Archive for June, 2011
In our bid to escape the madness of that wedding we set off on a little adventure to the coast to the Brighton bit of the City of Brighton and Hove. Lucky for us few other people had the same idea so we had almost an entire carriage of the train to ourselves.
Previous to this trip I had only been to Brighton on a couple of occasions and had never really understood what the fuss was about.
During the day Brighton is “London by the Sea”; a hustle-bustle of people escaping the city to stare at the water, eat over-priced-yet-tasty icecream whilst promenading along the pier, and to relinquish hundredweights of small change into the garishly lit and incredibly noisy arcades.
At night it becomes the centre for gay clubbing and loud and rowdy hen-nights; the former of which I find rather enjoyable, the latter completely petrifying.
But now I know what makes it such a fantastic place:
From shops filled with almost any kind of thing you can think of (and many you probably wouldn’t), to foods of every kind, to unusual little pubs, this is the place where arty-farty creativeness is encouraged and where there are, delightfully, more independent shops and hospitality businesses per square foot than chain stores*.
I spent hours in a giant bric-a-brac shop marvelling at the random artefacts collected and stacked higgledy-piggledy all over the place, and peering into the locked cabinets full of “special” treasures such as rare plastic star wars toys and cigarette cards.
The most interesting thing for me was the old leather suitcases brimming with faded black and white photos of families lost in time. I spent a while fascinated by these little snapshots of people in old fashioned clothes and dated locations, but I also felt filled with sadness for the now anonymous faces that looked out toward me with not even a note on the back to indicate who they were**.
I spent so long transfixed by teapots and old games and furniture that I had to be collected and led out by my companion!
Brighton really is a top bimbling opportunity and great if you like to see something different. There are gardening shops, book shops, brilliant and clever t-shirt printers and so much more. The roads are steep in places but thankfully there are plenty of interesting places to settle down for a well earned rest. Of course there is also the beach, if you are partial to pebbles.
One last thing, The Pavilion
What can I say, I only wandered past briefly on the way to the station. Well, its Odd, Very Very Odd, yet bewilderingly beautiful in its own incredibly surreal way. Imagine if the Taj Mahal was squished and elongated, had extra domes stuck on it and was made of concrete***. Right, got that? Now you are getting close. I really must get a picture when I am next down there.
*Sadly this has become a rarity in the UK, so finding thriving and kooky shops is a wonderful treat.
**One day I will go back and buy a stack and invent a new life and identity for them and stick them on the internet for all to see.
***I have no idea what it is made of (I am going to have a look into it now), but it sure looked like an ornate sandcastle to me!
Some time later
Ah-ha, my Google-Fu has lead me to find a report that states the Pavilion is constructed of Bath Stone attached to a concealed iron framework, so there you go.