I was down in Brighton at the weekend, celebrating my friend's 70th birthday. We had a ball partying non-stop from 7pm till well past midnight in a quirky venue with a jazz quartet, an Indian renowned chef cooking a two-course dinner and a DJ playing music to which we danced until we could dance no more. Well over fifty people (probably more like eighty) were there in a tiny cramped space, including a large contingent from Paris, who had come over specially for the day, as my friend studied French back in the day. The wine and goodwill flowed. We even stood to attention and sang La Marseillaise. It was a great evening, followed the next day by a wonderful fish lunch in a seafront restaurant. The French were at that too, ordering plate-fulls of mussels and langoustines. Here I am at the party. My 70th is in 15 months' time. I'm going to have to start planning to match that.