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Amanda Goes to England, Vol. 4: 29 August 2016

What I wrote to my sister about this day in England started out with:

“TlL: just go to the ticket booth!”

Brighton was a major item on my “to do” list for England this time, and since much of my week was booked up with events and occasions relating to Kayla and Tony’s wedding, I decided I should take a train to Brighton that Monday. It happened to be a bank holiday Monday (basically like when we have national holidays on Mondays here.)

I found a round trip fare (or a return fare, as they call it) for £10.60 on the National Rail website. I wasn’t sure about buying it on my phone, so I went to London Bridge rail station (where the fare I found was to depart) and tried to buy it at the ticket machines. It wouldn’t show me that cheap fare! All the fairs were more like £27!  So I looked on my phone again, and that cheap ticket was still available. Tried to purchase it, in hopes of picking it up will call, and it said I couldn’t buy a ticket online within two hours of the departure time. So I spent awhile trying to figure out if I could buy a ticket that price in advance for Wednesday, but the cheapest ticket it showed was £17. Still not ideal. I was praying, “Lord, please let me get that cheaper fare!” So, about five minutes before the next train was to leave, I went to the ticket booth and said “I found a ticket to Brighton for today for £10.60 online, but it won’t let me buy it.” In about one second, she had the ticket pulled up and allowed me to purchase it. Seriously. Within a second, the stes I’d taken that morning to try to buy that ticket could have been solved in one second at a ticket counter with an actual person at it! I was asking what platform the train was on, could I still make it in time, etc, and she basically said “Yes, if you stop asking questions and go NOW, you can make it!” I started laughing and said I am American, and I couldn’t help myself. She laughed and said she was the same way. So, I ran to the entrance to the train platforms. It was 12:39, and the train was leaving at 12:42. Would you believe that I RAN up the escalator? Well run my be a strong word. “Walked more briskly than normal, and walking at all really being a feat because obvs I usually don’t walk on escalators.” Got on the train just in the nick of time!

A family got on the train, and there was a kid in a stroller (probably 3 or 4) who was crying and whining. Her dad kept asking her over and over if she wanted a bit of chocolate. She cried and refused over and over again. I hadn’t had lunch yet, so I considered volunteering to take a bit of chocolate since the little girl wasn’t having it! One of the little girls from that family was sat behind me singing “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. It was hilarious and adorable.

Now that that story is over with, I suppose you’ll be wanting to see some photos from Brighton? I guess I can oblige!

Actually, I am excited to share the photos from Brighton. Before I went to Brighton, I had it set in my mind how I wanted to photograph the town, and I’m glad to say that the photos are just the way I wanted them to be! The photos from my 2016 trip to England might not be everyone’s cuppa tea, but they have the feel I wanted them to have.

Hello, Brighton…

Too many photos of the cafe where I had lunch?

Lucky for me, Brighton is a great place to just walk around and take random photos. I went through a shopping district called North Laine (yes, spelled that way,) and took a lot of pictures. I was cursing myself because the “big camera” I brought had black and white film in it, which I could not WAIT to find a way to finish up, because Brighton was not made for black and white photography (I had a second camera with color in it, of course, which I used, as you can see.) Oh, and I got stopped by a couple on the street who asked me about my Instax camera, and we chatted and I told them about my project with Instax this year.

Last time I was in Brighton, I just about had a fit when I saw something called the Royal Pavillion. Because it looks like an Indian palace. It’s amazing. The Royal Pavilion was built by George, Prince of Wales, beginning in 1787.

But first, I looked at (but did no go TO) the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which is in the style of the Royal Pavillion because it was built to be a part of the pavilion (it was supposed to be a tennis court, but that didn’t happen.)

Pretty window in the art museum

But on to the main attraction: May I present to you the Royal Pavilion?

Isn’t it beautiful and amazing???


Victoria Fountain, Old Steine Gardens

I saw the sign for Brighton Pier when I was at the Royal Pavillion, so that is of course where I headed next.

It was crawling with people because everyone brought their kids to Brighton for the bank holiday. Something crazy happened there though: through the sea of people, I saw two faces I recognised. Not people I know, mind you, but people I recognized. It was the singer from my favorite band mewithoutyou, and his brother who is also in the band. I have met the singer before briefly and chatted with his brother briefly before, but not in a way they would remember all these years later. I didn’t say anything initially, then I thought, “What are the odds of them being on this pier, at this spot, in England at the same time as I am??” So I doubled back. Luckily, I had a little bit of an in, which I used to make me feel less awkward about it: they know my friend Drew from years back. I mentioned him and said that I just couldn’t believe I had seen them there. They were nice and let me take their photo with my Instax camera. Nothing else even mattered after that because I was in such a daze!

I did manage to get the black and white film finished and get the film l’d ENVISIONED using in Brighton loaded into the camera. But like I said, between the amount of photography I had done and my running into Aaron and Michael Weiss on the pier, anything else was just icing on the cake.

Pretty sure these kids were trying to fight to sea

Brighton is a pebble beach – really difficult to walk on!

Okay. I don’t recall the water coming ONTO my shoe, as it appears to be in this photo. Because I think I’d remember something like having a wet shoe, right?

The train journey home was SO crowded with the bank holiday coming to a close, but I didn’t mind. Visiting Brighton again was wonderful. One of the best decisions I made that week! Other than photographing Kayla and Tony’s wedding, my time in Brighton was the most photographically fulfilling day of my England 2016 holiday.

Photos taken with my Fuji GA645i and Pentax Espio Mini 


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