In Light She Has My Heart
I have been entirely unfair. I feel I owe a slight apology to the city of Brighton. These last few days my posts have been as gloomy as its weather was; I spoke of how there was so little to do here and I tried to sugarcoat it by saying that it was probably a perfectly pleasant place to live, just not to visit. I was wrong, and it was unfair of me to judge the city based on two days when the weather was absolute crap. I love Brighton. It’s captured my heart and, while I know I said this of London too, I’d be happy if I never left. If you haven’t been able to tell, I still just really want to be a Brit.
You’re wondering what has caused me to come about to finding such lofty views of Brighton and I’m going to share. You should probably be warned though, there’s little overly spectacular in what’s to follow and I already know I’m going to have a hard time imparting how great some things are; but there’s a magic here, and when you’ve had a little time to taste it you too will fall in love.
Last night I turned in early. I had plans of waking up in wee hours to watch the Jazz game and then go back to sleep, but when that time came I shut off the alarm and went back to sleep. As I went to sleep though, I left the window open. I left it open and listened. Off in the near distance I could just listen to the waves as they rolled into the shore. It was peaceful, relaxing, beautiful. It’s how I want to die: with the sound of the ocean keeping time for me. I’ll write a post in the near future about the ocean, but very simply, I love it. I love it more than just about anything the natural world can offer.
I stayed in for the better part of the morning, deciding to head out for lunch around one. I went to The Mash Tun, a recommendation from Mashaela. It was nice, your typical pub-burger, nothing I haven’t had in Milwaukee and elsewhere in my life, but it was a good meal.
I didn’t want to return to the flat just then because for the first time since I’ve been in Brighton I could see the sun. The sky was blue, the air was warm, the mood was light, and the city was so much more alive. You could see it in the people; they moved with more pep, spoke in more excited tones, and there was just more people out and about in general. I headed down to the beach, as one is likely to do in Brighton, and I just sat on the rocks. So many people were just there with their friends, videoing themselves stomping through the waves, skipping rocks, and having picnics. It was nice to see. I do see that sort of thing often back home.
I sat there for about an hour and a half, admiring the ocean and doing a bit of writing using my phone. Then I got up and walked a few miles down the coast, crossing over into Hove, and seeing all the activities the beach had to offer when it wasn’t all dreadfully rainy. There were basketball courts with people playing (not very well, I might add), ping pong tables, skiffs and kayaks, dogs, a splash pad for the summer, pillars that parkour fanatics come to use. There are loads of little gift shops and food spots, and there’s a bunch of sketch artists you can sit down with too. I walked and walked until the sun began to set and I sat down on a bench to witness it.
Here is where words really will fail me. The sunset was absolutely breathtaking. It wasn’t just that the sun was setting over the ocean, it was a whole slew of variables that managed to come together at once. I was near the pier that burned down a few years back; they’ve sort of left it there as a monument and it has become something of a sight-seeing event for the people. Above the pier flew hundreds of birds, all grouped together and moving in unison to paint a picture over the sea. The seagulls were active too, though they were closer to the shore. In the sky you could see jet-streams from planes, leading off into the marine layer. And then there was the sun, casting its splendid light on everyone. The scene was so arresting that everyone was stopping to marvel at it. To capture it. A girl got the perfect photo of her sitting on the wall, draped in shadows, with the setting sun, the sea, and the birds all painting the background. I was jealous. Really wish I had someone to take the same of me. I can’t quite explain it but this whole experience was just magical. The city has so much to offer. The WORLD has so much to offer.
For dinner I went and made a quick stop at a fast and cheap noodle place to warm up, then I grabbed some pomegranate seeds from Sainsbury’s and headed back to the flat. I chatted with Amanda, my hostess, for a bit. She has her grandson over to stay the night. Otherwise, I’ve turned in for the night, watched Maisie Williams in Cyberbully, and am about to do a little bit of writing.
All in all, I definitely see the charm in this place. It’s been nice being able to just relax and take it in. I actually do feel like I’m just living here. And that’s really what I’ve always wanted.