A few weekend’s ago my youngest daughter and I went on a Girls road trip to Brighton. She had visited once before – last summer with some friends. But this was my first visit.
I had seen the Brighton Pier printed on postcards over the years; so, it seemed only right, once we were off the train, that we should walk through the shops, past St Peter’s Church and down to the beach.
So we did.
From there, we walked along the footpath to the pier to take in the air, like many millions over the centuries had before.
I have to say, the milky turquoise hues of the channel water blending with the smoky soft blues of the sky, defined only by the wind turbines standing like tiny toothpicks in the distance were inspiring. Turquoise is one of my top three most favourite colours; and the interior colour of our converted barn back in NZ.
The two of us stood at the end of the pier, allowing the gentle off shore breeze to cool our beings. I loved the contrasting colours of the constrained white-horses lapping the yellowy-orange mottled stones on the shore.
I tried to get a few photos…though rather disappointing, to only capture the smallest slice of the wax and wane symphony over the fast-holding pebbles. Needless-to-say, my photos captured none of buzz of the population enjoying their lunch break nor really the tones and hues of nature. Thankfully they are locked in my memory to be retrieved when I need a pick-up.
We walked and walked and walked all over Brighton and loved everything we saw. I loved the architecture of the hotels, townhouses and shop facades.
The insides were a delight to behold as well; such as the independent stores like the second-hand book store, on the corner of Duke Street.
For me, as an antipodean, it felt like a blend of the vibe of Cuba Street, Wellington meeting the seagull sounds of Devonport, Auckland. All was so familiar and compelling.
It was a glorious day; the tourists and English language school groups were out in force. That didn’t bother me coming from cosmopolitan Auckland, it only enriched the experience.
We wandered down to the beach and window shopped along the art stores tucked in under the promenade catering for tourists. The ambience alongside the eating establishments, hazy summer ambling of pedestrians and shore line compelled us to linger on the beach for a long time.
My daughter and I ambled back into town and through the open market,
engaging in conversation with a guy selling black T shirts with interesting quirky artwork. He shared with us is marketing plan and back history about the characters he had designed. How he, now in his early forties, had at last found his groove and had captured that ever so allusive contentment to find himself fully engaged in his art form, seen on the T shirts and to be brought to life in animation and gaming in the near future.
I was captured by a wee girl, lunch in hand, walking with her mum. I asked the mum if I could take a photo. She said, ‘Yes.’ going on to say how her daughter loved prawns! She fitted into the quirky slights of the market captivating me further.
Sure, every town and city has art stores and art quarter, but I have to say, Brighton had it all.
And I too, couldn’t help buying one of those ducks.
When I entered the store to pay my money I caught a glimpse of Nemo and the gang.
…Did I say I love Brighton.
Many an artist has abley captured the Pier. This blog’s feature image, Richard Marsh Art Brighton Pier by Moonlight, reminiscent of Vincent’s The Starry Night, captures Nature echoing the vibrancy of a day in Brighton.