2001-03 (MARCH, 2001)

Brighton, England

Andy and I journeyed down to Brighton to spend our last weekend for a while in the company of Mark & Neil. We spent a great afternoon, evening and next morning in their groovy new house (I'm very jealous!) and caught up with Shaggy, Sue, Clare and Bro as well. Bloody good to see them all - we're going to miss them all a lot.

Cardiff, Wales

Mike, Sian and myself bailed early from work on Friday and drove to Cardiff for the weekend. We stayed in Sian's house as she was between tenants that weekend (a stroke of luck there, I reckon). It was around 22:00 before we made it to the pub for a much needed pint or two.

During Saturday daytime we explored Cardiff - Mike and I with our cameras in tow and Sian with the patience of a saint. A visit to Cardiff Castle was a highlight of the day, not least because of our guide uttering the sentence "just press a nut into the monkey's mouth and the servants come running" (in reference to a wall carving in the dining room) and the resulting repressed laughter fit that it provoked in Mike and myself.

That night we met up with a group of Mike's friends for dinner at a new Japanese restaurant down on Cardiff bay and then made our way to a birthday party being held in honour of one of Sian's friend's (which turned out to be a fancy dress party, unbeknownst to us). There we met some very friendly people (a 40 year-old, mustacheoed bloke called Wayne wearing a wig and a full-length dress, who could sing the Welsh national anthem at 140dB, was one of the many characters that stood out from the crowd). We didn't get home until well after 03:00.

On Sunday, Mike and I went on a lightening tour our some of the castles outside Cardiff (Castell Coch and Caerphilly Castle) before returning to collect Sian and take her to the football. Mike and I then continued our tiki tour and also paid a quick visit to his parent's house. We departed for London late afternoon and I was home by 21:00. Lovely.