Tuesday, December 20, 1988

Today is Brighton Day! ...

I woke up early again, and Viv, J.P. and I prepared for our trip to Brighton on the southern coast. We planned to meet up with Neil for the trip, but Sid decided not to go along, and Bits couldn't join us, as she and her family are preparing to fly to America tomorrow for their Christmas holiday. Viv initially wasn't sure if she wanted to go, but decided in the end that she would join us.

We caught the train from Longfield to Victoria Station in London with just a few seconds to spare, then we found where the train to Brighton was (leaving in one minute), and sprinted over to the terminal, just making it in time. We weren't sure if Viv's train ticket would be valid (she has a CapitalCard), but no one checked our tickets so we had no problems on the ride south to Brighton.

Once we arrived there, Viv and I set off to find a bank, while J.P. waited at the train station for Neil to arrive. By the time Viv and I got back to the station, Neil was there, so the four of us walked to a deli and had good and reasonably priced sandwiches for lunch.

Following that we walked to the beach, which was beautiful... and different. Instead of sand, it was actually a pebble beach, with two piers - one defunct and one in operation. We walked along the beach until we reached the new pier, then walked along the pier until we reached the end. On the pier there were amusements, as well as a pub named Horatio's, so we went inside. There was a fabulous jazz combo playing in the pub... just two guys, a guitarist and a sax player. They were excellent, so we sat and listened to them perform for awhile. After a game of pool (J.P. beat Neil), we left the pier, but not before taking a few more photos. Got a lot of excellent photos today. It was a cold but lovely day to be outside.

We walked around the shops for awhile, then J.P. and Neil decided to head back to the pub while Viv and I went back to the shoreline. We sat along the beach until it got too windy, then went back into town for a meal. We ate at Burger King... Viv's first time. After eating we went back to the beach a third time, though by now it was quite dark, and unfortunately the lighting was not very impressive.

We decided to stop in a coffee shop to warm up with a hot cup of cocoa, then walked back to the station, stopping to buy postcards along the way. We saw Neil and J.P., but they had met up with a friend of Neil's and decided they were going to stick around in Brighton tonight.

So Viv and I left on the 5.55 train (almost the "5.15," as referenced in The Who's "Quadrophenia" song, but not quite.)

Along the way home, we hit some trouble.

While we were on the train, the conductor came through to check tickets, and when he spotted Viv's ticket, he informed us that it was improper, and then charged her £14.63, full fare plus return for the journey. He was pretty much a heartless bastard about the whole thing. It put a damper on our trip for awhile, but soon everything returned to normal ass memories of our day hopefully made the unexpected charge worthwhile.

We finally arrived in Longfield shortly after 8 p.m., and then walked back to Sid's house. That evening the three of us sat and talked, watched "Rocky," ate some food, and then watched an old thriller called "The Body Snatcher."

This was definitely a worthwhile day. I'm so glad we decided to go to Brighton, and I'm glad Viv decided to go along.

Pictures: #1: Neil and J.P. walk along the pebble beach near the new pier. #2: Neil and Viv on the beach. #3: "Oh, I thought you meant 'To keep.'" #4. The sun sets on daylight in Brighton.

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