Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Southbound Again

I spent my weekend in Portsmouth with the thunderbolt_b posse. silverwindblade and his girlfriend Anna were the hosts, while my fellow-guests were wardy and Ultrafox.

After a freezing cold journey down on Friday night, from which I recovered with Chinese takeaway and gin at Silv's cosy flat, the weather smiled on us all weekend.

On Saturday we went up the Spinnaker Tower. This bright, sunny day gave us an excellent view of the harbour and the city, while the tower itself was gleaming white against the sky.

There are three viewing levels. The first has a section of glass floor which lets you pad around above empty space, the second has a café and the third has nothing but superior height.

For a small donation to Comic Relief, we were able to walk 500 steps back down to the ground rather than taking the lift.

In the afternoon we went on this, a two-storey climbing trail which you attempt hooked up to a harness and rope. There are all sorts of dire warnings posted up about health conditions and the fact that you won't get a refund if you decide you hate it once you're up there.

I hated it. I knew I'd hate it. I went up in the hope that it would do me good, attempted three different methods of walking from one platform to the next, and decided that was enough.

Of course, once on the ground I thought "I wish I'd tried that one, that one and the other one", already forgetting my twenty minutes of leg-trembling terror.

Luckily the next item on the agenda was Hong Kong Charlie's, a vodka bar. Here was an area in which I could in turn display skill, judgement and leadership, so I had a frozen Malteser vodka then a black one flavoured with wild berries.

We prowled the streets looking for somewhere suitable to eat and settled on burgers, hot dogs and a shared dessert at an American-style diner. We left hastily when a dozen people arrived for an eating contest (ewwwww!), whereupon a forgotten-key incident led to the happy discovery of an uncrowded pub with a jukebox and comfortable sofas where we could hole up until Anna arrived home to let us in.

I left around noon on Sunday to meet Howard for lunch in Petersfield. Afterwards we went for a lovely ride in the sunshine, stopping at one point to watch a red kite circle lower and lower until it dived down to make a grab for some unfortunate dead beastie at the side of the road.

We parted to join the A31 in opposite directions, waving to each other as we emerged from our respective slip roads. I rode home utterly exhausted but unable to keep the grin off my face.

View from the first level of the Spinnaker Tower:

Standing on the glass floor, looking as though I'm about to enter Dr Evil's time machine:

View from underneath the tower. The dark panel is the glass floor:

My favourite pic of the weekend - the gang on the stairs:

Some of the flavoured vodkas on offer at Hong Kong Charlie's:

Black & white - wild berry vodka with lemonade:

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