oi! spotty!!

Walking to meet Fiona and Jerome in Stoke Newington last weekend on a sunny summers day, a man behind me started yelling:

“OI!! YOU!! SPOTTY!!” (except with his thick Cockney accent, it was more like ‘Spoh-ee’)

The hairs on my neck bristled slightly. I was currently wearing a spoh-ee t-shirt!! No one else in this lonely (actually, it was quite busy) road was wearing a spoh-ee t-shirt, nor was anyone particularly acne-covered. He was talking to me!

Terrified (not really, but I’ll say I was for dramatic effect) I walked on.

Again: “AY!!! SPOH-EE!!!!!”

There was no avoiding it.

I turned around to face the owner of the voice.

A toothless man in a flannel shirt, clutching a can of Stella was behind me, with his mate (or as he might have said “wif ‘is mate”) and…. his large dalmatian pooch. His large, spoh-ee dalmatian pooch.

“Hehe” he laughed “you fort I was talking to you but I was talking to me dog”.

Well played, toothless dog-owner. Well played.

brighton rock

There wasn’t really much rockin’ going on in Brighton this morning, unless you count me rockin’ excitedly in my seat as I waited for my granola and yoghurt and fruit to arrive at Bill’s Cafe. You probably wouldn’t count that. I actually didn’t rock excitedly in my seat either (though I was VERY hungry and VERY MUCH in the mood for breakfast and coffee). And my granola and yoghurt and fruit WAS extremely delicious, and warranted excited rockin’ but nay, rock, I did not.

But I couldn’t think of another title for this post.

“You Brighton Up My Life”? Nah.

“Rainbow Bright-on”? Don’t think so.

Brighton Rock it is.

Still in the throes of jetlag, Rich and I were up at the ungodly hour of 4.45am this morning. After showers and much faffing, we left our little flat in East London at 6.30am, strolled to Whitechapel tube, and off we went to Brighton.

Brighton is stunning… Multicoloured houses set on steep, cobbled streets; planter boxes hanging from windows full of flowers and herbs; tiny, winding laneways; gulls barking from rooftops (which, OK, wasn’t so brilliant, but along with salt and vinegar chips and blobuley seaweed, it’s a beach town trademark).

But Brighton is not a beach town; it’s the seaside!! Saying ‘seaside’ makes me want to don long striped swimming shorts and a bathing cap, and eat rainbow-coloured icecream on a pier… Seaside is a magical word….

I digress. After my granola and coffee and juice, I hit the streets, wandering up hills and through parks and along alleys, gazing longingly at window displays full of fudge and boiled lollies, and walking past 100-strong film crews. Patting dogs tied up outside shops. Thinking “This is the life – I could live somewhere like this…”

A few hours later, I met Rich at the train station and back to London we went. We passed one small town called Purley Oaks, which made me think of curly knitted trees… How nice would that be? A whole forest full of Purl-y Oaks.

Brighton has made me misty eyed.


We are staying with this dog in a flat in East London.

His name is Napoleon. He is big and cuddly and has a cleft palate and David Bowie eyes and is amazing. I often catch him staring at the wall waiting for shadows to chase.

from aretha to wu tang

We are listening to Rich’s current collection of hits on his iPad, in alphabetical order of song. It’s like the most amazing radio station ever, though can be a little bit unnerving at times…

(Let the record show that initially I was gonna include a link to Wu Tang’s ‘Aint Nuthin to F**k With’ but it was too inappropes. You can look it up yourself if you like – there was way too much hatin’ there for this little blog.)

ouch (revisited)

Something that hurts quite a lot is when you are stung by something when you’re swimming in the ocean. It was nothing serious – just me being a bit melo – but I think things hurt even more when you can’t see what it is that stung you. If I had seen a big bluebottle, or a shark wielding a big rope of nettle, then I’d know what it was that got me, but now I have to live with this sore leg, wondering who would want to attack me as I swam along, minding my own business…

It wasn’t a jellyfish. I think it was something harmless like a mite or (gulp) school of sealice. But whatever it was bit me all up and down my shin and knee. Ouch.

At least it wasn’t on my bum or boob. I think that would hurt a lot more.

Rich offered to R Kelly me on the leg, but fortunately it didn’t come to that.