Tuesday, October 20, 2009

24 Hours: Horsham

My Friend Marsha wrote a book. (Okay, she’s not really my friend, but as a fellow expat from the Americas – when I say it that way I can include Canadians – and fellow writer, I feel like we’ve connected on a deeper than “exchanged-a-few-emails” level.) It’s called “24 Hours: London” and it goes through a diurnal cycle, listing what you can do, where you can go and how you can entertain yourself during that particular hour (e.g. naked disco dancing at 22:00 -- www.starkersclub.co.uk ).

To help her launch it, I thought I do a tribute post, in the best, “I know a good idea when I steal one” tradition:

24 Hours: Horsham – the Baby Boomer Edition

05:00: What are you doing up? Nothing is open. Go back to bed!

06:00: There’s still nothing open, but the kettle is on. Make yourself some toast and oatmeal.

07:00: Costa Coffee will be open in a while if you want a frothy coffee and a breakfast muffin. McDonalds and Starbucks will be open, too, but don’t go there, not unless you’re happy to feed the American corporate giants.

08:00: A nice morning stroll along the Causeway to St. Mary’s churchyard. Nothing stirs a bit of joie de vivre like spending half an hour or so communing with dead people.

09:00: Time to queue up outside the Royal Mail office with the pensioners. Or you can queue up outside of Waterstones and vie for a seat at the Santa Fe café.

10:00: Swan Walk Mall is in full swing now; time to do your bit to help Britain out of the recession.

11:00: Elevenses at the Black Olive. Try their bacon butty, it is to die for.

12:00: Have a walk around the Forum and admire the sundial, dedicated by her Majesty the Queen. While standing next to it, ask passers-by if they have the time and tell them that the sundial is broken and is stuck on 6:37 PM.

13:00: Wander through picturesque Horsham park; you can linger by the bandstand and have a light lunch at the Café in the Park or sit on a bench to watch the children in the playground.

14:00: Uh oh! Here comes PCSO Davenport. Someone has complained about a pervert sitting on a park bench leering at the children; time to move on.

15:00: There is still time to pick up a bale of toilet paper and a sack of crisps at Poundland. Bring lots of change.

16:00: Have a browse through Beales and stop off at Café Nova on the first floor, just to admire the look of exquisite boredom on the faces of the waitresses and marvel at how long it can take a coffee shop to produce a cup of coffee.

17:00: Five o’clock; time to roll up the sidewalks. If you haven’t bought it yet, it’s too late now.

18:00: You have your pick of restaurants on East Street—Horsham’s own Restaurant Row; from the plain to the posh, it’s there. And if you’re really feeling the pinch, you can find a bargain dinner at the chippie, Panda House Chinese Take-away or the KFC on the Bishopric. Dine early and you’ll beat the rush.

19:00: Just enough time for a quiet pint at the Stout House.

20:00: Thanks to the Nanny State, it’s back home for a Bolivar and brandy on the balcony.

21:00: If you have Freeview you can get channel Fiver and watch CSI, CSI, CSI, …

22:00: …and CSI…

23:00: A nice cup of tea and a good book in bed.

24:00: A comfy pillow and a warm duvet.

01:00: You may find you’ll need to get up for a wee about now.

02:00 – 04:00: What do you care? You should be asleep like a normal person!


  1. Anonymous11:04 PM

    Hysterical Mike! Hey, if you wait a few days you might not have a reason to queue up in front of the Royal Mail office. I'm looking forward to reading Marsha's book and I just might have to link back to this clever post too!

  2. I love this- what a hoot. I would like to try it actually if you don't mind. I will link of course. I like the sound of your town- there seems to be a great deal of eating and coffee involved. Sounds good to me. Mind you- I would have to go to Starbucks. I much prefer their coffee to Costas ( sorry and all that)

  3. Thanks, Michael! You know what I'd really like to see? 24 Hours Dagenham. Maybe you can help me with the research on that one? :)

    Thanks again!

  4. Me again! I've cribbed your idea, Michael (hope you don't mind) and started a contest on my blog - write about 24 hours in your neck of the woods and you could win a copy of my book plus a lovely '24 Hours London' T-shirt. http://marshawrites.blogspot.com/2009/10/24-hours-in-your-neck-of-woods.html

    Thanks for the brilliant idea!

  5. Jo: I guess you know by now I don't mind you nicking this idea--the more the merrier!!

    Right, Marsha ;)

  6. Anonymous12:52 AM

    Hmmm.. 23:00 in my British town always involves lots of squealing girls running about as the pubs close. I would write an entry for Marsha but it would divulge my location. Hmph.

    Had a note on my blog that you and Howard were in touch again, I think it's up to you to facilitate a meeting there. We all need to know who we're arguing with. :-)

  7. Am about to write a review on Marsha's fab new book, but would also love to join in with 24 hours (Chicago).
    Brilliant post BTW.

  8. Looks like I started something...and I don't just mean between NFAH and Howard ;)

  9. I love this idea. Going to have a think and post about 24 hours in Tuzla. You'll need to put a whole book together of them!

    Loving the sundial moment.

  10. Brit in Bosnia: 24 Hours: Tuzla. That sounds fun! I'll check in to see it.

  11. Fabulous post! Okay I've been gone FAR TOO LONG. What's a Nanny State?

  12. Pam: Nanny State? You've got one in the US as well. It's the governement telling you what to do and not do and generally interfering with you while you try to get on with your life.

  13. This post completely threw me off! I have a blogging friend named Martha who lives near Horsham, PA. I thought you were talking about her! LOL

  14. I'll trade 24 hours in Birkenhead for Horsham anytime, after your write-up!

  15. Joanie: I've been meaning to visit Horsham, PA ...

    Bill: ... but not Birkenhead ;)

  16. Hilarious! Sounds like a lovely day. Where are you?

  17. Pond: Well, Horsham ;) That's in West Sussex about 30 miles south of London. It's a lovely town, and there is more here than shopping, coffee bars and pubs. Such as hairdressers--you can't swing a cat without hitting one.

  18. Love this! I just had to join the fun and did my take on some Midwesterners vacationing in London... And yes, I actually know people like this :-)

  19. This is brill, especially as its my home town!! Well, ten miles away, home town. Now I know what to do when I go there next. thanks hugely!