Yesterday was an unexpectedly lovely day. Lovely, because I went on a day trip to Brighton with my husband and daughter, and spending time in one of your favourite places with two of your favourite people can’t be bad. Unexpected because I should have been in Copenhagen, and clearly wasn’t. We had a holiday to Copenhagen planned for this week, which unfortunately has had to be cancelled, due to circumstances beyond our control, as they say. My husband has therefore cancelled most of his week’s annual leave as well; hopefully we will be able to go away later in the year instead, but he kept yesterday as a day off for us to have a consolatory day trip.
And it really did do an excellent job of cheering us up. By an act of supreme willpower and organisation (and packing up some muffins so we could have breakfast on the train), we managed to catch the 9.36am departure from London Victoria, and so by 10.45 we were sitting in a lovely little cafe in The Lanes, Tick Tock, tucking into delicious coffee, hot chocolate and milkshake. By 11.30 we were on the beach; I took a restful back seat while Anna and Thomas raced up and down, dug for buried treasure, collected shells and threw pebbles into the waves. Hard to say which of them had the most fun, really. I gazed at the waves, watching them one at a time rising up on the horizon and coming nearer and nearer before crashing on the shore. One of the most relaxing yet awe-inspiring things I know of.
We had lunch in a little Thai place – unsurprisingly Anna didn’t take to Thai food particularly well, and so her stunningly well balanced lunch was…rice. And a few bites of dumpling. But mainly rice. Don’t forget she’d already had a chocolate milkshake though…
After lunch we took the oldest electric railway in the country, the miniature Volks Railway, along the seafront to the Peter Pan adventure playground, and then back again to the pier for Anna to enjoy throwing herself around on the bouncy castle slide which is part of the fairground at the end.
Pre-Anna our fairly frequent trips to Brighton would conclude with drinking too much wine and too many cocktails with friends, heading out for dinner, and then scrambling to get the last train back to London. Now, with a small girl who may turn into a pumpkin if she’s not in bed by 7.30pm, we instead scrambled to catch the 17.19 train, and no alcoholic beverages were consumed at all. On the other hand, I’d never been to the adventure playground before, so it’s all about different kinds of fun.
Despite my love of London, every time I visit Brighton I find myself checking Rightmove for property prices, working out exactly how long my husband’s commute would take (too long, being the inevitable answer) and generally planning our relocation. The city just seems to have the perfect combination of metropolitan verve and diversity, amazing shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, charming old streets, and, of course the sea. It’s not in any way a realistic dream for the moment, but if there are any readers out there who happen to work in film production and are looking for the next big Rom Com, then do get in touch and let me send you the Two for Joy MS, and, ultimately finance my living-by-the-sea-but-still-very-near-London dream. Thank you!