Yesterday I took the day off work, because the weather was great, and because I could.
I took the first cheap train to Brighton, wandered down to the seafront (via North Laine and the Pavilion), then walked to the deserted end of thepier and back. I would have bought chips, except they were charging £2.50 per tray, and that's criminal. Then I turned to the west and walked for six miles to Shoreham-on-Sea. The first four miles were along the main promenade, which was surprisingly busy given that it was midweek midwinter. Past the Grand Hotel, past the skeletal remains of the WestPier (it's doomed, isn't it?), past shelters being used as somewhere to sleep. I slipped imperceptibly into Hove, Brighton's symbiotic neighbour, and admired its nearly-500 beachhuts. They're none too fancy, but most are painted a bright jaunty colour from the Dulux swatchbook, and the combined effect was relentlessly cheery. After Hove Lagoon, and the private terrace where Zoe and Norman live, the beachfront suddenly became hugely less desirable. A canal runs parallel to the coast for two miles, leaving a thin strip of land that's only wide enough for a road and umpteen port-related units. Lorries thundered up a private road, the air reeked of decay, and one single lonely dog was being taken for a walk on the pebbly foreshore. I'll tell you more about the Shoreham end of the walk, and Shoreham-by-Sea itself, tomorrow. In the meantime, sorry, I'm knackered, so you'll have to make do with 21 photographs to illustrate the day's walk instead. Ahh, beats work.