Missing you all in Brighton - Argus Friday 31st August 2016

Posted Monday 12th September 2016   By Ericka Waller

It's odd, being away in this tiny remote village in rural France. All the shops close at 12am. Dogs sleep out in the streets, streets which cars rarely travel down. People welcome one another with kisses on both cheeks and hold hands as they ask 'Ca va?' 'Ca va BIEN!' Ladies sweep their front steps at 9am, and again before bed, chatting across the street to one another, aprons flapping in the breeze from their brooms. It's a world away from Brighton, where 'You ok?'s are slung across car windows or replaced with a bib of the horn, and you can do your weekly food shop at midnight in ASDA. Time drips away like honey here. Sat round tables in the shade, batting flies away from a three-hour lunch. The sun here is an Octopus, long tendrils spread out across the sky, throwing light into hidden crevasses till late in the day. Here is as yellow as Emerald City is green.

Here I sleep with the shutters closed against bats, not burglars. Excitement is the dog catching a Lizard as it slithers from under a rock. Even the lizard does not panic, it merely sheds it's tail and carries on. (Seriously, the tail it discards lies twitching for ages after).

I don't know what day of the week it is. I have not seen the news. I've hardly been on Facebook (Me - Social media junkie!). It's just not seemed important out here. The days rock gently against one another like boats in Brighton Marina, with no clear end or beginning. 

Normally I have so much to do I don't sit still from sun up to sun down, but out here I've done nothing. I've read books, drank peach juice, lazed in the pool and eaten French bread. Heaven!

But could I live in this paradisaical place for more than two weeks? I'm starting to slowly miss home already. The dog's tail thumping at the sound of my footsteps. Tea from my teapot, in my favourite mug. BBC Radio 6 on the radio in the kitchen, mingling with indignant squawks from the baby Seagull that lives on our roof, (poos on my washing, and dives for the cat).

I miss the Undercliff path and the sound of the sea. The smell of bacon frying at Ovingdean Café, making me run home faster for breakfast. I only did one run here, on the wrong side of the road. Cars beeped at me, then slowed down and stared at me as if I was mad. In this heat, I must have been.

My husband found a vintage Bianchi pushbike at a car boot sale. I finally believe in love at first sight. He snapped it up for 25 Euros, and suddenly we are allowed to have extra luggage on the return flight. I'll probably have to sleep in the hold so 'Bianca' can have the window seat.

He and her are in the early throes of courtship so he's all moony eyed and distracted. All he talks about is how light she is and how well molded. She's not had three kids and a hysterectomy I tell him, but he does not listen.

Reading Brighton novelist Peter James' books have not helped. He keeps mentioning my stomping grounds. He's somehow managed to make the Pier miss-a-ble. Even his gruesome murder scenes have not stopped me missing my dirty old town. Maybe I'm rubbish at holidays, or maybe missing home is what holidays are all about, realising what you take for granted.

And finally,

I have been reading the papers enough to see that Vogue magazine used able-bodied models, the photo-shopped their limbs away to make them look like Paralympics, ahead of the games starting on September 7th.

I'm not sure why they could not have used actual Paralympics, after all they used the slogan #SomosTodosParalímpicos meaning 'we are all Paralympian's'

The female (Non Paralympic) model Clio Pires, is an Ambassador for the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and said ' I feel honoured to represent Bruna in this campaign endorsed by the Paralympic Committee and the Brazilian Paralympic athletes."

It was an honour she bestowed upon herself as the whole thing was her idea. She added 'We knew it would be a punch in the stomach, but we were there for a good cause, after all, almost no one bought tickets to see the Paralympic games.'

As if that made it alright? As if having a big-headed, non Paralympic, self-proposed model was suddenly going to make people interested in the event?

I hope to prove her wrong, and to give the support the contestants deserve, you will all be tuning in. Let me know what happens. I can't get 'normal' TV out here.