Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Three B's - Brighton, Belfast & Bed

The Three B’s – Brighton, Belfast, and Bed

Recently I travelled to Brighton for a week to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday. Here are some of my highlights.
Taking a dander around the Laines
Most mornings, my travelling companions slept late, so I had the sneaky bliss of taking a dander on my lonesome to soak up the Brighton air.  The smell of the sea, the sound of the seagulls, the brightly coloured houses, the dinky little shops selling all sorts of creative knick-knacks – these moments were precious to me.  Stopping for a coffee, watching the world go by, soaking up the atmosphere and recharging my batteries before a busy day with the girls. Isn’t it wonderful to people-watch and see others scurrying by when you have sod-all on your agenda?
Catching up with old friends

I used to live in Brighton many a moon ago (well, six years to be exact), so it was nice to meet up with old friends and bump into people I used to hang out with.  We met at the Pavillion, we sat in the gardens drinking tea, I met babies that now belonged to previously singleton friends, and I heard all the news about how things have moved on.

And then I went to the pier.

It was at the pier that I went on this amazing ride.
The Booster. 
On this ride you can see my feet dangling off the edge of the seat.  That one yellow harness was the thing that saved me from catapulting into the sea.  The following picture shows you how high up my seat went:
So when the seat went up the way up there, it stopped, for ages.  And I had a very nice view over Brighton.  Lots of lights everywhere, it was really pretty cool.  The seat then moved forward, spinning me around again and again so I was doing somersaults simultaneously.  Fantastic!  It then went back to the top again and paused for another while.  But this time it rotated my seat forward so that all I could see where the people down below on the pier, my feet swinging off the edge of the chair and the strange observation of ‘this must be what it’s like to hang out a window’.   (I know, I'm strange). Off again I went, spinning around and around until I was back down again on ground level.  Now don’t get me wrong, other people think I am brave, and yet I have been known to run out of restaurants like a loon because a wasp is hovering over me.  Rollercoaster/ adventure rides don’t scare me in the slightest though.  I (perhaps wrongly) have a very calm sense of ‘this has been tested, I will be okay, nothing can go wrong’.  It did also show me though that once you get your head around something, you can do anything.  If your head is in the right mind-set, then you really can do anything.  Sometimes something scary will face me (to do with moving house or my job) and then I catch myself on and think, ‘now hold on Rose, if you can hover over the sea with only a yellow harness between you and falling, I think you can handle this’.


For two of the nights, I stayed in a B&B.  Here was the view I had from my window:

I do love a B&B.  Why is that?  Afterall, it’s only a bed, a kettle, a few sachets of coffee and a toilet, yet I always feel like I’m spoiling myself when I stay away somewhere.  And, lovely as it was to see my family, there are tons of them, so it is nice to know that when I got too tired and it was too late, I could slink off to my little abode.  The room had a TV, a DVD player and a huge selection of DVDs – so it was nice to come home from a night out, have a shower, and then curl up in bed with a good film.
Now, I’m going on a bit aren’t I?  But I’m nearly finished.   The real beauty of my trip away is that I discovered how much I love Belfast.  Yes it was nice to go away but yes it was even nicer to come home again.  I realised how much I have settled myself in Belfast over the last 6 years.  I realised how many really good friends I have here.  Friends I can rely on day and night.  I realised how much I love my job – a job it took me a few years to find.  And I realise how much I love my home.  Such gratitude is a gift.  In the past I have always been running away from myself, desperate to go here, there and everywhere, thinking that I’d be happy there, or I’d be happy there.  It’s a gift to realise I’ve actually contented myself somewhere for a change. 
So Belfast, as wet and rainy as it occasionally is, is my lovely home.  Small enough to get around easily, big enough to have plenty to do, and most importantly, it’s nice to get back to my own bed.