K. and I are back from our wet weekend in Brighton. Without meaning to, I ended up indulging my weakness for out-of-season coastal towns: this particular location was quite lovely, with the shops on the pier dotted with boarded-up units, and the groynes and coastal walks quiet and windswept; the city centre was probably still a little too busy for my liking.
A lovely place, though, even if the bits we saw were oddly (and possibly unintentionally) quartered: North Laine with its alt-lifestyle shops, sex, graphic novels and piercings/tattoos; The Lanes, all lifestyle shops, silver jewellery, fudge and sweets in big plastic jars, Sunday-lunch pubs and tourists, tourists, tourists; Western Road’s branches of Peacock, WHSmith, McDonald’s, Primark, for people who just happen to live in the area; and the sea front for the turtles and seagulls. Not as cut and dried as that, of course, but still a difficult psychogeography to comprehend over the course of three days. Given the direct train there and the under-three-hours journey back, I imagine we’ll visit again at some point.
We’ve been home since half two; I’m still replying to emails. Proof positive that you can go on holiday and escape from yourself, but you’ll be there waiting when you get back.