I braved the long weekend in the same way that a doughty steed would negotiate the Aintree Grand National. There were periods of boredom,excitement,love and a great deal of stamina was called for.

It all began last Saturday when my gf and I went to see "a one and a two", which is a charming Taiwanese epic. It focuses on how a family can fall apart imperceptibily. A divorce by stealth. There is redemption at the end, but from the moment the the grand-dame of the family goes into a coma, things start to go wrong. I'm still trying to work out to what the title refers.

We ate Vietnamese cuisine. This expands the list of international foods we have consumed. Other foods we ate this weekend include Turkish (stuffed vine leaves, aubergine and calamary), Greek salad, whelks and cockles.

On Sunday, we visited Spitalfields market, something I would urge everyone to do before it turns into an ugly corporate office block. Spitalfields is a beautiful old market where you find all manner of goods including fashion, organic foods, retro household goods (they don't make lamps like they used to), exotic soaps and Hello Kitty merchandise. I signed a petition urging the that the demolition be halted.

That evening, at Wetherspoons pub in Wood Green, we grew bored. What would be do with Bank Holiday Monday? All 24 hours of Monday threatened to mug us and force us to hand over our happiness. So we thought of a plan. We would visit Brighton, the gayest, hippest resort in England.

We rose at the crack of dawn and left at 6:30, thinking a long line of traffic awaited us. However, the motorways welcomed us with open lanes and we sped along, over the toll bridge, around and under the belly of London until we happened on the M23 which carried us all the way to that fabled coastal redoubt. We arrived, feeling sheepish and tired, at 8.

Mist imprisoned the whole of Brighton that morning. With bloodhounds it mercilessly hunted down and laughed at all fugitive sun rays. We tried to make the best of the day but the beach was combed by forbidding chill winds. We visited all the trendy shops and a I bought a cool T-shirt. We walked the promenade by the seafront. We sipped coffee and read the paper. However, nothing could allay the disappointed we felt due to the absence of sun.

Thus, at five that same evening, we endured a snail of traffic that clamoured its way out of Brighton. As soon as we left, the prison gates opened and the sun lit up the sky like a forgetful generous uncle who rarely visits, but whose visits are always very, very welcome.