29.7.06 30 °C
Rich and I decided to get out of the city and head to Brighton last weekend. It's been really hot and dry here, I never thought I would wish for some rain! Anyways, we took the train to Brighton, which is about an hour and half journey with a change over in Hove. Of course, on the day we decide to take the train there is a fatality on the tracks on a stop on the way to London. That invariably causes a chain reaction and of course there were major delays so our trip took over 2 hours. It was well worth it though because Brighton, or "London by the Sea" as it's called is a fantastic city. Its artsy like Yorkville in Toronto, with all the café's and designer, trendy boutiques but then there's a pebble stoned beach and old-fashioned pier at the end of streets. The old Victorian pier is actually falling down and your not able to walk on it. It still stands though and Rich told me there has been debate between locals and council to rip it all down. I quite like it though; it reminds you of the past and looks kind of forlorn in the sunlight just standing there.
Random pics of area
There is a newer pier that was built parallel to it and holds an arcade, amusement park rides, restaurant and various shop stands. They also have deck chairs lined up along the edge of the pier so that if you just feel like having a sit down and looking out across the sea you can do so and let your kids or in my case, your significant other, play the games. I did get a cuddly gorilla from Rich's winnings so it was worth it!
The beach was nice as I was craving a seaside day lately. People warned me before that the beach in Brighton was full of stones, not sand. I wasn't really expecting what it was though! There was no sand at all, just miles of stones and more stones. We tried to walk to the water, but I gave up halfway through because my feet were aching. I mean, I'm use to walking barefoot at the cottage from when I was younger, running across the rocks with no shoes on, jumping around. But, this was quite different. I looked like a baby calf learning to walk for the first time! I saw some kids laughing as another couple tried to walk across. They were probably from the area, I could tell because they walked with ease along the beach as they laughed. It was funny though! Maybe it's because I'm getting older and I can't be bothered with all that stuff, I would rather just be comfortable and sit in the deck chair rather then twist my ankle trying to get to the cold water.
Although the water was cold (from what I heard), it was hot and there were loads of people at the beach, swimming, boating, walking along the boardwalk or just working their way to the shops. So it was a nice scene to take in on a summer's day. Better then being cooped up in the city!
The shops were my favourite part, of course. That's the best part of travelling or living in another country, new shopping! Well and the food most of the time, haha. The boutiques were lined up and down the streets beckoning a little stroll inside. Rich took off to check stuff out on his own and I ventured in and out of the little shops along a street called the North Laines. There were a lot of specialty stores and fabulous girly shops with beautiful clothes or trinkets. I found an amazing shop that sold a lot of clothes and stuff from India, and Thailand. I find it hard to pay prices here for what I know cost so little over there but I did find a really lovely skirt I couldn't pass up.
We both checked the antiques market, which was in a hot little building completely packed with loads of people's old treasures. Amongst all the old items you would find a plant for sale, or a box of old pictures of some random people probably from an estate sale or something. Rich likes to look through those pictures; he's a budding photographer so he finds the old shots interesting. I have become quite addicted to watching the antiques shows here on TV, they have auction shows and car boots sale shows where people hunt for old valuable treasures. The antiques shops over here are so interesting, well mostly because I think that older trinkets are just that, much older! The English do love their antiques! It's kind of fun to spend a couple hours looking through old items and laughing at what you find, plus you never know what you may happen upon one day.
Of course without a car to trek all these things home it is a little difficult to do anything but just look. Also, the train ride back would have taken less then the 4 hours it actually did. There was a signal problem this time and they cancelled all the trains going to London Waterloo. It just so happens our train goes that way back to Southampton so we were forced to take a train form Brighton to Hove and wait there for an hour and a half, then take a train to Portsmouth which was way out of our way. From Portsmouth we were able to catch the last train home and arrived just after midnight cold and tired. We only live a short 10-minute walk from the station but we still hopped in cab and got home in 3 minutes instead. It was a long day but still really enjoyable. I'm looking forward to going back to Brighton soon, hopefully we'll be able to stay overnight next time and won't be as rushed. I'd like to check out the nightlife there, as well as a few trendy little restaurants.
The flat is going really well. Now that we are accumulating a few more things I've truly realized how small it really is! I miss spacious Canada! On that note, we have booked a trip home (an early Christmas if you will) for November 9- 22. Hopefully I will get a chance to visit with everyone, I know that those 10 days will fly by rather quickly. I've been a bit homesick since I arrived and I'm really excited to go home for a visit. I have however met another Canadian girl, Laura, who's from Ottawa. She's really cool and her daughter is a gorgeous little thing. Her husband is English and they're planning a move back to Canada in the next year. So that's a been a nice comfort having chats with her.
On the internet connection front it's looking to be another few weeks before we are hooked up at home. We signed up for a really good deal but of course with that comes the wait to be connected. We are both getting really antsy without any ability to surf or do internet banking or anything. You never realize how much you come to depend on the computer and its connection to the outside world until you go without for a while. Even the simplest thing like checking the weather forecast for the day becomes a feat of waiting in front of the telly or listening to the radio instead of the 2 minutes it takes to check online!
Ahh well, I will be back soon enough with more frequent blogs and pictures. Until then I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.
I will leave you this pic that we came across and thought was a good motto!