We last went to Brighton when Arlo was five months old. We were back there last weekend to visit my sister, who is studying at Sussex Uni.

I don’t know how much detail I have gone into before about how Sam and I met, so forgive me if I’m repeating myself here. We lived in the same building in halls, and studied the exact same subjects. Seven years later, and my sister is staying in the very same halls, so we were able to take a little trip back to where it all began.

I’ve been trying to write this post for the last five days, but the words haven’t been flowing. I’m having trouble conveying this in the way that I would like to, so you are going to get disjointed ramblings instead.

It’s quite a weird thing, to go back and visit the starting point, after so much time has passed and so much has happened since. Walking through the campus brings back a hundred different memories at each turn.

(Outside the front door of our halls)

That building is the place where we first met, and the place where a good friendship was formed (it was another year before we became boyfriend and girlfriend). To go back there with Arlo was poignant.

(The courtyard. This is actually where we first met, right by that blue door).

(There used to be an open view of the fields from our halls. Now there are these new buildings that you can see in the background)

In some ways, the place hasn’t changed at all. The interiors are exactly the same. Strange to think of all the different people that have shared those identical halls before and since our time there – all with their own memories and experiences that may have shaped the path of their lives, as it did for me, Sam, and Arlo.

In the afternoon, we left campus and went into Brighton to show Arlo the sights.

The pier seems to be another one of those great places to take a toddler. As soon as he was let loose from the buggy, he was off. Something new and interesting to look at at every corner. He loved it.

Apart from Iggle Piggle.

(What do you mean I’m too small for the rides??)

(Laughing at the awkward way Sam decided to hold us)

(Watching a seagull swoop down and swipe someone’s ice cream clean off the top of the cone)

I was looking forward to showing Arlo the beach and all the pebbles, but he was tuckered out from running around the pier and campus, and fell asleep before we got onto the seafront.

We managed to ‘misplace’ my bag while we were on the beach. With my wallet, iphone, and my SLR inside. I still feel a bit sick thinking about it.

I still don’t understand how my bag managed to come off the back of the buggy and get left on the beach. I don’t think anyone took it off with the intention of stealing it, because nothing was taken. I put the bag back over the handlebars as we went to leave the beach. It took 30 seconds to walk off the seafront, and someone was pushing the buggy the whole time. We didn’t leave it for a moment. I get quite stressed when I don’t know how I’ve lost something. I’ve never lost a bag, a phone, or anything before. I always know where things are.

I remember ages ago, I couldn’t find my house keys and I was sure that Sam had something to do with it, as he’d been in my room the day they went missing. He got angry at me and said “It’s no wonder you lose things when your room is so disorganised”. But I knew exactly where I’d left them, and they were no longer there. I may have a penchant for clutter, but I always know where my things are. Low and behold, about a week later, a sheepish Sam turned up at my door. My keys had turned up in his bag.

Aaanyway. Sam got a phonecall from my brother as we were walking up to the train station to go home. “Chloe’s not aware that her bag and her camera and phone are on the beach, is she?”. The lifeguards had been through my phonebook trying to get in contact with someone to let them know they had my bag.

We were so, so lucky that someone honourable found it and handed it in. That never happens. But I’m so glad it did happen. I don’t care much about my three year old iphone or my wallet, but my camera… I wish I could have thanked them in person. Time to look into some proper insurance for my camera and lenses, I think.

7 comments

  1. It’s so good that someone gave you your bag back! I last went to Sussex Uni for my friend’s wedding. She got married in The Meeting House. How cool is that? I wish I’d thought of doing that! Talitha was three months at the time but I’m looking forward to taking her back when she’s older and tell her some (PG-rated) stories! Great that you were able to do that as a family.

    1. My fantasy wedding (if we ever decide to get married) is Stanmer House due to it’s proximity to where we met. But that costs a BOMB to hire. The Meeting House is a great idea, I will keep it in mind for other dream wedding scenarios ; )

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