It is often mused in literature and cinema, that to achieve happiness in life, you must take notice of the little things that surround you. That somewhere within the seemingly never-ending mundane routines that we endure, we can discover fleeting glimmers of joy. I whole-heartedly embrace this ideology, though admittedly it can be difficult to maintain on a daily basis.
However I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full kind of girl, and living in this beautiful city on the English coast certainly makes it easy to discover magic in the monotony. A few weeks ago marked my first year anniversary of living in Brighton, though what with my comings-and-goings over the last three years it certainly feels like longer!
I am still completely in love with this place. I adore seeing the sea (almost) every day, and discovering how many varied and beautiful blue and green hues the waves can turn. I love the people, the sense of community, the food (markets, cafes, restaurants…I have a serious love affair with grub!) and the fact that there is nearly always something to see, or hear or experience.
Which leads me very nicely into an afternoon walk Joshua and I took a week or so ago…
We decided to make the most of the clear, bright weather and head to a nearby park called ‘The Level’, somewhere we used to frequent (see here and here) prior to Josh moving away from the area. In the last year the park has undergone a huge renovation, funded by a National Lottery grant. I wore a new vintage skirt from Beyond Retro, with jersey basics from H&M, vintage Dior stockings, and a turban headband, necklace and shoes all from Topshop ages ago.
Though completely enamoured with the fabric of this skirt, it did prove to be a bit of a tricky one in terms of building an outfit around it! I felt somewhere between 1920’s flapper and a genie in the end!
And of course, I had to bring along one of my notoriously impractical vanity cases! I found this little blue one in Lewes last year, it certainly brightens up a cloudy day!
Now whilst I had heard amazing things about the results of the renovation of the park, I had yet to see it for myself, and was eager to discover how they’d transformed a pretty dated, derelict space into somewhere that was better for the whole community. Please believe me when I say, I was completely blown away. It’s beautiful. And it certainly fits the bill with regards to the whole community!
There is a new huge skatepark (how often are teenagers/youths overlooked in projects like this?) which we stood and watched people using for ten minutes or so. It’s a well thought out space, with (from what I can gather in my limited knowledge of such things!) practically every kind of concrete structure you could possible want as a skater! An eco-cafe with solar panels and a grass roof opens next month, and the kids playground is just amazing! The space is natural, with so many plants and trees amongst the play areas, creating little walk ways for small people to explore. And then there are the bridges…
We were lucky enough to have a bit of a chat to the project manager, who informed us (between us gushing at how great we thought the park now looked!) that the two bridges that stand central in the park are actually listed. Therefore as part of the conditions of maintaining the grant, they had to stay, and the vine walk-way that originally stood around them had to be re-built. Whilst the model boat lake may be gone, it’s nice to have a nod to yesteryear within all the newness.
We were then about to head off for some lunch, when we were stopped and photographed by a lovely lady called Ingrid.
I didn’t think too much of it afterwards, until…
She not only sent the photo, but this amazing illustration she did of us too! Ingrid (Allan) is studying at Brighton University, and snapped us as part of her latest project.I’m so thrilled she did!
So, in what started as a walk to ‘just get out of the house’ turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. Not only did it cement my adoration for the city I’ve chosen to call home for the last year, but helped me to remember that wonderful Roald Dahl quote. ‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it’ Love Yours Truly, x