Lucky beach

I made my way down to Brighton for the fourth time this week to see my dad in hospital and as I was struggling to keep my eyes open at 10am, I wondered if I might have a little kip on one of those spare trollies that are always scattered around the labyrinthine corridors of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

This time though, I had child number three in tow and as it happens, she turned out to be delightful company. I have neglected my teens since my dad got ill and it was nice to catch up properly. She even let me hold her hand on the bus, which was rather sweet – I only did it for a few seconds though as I could see she thought it terribly uncool.

We had a lovely morning at the seaside. Ice-creams, a brisk walk along the front where we marvelled at sculptures made of pebbles, a tarot card reader who’d solved a murder, brave souls doing a horrendously fast zip wire, beach volley ball and my favourite of all – a wood fired sauna in an old Citroen van.

It was full of people of all ages sweating like pigs and wearing hats that looked like something fairies might sport. In between baking in the van, they’d rub salt and oils into their skin, take cold showers and run into the sea. I am so going to do that!

My poor old dad is so bored of being in hospital and was feeling sorry for himself. It didn’t help that I forced him to drink two cups of green juice that were 50% kale and spinach.

‘It’s full of vitamins!’ I trilled.

‘It’s bloody awful,’ he said with a shudder.

We took him for a walk to the Costa cafe within the hospital building, where patients look like escapees in their hospital pyjamas, but Dad was so full of green juice, he couldn’t manage a coffee.

The nurse looked horrified when we returned to the ward. ‘What’s that!’ she shrieked, pointing at dad’s pyjamas.

‘Green juice.’

She and dad shared a look of bafflement.

I tucked him back in bed and promised he wouldn’t have to drink anything green for at least another three days. He fell asleep in a nanosecond.

I haven’t meditated since Friday due to my early starts and bid to fit chores etc in before catching the train to the coast. There was no hope of meditating on the train either as due to engineering works, we had to bus it half way there. Still, no point fretting. I have set the alarm for 6am tomorrow as I intend to be a hive of productivity in between Zen moments. That’s the plan anyway.

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