So after 8 years, I have just left Brighton and Hove Actually. Goodbye London-by-the-sea and hello London. Originally from London, it's not too much of a leap going back. And I'm only renting, so I could return to by lovely flat by the cricket ground if I can't hack the pace. But this isn't a post about London and my 'new life' this is a post about Brighton and Hove Actually.
I keep saying 'and Hove Actually' because inevitably when you live there, that's what you end up saying.
Q. Do you live in Brighton?
A. No I live in Hove actually.
Ah hilarious, the wit of Brighton-ians and Hove-ites... something I'll miss. Which got me thinking, what will I miss about my home for the past 8 years? And what will I be glad to see the back of.
The Goodbye, Good Riddance List
The first thing I shall not miss about Brighton and Hove is the rubbish and recycling. In my life so far I have lived in London, Manchester and a small seaside town in Kent called Herne Bay, so granted this isn't an observation based on a huge range of life experience or scientific fact, but I'm going to throw it out there all the same (and you can leave a comment below if you disagree). Brighton and Hove has a problem with rubbish. People seem to think it is perfectly okay to dump whatever item they no longer want in the street outside their house and somehow it will miraculously disappear. Sofas, cupboards, ironing boards, kitchen sinks, entire kitchens, cuddly toys (this list is beginning to sound a bit like the Generation Game!) PLEASE take the stuff you don't want to the tip, use Freecycle, or pay someone to take it away. Do not just dump it in the street, you anti-social fly-tipping idiots. *deep breath* "Ah... That feels better."
And as for the recycling boxes?! Brighton and Hove Council, what were you thinking? They are filthy, strewn around the streets and often full of rubbish dumped by passers-by. In the same way you introduced communal bins, you need to introduce communal recycling. Oh and anyone living in a purpose built block is exempt from having a recycling box, so ends up with more limited recycling options while paying the same council tax.
Now I've been on enough Hen parties in my time... and reeked havoc in York, Cork and London... so I recognise this makes me a total hypocrite... but the rubbish rant has got me started now... so I'm going to throw this one out there too. Hen groups in matching outfits with matching high pitched shrieks.
I'm afraid this picture doesn't really capture the full horror of a hen-do in action. But I was too much of a wimp to get any closer to photograph a group of shrieking chicks and hen. One Saturday night in Brighton I decided to count hen and stag parties, I got to 23 before I got bored. Seriously, how special would you feel as a hen seeing another 20 or so brides-to-be also out celebrating.
The third thing I will not miss about Brighton and Hove Actually is possibly a bit controversial, I am prepared to be subjected to cyber bullying. The thing I am referring to I call 'Brighton smug-ness'. I am taking about all those painfully clever and smug people who think they are SO special for 'discovering' and moving to Brighton and Hove Actually.
This is not a syndrome I've observed in born-and-raised Brighton-ians and Hove-ites; though granted I've not met an enormous number of that species. No this is something unique to some people who have moved to Brighton either as a student or later as a young adult and believe as a consequence they've discovered the secret to life.
These people can be observed smugly drinking Tuaca on the seafront or buying organic chestnut flour from Taj. They can be seen dropping their children off at nursery while wearing harem pants and riding a scooter.
Now, I'm not saying living in Brighton isn't a super smart and fabulous thing to do, of course it is, I did it for 8 years. But do you have to go round telling everyone how super smart and fabulous you are because you live in Brighton?
Okay, enough... I don't want to dwell on what I won't miss. Because the truth is, I've LOVED lived in Brighton and Hove for the past 8 years.
The Miss List
Firstly and foremost I shall miss all the wonderful friends I have made in Brighton over the years. I have been really blessed to meet so many funny, talented and kind people and although I intend to be friends with them forever, I will miss seeing them regularly.
This is a picture of Claudia and Tom, who rock! I met Claudia through the medium of Pilates. To anyone new to Brighton and Hove Actually, I would like to recommend exercise as a great way to meet people. I also have a great bunch of friends from Brighton and Hove Women's Running Club.
Ah food... one of favourite things in all the world. I shall miss the amazing quality and variety of food available in Brighton and Hove Actually. Yes I know I've moved to London and they'll be plenty of fantabulous eateries on offer here. But Brighton does have an exceptionally high number of yummy restaurants in a conveniently small area.
This is a picture of fish and chips from Bankers, it is making me hungry. It is not a picture from my favourite restaurant in Brighton because it is hard enough to get a table there, without telling you lot about it.
Ah booze... Yes, yes I know... there is plenty of alcohol readily available in London and in glasses bigger than the one pictured below. But what I am really going to miss about Brighton and Hove Actually is the price of booze. Gosh London is expensive.
Of course I couldn't write a post of things to miss about Brighton without mentioning the beach. I shall I miss those gorgeous random sunny days in the middle of winter when the beach is beautiful, bracing and deserted.
This picture is taken from the end of my road facing towards Brighton. No one but me and my shadow.
Now I know this is another thing I'll miss that I'll find plenty of in London. But the live music, comedy and open houses available in Brighton are special. You often end up seeing someone random, who goes on to be someone big. And Brighton has some fantastic venues and festivals.
This is a picture from The Dome. Where I have seen Natalie Merchant, the Zutons and (pictured here) The Temper Trap. LOVE seeing live music.
My flat in Hove over looks the cricket ground and I shall really miss the sound of leather on willow. I shall also miss the sound of the crazy Twenty20 matches, the Elton John concerts and the amazing 5th November firework display. Brilliant.
Brighton and Hove Actually, you've been very good to me and I will visit often.
If you're thinking of visiting Brighton and Hove, here are some things I'd recommend:
- Watch some live music at The Brighton Dome.
- Catch a Twenty20 game at Sussex County Ground.
- Drink Tuaca in the sunshine at a bar on the seafront, try OhSoSocial or the Fortune Of War. Or Barefoot Wine at the Yellow Wave Beach Volleyball Center.
- Tuck into a massive fish and chips at Bankers.
And if you're moving to Brighton and Hove Actually I would recommend: