Brighton today played host to Muslims, Jews, Asians, West Indians, Alcoholics, Cockneys, Northerners, OAP’s, babies, and dogs. There were mountains of bodies. The red of skin, white of skin, the tanned of skin and the burnt of skin. There were teeming hoards of the tattooed, the pierced, the shaven and the bald.
The Pebbles played host to blankets, sunshades, sun hats, plastic food boxes, empty coke bottles, wooden lolly sticks, chick-lit, crime-lit, Saturday supplements, sun cream, burn cream, ice-cream and ipods.
Brighton heaved with the well heeled, low heeled, barefooted and wheel-chaired. The Tapas bars and chip shops cleared their tables in record time before the next pile of happy revellers were seated.
Lines of cars waited in the sweltering heat – the hottest October for 100 hundred years – to trickle into parking spaces sticky with dropped litter. The traffic wardens, still wearing cap and coats, dared not nick the hoi polloi who were out on mass.
I found a three foot space in between a family of Midlanders, I sat and smelt the ozone for three minutes. They complimented me on my white teeth and left to queue for a paper cup of coffee. I sat in the stones and marvelled at the sheer volume of day-trippers squashed horizontal in Sussex.
The collective need for respite from gloom, the universal desire for fun, the all encompassing capacity for humanity to sit side by side in the sweltering sun was truly breathtaking. For the first time in my life I felt like a British holiday maker.
I had my fifteen minutes of Spain by the carousel.
A glass of iced tap water and a few snaps on the camera to capture October 1st 2011 and then it was back to reality.
It’s now 59 degrees at 2.00 a.m. If it weren’t for ‘Strictly Come Prancing’ you could be forgiven for thinking that we weren’t in Pondicherry, home of vegetarian curries and joss sticks.
I’m off to bed now, window wide open and eyes wide shut….

5 thoughts on “1.10.11”

  1. Jeni, An ex-pat (1972), I followed you on GFL via austar sattelite and your blog ever since. This last post ‘1.10.11’ had me sitting on Brighton Beach on a hot day as though it was yesterday, not forty years ago!. Your descriptive writing is getting better and better. When are you going to write the steamy novel? Brenda Smith

  2. Hi Jeni
    I agree with Brenda, I could virtually smell the ozone, feel the pebbles beneath my feet and the heat on my body! Wonderful writing, it cheers my day, so something else to be thankful for.
    Best love

  3. Dear Jeni,
    thanks for that. Felt like I was there, on the beach with you.
    Keep on keeping on.
    Dorothy x

  4. Goodness Jeni you made me go straight for the photo of hubby father with hubbys brother sitting on Brighton beach c 1938 !! dressed in a full suit, tie and hat !! Hope you enjoyed your time on the beach xxhugxx

  5. Dear Jeni. Oh it sounds so lovely your description of the beach at Brighton and it made me wish id nipped down for a day as i always go to The Seagull Restaurant opposite the little Volks Railway Station by the Palace Pier and have fish and chips and it reminds me of many many years ago when the Film Carry on Girls location scenes were filmed down there and most of the cast on location had eats and drinks in the Seagull restaurant My Mum was there chatting to the now late great Joan Simms and their
    laughter is still ringing in my ears because of the wonderful way you described your beach visit! Thanks Jeni for bringing this happy moment back to me as i do miss my mother so much!
    I hope all your Bloggers enjoyed the weather as much as you and i jeni! Much Love to you and yours at your country seat just south of Tun Well’s. Love Terry xxxx

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