To make you appreciate where you are right now, at this very second.
Last night, some dear friends came to stay because, aside from the joy of hanging out in pub gardens eating barbeque food and talking music and living, they are in the process of (hopefully) moving to Brighton and so are starting the rounds of interviews and looking for flats and whatnot that this relocation entails.
They are a beautiful couple who are roughly my age, and at the moment they live in Hackney. They want a break, a kinder pace of living, a bit of sea air, a commute that may involve a bicycle rather than a Tube and a bus. To be around like-minded souls and inspiration, but a bit less mess and stress and crime and pollution.
“Brighton’s just amazing, isn’t it?” noted Goose. “There’s just as much great stuff going on here as there is in London, but you can walk to it.”
“There’s the sea and the city and the countryside!” agreed Paddy. “We could get a dog!”
I felt slightly guilty that I spend so much time whingeing that “I can’t get a dog because I live in Brighton”. I could, really, couldn’t I? Maybe.
Walking up the hill to our flat, the sea at our backs, I thought “where I live is a good place that I chose; I am lucky”. The timing of this was fortuitous – I had been starting to wonder if I was falling out of love with Brighton, whether this was because I had lived here too long or because it was getting worse here. If Paddy and Goose lived here and I didn’t, I think I’d be jealous.
It’s an obvious little lesson, but one worth remembering.