I do love the simplicity of life in Southern France, but I also love the buzz of our more fast-paced existence in Southern England. The two locations couldn't be more different. When you have a building such as The Brighton Pavilion as an urban centre point, you just know you're somewhere quite special.
Within easy walking distance we have every convenience imaginable. The train station is only a five minute leisurely walk away, central London being just a 50 min ride. All the best stores are nearby; M & S, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Tesco, etc, are all handy, and yet we live in a remarkably quiet street. Billy is catered for with two dog-friendly gardens where he meets his friends on a daily basis.
All locations have their pros and cons, but I can't think of any cons in Brighton; I'm sounding like an Estate Agent.
We'll miss the peace and quiet of the countryside, but we'll embrace the friendliness and buzz of town. Lady M will be reunited with all her 'gin club' friends, Billy will be stroked by numerous people on his way to the park, and I will again be greeted by school children, the strange Green Lady, and every type and age of character in between.
When I see the vicar from the nearby church, I always hail him with a hearty "Good morning Father", and he replies in a similar fashion. We shall see urban Foxes, the occasional junkie, and a few rough-sleepers. No-one is aggressive, and there is a mutual respect that is adhered-to by all.
When we drove into Brighton at about midnight last light, it was still buzzing. We saw groups of clantilly dressed barefooted girls (what DO they do with their shoes?), a gang of Drag Queens, lots of people enjoying late night drinking outside bars, and a Fox. It felt very good to be back!