I nearly always drive down to Brighton when I'm in the UK. It's always cold and very windy, but thats probably because it's always winter when I'm there, but the town lures me with it's quirkiness and of course the long stretch of pebbly beach. I get a small thrill every time I see the helter-skelter slide on the end of the pier and although I haven't slid down it since I was small, I can remember the feel of the sack-cloth that I would sit on as I slid down the wooden grooves, round and round while the seagulls screeched overhead.
In the last few years the sea front has been given a complete overhaul. There are paddling pools and childrens play areas with cafe's serving hot chai and grilled sandwiches. The promenade is smooth and colourful, so inviting to cycle or skate along, and always bustling with dog walkers and people out just walking and enjoying the sea air.
I always make sure I walk by the Royal Pavilion, with it's fabulous oriental spires, just so that I can pretend for a moment that I am somewhere far more exotic than the south coast of England. It always reminds me fondly of a photograph of me and Carlo that is hanging on the wall at home, taken in 2001, standing outside the Pavilion, clutching each other and laughing in the freezing gale force winds.
I spend the rest of my time wandering around The Lanes, a charmingly bohemian array of narrow streets, full of cafes, quirky shops and brightly painted buildings. You never know what you might find for sale amongst the wonderful silver jewellery, vintage clothes and organic cafes.
Alas, my day out in Brighton finished with a downpour in the most traditional English fashion so it was a quick dash back to the car and a short trip up the motorway until I arrived back home in time for crumpets and tea..