A few weeks ago I had an overnight stay in Brighton. It was a friend’s birthday and my mate Gem and I travelled down to join the celebrations. All in all a very festive time was had on a cold and windy Friday night pubbing and dancing until the sun started rising on Saturday.
After a nap on the (very comfy) lounge furniture, Gem and I decided to make the most of what was turning into a gloriously sunny day and take an exploratory wander through the lanes.
Energised by coffee we strolled through stalls, admired the street art and tried to steer clear of some poor souls that were clearly casualties of their own parties the night before. We aimed for the shore and spent some time casually contemplating how awesome we felt despite our lack of sleep and soaking up some much needed vitamin D on the beach.
No trip to Brighton is complete without a visit to the pier in all its tacky splendour. Despite the chilly breeze we were buoyed by the pier speakers playing some Fat Boy Slim and the prospect of some traditional fresh hot doughnuts.
|Essential tourist destination|
Watching the next phase of our post big night recovery plan fry on the kiosk counter, Gemma took the time to carefully warn me about the ruthlessness of the local seagulls. They were everywhere and seemed professional in sussing out targets and picking up whatever morsel they could scavenge.
Enjoying the first of our extra hot sugary treats I kept my eye on a close flying flock to our left as they hovered hopefully close. Feeling like I had them pegged I reached into the bag for a second doughnut. While still watching the small flock as they seemed to get closer to Gemma I suddenly felt something brush my right cheek.
Instinctively closing my eyes for a second I belatedly realised the fingers that were holding my snack were empty, and at my feet was a giant seagull swallowing my doughnut whole. My jaw was agape as my gaze darted between the bold bird and my empty hand as I comprehended that I’d just been ‘mugged’ from behind.
|Waiting for their next victim|
The brief shock gave way to hysterical laughter as both Gem and I realised I was now a statistic. I had been – for all intents and purposes – bitch slapped by a gull. I felt like a proper tourist for the first time in a long while. Gem kindly took pity on me and shared her remaining doughnut with me.
The rest of the day included beers and lunch at a great vegetarian pub and making friends with another patron’s French bulldog puppy which made up for the days earlier bad animal behaviour.
Travelling back to London that evening we were both fighting to keep our eyes open, but the low hum of bus and train was punctuated by a small chuckle each time we remembered that cheeky bird.
It’s true what they say – watch out for those seagulls!