Monday 6 February 2012

Runnings by Night

two days ago, in defiance of the snow and people who thought I might be insane and risking my health, I took off down the Kingsway on Hove Seafront as bitty gritty white stuff fell on my head, and a fierce wind blew in off the sea.

My monkish grey top and hood were blown every which way. Luckily, there wasn't much to see!

I had always had the foolish notion that all of Sussex is pretty, elegant, expensive resorts, piers reaching out into the sea like a Dowagers fingers and nice cafes and restaurants stuffed with nicey nicey patrons eating tea and cake.

Not so. The moment you cross the border from Hove into Portslade, at the end of that peculiar harbour that runs from the lagoons parallel to the seafront, you go into frankly a bit of a rough place. The pavements suddenly go cracked, the road a little narrower and more threatening, the sea disappears behind rows iof grey terrace houses with signs advertising motor repair pasted on the end, and stripey tracksuits and gold chains start sppearing out of pub doorways. The flecks of snow even looked grey.

It didn't take me long to turn round; for my patronising self to run shamefully back the way I came, back into posh Hove where the homeless people shiver in tents upon the pitch and put.

They weren't the only thing shivering. As I passed the end of the tennis courts in the dark, a small bird was startled off the ground. I could barely see it, but every time it flew off a few feet when I approached, it seemed to have wader shaped wings, black on the leading edge, the back edge half white. It was no bigger than a small thrush, although seemingly chubbier built. No idea what it was, it was far too dark to see anything clearly apart from the wings.

It made a change though, so used to seeing only gulls on the seafront.

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