Out in the Field with chief reporter Annemarie Field: Less is certainly more

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I WENT to the pub last Sunday. Well, in fact I went to lots of pubs last Sunday to treat Himself for Father’s Day.

And, aside from the prospect of a hangover and feeling as sick as a small hospital the following morning, what struck me was how sad it is that so many of our fine hostelries are dying on their backsides.

Mind you, it’s not surprising when you look at the prices they charge, some of which you’d need a second mortgage for. We went to the Birling Gap pub and two large dry white wines were £10.60. It’s not much better in town and a lot of pubs aren’t helping themselves either.

Our final port of call on Sunday however was a joy. The Alexandra Arms in Seaside has undergone a complete transformation, is tastefully decorated, has a bouncy castle in the garden for the kids and even better a bottle of Chardonnay was just £6.99. Less is certainly more - the place was packed.

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NOW that we are a one car family, and having developed a love of all things with two wheels, apart from motorbikes and when it’s pouring down, I have found myself having to take the bus quite a few times recently. And what a good service we have here in Eastbourne. The real-time bus information service which tells you when the next Number 1 will be along is great. There are choices too - you can either get a direct service or one that goes all round the houses to get there.

Only two problems have struck me so far. There are not enough buses going up Cherry Garden Road and Longland Road where you need the stamina of a small mountain goat to walk up them. And the price. I got on the Number 51 at Willingdon on Saturday to go into town and asked for a ticket into town.

“That’ll be £1.90 please, Duckie,” said the driver. “But I don’t want a return ticket,” said I, “I only want to go as far as the railway station.”

“That is the one way price for a ticket,” said the poor driver, who then had listen to me bleating on about how when I was a girl, you could get the bus into town with a pound and have enough change to buy half a lager in Diplocks and some individual cigarettes from the man who sold them under the counter in the Regal Amusement Arcade!

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I KNOW I keep banging on about how old and unloved the Arndale Centre is looking these days with its scattering of empty shops and I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to change, but I think the refurbishment of Top Shop and M&S is excellent.

The new Top Shop looks like something you would find in Oxford Street and M&S is just as good. But whose idea was it to move the ladies lingerie department to the middle of the store where just about everyone passing through from one end of the store to the other can watch you buying your smalls?!