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Ahhh, a rather late start of us two – 7.30am – and it was off to Eastbourne (to check out a Hotel) then Worthing (for a birthday party) and then finally to our overnight stay in Arundel (a return to the aptly named Comfort Inn).

This was possibly our longest trip so far in the XKR – about a 325 mile round trip. As we set off from Kettering, it was a beautiful day, but by the time we got closer to Eastbourne, it was hammering it down. On a more positive note, the car returned 28.4mpg before dropping back to a more characteristic 24mpg once we started poodling around the towns.

First stop was the Hydro Hotel in Eastbourne. It’s the venue for OCA Members’ informal get together in August, and as we were in the general area, it was worth checking out. What a lovely surprise – a quaint olde-worlde type establishment that I feel is going to be just right as the meeting venue. After grabbing a table that overlooked the lawn and the coast (although we couldn’t see the latter because of the weather) a coffee, toast and slice of cake before we were back on the road heading for Worthing.

Ooo, what a grey day!

By now, the weather was brightening up, and by the time we got to the outskirts of Worthing, it had turned into a very pleasant, warm day. We mooched around in Worthing for a bit, with Ann bagging a few bargains.

What is with seagulls and my car?!?! There are thousands of cars to choose from in Worthing, and these flying feathered fiends choose mine by deciding to relieve the total contents of their bottom all over the back window and boot. Having got caught out with just a few wet-wipes last time this happened, on this occasion I was well prepared with spray cleaner and a ginormous cloth. And whilst Ann grappled with Worthing’s latest car-parking ticketing technology, I ‘pooper-scooped’ in no time!

Then it was off to Philomena’s surprise party. And what an event it was. You can always rely on Sharon and Ian to organise a great event – and this afternoon was no exception! Professional ballroom dancers were followed by a Flamenco demonstration – Mum, son and daughter – who simply danced their hearts out, accompanied by the noisiest shoes and the loudest castanets, I think I’ve ever seen (heard?). Add to that, great food and a chance to catch up with old acquaintances – Pete, Diana, Julia and Paul S – and I’d say that was pretty fine event!!!

Philomena (left) enjoying every moment of her surprise Party

Then, it was back in the car, that by now, was down to a quarter tank. Luckily, we found a petro station on our way to Arundel, and after relieving myself of £53, we were ‘running on full’ (for a while anyway1).

Fifteen minutes later, we were parking outside the Comfort Inn, Arundel. We stayed here for the first time last May, and its sensibly priced rooms, hearty breakfast, free wi-fi and convenient location, meant it was the obvious choice this time around. Parking was challenging, but we managed to squeeze it into a space not far from the entrance.

The evening finished with feet-up in front of the TV (the ill-fated series, Atlantis), before calling it a night.

We’re heading home tomorrow after breakfast.

Any comments?