1.Been on the Booster
The Booster is the biggest and most terrifying ride on Brighton Pier. Standing at over 130 feet, this colossal ride turns 360 degrees like clock hands hurling people far above the sea head over heels. Having been on it three times, I can safely say you’ll need a strong stomach and I recommend you take your shoes off before you get on; also take a friend for moral support. Waiting at the top for people to get on the ride at the bottom can be the scariest bit and despite the long stretching views of Brighton and Hove you may just find yourself thinking it was a bad idea. But trust me, it’s worth it!
2. Seen the Great wall of vagina
The inspiring display of four-hundred moulded plaster vaginas by artist Jamie McCartney is hung in his body casting studio/ shop in central Brighton and is always open for visitors to take a look. The body cast vaginas come in all shapes and sizes and were created to make people think about their perception and appearance of the female genitalia and common misconceptions. Among the many vaginas there are moulds of twin’s genitalia, transgendered genitals, pierced genitals and a range of different ages. I found it interesting to look at so many strangers nether-regions and wonder about how different we all are.
3. Been to gay pride
Okay, I admit it; I have never been to Gay Pride in Brighton. I really want to though; I’m told it’s great fun and complete madness. With semi naked people everywhere waving Rainbow flags and blowing carnival whistles to load music in the street how could anyone not have fun? I’m all up for sexual liberation and freedom of the people so I really must get round to going to such an event one of these days.
4. Sampled some of the best (and worst) nightclubs
I’m not going to name and shame some of Brighton and Hove’s grottiest nightclubs, but we know they exist. Some without toilet seats, painted all-black so the street grime doesn’t show, who actually have the cheek to charge £4.50 for a warm vodka and lemonade attract the scummiest of clubbers who stumble out of unlocked cubicles with white powder adorning their nostrils ready to dance to chart-toppers. Such places juxtapose some of the excellent music venues and nightclubs that I’ve been to such as Concorde 2 (pictured) situated under the promenade which creates a great, loud venue where they always have excellent gigs.
5. Swam in the sea at Brighton beach
It’s great fun, but make sure you go for your dip on a nice day when you can lie in the sun to dry off and not like me; taking the plunge in icy spring waters just to prove I can. (brrr!)
6. Been shopping in the north and south laines
Quirky shops, café’s and culture make the Brighton Laines my favourite shopping place ever. Vintage clothing shops, retro interiors, one-off finds in junk shops, all sorts of piercing and tattoo art, fabric stores, unusual pubs and delicious vegan and vegetarian food outlets means Brighton caters for all tastes no matter how bizarre or unique. If you haven’t fully appreciated and experienced the Lanes then you surly can’t call yourself a Brighton and Hove resident; it’s a must!
7. Drunkenly befriended homeless people
You don’t necessarily have to be drunk, but it helps when it comes to rattling through your life story and how you ended up on a seafront bench at 5am with nothing but a pack of gum and 45p. My first night out in Brighton resulted in such a situation while waiting for a friend to get picked up by an ambulance; the rest of us huddled around him like penguins, or swaggered about giving cigarettes to the homeless people of Brighton and Hove.
8. Casually bumped into Norman Cook (Fatboy slim)
Okay, so he is generally speaking a pretty non-descript middle aged man now, but an incredibly cool music-legend middle age man at that. He lives near my sister in Hove and we were sitting in an Indian restaurant when he walked past the window. I’ve also seen him at a gig once; at least I think it was him… Anyway, Norman Cook is a much respected member of the community after hosting huge beach parties and generally being a DJ icon for at least twenty years, so if you see him just give him a friendly smile.
9. Seen a production at Brighton Little Theatre
I can safely say this is the smallest theatre I have EVER been in. It’s about the size of a single terraced house, but it has a foyer bar and well lit stage with comfortable seating for the audience. The intimate venue means that even people like me, who tend to find themselves stuck behind the tallest person in the auditorium, can actually watch and hear the action; it’s so close you could almost touch the actors and the performances are always well acted and a joy to watch.
10. Taken part in Burning the Clocks
Every year on the 21st December an originally Pagan festival takes place on the streets and seafront of Brighton in which hundreds of homemade lanterns (usually made from willow canes and tissue paper) are paraded through the streets alongside loud Batucada drums, whistles, tambourines, and dancing of all varieties. Even if you never take part I strongly urge you to watch it and be inspired by the creative flare of Brighton and Hove residents. Burning the Clocks ends in an enormous bonfire of all the lanterns on the beach and a spectacular firework display.