The Lazy Journalist spends some quality time Hove beach time with a barbecue-bothering beastie

Steve Holloway
Steve Holloway

Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the flowers – or in the case of Hove beach in July, the smell of burning barbecue coals.

There have been evenings in the previous summers when the beach appears to be on fire, like some post-disaster city movie-scape with more smoke than Delhi.

"Fish, chips, kebabs, I'll eat 'em all!"

"Fish, chips, kebabs, I'll eat 'em all!"

I hope it’s not too much of a pain for those who don’t enjoy a beach cook-up, but I’m most definitely in the pro-camp.

My exercise levels have been ok of late, plenty of walking, the odd bike ride, and sporadic post-work gym visits.

However, there are times when the allure of the azure is too much, and besides, it’s good for the soul to enjoy the wide-open vista of the sea on a warm, clear evening.

But whichever friends, family, lovers, colleagues, bitter rivals, join you for the evening, there’s always some extra squawking, scrap-obsessed guests keen to share the experience...

I’m a big fan of Brighton and Hove’s gulls.

Who can fail to be impressed by the sight of a magnificent fully-grown herring gull in full flight, or less impressively, on the constant hunt for abandoned chips in Churchill Square (although to be fair to them they’re only following the food, which is all to often slung all over the shop).

There was one particular fine specimen (see above for a shot of him/her in full voice) which made its presence felt at this week’s barbecue. The big beastie had its beady eyes on my chicken kebabs and made several attempts to sneak up and nab them while my back was turned.

Fortunately, I thwarted the avian tea-leaf at every turn, but he/she kept at it, and did a comedy rapid waddle away every time I looked over.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all lean white meat on the grill, and as I brushed the homemade marinade on a selection of red meats I wondered if: a) I should try to eat a little less meat, and b) If my vegetable-light fun-heavy diet had too much in common with my new winged friend (previous unfavourable comparisons have focused on cats - eat, sleep, drink etc), and c) why it had taken me this long to think of putting black pudding on the barbecue.

Next week I’m having a one-to-one sesh at the King Alfred Centre gym with Ryan and while it’s not exactly a date with destiny, he can hopefully show me a few new things and hopefully add a bit of zip to my gym routines.

To find out more about Freedom Leisure’s the gym visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk