In April of 2000 I managed to have a reunion with a friend I hadn't seen in 20 years. Her family had done a year long exchange in my hometown in Canada when I was 11 and we hadn't seen each other since. Finally, after many times of meetings falling through, our opportunity to see each other again was going to happen.
I was in London for a couple of days and was then heading to the west country to spend time with family. Sasha was living in Hove, right next to Brighton, and was also heading west to go to a wedding. We decided that I would take the train to Brighton and meet up with her, then we'd travel west together.
How she recognized me at the train station I will never know, but she did and our reunion was a wonderful one. We had time to wander along the seafront, stop for coffee and beer (a couple of times) and explore the streets of Brighton before catching our train westwards.
It was a glorious, sunny spring day and it really made for a great time. I don't have any pics of Brighton from that day because I captured it all on videotape. But here's a pic from later that day of the two of us.
When you visit Brighton, you'll find that its one of the most diverse places you'll find out of london in the UK... not only do you find a large array of different cultures all living harmoniously together, but you also find people expressing themselves in any way they want. Anything from Hippies to Goths to regualar coffee drinkers goes here, and its obvious from walking through the lanes how their differences make Brighton a much much more interesting place.....
Sussex County Cricket Club
Watch the most complicated game in the world ,played by the current county champions. Games vary in format and length from one dayers ,20-20's , day-nighters and five day county games. Just pull up a deckchair get a beer and a picnic and relax ,nothing much happens most of the time so it doesn't matter if you nod off.
Sussex is the oldest county side in the country and played their first game in 1872.
The club's mascot is the county symbol of the Martlet which is a bird without any feet.
The side never won the county championship until this year and the most famous players in the current side are , Pakistani spinner Mustaq Ahmed , veteran captain Chris Adams and Zimbabwean Murray Goodwin. Sun hat or traditional knotted hanky.
Visit the village of Rottingdean east along the coast from Brighton. A former smuggler's village, at least I presume it's former and not still going on, it was named by the Saxons, Rottingdean meaning "the valley of Rota's people." It's picturesque village and located on the seaside.
See the former homes of such notable authors as Rudyard Kipling at the Elms, and Enid Bagnold, she wrote National Velvet.
If you find yourself wandering past of wall of Kipling's house, look for the stone face in the flint wall. It is supposedly a wishing stone, rub the nose, and then turn yourself clockwise three times on the spot to have your wish granted. But you can wish for personal riches, no "I want to win a million dollars."
Wander around the village, feed the ducks in the pond and visit buildings such as Whipping Post House, which was home to Captain Dunk, one of those aforementioned smuggers. The building takes its name from a punishment previously held here, that of the whipping post. There was also a dunking stool, hence Captain Dunk.
After all that wandering around you may wish to stop for refreshments, possibly at the Old Cottage Tearooms, a 400 year old haunted establishment, or at the Black Horse Inn, a 500 year old listed building.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!
My how this place has changed! Back in the 1970s you would walk into this shop uncertain whether you'd end up with agitprop or aubergines - but nowadays the emphasis is most certainly on the latter. As somebody who has been an eager supporter of the organic/green movement for many years, I always appreciated their stand if not their dress code. I wanted the alternative energy but not the hard left political posters that used to be dotted around the walls. For this was an earthy workers cooperative with vision and a desire to mix food and politics. Ultimately as it 'wholefoods' became more than a food fad they must have realised that they were in the business of competing with supermarkets and needed to freshen up their image. So although they have the same communal spirit they have been well and truly clutched to the bosom of trendy Brighton and have the shop interiors to match.
Basically you need to head here for all sorts of foodstuffs with the emphasis on the natural. Wholefoods, organic, gluten-free, free trade, lactose intolerent, vegetarian and an excellent fresh veg and bakery section - it's all here. Well almost! As long standing vegetarians I don't think they sell meat. To quote their mission statement:
"We believe that it is our responsibility to provide food that is as far as possible, natural and unadulterated, free from GM and hydrogenated fat, organic and 'Fairtrade' accredited and sourced from companies with high ethical standards. As well as trading and building relations with producers and suppliers in developing countries, we are equally as committed to sourcing as much as possible locally. We aim for a fair and just business practice with all of our trading partners, suppliers and producers and in turn, our customers."
But please don't think they're giving it away! if you're expecting them to be as cheap as supermarkets then think again. Their is a cost to having high ideals.
Open between the hours of 9.30am-6pm Monday to Saturday and from 11am-5pm Sundays. if you're peckish head straight for the bakery section and grab a slice of their delicious vegetarian pizza. Even the gluten free one is wonderful!