I'm really struggling with using Netcafe's for my Net Connectivity needs, and right at the minute that is manifesting itself in the form of my really shite memory not being helpful when I get around to updating my website !
I know that ONE of the things I wanted to talk about was my visit to the Royal Pavilion here at Brighton. Built at the 'summer home' of the Prince of Wales (Prince George, that is), this has got to be one of the most outlandish bits of architecture in the country. However, the ridiculous and fanciful exterior is surely no giveaway for the level of opulence and decadence within. I can't begin to describe it properly, sufficed to say it's no wonder the people of England though of the Prince Regent as a bit of a playboy idiot. I realise that a Royal Residence is bound to be on a fairly high plateau of magnificence compared to the sort of digs I'm used to inhabiting, but this was truly something else. It's a shame that you weren't allowed to take photos of the interior (but then, it does wonders for postcard sales) – the entire place was decorated in a pseudo-Chinese manner, with gilded gold everywhere, ornate carvings, and the minutest attention paid to detail.
In actual fact, a lot of what's there today is replica or guesswork, but either way, it was still bloody amazing. The two largest and most grandiose rooms were the Dining Room – a massive domed ceiling featuring a 1 tonne chandalier and beaten copper relief-work of jungle leaves on the ceiling – and the Music Room, with its 9 lotus-shapes chandaliers, hand woven carpet, golden serpents adorning door frames and curtain rails, and again a domed roof decorated with thousands and thousands of gilded mussel shells.
I went to the Pavilion with Roie, who had taken the day off to show me the sights of Brighton. As it turned out, we spent so long gaping at the Pavilion that we didn't get the chance to get to the incredibly cheesy Brighton Pier… but there's always tomorrow for that!
Gee whiz, what else is there to write about ? Ummm, I had this weird moment the other day when I was enjoying a curry in a Brighton curry spot, just thinking about the variation of restaurants/places I've had meals in the last few years. Most relevantly it was the contrast which was getting me – here I was in Brighton enjoying a curry, and my mind immediately harkened back to times like when I went on the Aesir Rover Camp to Innes National Park and we had a meal at Rhino's Tavern (where they only had 4 pint glasses in the building, so the rest of us had to drink beer out of promotional Coke glasses !), or my night up at the Strathmore Balcony Restaurant with Julie having Stonegrill (i.e. a meal you fork out $20 for and then have to cook yourself), or the endless parade of meals at Hawkers' Corner, or just this February gone the lunch I had at Duckstein Brewery in WA with Morgan and Kristen, or cooking a couple of mighty Yearling T-Bones over an open fire with Spiro up at Armstrong Airfield. I don't know – maybe it was because I was by myself and had no conversation to keep my mind occupied, but yeah… my mind just wandered around to all of that.
While on the topic of sentimentality, it's SO COOL to be spending time with Kerri, Roie and Sarah… it's like I've missed them all, and yet being here it's like nobody's been anywhere. That's totally not true of course in the sense that we've all grown in different ways and experienced so many new things… but yeah – it's just such a good vibe to be together with your friends like that. Intriguing that some folks go away on their life adventures and come back claiming to be completely different people, whereas others are still themselves in some way, no matter what.
Kerri, Roie, Jean-Claude and I caught up with Kerri's housemates on the beach the other night, who were having a bonfire for Punky's birthday, and walking back to the house with them all was so cool – it sounds silly, but I really felt like a member of the Muppet Show! They were all doing their crazy thing, but at the end of the day they're a pretty tight little group. Kerri's taken up roller-skating as her principal means of transport, which really has to be seen to be believed, but then watching her roll around backwards seems quite normal, really ?
Kerri, Sarah, and Sarah's boyf. Matt are all off to Beijing in a couple of weeks to work at the Worlds' Fair – not so much a holiday as an ongoing job. Sounds like a bit of a hoot, and a great experience and opportunty to see China.
My friend Ben has started up a bit of a web log, which I'll have to keep an eye on. So weird working alongside someone every day for a year, and next thing you're on the other side of the world from them…
Anyhow, time to dash. I think I'm rambling now. Not that I wasn't before. Meh. Whatever.