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Brighton, England

Weeknotes #18

Time flies when you’re having fun. Writing weeknotes, not so much.

On Wednesday night I joined some of my colleagues in a beautiful Westminster pub to commiserate the departure of Ben Kirby, a brilliantly optimistic business analyst who I worked with all too briefly. It was a fun evening, for which I only slightly embarrassed myself. On the train back to Brighton, I bumped into Mat before we were joined at Gatwick Airport by Anna, who boarded the train having arrived back from Spain. Coming into Brighton, I then spotted my friend and nearby neighbour Chris, who I chatted to on the way home.

Brighton is an easy place to live, and made all the more enjoyable thanks to occurrences like this. Over the last few weeks, I’ve bumped into James, Mikey, Jessica and Tessa. The last time I bumped into Tessa she ended up donating her small suitcase, having caught me before I was about to buy one for my trip to Berlin. There were many reasons why I decided to park the idea of relocating to Germany; having built up a life in Brighton over the last ten years, it seemed ridiculous to want to start again from scratch. Wednesday night was a useful reinforcement that I made the right choice.

On Friday I saw Jon Ronson give a talk at the Brighton Dome, based on his podcasts The Butterfly Effect and The Last Days of August, both of which delve into the seedy undergrowth of the porn industry. I hadn’t listened to either, but like a lot of his work, heard about them via his interviews with other podcasters. The talk went on many tangents – some humorous, others touching – and could have diverged into others, too. Public shaming and psychopathy predictably featured, but the underlying theme was about mental health and human interdependence. I could have listened to him talk for hours. Given that was not an option, I’ve subscribed to a few of his podcasts instead.

On Saturday evening I headed over to Littlehampton to see Jon, Katie and their youngest who, at four years old, is developing quite the personality. Arriving unusually early, I took the opportunity to explore my old stomping ground before heading to their place. My memory of Littlehampton is one of an unflattering and unloved town, but the reality is quite different, especially given recent improvements to the public spaces along the river and beach front (which, fun fact, featured prominently in an episode of The Inbetweeners).

With both myself and Jon rapidly approaching 40, we’ve been toying with the idea of competing in a swimrun event. Given the inevitable midlife crisis, I’m keen on the idea, but there’s a lot to understand about the format before committing, and quite an investment needed for the various bits of gear, too. And then there’s the training! What with this, upcoming holidays, garden plans and a host of other things to think about (i.e. useful distractions from everything else going on in the world), I’m starting to get a little overwhelmed by all the planning needed to keep time in flight.

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