Thursday, November 7, 2013
A Day in Brighton
Despite the hassles of getting to England, once we arrived in Brighton, we had a good time. We had driven down from London, and everywhere we stopped, people complimented us on our tasteful choice in rental cars.
There's always a little jet lag to be endured with such a long trip, so the storm that blew in off the Altantic Ocean made things easy on us. While we endured a few spats of rain, for the most part the cool wind gusted along, keeping us awake, and propelling us effortlessly along the seafront.
Our impulsive choice of rental cars had cost us more than we had budgeted, so we opted for an inexpensive yet exotic lunch: Tandoori Chicken sandwiches on flatbread at Subway.
We found several locations that E. F. Benson mentions in his novel The Blotting Book, including this former church, which is now used as a homeless center.
In the evening, we explored more of the beach, taking photographs and enjoying the atmosphere. We stopped to chat with three men eating their fish and chips along the seafront. They introduced themselves as Lovejoy, Tinker, and Eric, three antique dealers who had taken a holiday together. But then the youngest man, Eric, spotted a juggler with an old plate, and Lovejoy cried, "That looks like a dainty dish!" and the three leapt off the metal railing and tossed their food in the trash can.
It's amazing how fast three grown men can run, when they have sufficient motivation.
A few minutes later into our walk, a red sports car--nice, but not as pretty as ours--pulled up along the sea front. This surprised us, as we didn't think people were allowed to park there. An old man and woman got out, and introduced themselves to us as Tom and Diana. Tom offered to buy us all cotton candy, so we walked over to a vendor's stall together. We enjoyed chatting with them for awhile, but then their conversation took a more serious turn, dealing with their experiences during World War II. So we took our leave of them, and wandered on.
A little later, we saw a motorcycle cop leading Tom and Diana slowly down the road, his lights blinking and his siren wailing. I guess they take a dim view of parking illegally in Brighton.
In E. F. Benson's day, the West Pier was the happening place. Brighton has a new pier now, and we watched its shops, casino, and fun faire games and rides light up the night.
We wanted to sample its pleasures, but after our walk, and meeting such interesting people, we decided to save it for another day.
Related Internet Links
Lovejoy: The Dainty Dish
Waiting for God: A Trip to Brighton
The Blotting Book