Published: March 14th 2011March 12th 2011
Saturday in The Lanes
Entertainment over breakfast
Panorama Fantastic Wall Art above a couple of funky stores in North Laine, Brighton
When I visited England last year, it was a great surprise to me how much I would like this country. The people are friendly and I love the British sense of humour. I'd only spent 6 hours in Brighton last March but when I had to think about where I would go in the UK to live, it was the easiest decision. This is a place of differences but what I like the most about it is the acceptance of these differences. This place is famous for it's gay-punk-alternative-retiree-immigrant-family-student community. In fact, it's called 'London by the Sea'. You can sit at a cafe and watch the parade of characters walking around The Lanes but what is most striking is no local 'sees' the differences anymore. No one bats an eyelid. Is it the British sense of etiquette and manners or is it that they've just grown accustomed to each other? Could be both.
In my mind, it is an ideal community of free thinkers, free dressers in a place of creativity. No wonder it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in
England. It is a perfect day trip or weekend. And there is so much going on here that no two weekends are the same. All sorts of markets, antiques, retro, vintage clothing (I'm in heaven), colour shop fronts, streets/lanes with character, cafes, restaurants and pubs, musicians, buskers, laughter, community spirit.
My favourite thing to do on a sunny morning is to find a table outdoors, enjoy breakfast and watch the parade. It's better than TV. Now that I have my new lens for the Nikon, and I took my zoom with me, I was able to snap a few choice pictures that show the personality of this place.
I've met some really nice people, actually everywhere I go to sit with a cuppa and look around, someone is willing to chat and tell me about themselves and Brighton. Or I'll chat with my neighbour on the bus from Shoreham. Or I'll be walking through a crowd, I see an interesting character and I might just say hello, which gets the conversation going.
Take last Saturday, for instance. I was walking through Churchill Square to go in to the shopping mall. There were charity collectors for The Marie
And who are you then?
With the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Geoff Wells and his wife Sally.
Curie Appeal everywhere and another man in a suit with some serious bling around his neck. Originally I thought he was playing a part, so I said to him as I was walking through,
"Who are you..." (I finished the question in my mind. '...supposed to be?' I stopped short when I realise he wasn't playing a character).
He looked at me in surprise and said " I'm the Mayor of Brighton and Hove"
"Oh, right. What's your name then?" I asked.
Again, a little taken aback, "I'm Geoff"
"Nice to meet you Geoff. What are you doing hanging around here?" We shake hands and I can see a photographer out the corner of my eye snapping away merrily.
"I'm helping to raise awareness for the Marie Curie Charity. I'd like to introduce you to the Lady Mayor, Sally"
"How's it garn, Sally? Nice to meet ya." Maybe a little bit overplayed with the Australian accent. We shook hands and I looked around and found quite a few people watching.
We chatted for a while about general stuff. And to make Geoff feel better about the fact that I didn't know who he was, I told him that I had
only arrived a couple of weeks ago. The photographer then took a picture of us with my camera.
"Anyway, nice chatting with you Geoff and Sally, I gotta go. See ya."
I left them with startled expressions. I wonder if I should have waited to be dismissed from their presence.
There are more photos below