It is not far from London which is a good thing isn't it? Although, since it's not that far from London you don't feel like you are away from it all. You've got a view of the sea which is nice but when the weather rolls in it is right into you because you can say 'get those jack rabbits out of here -- they are in for a soaking.'
You camp in a field which is inbabited by sheep, rabbits, people and their dung. It is on a bit of a slope which gets steeper when you try to go to sleep. There was a real wind on last night. By the morning the peppermint teabags were everywhere. My camping chair blew across neighbourhood and whacked right into Neil's tent which apparently made quite a noise. That must have been during the twenty minutes in which I was asleep.
Camping in the grounds of a youth hostel was a first for me. except for maybe somewhere in Scotland in 1989. I quite liked being able to waltz into the building and feel morally superior to the other hostellers who had chosen this less adventurous form of shelter. The trick is to go in for just long enough to keep the high ground without anyone noticing that being inside might constitute a retreat from the elemental realities of the outside world.
Just down the hill is Shoreham-by-sea which is fairly pleasant though not about to win the undiscovered seaside town of the year award. The river ardur turns out into the ocean at the town and makes for a nice walk along the route (British pronunciation please) of a disused railway line. Sandy banks along the river's extrusion make for a decent place to sit down and rest after you've down the tough part of the walk - in our case after about half an hour. At points the sun, the sand, the river and the mud transcend the sum of their individual ecological functions and create a buzzing and dynamic theatre of life a little wilder, shiny and a bit more reflective than the wilds of Wallington. It is a dance of energy and natural beauty I have decided to call muddybank-riverwobble, in order that the thing be adequately described in language.
No two friends ever agree on everything and it is was interesting to note the stations of concord and uncord we passed through on the conversational amble along the disused railway lines of thought: Christiology, recovery, the origin of signs, the difference between signs and symbols, the presence of the principle of making amends in scripture, the benefits of trangia stoves, the extent of our foreign travel, sinaesthesia and TFL transport policy.
In the back of my mind whilst away was the thought that I had to come and to take a course of metronidozal and would have stayed longer if it had been for that. Two nights is long enough though to notice the clouds deep in red at the end of the day, thousands of jewels in the sea and a pack of rabbits whose favourite playing surface is grass.