go. Wow, what fun! Great to give a little acceleration as you go uphill. Think I could be quite attracted to one although it would not be as much fun in Croydon as out in the countryside.

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