Saturday, November 11, 2006

Brighton Rocks

It's a long time ago: sitting on a park bench in summer sun devoured Brighton Rock in a sitting. Not an uplifting experience: there is no rule that good writing will create positive thoughts or ideas. Now I have been to the place Pinkie sculked about. Travelling broadens the mind: that usually means somewhere more distant than a hundred or so miles from where you life, but it all counts in the end, an accummulative process in which the various threads come together to make some sort of overall sense.

Brighton sparkling in late autumn: a Sunday in early November. The sun warm on our faces, a gentle sea breeze, we walked rapidly along the promenade westwards towards Shoreham. Everybody seemed to be out: little different from the height of summer perhaps. Were they all from there or had they come in from all over, even London - a short hop on th train from King's Cross or even London Bridge. Who could tell? Who cared? They all looked pretty smart and good looking - was it one's mood? - even the gay men in unending pairs, cycling, running, walking seemed fine.

Brighton promenade had me in mind of those pieces of familar , cliched TV footage: Palm Springs, or a beach resort in Southern California, with all those long-legged roller-skating blondes, darkly-tanned, muscle-bound men weight-lifting, black men playing volley ball, sundry others patrolling up and down with the well-known art-deco blocks and palm trees in the background. Certainly bikers and roller-skaters are there along the front at Brighton and they are facilitated by marked out lanes on the broad path and along the edge of the road on the sea side.



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