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Brighton and Babies in Bear Suits

On Saturday, I got to Brighton later than inteded, due to vagaries of a ticket lady who kept insisting my card was not valid because it had a crack in it (It is bloody valid, and it bloody well works, especially if you bloody swipe it again) and where the lively discussion I had with her lasted for about 20 minutes and made me miss my train, and only ended when I burst into tears and the nice manager came to sort out the situation. It amazes me that I've spent most of my life resolutely Not Crying, while it appears to be one of the best weapons in the human arsenal. Mostly I was stressed because the Brighton Ones were waiting for me so we could all go off and have dinner together, and I was worrying they were swooning with starvation, but as it turns out they were quite happily getting intoxicated in publy warmth, so my conscience relieved I got on with the business of boarding trains.

Inevitably journeys make me very excited, and going off to anywhere with a sea feels like a holiday. Probably this is childhood conditioning, as nearly all my formative vacations were spent in Montenegro and I have dim memories of long car journeys, and cricks in the neck, and green woods, and people on the roadside selling forest strawberries in paper cones, and most of all of waking up in the morning to catch sight of jagged cliffs and the wide blue sea.

amuchmoreexotic and tjej were kind enough to pick me up at the station and then we went off trundling around with my stuff and sleeping bag, in my mind like a small band of the homeless, looking for a place to eat while I admired the Turkish-like architecture of Brighton Pavillions, and tjej got hit on by drunken men for her crime of asking for directions.

Eventually we (and the rest of Brighton) ended up at Wagamama, and eventually we got seating and service from a friendly man called Kristian who let us admire his electronic ordering pad thingie (I'm impressed both by the fact that you can play Solitaire on it, and that despite this they get any work done). The food was tasty and the green tea was free, which has endeared Wagamama to me to no end.

tjej showed me her haul of Lego Jewellery, and fantastic blue Lego sunglasses with stars on and I immediately regressed to being five years old, which was a very joyful place to be indeed, so I stayed there, warm with promises of Lego shop being open on Sunday and us going there to play some more.

We wandered home in the snow, and I managed to read no more than a page of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell before the need for sleep overcame, which is not a comment on the book but on my general state of depletion. Sleep nowadays seems a luxury, for there are always so many more things I could be doing with my time. And yet, that collapse into bed and warmth, that letting go and the sinking into blissful, restful dark are an intoxicating kind of sweetness.

Sunday dawned bright, and we set off for a Car Boot Sale. I had not been to one before, and I made up for it by walking around and buying lots of things, because if there's something I find even more irresistible than tack, it's tack being sold for £1 or less. I feel a mixture of sadness and adoration looking at other people's stuff because I'm easily mesmerised and sentimental. There's a particular fascination for the detritus and random exhibits of people's lives [a collection of blue glass bottles, chipped mismatched china, an old old tape recorder, books missing their spines] and a melancholy I feel for the strewn things [the carelessly heaped clothes, and toys] for I feel a hollow and irrational sort of ache when people or things or places are unloved, and looked abandoned and lost.

You may attribute this to my star sign, or the abandonment and losses in my own childhood, but for whatever reason I feel a sorrow inevitably at those things which seem neglected/rejected and feel an urge to pick them up, repair and restore them to a place in somebody's affections.

Nonetheless the Car Boot Sale was much more an exercise in delight than in melancholy, for I found lots of things I liked and which promised to afford me hours of entertainment [videos of Quantum Leap, Indiana Jones, & A Thing Called Love ; this last a particularly bad film about love and country music starring Samantha Matthews, and River Phoenix, and Sandra Bullock at a particular low of her career]. I found further a small novel by Mark Twain that was missing its spine, but going for 50p, and a black dress embroidered with small flowers, and a silver ring set with moonstone, and lots of socks and by the end of the day I was alive with delight and almost hypothermic with cold.

So tjej repared to a pub where we could thaw, and stroke each other's purchases, and best of all meet mockduck and admire her ever-so-good and rather serious-looking baby. mockduck was lovely, and she had an amazing coat and terrific hair, and the baby was just gorgeous and caused a minor warfare over who would get to hold her.

To compensate for the eventual departure of mockduck and Mockduckling, tjej took me to a place that sold fantastic Milkshakes that were rich in joy and Things That Are Bad For You, and then we went to more charity shops where I bought more books and Shineys, and then on to the Promised Lands of Primark and Lego Shop. Primark was fantastic [cheap dress, and more cheap socks], but Lego Shop was Even Better because they let us make Lego jewellery and have it for free. Frankly it made me regret that this sort of thing wasn't around when I was actually five, and had been forced to make my own jewellery from candywrappers [because a Child's Imagination may be a wonderful thing, but you can't make silverfoil into good star shapes when you're five damnit].

I got to see the sea between houses, although we didn't go down to the beach. In a way it seems a shame to go to Brighton but not walk along the beach but hey, it was really cold, and we were really tired, and much as I love the ocean let me tell you it felt more pleasant to sit in a warm flat than on cold sand.

We watched A Thing Called Love which was as tacky as its cover promised [probably it's a good thing that River Phoenix got immortalised by dying young, because if he had lived I don't think that film would have done his career any favours]. The previews before the film were fantastic too, as they featured such masterworks as PuppetMaster 4: The Decapitator which I crave, I crave.

And then as evening deepened into night, the hour of my deaprture from Brighton drew close, so I stuffed all my posessions into their respective bags, and went down to wait for the bus to the station. There to offset the Nasty Ticket Lady of the previous eve, I was approached by a Beautiful Lady who offered me her bus ticket for free (as she was going to walk home) and I felt great Joy (as I inevitably do when offered things for free). I was tired, and the journey to London (somewhat epic, due to Rail Replacement Services) passed in a blur of blissful dosing.

On the train from Haywards Heath I was briefly stirred to consciousness by the arrival of the ticket inspector. He was suffering from some unfortunate disfiguring skin ailment, but seemed to make up for this affliction by the excitement he got from being shown train tickets and exclaimed *Fantastic!* whenever he stamped one. Even dozing off I could hear his shouts of joy as he made his way down the carriages.
It made me smile in my sleep.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
squaddie67
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
Brighton Rocks, I love that place.
squaddie67
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:59 am (UTC)
Even dozing off I could hear his shouts of joy as he made his way down the carriages.

There is something to be said for people who are happy in their jobs no matter what they are. In The RAF News recently they published the obituraries for the Hercules crew that recently died in a crash in Iraq. The Loadmaster (bloke responsible for the safe weight distribution of cargo and passengers and also the bloke who pushes paratroopers out of the troop doors) was a bear of a man who was always laughing and smiling and was enormously popular with the Paras because he used to make what would normally be a tense experience (ie jumping out of a plane at altitude) more of a fun experience by joking with them and setting up speakers in the cargo bay that used to play Wagners Ride of the Valkyries at full blast as the Paras left the aircraft. It is a good thing to make another person smile.
rainsinger
Mar. 9th, 2005 12:26 pm (UTC)
It is a good thing to make another person smile.

Yes, definately. Makes such a pleasant change, especially when the enthusiasm and niceness is genuine.

How are you doing? Is it still raining on you where you are?
squaddie67
Mar. 9th, 2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
It is now going into a phase where the days are warm and sunny and it honks down at night. We are expect temeratures of 28 Degrees C in a couple of days.
mockduck
Mar. 7th, 2005 10:05 am (UTC)
terrific hair

Ha ha, in your face, everyone!
Seriously, though - that's so nice!
rainsinger
Mar. 9th, 2005 12:27 pm (UTC)
you're welcome :)
tubewalker
Mar. 7th, 2005 10:12 am (UTC)
That was such a lovely post, I'll not need to go back now for a while, don't tell scarletdemon.
rainsinger
Mar. 9th, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC)
I'll not need to go back now for a while, don't tell scarletdemon.

okay.
*nods gravely and keeps secret*

Your new icon makes me grin, at first I thought it was a man with some sort of ear infection, and didn't realise it was a hardy explorer. But I think gromwell is right, and there is a resemblance in the expression.
smallblakflower
Mar. 7th, 2005 12:53 pm (UTC)
I feel a mixture of sadness and adoration looking at other people's stuff because I'm easily mesmerised and sentimental. There's a particular fascination for the detritus and random exhibits of people's lives and a melancholy I feel for the strewn things for I feel a hollow and irrational sort of ache when people or things or places are unloved, and looked abandoned and lost
I experience much the same emotions at car boots - jumble sales etc. As a result i spend too much time on foundmagazine.com and am restricted to two car boot sales a year. *sigh*

That was a very fuzzy feeling post and I enjoyed it greatly. Esp the last ticket man. People like that always bring a certain unexpected joy to my journey's....
rainsinger
Mar. 9th, 2005 12:30 pm (UTC)
People like that always bring a certain unexpected joy to my journey's....

Yes, mine too! Especially when they're not taking the piss.

Awwww, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I thought it was a nice change from the gloom and doom I've been spouting lately.

x
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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rainsinger
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