Sunday began better than most Sundays. For a few reasons:
1. We were pretty psyched from our performance at Nicholas and Juliette’s wedding the night before (read the blog about it here). It was awesome.
2. We’d had a delightful night at Mercer’s Barn, the best Bed and Breakfast ever – read all about it here
3. We were very excited about having the day in Brighton.
3. This happened:
We, (Jamie & The First Class), were packed up and ready to go after staying in one of the loveliest places ever, and having of fill of the most delicious breakfast ever. Our tummies are full, our eyes rested, we are back in the van, ready to hit the road. It’s a slightly over cast day. There’s a pond. Somewhere a duck quacks. Master East pops back into the our bed and breakfast to retrieve his already packed bag. He bumps into our host for the night, Peter, Mike vigourously shakes his hand, whilst making meaningful eye contact, genuinely grateful for his warmth and hospitalility of the morning. He concludes the hand shake by uttering the words “So much to meet you”. Mike was quick to notice his error so was swift to jump back in and correct it with, ‘Er…so sorry, I mean THANKS so much to meet you”.
Farewells ruined, we swiftly left, leaving a stunned and confused Peter to try and decipher Mike’s goodbye. We were on our way. Brighton bound! We drove past ‘Devils Dyke’ – we were intrigued, so we drove forth to find out more. We were not disappointed. Somewhat of a vista point, we hopped out and snapped some snappy snaps. LOOK AT US. Taking photos of each other taking photos, taking photos. Unlucky for us, The Red Dragon was just to big to make the turn, so after a couple of photos we were back on the road, singing and laughing like merry little soldiers.
What an adventure, the road to Brighton was filled with endless joy and wonder. We spent full whole minutes laughing at the mornings banter, producing real wet tears from our eyes. Like tiny waves on a sandy beach they rolled down our reddened cheeks until we could laugh no more. “So much to meet you’ will forever be in our hearts and in our sign offs.
At last, we saw the sea. I was so overwhelmed by its blue-y aweseome wavey-ness that I forgot to take a photo. We drove around for ages trying to find somewhere to park The Red Dragon. Being very big and long and high, The Red Dragon is not an easy beast to park. But at last, we found somewhere along the beach front. We jumped out, ready to explore, hit by a gust of sea wind and sand. The wind battered at our tear stained faces. It tasted salty. We put on more layers, lots more layers and covered as much as out faces as we could. It was the windiest wind we had experienced in a long time.
We headed inland looking for shelter and food. Like explorers of a new land, we chatted and pointed and the spectacles we saw on the way.
We headed toward ‘The Lanes’ having heard great things about them. We were promised kitchsy delights, vintage treats and a guitar shop like no other. It was brilliant. After a short time in Brighton, we had the feeling that lead guitarist Ben had been here before…
We journeyed on, stopping to gaze at expensive jewellery and some of Brighton’s culinary delights.
Parched, we continued on our quest for hydration, pausing only to take an occasional casual photo.
At last we made it to coffee…and loos! Still overcome with joy from this mornings exchange, we chatted merrily and sipped our tea. Tea conniouser and bass player Stuart Morrell had his first taste of an Earl Grey. He loved it. We people watched for a short while, Brighton is brilliant for that. We took some more photos of some more things…before making our way to the mothership…GAK, home of everything Guitar, Amp and keyboard related.
We strolled the streets taking it all in, until something caught Stuart’s eye. My my! A tea shop! And not just any tea shop, a tea shop which sold every single flavour of tea there ever was. We’d stumbled upon Bluebird Tea Co! Stuart was in actual tea heaven. They let you smell all the tea. We smelt all the teas. I think Stuart may have even sniffed a loose leaf. Stuart couldn’t leave without buying some tea. He chose Gingerbread Chai. Look at his wee face, he was so happy.
Tea purchased, GAK bound. It was insight. We could almost touch the Guitars and Amps and Keyboards. We carried on walking. Soon we would be touching the Guitars and Amps and Keyboards. Lead guitarist Ben pointed to the shop. It was yellow. I could tell he was excited. He pointed so well, he obscured drummer Mike’s face.
We all went in. Somewhere a bell tinged and a bearded face welcome us. There were plectrums and guitars everywhere. Everywhere we looked there were plectrums and guitars. It was all the eye could see. A cavernous labryinth of guitars and plectrums and some amps. Drummer Mike and I quickly registered the lack of percussion/drum/hitting instruments so we left the rest of the First Class to get lost in a place where their dreams came true.
Mike and I headed back to the place of tea – Bluebird Tea Co. Trying out some samples and even purchasing an ice tea. It was delightfully refreshing.
We browsed the shops, taking photos and having a laugh. We went into Moda Soda, they had some cool clothes and a pigeon in the shop. A REAL PIGEON. Sitting quietly under a shelf. Mike was convinced it wasn’t real until it blinked. It was a wonderful and scary moment. The owner had spotted it and the RSPCA were on their way to help the poor bird in his time of need. We saw some cool/weird shoes, a shop full of spice, a blow up darlik and a funny wooden bird (no real). Mike posed with a jar of fluff and we sourced some bacon beer. What fun we had!
Blinking and rubbing their eyes, the rest of the First Class later appeared from GAK, dazed and thoroughly confused. Days had passed since they first entered, they were now hungry and a little disorientated. They spoke only in grunts and chords, they touched our faces in wonder at the lack of beards. They walked on, glancing only once over their shoulders; realising it wasn’t a dream, but that it was real (real). GAK was real. We needed to get them food. We wondered aimlessly for sometime, unable to make a group decision on where to go or what to eat. At last, Stuart awoke from his guitar induced slumber and directed us to an eatery. ‘I’m making an executive decision’ he exclaimed. I was grateful he did. We ate. LOOK AT OUR FOOD. It was delicious.
We made our way back to The Red Dragon, our day in Brighton drawing to a close. We couldn’t leave without a stroll on the beach. The wind hit our faces like wet fish. It made it very difficult for us to walk. Although we had to cling on to any loose objects (hats, scarves, recently purchased loose leaf tea bags, glasses and eyebrows) we managed to maintain our dignity and look effortlessly cool.
We went down on to the sandy pebbles and touched them. They felt so real. We took some more photos of each other on Brighton beach. We laughed at the wind but really wished it would go away. We finally made it to The Red Dragon, our hair in totally windswept disarray. Our noses were cold but our hearts were warm. We’d had a great day.
We left Brighton bound for Selsey, read all about it here!