I was relieved to get back to Pompey; foreign travel is all well and good but I clearly haven’t got the stomach for it.
Back at Southsea Common I stocked up on proper French apples at the lovely greengrocer on Clarence Esplanade, and admired the Queen’s.
Stately Edwardian, looking a bit like a Salford Holt pub, first destination for the booming Pompey tourist trade.
Portsmouth may look rundown in parts, but Southsea seems forever on the rise.
It looks more like Cambridge’s Mill Road by the year, but of course has rather better pub tiling, if not beer.
On Day 3 I sought that ultimate confirmation of Southsea’s status. A vegan cafe.
Why spend £78 on the train to Waterloo when you can have your potato and kale rosti under empowering sack motifs.
Note also a new way of displaying prices using commas, “Chrcoal Latte” dispensing with those troublesome vowels, and the loudest dub version of Pink Floyd you never wanted to hear at 9.30in the morning.
Yes, I loved it.
But it was time for the pub.