I did all me bits and left the house at 9.30. The weather looked kind so I didn’t take a coat, although in case of inclement cock-ups I’ve got a gardening jacket in the boot I picked up for five quid.
Got to Brighton in no time and parked outside the middle daughters house. She’s in London rehearsing for the CLOD ENSEMBLE, which they’re taking to the Brighton Festival. She doesn’t want to know whether we are coming or not so I’m certainly not going to reveal anything to you lot since none
of you can keep a secret, all I’m saying is I’m busy on the 22nd.
Anyway the daughters delicious man was in, gave me a parking permit, kissed me sloppily and went back to his writing.
I skipped down hundreds of steps, walked through Bond Street and arrived at my hairdressers, with four boxes of cookies, for my eleven o’clock appointment.
RUSH do my colour. I actually go to PIERREPOINT in Archer Street for my cut. That famous street in SOHO, just behind Shaftsbury Avenue where all the musicians used to gather in the 50’s. DAN THE MAN is perfect for me. You know what it’s like, ‘find a good hairdresser and stick to them like superglue’. I need him not to die anytime soon.
Brighton’s MJ is a superb colourist though, she’s got lovely cerise hair and a great line in chat. I had two pots of camomile tea, read about Richard Bransons son’s wedding in ‘HELLO’ ( Sarah Ferguson and her girls looked anything but wood nymphs in the wedding wood, but at least they tried.) Had a wonderful head massage, MJ gave me a blow job and I ended up looking about forty-seven-years younger.
I decided I would do my ‘SNARKY PUPPY’ training on the wide open pavements towards Hove. So I set off with my little brown bag of liquorice roots I’d bought from The Lanes, marvelling at the shining sun. With the music blaring in my ears my body was ready for a RULK, a cross between a run and a walk.
The Brighton Ship is all along the prom. I quite like the yellow rusty look of it. I took deep breaths and all my senses were satisfied. Ozone for the nose, salty air for the taste, The ‘Puppies’ for the ears and the sea a delectable green for the eyes. Forget ‘touch’ I was too busy Rulking and wondering just how warm the water was.
I saw one mad swimmer walk out of the water, less like Daniel Craig more like Reggie Perrin. Dripping from his plunge he navigated the sharp pebbles like they were hot coals. I could see his sharp intake of breath as the stones stabbed his slippery feet but I couldn’t get close enough to see his goose pimples.
I ran for an hour clocking the things I wanted to photograph. One lone, blue-sailed boat was out bouncing over the waves. The blue against the green was startling, although I needed to be in a dinghy next to him to get a proper shot.
By the time I had got to the end of the exercise lane I had to run round in circles to complete my hour. I knew I looked daft running backwards and forwards in front of Hove Angling club, salivating, I couldn’t help myself the smell of their fish and chips was almost unbearable, I very nearly dropped in for a quick angle and lunch. In fact I’ve got nostalgic stomach pangs just writing about it. Then I saw the word GROYN.
Say it long enough and it sounds like a bad grin.
The sun had brought everybody out. Mothers and babies, mothers and toddlers, mothers and fathers, aging couples arm in arm, I left the old git’s arm at home. I missed him and Jackson as there were so many dotty dogs being walked.
This gorgeous bloke was advertising his circus for the Festival, he had just dismounted his bike – a Penny Farthing – and the girl had just put down her hula hoop.
There were loads of joggers, and groups of runners doing interval training; sweaty workmen were renovating the ubiquitous beach huts, which looked dashing in the sun. Not many of them were occupied but just before I got to the third set of public lavatories I spotted
Rachel and Chocolate, who were thrilled when I asked if I could take a pic of them. Rachel is the one reading.
And abandoned beaches.
And blue plaques.
Clara Butt and Vesta Tilley lived next door to each other in St.Aubyns Mansion block.
‘Land of Hope and Glory’ was sung by Clara in a deep contralto voice whilst Vesta was hopping around in her drag doing male impersonations. Can you imagine the clipped conversation over the Kedgeree and Devilled Kidney’s.
I wanted to eat seaside food but in the end I bought a tub of dehydrated kale dipped in wasabi sauce and a bag of dried Turkish mulberry’s.
By the time I got to the car my legs were like carrageen right up to me groyns, and it was 4.15. I got home at five to hear the news that David Beckham had retired. Won’t be long before he’ll be walking arm in arm with Posh down the prom popping a cockle or two.
Chance ad be a fine thing.
4 thoughts on “Keep off me Groyne.”
What a wonderful blog! The photographs make everything so real. I feel sure I could smell the sea and the fish and chips thank you xxhugxx
See Jeni…. See…? That is just what I mean… you are brilliant. You should be a travel writer too. You make me want to don my trainers, grab the dogs leads and go explore. Thank you x
The photos are a lovely addition to the blog. I agree with Dymphna, your writing is brilliant and I would love to see you with a regular newspaper column, preferably paid the same as Boris Johnson !
Looking forward to Sunday’s show.
Ah my home town (I mean city)..I miss it in the ‘summer’…the summers on the beach #especialy 1976# and me in my speedos….”it was a hot afternoon; last day in June…” was blasting on the radio
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