I was extremely hyperactive after an interview the other day, to the point that the thought of a four-minute train ride sounded like too much sitting down. So I decided to burn off some of that adrenaline by going for wander through the town.
I first came to Brighton about 20-odd years ago. I was nine or ten, it was a sunny day, I had a camera with 110 film and an inability to stay still long enough to get a clear photo.
This time round, it was a bit less sunny, and I was armed with an iPhone and the power of Instagram to cover up for the fact that I still can’t hold a camera still.
I trotted past the Royal Pavilion, becoming very confused about what was the front or back because the gardens have changed a bit since I was last there.
I then followed the signs yelling SEAFRONT THIS WAY (trying valiantly to direct people to pedestrian crossings, I can only imagine the chaos in summer) and the scent of greasy snacks. Voilà. One pier. Seagulls everywhere, children crying because parents won’t let them have sweets/paddle/pet seagulls/whatever. A classic British seaside scene.
I wandered the length of the pier, battered by the salty breeze, assaulted by seagulls, piped music, and the smells of a hundred varieties of fast food. I’d already had lunch but by the end of it, I could no longer resist.
Worst. Coffee. Ever. But oh, so right. I sat on the beach for a bit, decompressing after the interview, becoming at one with the ground and the sea. By which I mean, probably sat in some dead sea critter and got bitten by any number of sand-dwelling insects. But it was pretty relaxing, nonetheless.
Duly relaxed and full of grease, I continued to wander back towards Hove, tipping my non-existent hat to the West Pier as it looms sadly in the water. Fans of Harry Lloyd (I get a surprising amount of traffic from people searching ‘harry lloyd naked’. Hi guys! Sorry to disappoint.) may recognise this as backdrop to The Fear.
Slightly more cheerful image; I love the little beach huts. Love them. Even on as dingy day as this was, they really brighten up the seafront.
And that’s basically it.
You know what’s completely awesome about this whole series of pictures? I live here. This is no longer a once a year bundle everyone in the car and hope to bob it doesn’t rain gamble. I could do it every day, if I wanted.
Except for the coffee, because that was truly disgusting.
Most of my old photographs are currently lost; whether they’re in an attic somewhere or if I chucked them away in the name of progress, I have no idea. Somehow, three photos of that first trip to Brighton survived and ended up in my iPhoto library.
The entrance to the Pavilion:
The other side of the Pavilion:
And the pier, still at this point called ‘Palace Pier’:
I know for a fact that there were at least a dozen blurry pictures of starlings, seagulls, and other people’s pet dogs. We should probably be grateful that those have been mislaid.