I love Brighton. I loved Brighton each time I visited when I lived in London, and having just spent the weekend there for the Open Palace Programme, I discovered that I love it still.
I love the walk from the train station straight down the hill to the sea, hoards of Londoners in shorts and sunglasses pouring off a morning weekend train and descending towards the beach as one solid mass.
I love the feeling of seeing the water after days or weeks or months in a sealess city. I love the stones that the beach is made up of, rust oranges and charcoal blacks and smooth white pieces of water worn shell.
I love the pier: I love the light up sign and the loud music and tacky rides. I love the hilariously out of date ghost train with a leaning Frankenstein statue out front. I love the dolphin-shaped rubbish bins and the arcade hall with a Coronation Street game and people carrying plastic cups of coins for games that no one ever wins. I love the availability of candyfloss. I love the lights of the carousel and how the horses have names like Holden and Katrina. I love the view back along the beach.
I love the cast iron street lamps lining Marine Parade, with mint green bases. I love the striped blue and white folding beach chairs. I love people carrying cones of chips and being harassed by aggressive seagulls and being allowed to drink cider on the beach. I love the hidden shops and galleries under the arches or old boat sheds on the beach front. I love the naff souvenir shops selling every kind of Brighton rock and fantastically awful fridge magnets and bright coloured buckets and spades. I love the ruins of the old pier sitting skeleton-like in the water with dozens of seagulls hanging out on top.
I love how sitting on the beach and looking at the sea makes everything feel better. And I know how cheesy that sounds, but it’s true. I love Brighton.