14 September 2016

4 nights and 3 days

Well, halfway through Freshers' Week, I can't quite work out what it is that has transpired to make my life so bonkers in the last few days - whether that be a million and one things I need to do but haven't found the time to do yet, or just pure madness and brilliance.

So, I have a new address, which, because I cannot remember it, is currently one of one three things on one of my pinboards (I have another one currently occupied by my British and Surrey flags), and Flat 30 (Park Village, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RD) is one of the most bizarre. Right next to the recycling, 12 people live in a three-storey flat (although I always thought a "flat" was a singular floor), 4 bedrooms to a floor. Snug, rather than cramped, is what I would use as a term.

Some arrived on Saturday, some on Sunday, and one on Monday. Thanks to my inability to become completely inebriated - perhaps a blessing or perhaps a curse - I don't want to just recount all of my experiences, because it would be boring.

As I write this, it's Wednesday morning. No one's sleeping pattern is normal. It's almost as though we are living on Australian time. Imagine my surprise to see experimental cooking experiments from Florence (I don't even ask what goes into them) at 0430. And the day itself - whilst keeping some things to myself - turned out to be brilliant.

Having made an effort to actually, you know, wake up today before the sun went down, I decided I would do what I had been wanting to do for a couple of days and head to the beach. Having not yet completely familiarised myself with the local transport network, I managed to overshoot the pier on the number 23 bus by a good two miles. So as I began walking back along the seafront, I found a footpath that was labelled as being "for the beach". It lived up to it, but the footpath turned out to be near vertical. Incredibly there's an electric railway that one has to cross to get to that beach at a proper crossing point (if you are east of the pier). And thanks to my security briefings in past jobs, I had no problems here in crossing live rails. I crossed over... and that's where the problems sort of began. Being from London, I am not at all used to walking on pebble beaches, so three twisted ankles and two miles later I found myself buying an ice cream, relaxing on the beach, and "chilling". Or rather, cooking. It was 28 degrees Celsius in Brighton today. 28. And that really told. Only just now have I looked in the mirror and realise that half of my face got sunburnt (the half that the sun was beating down on).

Boris Johnson claimed that London had a drugs and homelessness problem... it's nothing compared to Brighton, which is really one of the only two downers (the other being a lack of an underground railway), meaning that I found myself having to specify that I would like some "Coca-Cola", a habit I will have to get used to. Don't ask for Coke. You won't get what you want.

So, one bottle of Coca-Cola, an ice cream, and a sunburn later, and I thought it best to have a look on and at the pier. Having wasted £1 in 2p coins in those Tipping Point-esque machines, I had a go on the arcade's Deal or No Deal. I spent £2 on it for two goes and did, well, OK. You win - as with many amusements these days - tickets which can be exchanged for prizes. The first was an utter disaster as I only won 2 tickets. The best I could have done on that game (i.e. get a "banker spanking") was 9. Out of 200. On the second try, I spanked the banker, being left with the values of 1 and 100 tickets, I decided to deal at 50. Good - my box was only worth 1, and I know I would not have swapped the boxes.

It just felt like a holiday, like I was 10 years old except allowed to do all the adult things this time (a fact I'm still getting used to!), and I never want it to end. With a beach and pier 4 miles away, a 30,000 stadium whose roars I can hear from my bedroom on matchdays, and 11 wonderful, wonderful people to live with, I never want it to end.

More drinks, more ice cream, and then I thought it would be best to head "home" before the football fans descended on the place, Brighton playing Huddersfield. A flatmate had got a ticket to the game, incidentally. But I had decided to try out the train service (having only used buses up until now), and that really went quite well. With over two hours until kick-off, fans had already descended upon Brighton rail station, so in the 1822 sardine service to I-can't-remember-where-the-destination-was, I slowly ended up cooking and sweating. Even so, I do think it was a damn sight better than the buses, paying 20p more for an infinitely quicker journey. And that's without a railcard!

Got back and listened to Fulham's woeful performance against Burton Albion, then went out for a bit, won some pool, then got home. Not going into any more details here.

And now, it's 0608, let's do it all again...

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