I’m sat in a coffee shop on this gloriously hot bank holiday Monday and am full of love for Brighton, the city I call home.
On a day like today it feels like I could be living abroad somewhere. The screech of the seagulls, the murmur of people on the streets, the bunting flapping gently in the breeze.
I love all the weird and wonderful things you can do in Brighton. The historical walks talking about important women of Brighton, 5k run and wine tasting (yes, that’s a thing!), psychodrama groups, volleyball…
I love how liberal we are as a city – waving our green flag with Caroline Lucas as our Member of the European Parliament, fighting against Brexit and speaking out in support of Greta Thunberg. She’s outspoken, radical, a force of good.
I love the community around me in Brighton. The conversations that spring up as I walk down the street and the families that I’m connected to. The nursery workers that look after Jenson with such love. The people I count on to look after my son in the absence of family close by.
I love how the Laines, a haven for independent shops, are thriving despite many high streets struggling to stay open. It’s great how people predominantly buy local here.
I love my hairdresser – the bomb – which I’ve gone to for close to 10 years. Still charging next to nothing for their work and doing so with a wicked sense of humour. When I went back to get my haircut for the first time after becoming a mother, I felt like a piece of myself was returning to me. And that was the same when they lopped off my hair a month or so ago, returning me to the pixie-cut Amy in which I feel truly myself.
I love how this city increasing reflects my vegan and ethical values – with delicious food to eat and zero-waste, fair trade shops springing up here, there and everywhere.
I’m also sad with the soaring levels of homelessness. The increasing numbers of people wandering the streets asking for money. Listening to Ross Kemp speak to Russell Brand about knife crime and homelessness, it feels like this is a hopeless situation borne of society’s safety net not being big enough to catch all of those in need.
But I have to hope that this will get better. I look to projects like the choir with no name, giving those who are homeless a chance to be more than someone struggling for their next fix or a place to stay. Creating a community and a hope for the future.
My city is by no means perfect, but it’s perfectly wonderful to me.
Did you like my writing? Please consider supporting my work – any donations I get over the next week I’ll give to the choir with no name.