Sweet dreams of Magic Mike Live (“Ooh young man”) and a cracking breakfast later and it was time to say goodbye to my sister and my friends, who were heading back up north.
I, however, was staying around in London to meet up with a school friend, not seen since we were about 13 or 14!
I don’t think we’ve changed a day. Perhaps a bit more worldly wise but still essentially the same.
Amazing to catch up again with the friend I used to call Old Bean (and we can’t remember why). Reminiscing about the variety performances we used to inflict upon our parents twice a year. Dodgy dance routines and songs from The Kids from Fame. Comedy skits lifted in their entirety from The Kenny Everett Show (all done in the best possible taste). We even had merch! Cajoling our relatives into buying an array of tat and cack, handmade or purchased from local thrift shops for the occasion. Marked up penny chews, that sort of thing. Another reason I am glad that smartphones did not exist in the 1980s, as mercifully there are no photos or videos of these cringeworthy shows.
Then it was time to head further south to sunny Brighton to catch up with another friend (hopefully two) and attend a ghost investigation at the Old Police Cells. Checked in to yet another hotel – the very welcoming and lovely Jury’s Inn.
I do love Brighton (“D’you know what I mean by that?”) and everything is so much more fun in the sun, and sunny it was. Surprisingly so for February! I was glad I’d listened to big Brew and left my ‘Shadwell’ parka at home.
Friday night we set the world to rights in Revolution and some other bar I forget the name of, where the bathrooms held the kind of graffiti that only Brighton could offer:-
2-4-1 cocktails, free shots, sampling a Brighton gin and waiting 50 minutes for microwaved popcorn shrimp and a basket of chips! Then off to bed in order to be up and at ’em for the next day. Not having heard from our local friend we were resigned to the fact that we had been blown out, candle in the wind style.
Next day. a few nice drinks and a fabulous vegan kebab from this place Hope and Ruin. Try one meat eaters you will love this – the joy of seitan – try it, try it, you will see.
While sampling the delights of the vegan kebab and after a last-ditch text invitation to join us. Our, thus far, absent friend rocked up just as we were contemplating moving on! Bold as brass and as if butter wouldn’t melt. I announced his arrival with an unladylike exclamation of “Fuck Me!!” followed by, “You are such a fucking cunt!”
Most pleasant catch-up and being shown to a brilliant shop, which we would never have found on our own. Snoopers Paradise
I almost bought a Jesus lamp and a set of knives with deer feet for handles but thought the better of it. Not least because I would have had to carry them around town for the rest of the day.
Our friend, the international man of mystery, possible MI5 agent and definite cunt, then went home to ignore our texts and hide from us for another 2 years.
I went back to the hotel to get a hoodie for the evening in case it was chilly in the police cells and headed back down the seafront to meet my friend and prepare for our ghost hunt (but not before I’d witnessed a lesbian fight in a bar).
Astonishing results on the table tipping, thanks to, let’s call him,’Dan’, who managed to get the table walking all the way out of the cell once the lights were off.
I am sure that this group were seasoned ghost hunt investigators, but may I suggest waiting for answers on ouija boards or whatever before assuming an answer on the basis of just one initial and then asking another 3 questions.
Another man, let’s call him, ‘Ricky’ might also benefit from a belt or trackies that fit, so we don’t get distracted by his butt crack.
At one stage the ouija board spelled out the words ‘Cunt’ and ‘Cock’, so perhaps the spirits were in evidence after all and are most intuitive.
Interesting and amusing night.
Next day we met up on yet another sunny southern morning and went for coffee and had an amazing sandwich from this place HellKitchen. I chose an ‘Envy’ with less avocado and more tomato, from a most helpful and friendly man behind the counter. It was the best sandwich I’ve had in a very long time. I’ve thought about it a lot since I got home. Probably had more of an effect on me than the hunks from Magic Mike if I’m honest. Was so good I forgot to even take a photo of it, so now it exists only as a joyous few minutes of seafood based sandwich ecstasy in my memory.
Brighton, I will return. If only for the sandwich, and if I’m really lucky, the Jesus lamp will still be there and the planets will align and my other friend will decide to come out of his hole.
And now I’m back in the family fold and about to go to work. Reality bites and all that, but right now my reality is just fine as it goes. All is as it should be and you can’t say fairer than that.
Ciao Ciao MoFos. Xx