A Day at the Seaside

March 30, 2012

If you have decided to take a weekend in the middle of the week, and if then there is sunshine and a blue sky and – even though it’s only the end of March – temperatures of about 20 degrees Celsius, you might well come up with the idea of going to the seaside. And so we did…

On Wednesday, after an extensive breakfast, we took the train to Brighton and, upon arrival, headed straight for the beach. As it turned out, quite a lot of people had had the same idea and even before noon the beach was already pretty crowded. A few of the more daring beach-goers had even donned their bathing-suits and ventured into the sea – but all of them turned around immediately because the water was still freezing. (How do I know it was freezing? Well, of course we couldn’t resist taking off our shoes and socks and wading into the sea to see what it was like ourselves.)

With our feet dry again and a little sand in our shoes, we then went for a stroll in Brighton’s famous Lanes, enjoying their narrow alleys and their small shops filled with antiques, jewelry, haberdashery, bits and bobs and the unavoidable tourist junk.

 As you can see in the above photo, the Lanes really are rather picturesque and there was something nice and interesting to see on every corner. Once I got out my camera, though, I soon became interested in the less idyllic aspects of Brighton too, and ended up photographing slightly scruffy looking backstreets rather than the neat and dapper shop-fronts in the Lanes…

That said, I still couldn’t resist taking lots and lots of pictures of the most touristy of all tourist attractions in Brighton, the Royal Pavilion:

 Seriously, this many-turreted architectural extravaganza…

…  is just too good a motif to pass up on.

Then again, I found the old bus shelters right in front of it just as intriguing, and their clear, unadorned form perhaps even more beautiful than the domes and turrets of the Pavilion:

 In the late afternoon / early evening we walked down to the beach again, and it was even more crowded than before…

In the east, the white buildings and structures on the old Palace Pier made a beautiful contrast with the intense blues of the sky and the sea…

… while to the west, things were already looking quite hazy, and the sad remains of the West Pier assumed an almost eerie, ghost-like appearance… 

… creating yet another contrast in a day that, in retrospect, was full of fascinating contrasts.

The last weeks were very, very busy for me here in London – I attended quite a few conferences [excitement! weird medieval stuff! nice new acquaintances!], had to meet an essay deadline [why, oh why is it that I always stretch the time frame as far as humanly possible and come out at the end of the tunnel in complete exhaustion?!?], and took the first steps to organizing the next six weeks that will be even busier than the last ones [deadline for the very big essay that will determine if I will be upgraded to proper PhD status! preparation for the first conference paper yours truly will give in English! short trip to the South Tyrolean Alps!]. Thus, with [c] being in town for a few days after his important Oxford business, and with London in all its springtime glory, full of warmth and sunshine, we have decided that we will prepone weekend for once and give ourselves a proper break in lovely company before returning to our everyday routines [picture of that: see above].

 Rather befitting this spirit of weekend, here are some pictures of the project that kept me sane during the last weeks, and that was finished just in time for the arrival of his highness, my personal knitting project photographer:

Pattern: super SLOUCH socks by Emily Foden
Yarn: various stash yarns
Needles: 2 mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

This is a very genius pattern that combines the coziness of leg-warmers with the snugness of proper socks – perfect for those chilly Sunday mornings hanging around in bed or on the sofa, and perfect for people like me who refuse to wear slippers even in arctic temperatures. The socks are knit top-down, can be knitted either with sock needles or in the round, and are the most perfect stash busters.

 

I never thought I would actually manage to knit two socks and thus finish a whole pair –  normally, I get bored after the first one, throw that in my knitting basket and just leave it with that. This project might finally have infected me with the sock-bug!

 

And now excuse me, I have to get back to urgent weekend-y business, will put on those socks, snuggle up with [c] on the couch and watch a nice movie!