Brighton: A Treasured Place (#wpthu)

West Pier: No Horizon © 2012 Mufidah Kassalias

West Pier: No Horizon © 2012 Mufidah Kassalias


This piece of writing is the result of my taking part in Writing Prompt Thursday (#wpthu), a new community created by my partner Sean M. Madden of Mindful Living Guide. Today’s prompt was “to put pen to paper and write about a place which you treasure.” And so, after a busy day meeting with my Mac Made Easy clients, I duly put pen to paper, discovering along the way that, for me, Brighton is one of those places. The photographs were taken yesterday with my compact Canon.

Living in a picturesque English town that’s nestled in the recently designated South Downs National Park we are surrounded by natural beauty and a plethora of treasured places, one of which — Brighton with it’s long stone beach — we visited yesterday.

Sean and I spent much of the day in town: enjoying coffee and blueberry cake at one of our favourite cafés; walking through the North Laines distributing our flyers; eating a baguette with goat’s cheese whilst listening to a busker sing and play guitar near the Pavilion — and watching a very cute toddler listening intently to his playing and then dancing that one-arm-in-the-air-whilst-spinning-around-on-one-very-wobbly-leg dance that is universal amongst such young children; walking yet more leaflets around the Lanes near the sea; popping into the grocery store to procure a few supplies than can’t be found in our local shops; and, finally, heading down to the sea, freshly brewed flat whites in hand, at around 5.30 in the evening.

It was still gloriously warm when we arrived at the beach and settled into a spot just to the west of the skeletal remains of the once grand West Pier. The hazy sea-sky lacked it’s usual distinct line on the horizon as the waveless sea blended imperceptibly into the cloudless sky, creating a sheen of pale milky blueness. The beach itself was full of people: families paddling at shore’s edge; lovers entwined on the next stone shelf down from where we sat; three guys in their early twenties trying to figure out how to throw an American football; two young women laying out their picnic on a chequered cloth; and us, sipping our coffee, observing the world.

After soaking up the last of the sun’s warmth we picked ourselves up and headed off in the direction of Brighton Pier and Kemp Town. As the boardwalk was even more abuzz than the beach we sauntered along, enjoying watching people of all ages ‘doing their thing’: the laid-back drummer who always drums underneath what was the entrance to the West Pier; two women friends jogging together, one dressed entirely in black, the other entirely in red; men with their boxer dogs; women with their Jack Russell terriers; a bunch of skater boys and stunt cyclists sharing a long stretch of tarmac; half-a-dozen breakdancers taking turns to spin on one hand; ten or so basketball players jumping for the hoop; three or four surfer dudes playing volleyball in the only sandy area along the beach; the hip young Brightonians dressed in the requisite black, drinking beer at the Fortune of War; and, in front of the ‘Passacaglia’ sculpture, a group of twenty-somethings building a rather large bonfire out of a quite likely stolen wooden pallet.

By the time we reached Brighton Pier the air was chilly and the rapidly descending sun was casting a gorgeous orange glow across a thin strip of sea. I pulled out my compact camera and managed to shoot a few pictures before the sun dropped behind the hazy clouds on the horizon. With cold fingers and sun-warmed hearts we walked back to the station to catch our train home.

West Pier Sunset © 2012 Mufidah Kassalias

31 responses

  1. Great writing and photographs and agree with the sentiment too. Brighton is definately our treasured place too. Ill now go and explore more of your blog!

  2. good to see you back Mufidah :) and gorgeous photos , especially the first one. Love the simplicity of the frame, the way the sea and sky are intermingled and inseperable…the pier almost ghostly in the evening mist !

    • Thank you, Abu! Yes, the pier does look rather ghostly in the hazy mist. Wish I’d had my Nikon with me so I could have shot a higher res image, but as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you!

    • Thanks, David. I agree about the first image being the better of the two — the limitations of my 5-year-old compact Canon are more apparent in the second image where was much less available light.

  3. So good to see you back. Mufidah! :) And lovely shots. The second one has such a nice longing-ness to it. :)

    Keep posting… :)

  4. Beautiful photo’s. The many delights of the sea front is my favourite thing about Brighton and it’s particularly special when the horizon is blurred. You did a great job at portraying your day – I was totally there with you . thankyou

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