One reason for going to Coventry was that I'd started taking Brighton for granted. The rent was expensive and I wasn't enjoying it. I decided to take some time out somewhere else, concentrate on the writing, and figure out what to do next.
At its best Brighton is a magical place where anything could happen and this weekend I saw that side of Brighton for the first time in ages. I spent two days walking around, drinking coffee and seeing old friends. I started at Bom-banes, a cafe with mechanical tables that was even better than I'd heard. I visited loads of favourite places, like Sukhothai Palace, Moments and Ethel's Kitchen, where I ate Raspberry and Lavender cake. Looking back, the weekend was mostly cake and coffee.
My main reason for visiting was to check out a flat in Hove. It had a balcony with a view of the sea and was just what I needed. The wait to find out if I'd got it was nerve-wracking but it looks as if I'll be moving-in early September.
It was the little Brighton things I loved most – the man on the seafront making pebble pictures near the band stand; the odd bits of graffiti (any marker pen message is more interesting than an advert); the terrible busking on New Road; the couple on a doorstep playing guitar and accordian; the height chart outside the Trafalgar Street pottery shop; bumping into a friend I'd not seen for years on the way to the station.
Sunday was relaxed, more coffee and more cake followed by a gruelling journey home. For once Virgin managed to lay on trains but it was a long journey surrounded by idiots. I was glad to get home and have an early night. Eleven days till I'm back for good.
I spent this weekend in Brighton after three months away. It was good to be back – the town was mostly the same as when I’d left and it was lovely to be near the sea once more. I didn’t end up running around as much as I have in other visits. I spent Saturday with Rosy, watching movies and visiting Pride, where I played the traditional festival game of failing to find people.
Sunday was a grey day and the whole town felt hungover. Everyone I passed on the street seemed subdued, particularly the ones who’d not reached home from the night before. I had an underwhelming breakfast in a favourite cafe followed by a complication of arrangements, then headed home early.
I did find time for some training, running from Brighton to Rottingdean on Saturday morning (a distance of 12 miles). Strangely, the first 8 or 9 miles took very little effort and only the last mile was particularly tough. I’m feeling a little more confident about next Sunday’s half marathon than I had been.
I’m returning to Brighton (for ever) on the 29th, although I’ve not yet sorted a place to live. I can’t wait to be back properly. More details soon!
This weekend has been a long one, mainly because it started on Thursday lunchtime. I headed straight from work to Brighton, met Sophy for dinner, then headed to The Enchantment Under the Sea dance. I had a great time, meeting up with lots of friends, some I’d not seen in months. The performances included singing from Raquel Merlot (with an accordian accompanied cover of I’m on Fire) and burlesque from Honey Moon and Baby Bones.
Kitty Peels did an act based on Back to The Future, for which I was the ‘man prop’. My job was to sit onstage and act bored as Kitty undressed. Since I was ignoring Kitty I didn’t see the act, but the audience seemed to like it. After the dance I returned to Hove, stopping off at the soon-to-be-sold market diner. Eating burgers at 3am with a friend in a Munroe-style dress seemed a fitting send-off to the place.
Next morning I was up early for my run, then spent the afternoon catching up with friends and doing a little shopping. I headed back to Coventry yesterday to meet Jo, who’d hitched up from Brighton. We went to her Aunt’s 50th birthday party, then made the long walk back to the city centre.
It’s been a good weekend. Not sure when I’ll next be in Brighton, but I hope it won’t be too long.
Some grafitti I saw on my last trip to Brighton:
I stayed in the old house near the level on Saturday night. Some children (well, I assume it was children by the handwriting) had chalked messages and slogans on some of the houses. Among them was a line from Red Dwarf. I’ve no idea why they should quote that on a wall.