Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Sea
I am on holiday for a couple of days this week, which is marvelous as I have been struck with a cold/sore throat/runny nose ailment and being in an office at work really wasn't all that appealing- especially answering the phone without a voice! So it is something of a blessing that on my first day off, the weather was smiling down on me with beautiful sunshine making me feel heaps better as I hopped on the bus to Brighton for a bit of retail and seaside therapy.
Once I'd completed my shopping in the centre of town, I wandered down towards the beach, popping into a cafe for a takeaway coffee and sandwich before plonking myself and my bags down, straight onto the hot pebbles. You have to be a little wary of the Seagulls in Brighton- they are well known for their sandwich nabbing habits, but luckily they weren't that interested in me and I could enjoy my delicious Caesar chicken and bacon roll in relative peace.
They are building a wind farm just off the coast of Brighton and you can see the platforms and giant cranes out on the horizon line, busily putting in the new turbines. I know a lot of people don't agree with these and consider that they spoil the view, but actually I rather like them. In terms of creating energy, I much prefer the idea of some turbines out at sea rather than burning fossil fuels which create all manner of environmental problems, and, after a couple of years, these will just become another part of the coastline- rather like a new block of flats, or the i360 which has just been installed on the beach.
The sea is fascinating isn't it? It's one of the great wonders of the world, to be respected and admired. It can be calm and violent, playful and dangerous, fun and scary. It is unpredictable and uncontrollable, yet is entirely necessary towards the cycle of life. There are areas of it that are so deep and hold such mystery that we may never reach its depths, and will probably never find out all of it's secrets. I love watching the sea horses race in and out, listen to the gentle roar of waves frothing against the pebbles and hear the washed stones tumble over each other in the drag of the water as it retreats towards the wider ocean.
After sitting and soaking in the sunshine for a little while, I wandered onwards, and outwards along Brighton Pier. It wasn't all that busy considering that it is half term here and a beautifully sunny day, which was rather a lovely surprise.
I have a bit of a love/hate thing with the pier. I love that it takes you out over the water so that you can look back at the seafront and have such wonderful views of the cliffs and coastline in one direction, looking out towards the endless blue sea in the other direction.
I hate that you can see through the planks that make up the floor of the pier to the water below. I have a real thing about being able to see through floors, or floating steps that have no back to them. My knees lock and my legs go stiff and I have to really force myself to walk like a normal person, trying to convince myself that no one else has these fears and that it is highly unlikely that the planks should crack and send me plummeting down into the water below. It is quite irrational and I have to order my legs to work against their will, walking, if possible, on the filled in parts of the floor put in for those in wheelchairs or with buggies. I have been on this pier many times, and it still gets me, every single time!
Along the side of the Palace Arcade, one of the big buildings at the centre of the pier, crammed full of different arcade games, are the most amazing stained glass windows. I haven't really paid a lot of attention to them before, but they reminded me of glass stitchscapes! They depict local scenes, from the pier itself, to the Seven Sisters cliffs (with customary Seagull), and the Brighton Pavilion. There are many others all along the outside of the arcade but these were my favourite ones. Aren't they lovely?
Whilst I was taking photos of the old pier, I suddenly became aware of this cheeky chap who sidled towards me whilst my attention was elsewhere. He seemed to almost be asking for his photo to be taken and I was more than happy to oblige. Smile Mr Seagull!
It was a beautiful day and I returned home full of salty air and sunshiny smiles. Just what the doctor ordered I think!