It’s been a hot and dry summer in London, and I wouldn’t be myself if this weather did not make me crave to see the ocean, breathe that seaside air, smelling of well… summer and home. As someone who grew up by the coast, summers used to be about the beach. About sandy feet, the taste of salt on my lips after a swim, the aroma of sunscreen on me and on my clothes, the laziness that overcomes the evenings after an afternoon letting the sun soak you into a dreamlike state, and the sea breeze take our worries away, soften our muscles, the sound of the waves almost a whisper in our ear reminded us of our own insignificance and of our troubles, whatever they may be.
There is very little else I enjoy about Summer besides those days spent on the beach. Burring my bare feet in the sand, collecting little stones and shells only to leave it there. Looking ahead to see that seemingly infinite blue of the ocean, meeting the other infinite blue of the sky. The best beach days are those with only a few small white clouds in the sky. The kind that won’t cover the sun for too long, but will instead be its company. Every single time I’m heading to the beach, on a day of blue skies, the French song La Mer by Charles Trenet plays in my head.
Qu’on voit danser
Le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d’argent
Des reflets changeants
Sous la pluie
Qu’au ciel d’été confond
Ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs
Bergère d’azur, infinie
Oh well, a very romantic view of the beach, but it is the one I keep with me. With August starting, and me needing honestly a small break from work, I took a day off and book myself train tickets to Brighton. I had only been there once, in 2017, and my goal was really just to be by the sea for some time, relax, let the sea breeze wash all worries away. I also took my camera, as photographing is theraopeutic to me and I’ve been taking some lessons to find new inspiration.
When I visited Brighton in 2017, I liked it but I did not love it. I’m not sure why, but nothing had pulled me back. Yet, on this visit, I feel in love with it. I spent some more time in the town, going around little streets and shops, discovering a very young and progressive atmosphere I hadn’t encountered last time. Apparently, I missed the huge Pride Party that was happening the day after. At the restaurant where I enjoyed some proper fish & chips, I was asked if I was there for the party. I had to admit my ignorance, and was immediately told I should stay the night in Brighton, as it was going to be HUGE. It seems this event is celerating its 30th birthday and the excitment was palpable, after 2 years of hiatus due to covid. Well, I wasn’t going to stay for that. Perhaps one day.
Street art is also something you will find in town, as well as a bunch of differnt unique local shops run by artists and artisans, showcasing very unique products. On the other hand, the lively commercial centre of the town is rich in a multitulde of reataurants and fancy jewellers.
If you’re at some point visiting London, the weather is looking good, and you have enough time for a day trip, you can easily reach Brighton by train and it takes about 1 hour. You can check tickets and prices at Trainline.