IF I RUB MY SPECIAL LAMP later today and a blue, beer-bellied genie siphons his way awkwardly into my poky lounge via a violet smokescreen, I know what I’m in the mood to ask for. I’d demand that this fish out of water carpet me away for one more ‘Dirty Weekend’ in Brighton on the South Coast of England.
If Brighton was a person it would be a vegetarian with fluorescent dreadlocks and a healthy love for cider and real ale. The genie could drop me off in London to make things a bit more realistic. As Friday loosens its tie I would board the train from London Victoria (leaving at 19 and 49 past the hour if I’m not mistaken). It may as well leave from platform Nine and Three-Quarters — it gives me the same buzz I imagine the Weasleys get. I’d have an overly priced beer on the train as it peels away from London through the fields of Surrey and into the rolling hills of East Sussex. In under an hour you jailbreak from the quick-stepping capital to find refuge in a beanbag town where everything is in walking distance from pub to restaurant, club to beachfront. And you will walk a lot.