Upstairs at the Branch Tavern

The Cafe Sci this month was the most passionate I’ve been to yet. The topic was animal testing, with the presenter, Margaret Clotworthy (chaperoned by the Europeans for Medical Progress communications director), presenting a reasonable argument that alternatives should be evaluated to see how they compare against animal tests. Our co-host, The Exuberant Jenny, put her hands up from the start to say she held the opposite view. And so it kicked off…

My West Pier

I received the following email regarding some of the photos of the aftermath of the West Pier collapses and fire and the My West Pier project.

Dear Jane and Richard,

I saw your photos of the driftwood of the West Pier’s Concert Hall…

I am an architecture student at the Technical University of Berlin. Brighton’s West Pier is my diploma project.

My approach to the project is in short that if you want to rebuild the West Pier, it is necessary to collect the missing parts, the flotsam and jetsam, and reassemble them. Flotsam might not just be the driftwood at Brighton Beach, it may also be your stories and your visions of the pier.

I made two appeals in the newspaper ‘The Argus’:

“1. I want you, who took some flotsam of the collapsed and stranded Concert Hall, to take a photo of your part of the pier, where you have installed it now and send the photo via email to!

2. If you took a part of the pier, you must offer a part of your home to build a new pier. Please look for the piece of furniture you would like to be part of a new pier, take a photo and send it to!”

Maybe you can help me, because you have obviously been there!

Many thanks and regards from rainy Berlin,


If anyone has any images to help Jannes, please send them on to him at the email address he mentions above.

Evolution climbing wall

Last night Jim and I headed off to the Evolution Indoor Climbing centre to attend the first of a 3 part Centre Induction Course. The centre is about 5 minutes away from work and opens from 2pm so should be a good after-work activity. It has been nearly 20 years since I last did any climbing, and that was very spasmodic, so this course seemed like a great way to get back into the swing of things. The evening started with us warming up by traversing, then moved on to knots and how to connect yourself/your harness to a rope for climbing before moving on how to belay. After the theory was done, we put it into practice and spent an hour or so climbing. The last few minutes we spent in the bouldering area learning how the grading works. A great evening, looking forward to next weeks course.