Our trip to London and surrounding areas wasn’t just for fun – along the way, we learned some Life Lessons I will now share with you bit by bit.
The first lesson: Never wear yellow in Brighton. We woke up ridiculously early on the morning of my birthday, and made our way to the train station to spend the day in Brighton. Things were going well – we wandered the town, found an amazing market lined with quirky shops, saw some incredible graffiti, and had lunch at Bill’s. We were full and happy and making our way towards the pier when we stumbled upon the Royal Pavilion Gardens, complete with gorgeous wildflowers, a huge castle-thing, and lush inviting grass just begging for bare feets. The sun had finally come out, and we strolled through the gardens basking in the sheer delight of being in Brighton. It was good.
Then the bugs happened.
See, one of the things I love about the UK is the many, many flower gardens all over the landscape. These aren’t groomed gardens meant for looking at and/or smelling, but rather specific pockets of pollenating plants and flowers set up to entice insects to do their thang. They’re gorgeous, and the fact they almost killed me aside, are awesome.
My birthday started out a little cloudy, so I wore my favourite dress and a bright yellow sweater to make some artificial sunshine. As we were walking through the garden, I noticed a tiny beetle trying to pollenate my sweater. I gently brushed him off, then another, then another, then another, then .. shit. I was *covered* in tiny beetles trying to have sex with me. Ed and Heather helped me brush all the bugs off while Renee laughed at me, and we continued our walk. I looked down while pausing to fountain, and .. more bugs. More manhandling of myself to get them all off. We eventually reached the waterfront, and I figured I was in the clear: no more gardens means no more bugs, right? Time to do birthday pier things! Except .. no, I was still covered in bugs – more than ever. Ed counted as he flicked them off me, stopping when he got to 30 or so. The bugs LOVED my yellow sweater, and were crawling all over me in an attempt to feed off my delicious juice. I gave up at this point – it was warm outside anyway, so I took off my sweater and shoved it in my bag (after shaking it out for a solid 60 seconds). Wearing yellow in Brighton was evidently a huge mistake, one I won’t be repeating anytime soon (not because I know better, but because I am too far away). Also, bugs love me. I am delicious.
Next Life Lesson: that time the UK almost killed me!