When we first arrived in Italy, one of my first jobs was ‘English tutor’ at some local English summer camps. Oh how I hated those camps. I did, however, make a close friend in the very first week – I attribute it to bonding under terrifying circumstance – and we have stayed in touch since then.
On trip to the UK last October, I travelled down to Brighton, where this friend has recently moved, to visit her. We spent the afternoon eating cake and walking around the city, before having the worst luck trying to find an eatery open and serving food for Sunday dinner.
Because I watched the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as an impressionable 13 year old, I can’t hear Brighton mentioned without imagining Julia Sawalha begging her father to allow her to go there. So Brighton is slightly associated with a whiny teenager, but then it also isn’t, because I can’t imagine any Jane Austen characters associating in anyway with the current Brighton Pier.
They may have visited the pavilion, though. When I was first went to Brighton just over five years ago, I mustn’t have ever seen a minaret or a mosque before and I thought the pavilion the most fantastical building ever, especially for a royal palace. This time I saw it and went ‘oh of course’. It is still beautiful, but it was less of a surprise. The pavilion was built in a style popular in India at the time, because, Britain and her Empire.