The amount of time between blog posts appears to be increasing as time goes on. Allow me to reassure you that this is not intentional whatsoever; it’s more that I’ve just had nothing to write about recently, and I’d rather publish content that is fresh, and which I can talk about for a suitable amount of time.
FACT: As I write this post, I’m listening to The 1975 album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, which I purchased yesterday – yup, I tend to be late to the party!
As some of you may know, yesterday I visited Brighton, a city on the south coast of England. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Brighton: there is more than just the beach to love. The city itself has such a relaxed atmosphere, with residents and tourists [of which there are many] interacting with one another in a way which, in London, would be considered alien; the multiple shopping areas in the city are absolutely amazing, with the option to shop in mainstream UK chains, or smaller, independent shops and stalls, where the retail experience always feels so much more human, and real; there is, of course, the beach, which brings with it the sea, which has always been so calming, relaxing and beautiful to me at so many points in my life.
I travelled there by train, and somehow, due to my determination not to miss my service down there, I caught the earlier train, giving me an extra 30 minutes in Brighton – the day was already off to a winning start! Upon my arrival into Brighton station, I spent AT LEAST 10-15 minutes being a typical city boy, staring at Google Maps, trying to figure out
A] which bus went from the station to the shopping centre, Churchill Square
B] where the hell Stop E is at brighton Station
C] why the weather was so nice in brighton, compared to the rainy London i’d left behind me.
eventually, I found my way onto a bus, sat down, and promptly jumped back up just 2 minutes later [or so], realising that my stop was significantly closer than I had anticipated; I could’ve walked, in all honesty. Regardless, I found a Costa Coffee, which is obviously the first element to a successful day, and then entered Churchill Square shopping centre.
I spent 3 hours shopping.
Being a guy, I am expected to detest shopping, and to enjoy watching football, or be all laddy about, uh, cars? Well, screw that – I love to shop! I looked at new onesies, dressing gowns [classy, I know right], CDs [old school baby!], phone cases, headphones, and at one point, an Apple Watch … Don’t even ask.
Before spending any money on anything besides coffee and cold drinks, I took a walk down to the sea front. The sea itself was quite choppy, and the waves were huge, but still, it was as beautiful as ever. The sea, after all, is one of the few parts of this world which is still completely natural; no one has built a housing estate on the sea… yet. I walked past the new British Airways I360: it’s essentially a massive tower, which apparently provides visitors with a great view from the top, although it also looked like it left them with a huge hole in their bank accounts also. Honestly, I was considering going up there, because c’mon – how good would that selfie have been?
… Hey, look at me – i’m in the sky! …
It was simply too much self-restraint to walk past Subway, so lunch was, uh, Subway… Yum. It was surprisingly quiet in there actually, and i’m not 100% sure why I’m telling you that, but I am, OK?
After returning to Churchill Square, I went ahead an bought a really fancy pair of headphones, in this amazing sale: they were £60, but I bought them for £23 in HMV. I didn’t even think HMV existed any more; there isn’t one where I live, but apparently they’re still a thing. For those who live abroad, HMV [Her Majesty’s Voice] is a relatively old school CD shop, who [I think] went bankrupt several years ago. Clearly, though, they’re back, and selling excellent headphones – I’m using them this very minute, in fact, to listen to The 1975’s album [my other purchase from that shop] as I write to you.
Literally as I stepped outside, the heavens opened up above me, and the rain came pouring down like some kind of water fountain – a bloody evil one, I’ll tell you! At once, families, couples and solo shoppers all seemed to come together, running for shelter. What was so brilliant, however, was that everyone helped each other, whether they knew each other or not. A couple went over to this mother and father and helped them with their buggy and several bags of shopping; an elderly trio were helped to shelter by a younger man – it was all just so beautiful and community-based. Somehow, throughout all of this, everyone was smiling and laughing, because hhere is something about being heavily rained on all of a sudden which is absolutely hilarious. It was like suddenly, we were all kids again, and we all ran and laughed, splashing around and loving every second of it.
I felt like, finally, I figured out that this beautiful, relaxed, joyful city is where I belong, where I’m supposed to be.
I felt at home.
From here, I hopped on a bus back to the station… At least, I tried to. Correction: I hopped on the wrong bus away from the station, and so had to get off at the next stop to backtrack. This lovely man on the bus overheard me wondering aloud where the station was, and he pointed me in the right direction, telling me which bus to catch. That’s exactly the kind of behaviour which has, over the years, made me fell in love with Brighton: everyone is out to help one another,in any way they can, and they always do it without complaint, as if it’truly is ‘no trouble’.
I had an amazing day in Brighton; I really hope that I go there again soon, and maybe – just maybe – in the future, I might spend a lot more time there.