Life, it has to be said, was previously very quiet in our tiny hamlet, but we kept busy with plenty of regular bucolic tasks.
Sadly life had also become accompanied by a few who (I imagine) are unhappy with their lot, then compensated by visiting their anger and frustration on others. I could never imagine Billy having stones thrown at him, or being kicked over here; fortunately people are more civilised than that.
We are now back in the world of pleasant reality where everything goes at a fast pace driven by energetic people of vision and verve, and where friendliness is a way of life. We have left our sleepy hamlet, for the serious hustle, bustle, and urgency of the young en masse, where people smile and randomly say "hello", eccentricity is almost obligatory, and neighbours leisurely pass the time of day as once they did back in France.
We arrived on a Saturday evening and the city was buzzing. The young (18-30-ish) were everywhere in huge numbers, and were out for a good time. Driving through the crowds wasn't easy, it was like New Year's Eve in Trafalgar Square. The bohemian atmosphere for which the city is famous, was palpable.
Fellow dog-walkers become instant friends; Simon and Ziggy, Max and Rufus, a man with a red beard with a black dog, and others that came and went too quickly to remember all their names. All around there is an instant feeling of being back home, but in a totally different and friendlier world; I honestly thought I would never say such a thing.
Neighbours that we've known from way back were genuinely pleased to see us again, and welcomed us 'home'. We've already had several callers, and consumed plenty of wine and champagne together.
Amongst all this amazing energy, our little street remains peaceful and almost 'undiscovered', yet right at the epicentre of this wonderful city. The mostly Georgian/Victorian houses are well kempt and reflect their hyped values. Their owners all appear to be happy and successful.
I've only been shopping once. A new Sainsbury 'express' store has opened nearby, and my purchases were accompanied by modern rock/swing music rather than the depressing dirge that I'm used to in France. The clients were all young (except me), rather than all being old back in France.
New restaurants of all nationalities have replaced uninteresting shops, and if there are empty shelves, a lack of petrol, and a feeling of post-Brexit depression; it certainly isn't here. Do not believe the hype.
Where some nearby towns (Worthing, Eastbourne, etc) are known as 'God's Waiting Rooms', this city is alive, well, and buzzing. We already feel invigorated. It's wonderful.
Yes, our dustman have been on strike, and yes there are piles of rubbish everywhere, but they are going to remove it very soon. The Foxes, Seagulls, and even Magpies, are putting on weight, and will no doubt be very miffed when their 'pop-up restaurants' are removed.
Work on the house continues. The main work has been done, but not the finishing. We shall have workmen in dribs and drabs for a while yet. However, all is looking great, and we have no complaints.
All in all, I'm very happy with our re-location. My 'hermit's cap' has been temporarily put away, and I'm really enjoying my new-style freedom.
As long as Covid's kiss passes me by, I shall remain content, and be patient before we return South again; we have a huge amount of work to do.
We shall soon have our booster and flu jabs. I should add that the carefree folk of Brighton seem to be blissfully unaware that Covid even exists!
p.s. And yes; I'm still wearing shorts!
It all sounds wonderful. When were you last in Brighton?ReplyDelete
About 20 years ago! I'd forgotten how lively it is.Delete
Less time than I thought, in the 2000's.Delete
I was here in 2001, but not since (I think).Delete
Dont forget to go for a walk around Snoopers Paradise in the Laines.Its a great place to spend a morning browsing things that we use to have from our younger years.Or if your like me..have still got,lol,So pleased that you have had a safe journey back.xxReplyDelete
I haven't yet been as far as Kensington Gardens. It's on my list.Delete
Welcome back! Bet you're in long trousers by the end of the week.ReplyDelete
Maybe, but not indoors.Delete
I know the feeling of being 'home' when I return. Your home sounds wonderful. And everyone speaks English, or some variation of it!ReplyDelete
You're going to have a jolly winter.
In fact I've been amused listening to all the different languages as I walk down the road. Brighton is very cosmopolitan.Delete
Shorts! I live in "The Land Of Heat" aka Australia and I rarely wear shorts until February when it is finally hot enough to expose my knees.ReplyDelete
Unlike the rest of me, my lower legs don't seem to suffer from the cold. Shorts are the way forward!Delete
Welcome back to the UK. I'm glad you've found things are actually OK here. It's been OK for most of us for the last umpteen years!ReplyDelete
Definitely don't believe the hype.
I'd previously been living the life of a hermit, so had forgotten how lively Brighton is. Of course, that's why we have houses here!Delete
Your description sounds like a tourist being on vacation travel. Everything is wonderful even the trash on the streets. A bit suspicious , how did you manage to live permanently over 40 years in your hamlet ? I lived 45 years in Paris and returned when retired to my home town Berlin, where many things can and must be critized . Believe me I still long for a good fresh baguette and you will long for a good olaf of bread with rillettes. Enjoy your life. I love the painting on your wall.ReplyDelete
I will soon be screaming for some Duck Rillettes, but I'm sure I'll find an alternative. Yes, I do feel like a tourist at the moment. I'm discovering all that has changed, and most of it is for the better.Delete
Life could not be more different.. an invigorating change. I am pleased to see that the dog / sofa rule is being strictly adhered to.ReplyDelete
Yes, he's very obedient. Naughty boy!Delete
Best Wishes for your winter quarters. I wonder when you will be crossing the days off for a return to France.ReplyDelete
Not for a while yet Potty, we've only just begun to enjoy the delights of our home here.Delete
And Billy looks back and says Really?!!ReplyDelete
He gets stroked a lot outdoors; he's becoming star-struck.Delete
So pleased to hear all is well and that you weren’t disappointed ! It will be lovely to have the best of both worlds. Have you had fish and chips yet ?!! My sister and I always go to Riddle and Finns if you like seafood. XXXX.ReplyDelete
Next Sunday will be our Fish-n-Chips day. I'm looking forward to it.Delete
We have relatives in Brighton. I also get culture shock there.ReplyDelete
Even on a damp and windy day like today, it still has ooomph.Delete
What a lovely, upbeat post. It must be fascinating to notice what has changed in all those years. Brighton is a cool place but not as cool as Sheffield man!ReplyDelete
I haven't been to Sheffield, but Brighton is good enough for me.Delete
Everything looks wonderful.ReplyDelete
And it is!Delete
I am so pleased to read that you are liking where you've moved to. Brighton is such an alive city, like a university city in Germany. Cologne? Friendly English folk? You've inspired a post. I hope you spoke English to Billy to acclimatise him to his new world.ReplyDelete
Cologne has more than 1 million habitants. So it's difficult to compare it to Brighton.Delete
We've been teaching him 'essential phrases' for some while. He's almost fluent.Delete
Lou, Andrew is talking about a city's vibe. Lively. Nothing to do with number of inhabitants, in suburbia and the outskirts, since that very "liveliness", guess what, usually centers around the centre (where Cro, bang on, lives in Brighton).Delete
Sorry but vibes change also with numbers and the geographic situation of a city.Delete
Of course numbers matter Lou, but both cities feel very alive and vibrant. Maybe it is to do with very large gay populations in both cities.Delete
An angry neighbor told my daughter (after her husband left for work) that he was going to shoot her cat. The sad thing is that he's in the house all day while they are at work, he goes out in the evening and comes back in at bedtime. He's a very old Afghan street cat. The neighbor swears he hears him fighting and squalling at 3 AM. It's not Maki. I was a bit shocked. Such an American thing to say.ReplyDelete
A very strange tale. I would tell 'angry neighbour' that the cops have been informed of his intention!Delete
I had a similar neighbour and a cat with similar habits. One day my cat disappeared and hasn't been seen since. No proof but I KNOW he killed Angel. He has since moved on thank goodness.Delete
Cara and Colin will be moving soon. They are in the process of closing on their first home, but I guess I never would have dreamed that this would happen on your side of the pond. They really haven't a lot to worry about since the cat is, by and large, a very old, sedentary cat who also loves the sofa.Delete
A good read, thank you. Maybe a meet up with Briony and Tom at the cafe is on the cards.ReplyDelete
I think I'd recognise her. She's not too far away.Delete
I have bumped into Penny from Frugal Fashion Brighton blog twice when I have been down there.I recognized her straight away and it was lovely to have a chat.Next time Im down there,I will be on the lookout for you Cro,lol.And the coffees and cake will be on me!xxDelete
This all sounds wonderful, Cro! I'm so happy for you. What a refreshing change of pace!ReplyDelete
Slow and peaceful seemed OK before, but fast and furious is growing on me.Delete
Great news to find that are enjoying the change. It may be fun having two different lifestyles. I have only visited Brighton on day trips but loved it.ReplyDelete
It's a wonderful city; so much always going on.Delete
It has to be great to return to Brighton and feel a wonderful vibe. Billy looks very comfortable too! My couch looks similar. There's an exception to most rules...ReplyDelete
Billy has settled in very well. He's now an international dog.Delete
So glad your return to Blighty is going well. I lived in Saltdean for a number of years so know Brighton very well, it's a tremendous place. JeanReplyDelete
Saltdean of Lido fame; I know the name more than the place. Brighton is not for wimps!Delete
Surely this is not Jean Shrimpton the model whose pics torn from magazines graced my teenage bedroom walls. I wanted to look just like you but it did not quite work out that way :)Delete
Welcome back Cro, enjoy your stay.ReplyDelete
Thank you Sue; I'm loving it already.Delete
Welcome back - enjoy your stay. And break the 'law' which says dogs not allowed on sofas.ReplyDelete
It's 3 am, and he's on there again.Delete
Caught up. Somehow I didn't see it coming quite so quickly and quite so radically. Good fortune in your 'new' life.ReplyDelete
Thank you Graham. I hope your op' went well, and you are back to your normal self again.Delete
Have a lovely visit. Don't tell Billy the law; he would be ashamed.ReplyDelete
He's having great fun. He's never met so many dogs. In our nearby park it's a Dog-Fest every day.Delete
What a marvellous post! More happy days ahead. And just look at Billy's face - he knows he's being naughty.ReplyDelete
I tell him he's a 'Good Boy', whether he's being good or not.Delete
Sounds like fun and Billy is just where he should be !ReplyDelete
Of course. No different to being in France.Delete