Back in the early 1980s I had a call from a friend who was working in Scotland to say he was coming to London. He was collecting a friend en route and wanted to pick me and a female friend up and take us to Brighton for the day. I had a pair of opera tickets for myself and another friend for that night. They were waiting for us at the theatre. I agreed to the trip as long as he got me back home in time. After all, Brighton is only 70 miles or so from London.
On the day, I got a phone call (from a callbox, no mobile phones then) at around 11am to say the friend had wanted to detour via Harrods, as he'd never been to the prestigious store.
They rolled up at some time after midday, then we went on to collect the other friend, who invited us in for tea and cakes.
I'm not sure when we arrived in Brighton or how long it took us to park. We had a stroll along the front, bought some sticks of rock, then found a cafe for a light meal.
On the way out of town we got stuck in a traffic jam, but eventually I got home and rushed in for a wash, a change of clothes and a layer of makeup. I phoned the theatre to make arrangements for my friend to pick up her ticket. I then jumped into my car and drove into central London...where I couldn't find a parking space. I put the car outside the stage door of the theatre, threw my keys at the duty fireman, who was also a friend, and he parked it for me while I went and got my ticket.
I sat in my seat at 7.25 for a 7.30 start.
It was my only holiday that year, and one I'll never forget.
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