Sunday 15th April 2018, 3.20pm (day 2,425)
Optimism in the face of bleakness. These are the qualities that have kept the British seaside going for many generations now.
A day in Brighton, a day of meetings and non-meetings. The person I was supposed to meet didn’t turn up. Then I met someone nice I did not expect to meet. Then I met a bunch of hypocritical Brexit voting Daily Mail reading obnoxious Nazis in my hotel bar in the evening. Then there were the starlings heading to roost on the pier. Maybe the lady taking a selfie (or possibly a shot of the West Pier, depending on which direction her camera was pointed in) could have turned her head to the left a bit to witness this impressive natural phenomenon. But it’s all about perspective isn’t it.
St Malo is on the northern coast of France, close to where the coast of Brittany takes a turn to the north and becomes Normandy. The old town is behind a complete ring of 17th century fortifications built to defend against the nasty English and Dutch. The tidal range here is extensive, some 45 feet between high tide and low; the broad beach you see here is completely covered by several feet of water twice a day.
Dialogue from Red Dwarf, season 3, episode “The Last Day”… I may paraphrase slightly:
Rimmer: I didn’t agree with my parents’ religion. But I wouldn’t have dreamed of knocking it.
Lister: What were they then?
Rimmer: Seventh-Day Advent-Hoppists. They believed that every Sunday should be spent hopping. They would hop to church, hop through the ceremony, and hop home again.
Lister: What’s that all about then?
Rimmer: Well, they took the Bible literally. Took it word-for-word. Only their version had a misprint. It all stemmed from 1. Corinthians 13, where it said “Faith, Hop and Charity; and the greatest of these is Hop.” So that’s what they did. Every seventh day.
To conclude a very good weekend in Brighton…. The half-marathon is finishing off behind me (with the wife due in at any moment) but I have pictured that before, so here is a different scene, one of the city’s most famous buildings, crowned by soaring seagulls, which seems appropriate….
This is the ruined West Pier’s second appearance on the blog, the first — accompanied by a huge flock of starlings — being way back on Day 72. Earlier this year it lost another chunk of ironwork to the winter storms, although that damage is not really visible on this shot. The photo also proves that it was a glorious morning on the south coast today — rather nicer than the foul wind and rain back in the north when I got home tonight, I can tell you (grumble).