Before I start gushing about the amazing time I had in Brighton, let me just put it out there that my travel buddy and I are starting to make a habit out of cutting it very close when it comes to boarding trains. As exciting as it is, to race against time and make it to the station with minutes to spare, I’m really hoping, this trend of ours, ends soon.
Unsurprisingly, Arv and I made it just in the nick of time when it came to boarding the train. An empty carriage and hushed conversations helped calm our pounding heartbeats as we sat down, sweaty and out of breath. Time passed peacefully and within an hour, our train was pulling into Brighton station. From there, a quick two minute journey had us arriving at Hove where Arv’s absolutely adorable grandmother was kind enough to be our host during our time there.
Being utterly oblivious at times, I was so busy pushing my ticket into the machine to get the doors to open, that I did not notice Helen waiting for us until I saw Arv hunched over, enveloping her in his arms. Not having met Helen before didn’t seem at all awkward or weird, she made me feel so welcome, I couldn’t stop smiling!
Arv, who sort of looks like Wolverine here and his Nana, Helen.
She was such a bundle of positivity, energy and love, I felt at home immediately. She drove us to her place where we had amazingly healthy food along with delicious Camomile tea although we had been warned beforehand by her that cooking food was not her forte and she did not enjoy it one bit!
One of the many things I enjoyed about my time with Helen included listening to her life travels and her interactions with people. Besides this, her house finally fulfilled and brought to life, my long harboured imagination of what a proper British house looked like, thanks to the countless books I read, written by Enid Blyton. She is also one of the coolest women I have ever come across. I absolutely adored her joie de vivre when we decided on a selfie. To be perfectly honest, she looked the most glamorous out of all of us in it!
With the sun beaming down on us, my friend and I headed out to Brighton Pier having said goodbye to Helen and having planned a quick meet up before our train back to London. Before all this happened though, I got to witness Arv and Helen scrutinising maps of Brighton. This was because despite living in a world of gizmos and gadgets, ours failed us. Between Arv and me, we had three mobiles, all of which refused to function and decided to die due to lack of battery.
While walking along the beach, I got to witness buskers of immense talent entertaining the multitudes of people who had stepped out of their houses to enjoy the sun and take a dip in the sea. With the sea water glimmering, ice cream cones everywhere and squeals of delight echoing from all sides, we approached Brighton Pier with a lot of excitement.
Street buskers; Three men sitting absolutely still, balanced on soft balls held in one hand.
As Meredith Grey once said, ‘The carousel never stops turning.’
Having entered Brighton Pier, the competitive gamers in my friend and me awakened and we headed to the arcade with steely determination. Maybe it was because I was still exhausted from work or it just wasn’t my day, I lost every single game to my friend. For someone as competitive as me, this was quite a heavy blow and my friend didn’t make things easier. It took all my will power not to push him over the railing of the pier as punishment for reminding me of my defeat, every single chance he got.
We took a break from the games from time to time, stepping out to enjoy the salty air and the sound of crashing waves, drowned by the laughter that flooded me from everywhere.
We then headed to Palm Court for lunch since Arv was in the mood for Fish and Chips. For someone as healthy as him, it was quite a surprise for me to witness him cleaning up a gigantic plate of deep fried fish and fries or as the British like to call it, chips. I decided on Mashed Potatoes with a Pie made out of mackerel, shrimps, peas and salmon. It was delicious but for someone like me who is very picky about her sea food, it was quite…fishy.
We then walked around the Pavilion, deciding against entering it, wishing to enjoy the weather rather than feeling jealous strolling through the pleasure palace for George IV. The pavilion was beautiful though. With a wonderful combination of Indian and Oriental architecture and a very picturesque location, the pavilion is something everyone headed to Brighton must visit even if, like us, you decide against entering it.
With time running out, we decided to walk towards the station and enjoy whatever Brighton had to offer on our way to it. Our walk was quite the enjoyable one with a sea gull almost raking Arv and my skulls as it flew over our heads. We also walked through a vintage market that had a concert/gathering going on. The heady scent of incense sticks and vintage collections on display in the market, made for quite a fun experience.
Just when I was about to point out to my friend that I had not come across any street art, walls upon walls of street art appeared before us. Here are my favourites!
It seemed our competitive nature had not yet been satiated since Arv decided to race me up the stairs to the platform. He duped me though! While I raced up, he casually set his pace, climbing the stairs one at a time. Just when I thought he wasn’t actually racing and stopped sprinting, he made a sudden dash for it and won.
No worries though my lovely Mavericks, I got my revenge later on.
Soon, we reached the station where we met Helen. She handed us a bag full of goodies for our journey back home which was so incredibly sweet of her! Having said our final goodbyes, we boarded an extremely crowded train and spent most of the journey, standing or rather dozing off, leaning on each other, the heat and exhaustion from our long walk, finally getting to us.
Coming back to my Brighton tale, remember when I said, I got my revenge on Arv? Well, my friend, who refused to adhere to the phrase, ‘Let the girl win’ got a taste of his own medicine when we decided to race from the tube station back home. From the minute we got off the tube, the race began. The first to touch the door of the house would be the ultimate champion and I can proudly say, it was yours truly despite Arv downing a double espresso for the sole purpose of winning the race.
The victory was made sweeter by the fact that my friend is actually a runner, who participates in marathons while I shamelessly give him the most judgemental looks for participating in them.
Anyway, that my lovely Mavericks, brings this travelogue to a close. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed reliving it while penning down this fond memory.