Additional writing by Lucy Maddox
Lucy, 30, took the leap of moving to Brighton last September so she could train to be a journalist. Her life took a turn in when she left the sleepy retirement town of Christchurch in Dorset. Here’s what she thinks of London by the Sea.
“As someone who has very often lived in fairly low-key locations – small towns and villages mostly – I expected Brighton to be a complete change of pace. However, what this city manages to do is strike that balance between having that small community vibe and being big and diverse enough for there always to be a new thing to discover.”
“Quirky and lyrical, Brighton introduced itself to me by showing me one of its mulberry trees filled with cuddly animals. Attached to the tree was a chalkboard explaining who all the characters were and I have to say, this seemed like the perfect introduction. Creativity seems to be part of this city’s DNA, and as I continued on with my exploration I discovered more of its uniqueness.”
“Girls with pink and green hair display the punk side of the city while young men with trilby hats and walking sticks hark back to a more classic time. Community gardens tell of a green city and packed out parks speak of people who get active.Talented buskers and cafe-lined streets give Brighton an alternative Parisian vibe, and vintage clothing stores and independent supermarkets demonstrate a love of fair-trade and shopping for craft and out of the ordinary.”
“With my super saver mobile bus ticket, I have access to this veritable feast whenever I like, and I am becoming less of a foreigner in the city centre – though I have to admit that one afternoon as I ambled down the street I was almost mowed down by a tattoo-faced skateboarder closely followed by a tattoo-faced cyclist. Startled by their inked skin and unaware that I had been moseying down the cycling lane, I hopped this way and then that way, and they chuckled to themselves – I was clearly new here.”
“Now that I have been here a few months, I feel slightly less of a newbie.”
Lucy shared some of her favorite Brightonian haunts with me.
“I came across this quite by chance when I saw a red van with a ‘Real Junk Food’ logo on it in while exploring the streets of Brighton.I was intrigued and so investigated further which ended up in me meeting the people that run the project and writing a piece on it. Whether you are interested in environmental action, volunteering or are just in need of some good old-fashioned community (or a cheap and tasty lunch) I encourage you to check it out for yourself.”
“The only independent supermarket I have ever come across, and the staff are all really friendly. It was here that I discovered my next highlight as one of the girls that worked there told me of an event coming up. “
This is an organisation started by two friends from Brighton. They run monthly events in which they organise speakers to come and share interesting and inspiring stories about their work and lives based around different topics. This month will be on grief and loss.Share Your Story started a group this year called Live a Good Story, of which I am a part of. It is a small community who meet together to encourage each other to live out their goals and aspirations and ultimately ‘live a good story’.
“The music venue where I discovered the South African artist, Jeremy Loops. I don’t need to say anymore, just look him up.”
The Green Welly, Ditchling
Technically not Brighton, but a lovely thing about living at the top of Ditchling Road in Hollingbury is that if I turn one way I head straight down into the city and the beach. However, if I decide one day to go in the other direction I end up in the cute little village of Ditchling and can grab some R’n’R at The Green Welly, a cosy cafe with good food and drink and comfy seating. Ideal for those ‘I need some peace and quiet’ days.
I asked Lucy what her closing message for the world was. “It’s nice to meet you, Brighton,” she replied.