Brighton, 8/9 June 2012 

I had to open my old journal to find the words that matched these pictures. Too much has changed since then, for all 3 of us. When we’re 40 and retreating to the point where our lives converged, it was that salty summer of tears and hawker food. And Brighton was the trip before shit became real life.

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We’re on the M23! En route to Brighton. Getting out of central London was hell. I’m at the back with the rice crackers and hummus because I can’t drive or read maps. My value on this road trip will emerge at some point. That awful Carly Rae Jepsen song is playing and we can’t get enough of it, especially since Caroline’s had it on replay for the past 2 weeks. This is so exciting, the three of us in a car to somewhere. We are so young. We are so old. If we crash, my only regret would be not to have warned mum earlier.

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We’re sleeping in the car tonight.

Home is an open spot in a multi-storey car park facing the sea. Am eating strawberries and trying to grip the green bits as minimally as possible so the juice doesn’t run onto my fingers. Leaning against Jer’s seat. He looks like he’s sleeping but is really just scrolling through his phone. Rot’s got her face creams in a row on the dashboard and is applying them with care. This is one of those moments when you feel you want nothing more from life. We spent the evening wandering to town for dinner and wandering back. Rot’s been walking around wrapped in the Ikea throw we both have in baby blue. We passed some school kids and there was a girl also wrapped in a blanket (pink) who stared like she’d found her soul mate. Jer and I had a good laugh while Rot stood 10 steps in front judging us for trying to spot pink blanket girl to laugh at some more. The wind is howling and our little car shakes when it gets stronger. A lonely twitching blue-bottle.

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Woke up shivering at 2, 4 and 6. When this driver wakes we are driving into town for a hot mug of tea. Reading 眠 / Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto.

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Still reeling over the mental image of Jeremy brushing his teeth this morning. Rot and I had practically ritualised the process- how often do you brush your teeth in a car park?? We swirled mineral water in our mouths and washed the minty foam further down the shallow drain lining the concrete floor. The boy wasn’t as thrilled.

‘This is so fun! Are you not having fun?’
‘Like out-field.’
(Lolocaust. Forgot he’d done enough of this in the army.)

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I really like pebbly peaches. It’s right for this country anyway- sand & cold doesn’t sound like a good combination. I think of the Kooks and then thought of the time I thought of the Kooks last year sitting on this beach. We’ve been around; past the tourist rides and the candy floss and the Hello Kitty machine in the arcade. Just now, Rot borrowed my coat while I shuffled around trying to catch the waves with my shutter. These are going to be our family holiday photos. I’ll print them out and put them in an album with dates and captions on the sides. Also, we got outsmarted by Waitrose and thus have to pay a parking fine. Un-sarcastically, that’s kind of the perfect end to the trip.

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Back home. Poor zip car was covered in salt spray and so we washed it down before Jeremy returned it. I love my housemates. We could exist on our own, in this time capsule on St Pancras Way. With the supplies from Jeremy’s bomb shelter of a room. That might suit me for a while, yes. Brighton was such a good idea.

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