From Jeremy's to Michael Palin

It's my birthday and it's such a beautiful day in Seaford. Have been up since 6am.

Reading a library book from one of my favourite places, the Seaford Library (click here for their temporary site).

The book is Sahara by Michael Palin, whose travels I once used to publicise for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. His books are even better than the travelogues.

His frank and often droll observations include remarks like this one: "The Djermaa el-Fna is part fairground, part theatre, part zoo, underscored with a frisson of mysticism and primitive ritual.

Sahara (Michael Palin)
Sahara (Michael Palin) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Despite my appetite for all things strange and wonderful, I feel more and more of an outsider as the evening wears on... Repetitive, remorseless rhythms shred away the layers of consciousness until you either give in or, as I did, flee the whole madness and retreat to the wonderful world of bland resort hotels."

This was a turnaround from his first reaction to Marrakesh, beloved of hippies and dreamers of all kinds. He describes the new part of the city as "colourful and expansive, with broad avenues and a Las Vegas-like dazzle and swagger."

But the old town scared him off.

This is the sort of writing I love for leisure reading. All the same, the librarians at Seaford Library are some of the most helpful I've ever met.

They are happy to look up books when your own expertise on the reference computer fails; and will willingly order archived books from the library book dungeons of Sussex, if you wish.

Seaford's temporary housing in Blatchington Road is sunny and airy; it seems that way even when the rain tips in buckets from the trees overhanging the parking lot.

Yes, there's free parking. This makes it a boon for anyone, like me, who temporarily has a gammy leg and can't get to them on foot or public transport.

Now to see if my Brighton chum can be ready to leave by 1pm instead of 1.30pm so there's a chance of getting to Jeremy's Restaurant, Borde Hill, before the kitchen closes.

Jeremy's Restaurant, near Haywards Heath, has just won the coveted Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year for the South-East.

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