Wildlife photos and beach strolls

Evening by the sea again and back up to London tomorrow already. A great midweek weekend. A joyful couple of days switching the power down. Not that we sat around. We walked even longer today than we did yesterday despite not even leaving town the whole day. Bergman got a day pass so we could leave him. Sometimes our plans are built around the fact he has to be moved every four hours outside Lou’s flat, and parking ain’t cheap. The clear reality of that catalyses our venturing out to curious and ancient parts of The Downs. We would do it anyway, but it helps if you have to. Today though he sat under the pigeon-poo-tree. Tomorrow I’ll clean his windscreen and go home.

We went to The Ivy for breakfast. Lou’s treat to me and her surprise. It’s gorgeous in there and right when we were getting to know each other we sat at the bar one evening and Lou watched me work through two large red wines without writing me off. We sat at the front and it was perfect. No wine but tasty breakfast. I could use a job in the West End so I can get breakfast in the London one half price with friends… But that’s probably not the most pressing reason why I fancy a West End job…

Afterwards we decamped to Brighton museum. They have a very eclectic and strangely organised collection of … things. Egyptian mummies and modern art and Victorian pottery and somebody’s clothes and pictures of old Brighton. In the upstairs room, temporarily, one of the exhibitions I love to connect with every year. I’ve had the diary every year for years. The BBC Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibition.

These are snapshots of a changing world. Great beauty and character and movement mixed with images that will haunt you – miniatures exploding the thoughtless rapacity of our species when we group together. Dead fish, algal blooms, jellyfish swarms, ghost nets. We mostly understand in theory how we are collectively murdering everything including ourselves. We want to have it and we could have it in the past. If we can’t have it now then we think that’s bad. Camel milk on the shelf at ASDA. New Zealand wine in Bedfordshire. Sprouts from Peru. Bluefin tuna at Nobu (with a lipservice message asking diners to choose something else). The idiots are loud as they parrot messages borne from the richest in the world trying to make us dismiss our individual responsibility. Problem is it’s one of the biggest markets, Stupid. No serious ambitious business owner would want to alienate customers from the Stupid market.

All you really need to do is basic maths mixed with knowledge – and maybe stop listening to messages funded by greed. Animals don’t appear fully grown in gaps. They have life cycles. Markets are huge for various animals now now now. More and more creatures are ceasing to exist because we ate them, and when we punch enough holes in the ecosystem it’ll collapse and (hopefully) take the system we have with it.

For now though it’s nice to look at pretty pictures of wrens listening for insects, jaguars trying to get pigs, leopards hunting goats, black bears, flamingoes, whales… This rich and beautiful and colourful and happy world we are burning. It’s a true wonder. The colour, the diversity, the character! All so fragile as we wrench those tasty strips to shove into our jowls. But pretty pictures, look at the pretty pictures awww.

The sun was up today again, eliciting hyperbole from the locals: “It’s like Jamaica!” We walked home as we walked in, down the beach. I had another disposable cup of coffee, adding to my lazy hypocrisy – oh yes, I OWN a disposable cup, your honour. I just don’t wash it. Doesn’t mean I can’t be annoyed at myself and everybody else when they don’t give any fucks whatsoever.

We soaked up lovely Vitamin D. Good food, culture and nature and a long walk. All the things all together in that window we all have before the darkness crashes in. Two bright Brighton days and I feel the batteries are recharged. Lou is a wonder.

I’ll be driving back home in my fossil fueled car tomorrow. Back to the weird work grind… The only photo I took today…

Was trying to work out what they were doing on the Banjo Groyne. Turns out they were filming.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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