Today I expanded the horizons of how much I have seen of the English coast, and it was all pretty lovely. First, (and non-horizon-expanding, really) Jon and I took a long walk along the seafront this morning, taking advantage of the beautiful sunshine and not too chilly temperatures that we seem to be having this mid-November. It was another one of those days where everyone in Brighton was out! The sunshine just does that to people-all the kids, dogs, and athletes, running amuck, soaking up that Vitamin D. While we were out and about, Jon’s parents called and asked if we wanted to hang out, and, of course, we said yes (okay, I’m pretty sure they weren’t like “hey Jon, you guys wanna hang out with us today?” but you know what I mean). So at 2 o’clock we piled into a car full of dogs and people and decided to head east out of Brighton, where I’ve never been before.
It was gorgeous! These are the chalk cliffs that run along the coast of East Sussex. We parked the car in Saltdean and walked up to Rottingdean. Over there it was far less busy than what I’m used to right along the sea in Brighton, near us. There’s less beach, fewer people, and more water- and I loved the cliffs. I still haven’t managed to see the white cliffs of Dover that I’ve heard so much about, but I imagine in my mind that these are pretty close! (Plus I’ve heard that you can’t really see much of the Dover cliffs unless you’re actually out to sea).
I’m hard pressed to think of a better way to spend a Sunday when you know you don’t have to work the next day-but I’d saying going to a tiny festival full of cider and rowdy folk music is a good choice! So yesterday Jon and I spent some time inside/outside The Fiddler’s Elbow in Brighton, on a tiny street cordoned off for this ubiquitous Folk and Cider Festival. Everyone seemed to be having a great time-some more than others*coughcoughverydrunkdudes*- and the weather was perfectly warm (plus the rain stayed away!). The cider was strong. Seriously, strong. The one I had was 7%+ and left a solid burn on the innards. I believe it was called “Janet’s Jungle Juice”. My kind of cider.
The bands that we did see were great, although I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to English people singing the stompin’ blues and folk music of the US-I’m talking singing about the sultry nights down south, or the police coming for you, your old lady dying, or spending time in Chicago town. It’s a bit….strange. But I dig it. This fella below was a helluva harmonica player. And I liked his hat. And those two babies in front of him? Couldn’t stop dancing. It was so cute!
So pleased to have found out about this little festival just in time, aka Saturday afternoon the day before it happened. I love that Brighton has these little micro festivals and street fairs and carnivals all year round-it’s such a cool city. High fives to you, Brighton! I’ll definitely go again next year.
My work commute in the mornings consists of a nice 15 walk across Brighton to a building that is across the street from the Royal Pavilion, a former royal residence done in a 19th century Indo-Saracenic style (Wikipedia told me that!) . Conjuring images of the Tah Mahal in the middle of an English beach city,it’s a cool looking place. I have yet to go inside (I keep meaning to, really, they have tours and art exhibitions) but I haven’t yet. I have, however, made it a regular stop for lunch or after work chill reading time now that the weather has summerized itself.
So many beautiful flowers. Seriously.
With all of it’s beauty and space, it is unfortunately crazy busy most of the time that the sun is out. Student groups, business people on their lunch break, dudes with guitars, people who enjoy day drinking on the grass, buskers in boater hats….good for people watching, I guess? I took these pictures earlier in the week before the temperature jumped up-today you could barely move for people sprawled everywhere!
Pretty cool, huh?
It’s always nice to have another place to go with a book and an ipod and just chill (but only after taking an allergy pill, if you’re like me and allergic to most of the outdoors). Worth it.