It totally took me by surprise. This month (almost to the day, in fact) I have lived in Brighton for 10 years.
I moved here on a whim, with a boyfriend. I had only ever visited for the weekend once before. I didn’t have a job or anywhere to live. We arrived on the train, on a rainy Sunday night, a little bemused and with our possessions in rucksacks. We lived in a B&B for a few weeks until we found a flat.
It all sounds so young and brave now. So stupid, some might say, but it’s worked out OK.
I’m not with the same boy any more – but we both still live in Brighton. I’ve lived in four different flats and houses around Brighton. I have made brilliant friends. I have written books.
I have done all the things you do when you make a city your own. I have staked out my favourite pubs. I have got to know my neighbours. I have run along the beach and the streets and the parks. I have taken visitors to the Pavilion and been ice-skating there in the winter. I have discovered favourite new bands in grotty venues. I have had secret assignations in the museum. I have eaten spaghetti Bolognese in the 24-hour caff at 4 in the morning. I have got excited every time I saw Nick Cave or Natasha Khan in the street. I have bought a lot of shit from Snoopers Paradise.
All that stuff. You know. For 10 years.
To mark the occasion, I think I will do my best to remember and to forget. I will drink Champagne and burn sage.
Brighton, I still love you.