Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Rooms with a View

the exterior of our London flat, King Frederik IX Tower [click to enlarge images]

For many years we kept a place in London. Or, to be more specific, we had a fourth floor flat in an ultra uber [apologies as we have not yet mastered the umlaut] modern, Danish designed block in what, at the time, was one of the less ruinously expensive boroughs. What sold it to us, as ultimately it did to others, were the floor to ceiling windows giving directly on to the Thames. From these, and the luxury of two balconies, we enjoyed watching a steady progression of shipping, if river cruise boats, the odd sailing vessel, Sunday morning canoeists, the occasional small liner and the ever present River Police can be called such, plying to and from the Pool of London.

a looking glass in our Brighton drawing room reflects the sea and pier below

But we are no Ratty and Mole of Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows', content to be 'messing about' on the river, when there is for ever the call of the sea. And so, prompted by memories of childhood holidays in the 1950s when respective parents repaired for the summer to the seaside resorts of Swanage in Dorset and Cornwall's Newquay, or possibly recalling long weekends in which we languished in the comfort of the Alexandra Hotel overlooking Lyme Bay, we 'relocated' [to employ the jargon of the pointy-shoed estate agent from whom we purchased our 'rooms'] to Brighton. 

the end section of the pier glimpsed through our Brighton bedroom window

It is no mere accident that Brighton is nicknamed London by the Sea. For less than an hour's journey from the Capital it boasts all of the fun, glamour, excitement and adventure of its larger neighbour. Culture abounds as do, apparently, celebrities, whilst a large gay community and a welcome influx of foreigners and students from around the globe ensure a prevailing atmosphere of immense kindness, tolerance and diversity.

a corner of our Regency square in Brighton

No longer uber [umlaut still in hiding] cool in London we now, on flights from Budapest, are to be found, rather in the manner of characters drawn from the pages of Miss Austen, observing life amongst the Regency terraces from our 1827 vantage point, eavesdropping on the latest gossip of the coffee houses, or tweaking the lace curtains as we spy on the beach below. Now, if only we had binoculars!


  1. La Sombra Sofisticada:
    Thank you. We are fortunate that life is not without interest.

  2. The views from your windows must have been messmerising! I always love your descriptions of your surroundings; you give such vivid descriptions of not only the visual but the feel and emotion of a place that makes it seem so very tangible even from far distances in place and time. Thank you again for a wonderful post.
    x KL

  3. Forget the binoculars. You need a super-duper telescope with which to spy on life below & afar on the watery horizon!

    Seriously though, I do understand why Brighton captivates your hearts. It has a wonderful atmosphere, as if it is perpetually in jolly mode, which is so very infectious. I have just this moment returned from seeing a client's apartment for the first time - and it is on level 22 overlooking both the city river and the bay below, and truly, a view such as that, with all the life which lives upon it, is so very captivating. A bit like sitting in a cafe and watching the world go past - a favourite past time of mine! Virginia x

  4. I love both of your homes Jane and Lance. Lovely to have had a view of the Thames and to be in close proximity of London and also to now be living by the sea in the wonderful and lively town of Brighton. You chose well when you lived in both properties....plus, you also live in beautiful Budapest .
    Although we are not by the sea, I like living in the countryside but only 20 minutes away from my favourite city in the world, London.
    Aren't those Regency buildings in Brighton wonderful ? XXXX

  5. eternalicons:
    The views to be had from the two flats are very different and whereas the London one was much more detailed, largely on account of the 'traffic' on the Thames, what we see from our Brighton 'rooms' is much more expansive with broad sweeps of the sea although we do also much enjoy the comings and goings of our square.

  6. Glamour Drops:
    Your client's apartment on the 22nd. floor sounds breathtakingly wonderful and would appeal to us enormously. In idle moments the other day we were considering, if the opportunity were to arise, if we should enjoy a flat in Sussex Heights which is, we believe, Brighton's tallest seafront apartment block.

  7. Gorgeous views from both but I would always choose the sea. What a delight keeping an eye on the square below.

  8. Jacqueline @ HOME:
    To be placed in the countryside yet within a very short distance of London,as you are Jackie, seems to us to be the absolute ideal. All of the amenities of the Capital to hand with escape never more than a stone's throw away.

    Regency Brighton has improved enormously within the last few years. In the 60s and 70s it was, we understand, rather less than seedy!!

  9. Tracey@Breathing English Air:
    On balance we do, in fact, prefer to be by the sea and it is something we rather miss when in Budapest. As for the square below, believe us, Tracey, there is never a dull moment!

  10. Dear Jane and Lance, How I enjoyed this post! Your description of the Thames reminded me of my years in London, I used to cross London bridge every morning on foot and it was always a pleasure and a thrill. I do not know Brighton very well but the combination of Regency Terrace and the sea does sound perfect. I must go on a little explore this year! Jane x

  11. Jane The Booklady:
    How really wonderful, and totally uplifting, to have crossed London Bridge whilst walking to work each morning. Never to have lived in London is, perhaps, to have missed out.

    We do think that you would enjoy Brighton, not least for its architecture, and so do hope that your travels may bring you here before too long.

  12. I've never been to Brighton, so any images I have of it are from TV programmes like "Location, Location, Location". Seems like a very "happening" place to be and a fun place to live. With a home there and another in Budapest - both fabulous abodes - you have never called on the efforts of Phil and Kirsty from said LLL have you? If not, I'm sure you could lend them a hand from time to time in searching for properties both home and abroad. Great choices!

    I should not be reading blogs at this time of the morning - I have a train to catch!

    Have a good day - as they say in the US of A (and increasingly in the UK!).


  13. *sighs happily* ....memories of childhood holidays in the 1950s when respective parents repaired for the summer to the seaside resorts of Swanage in Dorset and Cornwall's Newquay. Yes yes yes,,, they are the BEST childhood memories.

    People say the 1950s were awful, but I too had a ball.

  14. I think a water view must be one of life's greatest pleasures and am so glad that Brighton continues to provide that for you in the UK. I am ashamed to say that Brighton eluded me when I lived in England.
    Umlauts are surely over-rated ; )

  15. I have been to Brighton only as a small child,and I do not remember it all. As for London, I think I have only made two very short visits in the past 10 years so this post was interesting to me.
    As for the binoculars, I remember my mother going to Johannesburg with a friend and staying in a vary tall hotel. She was totally fascinated by the roof top sunbathing....

  16. It must have been wonderful to overlook the river but I think that central Brighton is better! As I think you are suggesting in your post, it is more rewarding to be in a place that is full of life and culture just outside the door, then stranded in an oasis of cool.

    Brighton is really fun - I must revisit!
    Did you ever post about why you "adopted " Hungary?

  17. Bella Bheag:
    Kirsty and Phil, we do know, did come to Budapest, but they seemed to spend all of their time there in coffee houses and the thermal baths!! Still, the people did not buy anything [as is usual, we think] and so probably they found themselves at a bit of a loose end. In which case, this was a perfect way to spend time in Budapest!!

    We do hope that you caught the train in time, we should not like to be held responsible for your lateness, and trust that you are having a good day too!!

  18. Hels:
    Yes, we look back on those times with great fondness. But, we cannot help but think that our parents were really rather lax about safety. They simply equipped us with a pair of 'water wings' and let us swim free around the rockpools of Swanage and in the rollers of the Atlantic Ocean!!!!

  19. Kerry:
    Overrated and elusive those damned umlauts!!!We are so pleased that you agree.

    We certainly find water endlessly fascinating. The mood changes constantly and there is always activity on it or by it whatever the weather or the season.

  20. Food, Fun and Life in the Charente:
    We would certainly suggest a visit to Brighton if you are ever close by. It has much to offer and never sleeps!!

    As for the Johannesburg roof top sunbathing, well, that does sound to have been of interest. Brighton has a Nudist Beach but it is very discreetly screened by high banks of shingle!!

  21. Jenny Woolf:
    Yes, on balance, we would agree that Brighton is better. It has certainly smartened itself up from 10 years or so ago and so a visit, we are sure, would be of interest.

    We have resisted up until now to tell our Hungary story as we fear it would need a series of posts!! Still, never say never, so one day, perhaps!!

  22. I do like a view; I think the one of your Regency square is delicious.

  23. Sounds as if a great mug of coffee and a seat at one of your windows watching the goings on your 'Austen' square would offer hours of entertainment.
    We have always loved living in places which have a university; [or 2] they add zest!

  24. Dear Jane and Lance, I am still smiling about your encounter with the pointy-shoed estate agent. Your people watching skills have obviously been well honed over the years....are you sure you are not spies?
    Julie x

  25. I worked in Brighton for four years, and miss it still.


  26. Our building is twenty two storeys tall, and after visiting one of the top apartments, I prefer to be where we are at around two thirds up. Once you get to a certain height, you no longer see the detail of what is happening on the street.

    Your London place looked very nice, as does your Brighton place, but no curtains to spoil the views? I am with you on that.

  27. Hello Jane and Lance,
    There's nothing like a vantage point to play 'I Spy'! I wonder if you're ever tempted to play detective, or if you know things about your neighbours they're convinced you don't!.

  28. The beautiful architecture in your Regency curved window with the sea view is perfect. May I be permitted to say that I love your delightful collection of cockerels, and I hope that you, Lance, are making good progress following your surgery.

  29. Columnist:
    We are very fond of the Regency architecture and agree with you that the square is very attractive. We are fortunate too that the houses surround a central garden which is for residents only and provides a wonderful green oasis on sunny days.

  30. I too would choose the sea for the view and I spy a nice collection of roosters there as well.

  31. the view from your Brighton bedroom window... well. thats what i call a room with a view!
    everybody asks me all the time here in Norway what do i miss most from Greece and the answer is always the same : the sea. the sea...

  32. Niall and Antoinette:
    Brighton has an extensive student population with both the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton serving the city. With a heavy focus on the Arts and Media at the University of Brighton, one is always seeing the strangest sights of fashion and hair colours around town. That certainly adds to the fun of it all!!

  33. The Cloth Shed:

    Is it just in Brighton or are all estate agents these days well under forty, wearing pointed shoes and sporting spiky hair-dos?

    Spies....well, that is something for us to know and for you to find out!!

  34. SP:
    How interesting that you have worked in Brighton. Perhaps it shall be a topic of one of your blog posts one of these days?!!

  35. Andrew:
    You are absolutely right about the height and what one can see on the ground below. Friends of ours own the penthouse apartment in King Frederik IX Tower and we were surprised to find that their views, although wonderfully far-reaching, lacked the interest of ours, some several floors lower, by way of detail.

    Yes, no curtains in Brighton just as we had none in London. We are not overlooked [we think!!] and do not wish to obscure the view. At night, with the pier lit up, the view is particularly magical.

  36. Gardener in the Distance:
    Sometimes, dear Faisal, we think that you know us better than we know ourselves!!

    We have endless fun watching the comings and goings of our neighbours, some of whom we can set our watches by. What does surprise us is that a particular couple seem to live a semi-basement existence when they own a whole house. A mystery which we have yet to solve!!

  37. Rosemary:
    Thank you for your kind comment. We love the fact that we can lie in bed and look out to sea, at night entertained by the twinkling lights of Brighton Pier.

    The cockerels were inherited from Lance's mother and, although we have never been particularly fond of them, they hold too many precious memories to think of parting with them.

    Progress following surgery is, we are happy to report, excellent. A long process, but light is definitely shining at the end of what has been a dark tunnel.

  38. Linda Starr:
    We inherited the collection of cockerels and decided to place them all together for maximum effect. We are so pleased that you like them.

  39. Demie:
    Oh yes, we can well imagine how wonderful it would be to gaze on the azure blue of the Aegean Sea, we should miss that too.

    The sea in all its moods always holds a fascination for us. We can stare at it for hours!!

  40. Truly a room with view, I would love to have such beautiful architecture on my doorstop.

  41. Hello dear Jane and Lance!

    It was so lovely to see a glimpse of your Brighton rooms and view. All the better to picture you there. :) It is amazing the power of a view on the water, isn't it? Our first home here in Arles had a roof terrace overlooking the Rhone (and the ruins of the Roman Baths, it was incredible!) and I could spend hours just gazing. So peaceful. Luckily, Ben still draws me to its banks on our walks and off we will go right this minute!

    Hope all is well with you both,

  42. What an interesting take on houses... I can just picture both views and find them (in my mind) both greatly captivating though differing somewhat :) You guys never fail to bring me into a happy haze of days-long-gone! Thank you!


  43. What an elegant home you have, and I love the collection of cockerels, so incongruous and fun. You are both a perfect match for Brighton's eccentric and eclectic spirit.

  44. I love the humor of your porcelain chicken collection.

    For the umlaut (diaeresis), if you have a number keypad, try this: Hold down the ALT key, type 129 on the keypad, then let go the ALT key and presto! üüü For the capital Ü, do the same, except type 154. ÜÜÜ (All characters in the ASCII set can be typed this way.)

    Even easier for occasional use is just to copy and past the desired letter or diacritical from any site that uses it.

    --Röàd tó Pärñâssùs
    (now my name looks like one of those fake ice cream brands!)

  45. How lovely to have such a super sea view. That's our dream - to one day live even closer to the sea than we do. I'd never tire of looking at the ocean -it's different every day.

    Loving your collection of roosters - we have one rather like the large white one in the centre of your photo - ours was a gift from a former client of my husband's. He has no friends though, unlike yours, and stands in solitary splendour. :)

  46. I was born in Brighton General Hospital and have lived all of my 66 years in Brighton and Hove as it is now called.
    I have seen many, many changes both in the town and the sea side, some for the good and some for the worse, but for all that I would not live anywhere else.
    I can't imagine not being able to get to the sea or the downs.
    Do I remember there being something special about one of the flats on the corner in your picture 'a Brighton room with a view'a fancy stair well or

  47. Dear Jane and Lance, you really do live in the best place. I love it that you don't have any curtains in the bedroom, and I think that you both are 'morning people' so you won't mind being woken at daybreak! Apart from the stunning views, you are able to people watch as well, not to mention all the coffee houses at your disposal. Well done, you have chosen extremely well.

    London, although vibrant and colourful and interesting, is for visiting, not living in, in my view! It's too big, and unfriendly!
    Glad to hear that Lance is recovering slowly but surely. Much love to you both, Linda x

  48. Brighton is the first place I visited outside of London. My husband-to-be was anxious to take me there as it was one of his favourite places. Whenever we go, which is not so often these days, living in the North -- he loves to re-live his favourite movie, "Genevieve" and to visit his best loved stamp shop! Your collection of cockerels reminds me of Jean Lurcat (the cedilla eludes me!) who was an artist of superb tapestries and pottery whose trademark was the cockerel at its most ravishing -- his museum is housed in a tower overlooking our nearby town of St. Cere (now the accent ague eludes me, too!)
    Your homes wherever you are are so exquisite and to have views of the sea and a regency square sound like perfection to me...

  49. How lovely to be beside the seaside, and Brighton has a unique energy and feeling of creativity. Wonderful to stroll up the Lanes and buy a few bits for your beautiful new home- - actually this could become addictive!

    Like you I enjoyed childhood holidays in Swanage, IoW, Lyme Regis and most of Cornwall (grandparents lived in Penzance), and still get completely over-excited on journeys when getting that first glimpse of the sea! Watch out for those pesky gulls! xxx

  50. Tabitha:
    We are indeed most fortunate although the architecture is very, very different from that of the London flat. But we do enjoy the contrast between Brighton and Budapest.

  51. Lost in Provence:
    Oh, dear Heather, to be within walking distance of the Rhone. How romantic is that? And the Roman Baths, our only experience of which is in Bath, we should find most fascinating.

    All is well with us, thank you, although we now realise that the recovery from surgery is not, as we had rather hoped, a five minute affair. But progress is most certainly being made.

  52. Kasia:
    The view from the Brighton rooms does, literally, broaden one's outlook and horizons and we are so lucky to be able to observe the sea in all of its many changing moods. As for the comings and goings in the square, well......!

  53. mise:
    We are delighted that you like the cockerel collection and although we should never have purchased them, having inherited them some years ago, we do think them rather fun and they do fit with our somewhat eclectic style of furnishing.

  54. I understand about watching the sea and sky, but I'm really with you on eavesdropping on others, as you do in your square and in the coffee shops. In fact this is one of favourite activities. You can get to resent a companion who insists on talking and making you miss something important in the conversation at the next table. I've been out with one or two guys who understand this, but then the problem becomes how to camouflage the fact that the two of you are leaning towards your neighbours' conversation, trying not to miss anything. I'd never be happy with somebody who didn't fully understand the importance of this aspect of eating out. The ones who don't understand this are mostly those who talk about themselves, or want to know about me! Tsk! They don't seem to realise that there will be masses of time after eating for all that relationship rubbish. Love, Alec :) xx

  55. Parnassus:
    Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to explain the vagaries of the umlaut[alias diaeresis]to us. Clearly you have mastered the art of all accents but we who follow in your footsteps, need a lot more practice to reach such perfection. Indeed, try as we might, we have not yet 'got' it. Still, practice makes perfect they say....!!!

  56. Wendz:
    When we considering moving to Brighton, we felt that no matter how small the accommodation might be, that was not important, but a sea view was. In addition, we rather like the fact that the pier is also part of our panorama since, sadly, there is very little by way of shipping that passes by.

    We are so pleased that you like the collection of cockerels and that you have a similar one yourself. They certainly add an exotic flash of colour!

  57. Crafty Cat Corner:
    A Brightonian, how wonderful! Yes, for all its faults, in Brighton there are more compensations when one weighs it all up we feel.

    We are not too sure what you can be thinking of about a flat in the square, but we are thrilled that within our particular house there is an original and working Edwardian lift. This must be the topic of its own blog post one day!

  58. flowers on my table:
    We have to tell you, dearest Linda, that we have no curtains or blinds anywhere in our Brighton rooms, not even in the bathroom!! We like to think that we are either out of sight of voyeurs or of little interest to them and so we have an unobscured view of almost 360 degrees. The Downs in one direction and the sea in another!!

    Yes, we tend to agree with you about London, although having it within easy reach is glorious. The best of all worlds we think.

    Thank you for your kind get well wishes, they are very much appreciated.

  59. How wonderful to live in such a beautiful square and what glorious views to have from your bedroom window. Yes, I think I'd swan around in a Jane Austen daydream too.
    I hope your next specs aren't too painfully expensive.

  60. The Broad:
    We are so pleased to see that you struggle with accents too in these comment boxes!! We thought that we were alone.

    We have never heard of Jean Lurcat or seen any of his works. We have found your account of him fascinating and shall be seeking him out, that is for sure. The museum sounds to be a delight and, quite clearly, has its own view!!

  61. Hello:
    We agree completely. Brighton is a vibrant place with a confident air about it even in difficult times. Sandwiched between the South Downs and the sea, it is also contained and with the most wonderful countryside just a short distance away.

    The Lanes, as you say, are most intriguing but are filled with jewellery shops these days rather than the antiques of years ago. Nevertheless, one can usually spot something unusual there and, as you point out, it can all become quite addictive.

  62. Dear Jane and Lance
    I do feel that gazing out to sea is a very relaxing way to pass the time. And especially from the comfort of your own lovely home, and one with such a spectacular view too.
    I did smile when reading your reply to Hels about your childhood holidays. There were few health and safety rules in the 50's. Every Sunday my father would set sail in his yacht while my mother drank gin in the clubhouse. My sister and I were left to entertain ourselves on the rocks (no water wings for us!).... happy days!

    I hope Lance is making good progress, and coping well with the many hours of physiotherapy required.

    Much love
    Abby xx

  63. Lovely views of course and your reference to Ratty and Mole brought a large smile to my face.
    I think binoculars are definitely in order!

  64. You can't beat a room with a view, wherever it might be. From my room I just get a view of the back garden and a few rooftops - but to have a view over the sea, that must be wonderful.

  65. What charming vistas you enjoy, and how wonderful to wake to any of them.

    There's such a charm to other folks' windows---I seldom feel the need to intrude a glance inside, but would be enthralled to stand looking OUT, I think. The sea, the Thames, the intriguing vis a vis---much to imagine.

    Chris just walked up behind me, and I "explained" you with the first thing that came into my early-morning brain---"they have ROOMS in one city, and a flat in another, and I always think Noel Coward's there in a white jacket, with a martini glass sitting to hand on the piano." Your lives seem of AGO, somehow, of that charming time glimpsed in elegant moments, of ivory satin gowns and cigarette holders, and every talk bons mots.

    You seem not really THERE, somehow, in that you'd bother with a computer and such modern frivols, when the days could be spent motoring round the coast to the next house party, the next sail, the next fete.

    I DO think my words are returning, somewhat, and fear for the fallout. Do be well and warm, and allow me my dreams.


  66. topchelseagirl:
    We fear that we do rather too much 'swanning around' for our own good when really we should settle down to live more purposeful lives and become useful members of society. Time enough for all of that, we console ourselves!

  67. Alec Lindsay:
    We always knew we should get on well together - now we are totally convinced! The downside of listening in to the conversation of others is that one finds oneself, most likely to hear even better, looking, if not staring, all of the time and thus in danger of giving oneself away. But only yesterday, waiting for a prescription in the chemist's shop, we overheard a conversation in which friends who we know very well were the topic under discussion. Now what about that?!!

    And on an entirely different note, we do hope that your father is making progress.

  68. My Spotty Pony:
    We like the sea best when it is really rough. At that point the panes in the windows rattle alarmingly but, in the comfort of our armchairs, we love the drama of it all.

    How did we all manage to survive our childhoods? Your experience sounds very similar to ours, except that our mothers' favourite tipples were egg flip and sherry!!

    Thank you so much for the kind wishes. Our rooms are more like a gym these days....but progress is happily ever more evident as each day passes.

  69. Dani BP:
    Well, one thing is for certain, should we ever decide to buy binoculars then there are plenty of Russian ones to choose from at very advantageous prices on the Danube promenade in Budapest!!

  70. Alan Burnett:
    The sea and our English friends are pretty much all that we miss when in Budapest. It is endlessly fascinating, we find.

  71. Brighton does seem to have improved dramatically...my mother used to holiday at Rottingdean as a child with the Sussex part of the family - she always remembers the county slogan...'Sussex won't be druv'...and I used to go down to Hove for the cricket if things were slow at work and there was a good match...but Brighton was more than a bit seedy then!
    I do like your square and share your view on the delights of having civilisation at close quarters!
    Once the house in San Jose is habitable again I am looking forward to being able to stroll home from a pleasant evening in the centre without having to rush for the last bus.
    Keep up the improvements in the health department!

  72. In my recent post I talk of visiting the Atlantic for a few weeks in the early spring of 2010, and how I love looking out to sea. Even the view from the windows of my third floor apartment there, just yards away from it, were wonderful. The energy of the sea is palpable, if not mesmerizing. I can say I also enjoy people-watching (in the right locations). Unfortunately, eavesdropping isn't as fun here at home, and binoculars are used for wildlife here in the country. I do occasionally wish for some "wild life" viewing in the city. Come spring....

  73. We have a Brighton Beach here in Melbourne... but I must confess it looks nothing like yours!

    Hope that all is going well for you both.

  74. racheld:
    Well, we definitely are here, but it is sometimes a mystery to us how we have managed to turn on a computer and get it to work. Indeed, it is an even greater mystery how we were once upon a time thought to be employable......but it is so much more enjoyable now being footloose and fancy free!!

    Incidentally, one of our neighbours here used to be Ivor Novello's pianist, so your 'dreams' are not so far off the mark!!

  75. the fly in the web:
    Seedy would definitely have been a word to describe Brighton some years ago, but the old girl has brushed up nicely and now has a much more glamorous look.

    Apartments overlooking Hove cricket ground sell at a premium as they have spectacular views of the pitch. Whether there is any compensation, however, if a stray ball smashes the windows we do not know!!

  76. Teresa Evangeline:
    Well, there is certainly plenty of wild life to see here in Brighton and it is all of the two-legged variety!!

    Your trip to the Atlantic Ocean sounds idyllic. You are so right, the sea is energising and yet also surprisingly calming we find even when it is at its roughest. Just witnessing this sheer force of nature is humbling.

  77. Princess:
    We do find it strange that there is a Brighton beach down under. How many Brightons are there in the world we wonder?

    Thank you for your kind wishes. Have you tested all the fabric yet?

  78. Much of who we are is because of our environment. You have been privileged to live in some lovely places that reflect your beautiful and classic taste. What marvelous views you have had. Truly, you had the windows of the world at your finger tips.

    I so enjoyed this post. It started my day on a high note.

  79. Oh, what inspiring views from both your über (found the umlaut) cool London flat and now your Brighton flat ((I love those windows, the colors, the flowers, the furnishings). Beautiful!

  80. Starting Over, Accepting Changes:
    Arleen you are so right about lives being affected so much by the environment with which one is surrounded. We do indeed feel very fortunate to have such beautiful and interesting places in which to live since yes, life is definitely the richer because of it.

    We rather feel that through blogging we do have 'the world at our fingertips' and we love it so!!

  81. I was enchanted with the idea of your view of the Thames and a constant variety of boats, but you have everything in Brighton--the sea, where the views are endless, culture, an interesting variety of people, and, a phrase that I found very touching--"immense kindness". It sounds perfect to me.


  82. Mitch Block:
    Oh how clever of you to have found the umlaut. Even given Parnassus's carefully detailed advice, we are still umlautless!!

    Thank you for your kind compliments. We love the Regency architecture, even though the sash windows let in every draught when the wind is in a certain direction!!

  83. Jen:
    The river views from the windows of the London flat were most interesting since, because of the bend in the river, we could see the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, the doomed Dome, Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and Greenwich. It was particularly exciting when a very large vessel sailed by and Tower bridge had to be raised to let it pass through.

    But, yes, we prefer the more genteel pace of Brighton and real sea. And, the friends we have made here are wonderful.

  84. Ctrl + Shift + :

    But I don't know that it's worth the trouble. Anyway, it's much easier on a Mac (option-u u)

  85. What a wonderful, lovely place to live while in England. It looks to be such an elegant building and your view is amazing. Living by the sea is always a joy.

  86. Gazing out upon water is one of life's greatest pleasures.....we are so fortunate to do so. Brighton has a dash of romance and fun to it that dark, gloomy London just can't compete with. The daily rush of it all must end at the ocean's edge....

  87. What great views you have from your apartment, I think you need a telescope :) that should sit on a stand next to a window. At a moment's notice you can be a spy :)

  88. Mitch Block:
    Alas, we have controlled and shifted and we still have no umlaut....could Google Chrome be hiding it from us?

    Oh, for a Mac!!

  89. La Vie Quotidienne:
    The seafront buildings in Brighton are glorious confections of cream coloured stucco which we love. And, of course, the sea makes it perfect!

  90. Mermaid Gallery:
    Well, you too are very fortunate to have such a wonderful watery outlook. It is, as you say, such a delight and a privilege to be able to do so.

    Yes, Brighton does cut a dash these days. And, as you say, when travelling down from London, first one is soothed by the rolling South Downs and then one is serenaded by the sea.

  91. Paisley Curtain:
    Yes, we should rather like a telescope. As you say, permanently fixed so that no movement shall go unnoticed. This spying lark is really starting to have an appeal!!

  92. Fantastic!
    Brighton would be just the place I'd like to live. On the level, with the Downs at the back and London within a short train journey's reach; colleges and cafes, foreigners, and a society of artists, how I would relish that.

    Here house and garden are fast becoming too large, I swear the hills are growing higher and every last little thing requires a long car journey.

    Now, if I could only persuade Beloved. Perhaps he remembers the Sunday afternoon concert audience, all those white-haired heads slowly sinking into a post prandial doze.

  93. Bother, my long and highly intelligent comment has disappeared and I have no idea how to get it back.

    In short: I'd love to live in Brighton, a lovely city full of artistic people, cafes and shops, on the level, with the Downs in the hinterland and London within a short train journey's reach.

    Here house and garden are fast becoming too much for us, the hills are growing taller and every last little thing requires a drive.

    Perhaps Beloved remembers all those Sunday afternoon heads gently sinking onto their chests during symphony concerts, and that's the reason I can't persuade him?

  94. People-watching is such a fascinating subject. You have an excellent vantage point from your home. You enjoy such an interesting life. xo I

  95. You know, I don't think I realized Brighton was so very close to London. I must visit next time I'm over.
    To see the sea from one's window. Ah. The height of luxury.

  96. Friko:
    Abracadabra!! As if by magic, both of your long and extremely intelligent comments are here, safe and sound!!

    You are surrounded by the most glorious countryside and we too loved the whole of the Welsh March and Shropshire hills. But, as you say, there does come a time, perhaps, when one does wish for a little more 'life' that only a city can provide.

    We love the variety that Brighton gives,the cosmopolitan mix and, of course, the close proximity with London and all that it provides. And, all accessible by public transport. We never cease to give thanks that we no longer need a car!!

  97. Barbara F:
    Oh yes, people watching is such a favourite pastime of ours, together with drinking coffee. Indeed, if the two activities can be accomplished together then we are in heaven!!

  98. Pamela, Terry and Edward:
    We are sure that you would enjoy a day trip to Brighton when you next come to London. Just 50 minutes by train and one is whisked into another world.

    Yes, when lying in bed we can see straight out to the pier and the sea. Decadence, definitely!

  99. Your Brighton apartment views look so ideal. You have not only the sea and pier but also the streets and people to keep an eye on. No binoculars? A telescope perhaps?

    Brighton sounds like such a nice neighborhood of people and shops and progressive thinking. I think I would much prefer it over London. It reminds me of living in San Francisco.

  100. Neato! Makes me wish I was back in London now:)

  101. Dear Jane & Lance - re: the umlaut - I do not know what computer you have, but on my Apple if I go into Edit at the top of the screen, I can then reach Special Characters, in that section there is everything I could possibly want. I can find the ü and Ü there along with hundreds of other things you could want. These umlaut come under Accented Latin. Only a help if you have an Apple!!!

  102. Rubye Jack:
    We have no idea what San Francisco is like but of the people we have met who have been there, they all have very positive things to say about it.

    Brighton is a friendly place and we have made some wonderful friends here. Perhaps it is the jolly seaside atmosphere that makes everyone so relaxed and happy. Today, however, the rain is horizontal and it is wall to wall grey!! Roll on summer.

  103. Mark Noce:
    How interesting that you were once in London, that is something we did not know about you.

  104. Rosemary:
    Alas, the only apples we have are in the fruit bowl. That dreaded umlaut is still evading us!!

    Thank you for your advice, any readers fortunate to have a Mac will now know the secret of the umlaut!

  105. Hello Jane and Lance
    You certainly know how to choose a good location (as well as beautiful period properties!)!
    How wonderful to be able to enjoy both the sea and a rich medley of life passing by, all from the same house!Surely the best of both worlds!

    Wishing you a belated Happy New Year.
    Gill xx

  106. gillyflower:
    The period houses are a great attraction for us and were, in major part, what drew us to Brighton. Its situation in close proximity to London, the glorious South Downs and the sea makes it a popular place with young and old alike. We do love it!

    Wishing you too a joyous, healthy and prosperous 2012!!

  107. hello Jane and Lance. thank you for this delightful glimpse inside your other homes, past and present. I love the contrast between uber-cool modern and dignified Regency, but can easily imagine you in both settings. :-)

  108. Both the places look good, I prefer the Brighton one though... seems more relaxing, easy going and your description of Brighton makes the town sound more inviting and warm, like a friendly touch. Binoculars or no, I'm sure your creative minds will arrive at more entertaining stories, than what's actually going on.

  109. Perpetua:
    Sometimes we toy with getting rid of all our furniture and just buying a very limited selection of beautiful contemporary pieces, but that never seems to happen. Just too many associations and memories, perhaps. But yes, we do rather like both of these extremes.

  110. Karen Xavier:
    Yes, we much prefer Brighton too. Being on the Thames was wonderful, but to have been closer to the centre of town would have been better, but there was just a question of affordability!!

    You are absolutely right about our imaginations, they run ahead of us and we can barely keep up. But, generally speaking, we find that one cannot make up things which are stranger than their real life counterparts!!!

  111. Oh Denmark, those long winter nights, melancholic smoky bars, clean fields of snow and cartons of Danzka vodka. Simplicity and functionalism in every building...
    Influenced by the German Bauhaus school, the architecture of your previous home shares basic principles with the Sydney Opera House!
    From such a “vibrant” and idyllic atmosphere you decided to move to Brighton!?!?
    It is almost like a screenplay written by Anders Thomas Jensen... When is it on in the cinemas? We would love to see that film!

  112. It all sounds so wonderful and beautiful. I can only imagine waking to sit, with one's preferred morning beverage, by a window overlooking your Regency square. Oh my, I am sure I could become quite tangled in a mystery of sorts if I spied long enough.

    I am called to the water, but circumstances have it that I am "landlocked" with the exception of my winter respite in Florida. I can live vicariously though. Possibly one of the reasons I am drawn to literature. I can escape at anytime. Thanks for a lovely visit. Bonnie

  113. G.S:
    Sadly, we have never been to Denmark, our London flat being the closest we have come to Danish 'simplicity and functionalism'. And, the clean lines and light filled rooms were wonderful, certainly reminiscent of chilly snowscapes and Bauhaus, but less reflective of the smoky bars and Danzka Vodka with which you appear to be familiar.

    The screenplays of Anders Thomas Jensen are indeed beautifully scripted. Adams Apples was a particular favourite of ours, seen in Budapest where world cinema is, we feel, always well represented, unlike in the UK.

  114. Bonnie:
    Yes, literature does indeed offer marvellous opportunities to escape and to live a variety of lives through others. We are sure that this is why it has such an appeal for us too. And, how wonderful to have a Florida retreat!!

    Somehow the Regency squares do transport one back in time and suggest all kinds of mysterious comings and goings. It is rather like living on a film set!

  115. What amazing views! Sounds like Brighton should be on my list of places to visit this summer (we are planning to honeymoon in Europe).

    I peek out my window to watch the people outside our condo too. Usually the cat let's me know if there is something interesting going on out there.

    Hope this finds you both well.


  116. Elizabeth Gilmore:
    How exciting the thought of planning a honeymoon in Europe is. So many wonderful places to choose from, but Brighton would be a fun day trip from London if your plans involve a visit to the Capital.

    Ah, we see that you are a people-watcher too. They are endlessly fascinating, aren't they?!!

  117. I have never been to Brighton! I see I am missing a great deal!

  118. Dear Jane and Lance,

    I LOVE this post. Probably because i love London and Brighton. And of course, your writing in this post is very amusing.

    I think i've passed by your London apartement. It looks very familiar.
    The view onto the river is lovely. I used to work in Embankment some years ago and would walk by the river, on the South Bank every day at lunch time, or after work. I still miss it, but i do try and visit the South Bank as often as i can.
    And of course, you have that amazing view of the sea in Brighton. Although, i'd say my favourite place in the UK is London, i'd say Brighton comes second close. I've spent many a weekend there over the last 20 years. I particularily like browsing through The Lanes. So many lovely cafes and unique shops.
    And there is a very good fish and chip shop at the top of the Lanes. I only eat chips when i come to Brighton, but it's always a treat. Get a take away, sit on the beach and enjoy the food and the view.

    Ooo, i got carried away and wrote a very long message. Sorry. But i suppose i couldn't stop myself, your post today is about two of my favourite places.


  119. For some reason, I can't find my comment in the previous post. I hope you have received it. It must be a joy to live in such an apartment, especially in London. For some reason, it reminds me of Poirot's flat from the TV series. Thank you for finding a moment to look into my currently deserted blog.

  120. Hello Jane and Lance!
    How well I can understand the lure of the sea and picturesque Brighton! What enviable views (both back and front!) I know those simple pleasures in life arrive with a great deal of planning!

    As for your elusive umlaut, try pressing option & u and fill in the letter, voila ö, or option & n for ñ for example.


  121. Dearest Jane and Lance,

    Please forgive my absence, it has been for many valid reasons, be assured.
    As always, when one get's slowly to know one's newer blog friends, many things lay hidden. I have had no idea with what demons you had to wrestle over the last year and that one of you lost the last parent on Christmas. I am so sorry to hear it.
    My grandfather died on a Christmas Day.
    I never met him, he died in 1948, long before I was born. He was 47 years old.

    I am holding you close in my mind.

    What good news though to hear that you are all better, cross my fingers it may stay this way and that you ventured out to new shores so to speak. The new place looks just as I would adore it too, one day I would love come and see it for myself.
    May it be one place for many happy healthy years together.

    Our daughter will spend 10 days this summer in Oxford and London, with a student exchange program and I would so love to join her.
    Which of course is the furthest on the mind of a 15 year old. As far away from mother as possible and I guess she has her reasons. One needs to grow up...

    Thank you, as always for your sweet comment and visit. I so appreciate your kind words.


    PS: Just got a lovely vintage edition of W.Boyd's
    Any Human Heart! I am reading it now!
    You will love the movie!
    Let me know if you have problems finding it, I could send you a DVD.

    : )

  122. Hello, Jane and Lance,

    You have a marvelous view, and I can imagine how magical it is to see both lights and water from bed! (The china collection of roosters is very handsome, too. I hope they face the morning sun.)

    And it's good to hear that you're on the mend. You have many people sending you good energy!

  123. Wow, what a gorgeous view! Thank you for sharing your interesting life & experience with us all! Lovely post!

  124. Dearest Jane and Lance

    I love the views and description of your Brighton home. It sounds like the perfect place to live. The ever changing view of the ocean must be heavenly. Many of your followers are suggesting telescopes for spying and I think if these are procured then a curtain should be installed in the said window. A knitted curtain, something with dropped stitches, very bohemian and lacey. We would also knit hoodies for you to wear when spying and of course hoodies for the roosters just in case someone across the way is spying on you.
    As you may have determined it is past my bedtime
    Glad you are back and blogging.

  125. Those views from the Brighton flat almost tempt me to come down there and try to identify precisely from which flat they were taken. But I might be arrested for 'stalking'!

  126. Dear Jane and Lance,
    How I envy you BOTH locations! To live near water is a treat indeed (the right sort of water, of course) - though, like you, I'd prefer to be nearer the sea than the river should the choice ever occur.
    Despite its current 'racy' image, I love the way you tap into Brighton's Regency past - to be whisked back to the more restrained excesses of curtain-twitching!
    Wonderful. Axxx

  127. Annie:
    Brighton has something to offer all year round, but it is particularly jolly when the sun is shining and the day trippers are in town!

  128. Boye by Red:
    We can feel your enthusiasm through what you write here. Because Brighton and London are so close, it makes a wonderful change to either have a day at the seaside or a day up in the Capital. Certainly the best of both worlds in our view.

    The Lanes are, we agree, an intriguing mix of independent shops. There is always something unusual which catches the eye there. And, such wonderful decadence to have a takeaway on the beach!!

  129. Olga:
    Yes, we did receive your comment on our previous post, but do not worry so as we are very aware of what pressures you must be under at the present time. We do so hope that things are gradually becoming more settled for you.

    Yes, we know what you mean about Poirot's flat. That is in fact in a mansion block in London and we have often thought that we should rather like to live there. A wonderful Art Deco exterior.

  130. smilla4blogs:
    It is true that we generally do look for a long time before we see property to our liking, however, in the case of our Brighton rooms, they just presented themselves on a first visit. The view sold the place to us immediately, only afterwards did we realise that the windows did not open, the boiler had packed up, plaster was coming away from the bathroom walls and the kitchen was a bomb site!!

    Alas, we have no 'option' button. The search for the umlaut continues....

  131. VictoriaArt:
    Thank you so much for your very kind comment. We are very much aware that in Blogland there are many people suffering in so very many ways but, more often than not, people put a good front on things and show great stoicism in the face of adversity. That is a great strength of the blogging community and we love being a part of it.

    We are sure that your daughter will enjoy her time between Oxford and London, both very different but both with such an enormous amount of wonderful experiences to offer. If ever our paths cross in Brighton, we should love you to visit.

  132. VictoriaArt:
    thank you for the offer of the W Boyd DVD. We are in the process of seeking it out. He is one of our favourite novelists and we are sure that you will love the book.

  133. Mark D. Ruffner:
    The view is mesmerising, certainly a time-waster as we gaze out to sea for hours on end!

    Your comment about the cockerels really made us smile, they face west as it happens and do glow wonderfully a the sun sets!!

    Thank you for your kind words. Progress is pleasing, albeit slow but we have learned to be patient.

  134. Blessings from Cindy:
    Thank you for your most kind and generous comment. The view is wonderful and is different every day.

  135. helen tilston:
    Dearest Helen, we really think that you have been reading far too many spy novels recently. Telescopes, hoodies, lace curtains, what can you be thinking of?!!!! Actually, we are secretly delighted that no-one has yet spotted our hidden camera in the coffee shop, such a den of intrigue!!!

    Thank you for your warm welcome back, it is so good to be here!!

  136. Raybeard:
    Perhaps, dear Ray, we shall set off in the opposite direction and seek you out one day. Shall we wear carnations in our buttonholes so that you can spot us?!!!

  137. Annie:
    Yes, the sea wins over the river every time. Besides, the Danube panorama in Budapest is a riverscape that is very hard to beat in our view.

    Ah, dear Annie, you have found us out. It is the 'racy' Brighton which indeed has lured us here, we understand that even naked butlers can be hired at a price!!!!

  138. Carnations, J & L? Yes, good idea - but they'd have to be GREEN ones!

  139. Raybeard:
    Green carnations it is and we shall be waving Lady Windermere's Fan!!!

  140. Dear Jane and Lance,

    I enjoyed having a look at your Brighton apartment. What an amazing view you have! And that huge window.....and the light....

    I can imagine it being a joy to stay there, enjoy the activity at the seaside and below in the square.

    Love your collection of cockerels :-)!

  141. Madelief:
    We do enjoy our time in Brighton although, truth be told, we far prefer to spend our days in Budapest. Hence, we chose somewhere in England by the sea, something we cannot have in landlocked Hungary, otherwise we felt that we should be tempted never to return to the UK!!

    Thank you for your kind words about our Brighton 'rooms', the light is, as you remark, lovely!

  142. Dear Jane and Lance,
    How absolutely delightful, to be able to wake with a view of the sea.
    Ever so tranquil and peaceful.
    cafe and restaurant hopping..catching up with the neighbourhood news.
    As always enjoy reading your excellent blogs..
    I do hope that you are recovering Lance!
    look forward to my next visit

  143. val's alentejo blog:
    When the wind is in the right direction, we can hear the sound of the sea and that we find to be absolutely mesmerising. We also have the most magical sunsets, made especially wonderful when the starlings which roost on the pier are in full flight.

    At last we seem to have managed to sign up as Followers on your new blog. We enjoy reading of your adventures in Portugal very much.

    Thank you for your good wishes. Progress is slow but evident we are pleased to say!!

  144. beautiful views in the pics

  145. Simply exquisite! Thank you for taking us along on this superb journey!!! Oh, to be in Brighton!

  146. I think it would be absolutely wonderful to have that view in Brighton! Marvelous.

  147. Jane and Lance, you are fortunate to be able to live in this magical place so near the sea. I can only imagine your views, but thanks for supplying pix as an adjunct to my imagination.

    I've only traveled to Great Britain once, years ago, but I've never forgotten it.

    I noted the rooster collection in one of your photos and smiled. I too collect them and have some very nice ones in my kitchen. :)

    One of them is currently on view in my 'welcome' blog photo.

  148. A lorgnette is much more fitting for a regency property than common binoculars. Entering a cafe is like entering a theatre to watch a play you know nothing about, the more down market the cafe is, the more salacious the gossip. In Morrison's cafe I kept a close watch on a gypsy family sat at the table opposite, I watched as the children licked their plates clean then handed them over to mother gypsy who stacked them and placed them in her shopping bag.

  149. Dear Jane and Lance,

    What a fun collection of roosters you have there! What a lovely way to show us the view to the sea. I much prefer the sea to any other body of water . . . alas, I must visit, for home is the forest and rolling hills. I love how you have kept the purity and simplicity to your windows. Pure view! I would go ahead and get the binoculars! You never know what you might see in Brighton. I have only visited there in books. (I am curious about the ones on your handsome table.) I recently reread and read (NHA, MP for the first time) all of Jane Austen's books. I have rather romantic notions about life there in Brighton. The view of Regency square is charming.
    On another note . . . did you know that you can now set your comments in a way to have a reply embedded. Finally blogger has given us a better way. Let me know if you need any help . . . I just figured it out today. Warm regards, Carol

  150. "Waving Lady Windermere's Fan about in public!" That WOULD be a sight worth seeing - but 'scuse me if I shielded my eyes. I'm far too innocent!

  151. My name being Zoë, I had to master the diaeresis - but it's far easier on a Mac than a PC, using simple logic rather than a need to memorise a list of numbers.

    Wonderful view from your windows. I miss a view of the water, now that I live in the countryside. There's a stream in the garden, but it cannot be seen from the house.

  152. Your apartment is so lovely - what a view! it is a wonder you are able to do anything but gaze out the windows when you are there! Lovely post - Stephie x

  153. The Shade Shop:
    We are so pleased that you enjoyed the visit!

  154. Jen[emsun.org]
    Yes, we do feel very fortunate to enjoy such a lovely view. We are so pleased that you have visited us and hope to welcome you back here again!!

  155. Yvette:
    We have a collection of cockerels but do not collect them.....this is what we tell everyone lest we become overrun by them!! Yours sound most interesting and we shall look more carefully at your welcome picture when next we visit. Some of these ceramic birds are becoming very collectable in Britain now with prices to match. Certain Beswick ones are particularly sought after.

  156. Mitzi:
    Ah yes, a lorgnette, so much more suitable and will, we hope give us just that 'je ne sais quoi' that we are always looking for!!

    Although we say that nothing can surprise us any more, your café tale really did. We note that you employ the apostrophe in Morrison's whereas we understand that this is to be removed from their signage.....standards, where are they?!!!!

  157. Carol:
    We do hate to disillusion you, but, sadly, not all of Brighton is as romantic or rose-tinted as Miss Austen might suggest. Nevertheless, it is fun and jolly with a coffee shop every few yards and her books are a very good read!!

    Thank you for the offer of help with the comments. We have toyed with the idea, but old habits die hard and after having so much trouble with Blogger over the past few months we are reluctant to upset the status quo.

  158. Raybeard:
    You are NAUGHTY!!! But, we like you!!!

  159. Z;
    Oh, that we could master the diaeresis, our PC refuses to co-operate on this one. Thank goodness neither of us is called Zoe!

    A stream in the garden sounds absolutely lovely and always attracts a great deal of wildlife. As in our experience streams can so quickly become rivers in times of heavy rain, we are sure that its being some way from the house is a good thing.

  160. StephieB:
    Thank you for your kind comment. Well, we have to say that gazing out of the window is a favourite pastime here!!

  161. I'm terrible about letting go of a property once I own it. I quite admire your ability to give up the London flat and choose Brighton, though I'm sure that Brighton is equally advantageous, being close enough to easily visit London if you wish. I had the option to purchase a house with a sea view from the dining room and the upstairs bedroom, but I didn't take it as it was a fair hike to the Metro and it needed a great deal of updating to be tolerable. I had lived in England for under a year at the time and was still learning about the various types of property on offer. I couldn't grasp the idea of leaving workmen in the house alone while I went to work and I knew my boss would be completely inflexible so I chose a place that was liveable as it was. I am a five minute walk from the North Sea and from the Tyne River, from an ancient village and from a 17 acre park, but I don't have a view of water from my windows and I sometimes think of the choices I didn't take, though we enjoy the view of the treetops from our bedroom window, with the flocks of homing pigeons and the seagulls. I do love those Regency buildings you get to see!

  162. Dear Jane and Lance - a room with a view is highly prized and Dave and I would spend hours gazing out of our sun room windows. My header photo is the view from those same windows with nary a curtain in sight because we didn't want to dilute the view.
    Your view is lovely and it gives me great pleasure to think of the two of you, enjoying that view and each other, as healing takes place.

  163. How marvelous to waken to the sight and sound of the sea! And what lovely terraces on those Regency homes in the last photo, so elegant and ornate. Wonderful collection of Roosters wow! I too have a couple although mine are tiny. I always think they are so colourful and remind me of Beau Brummel that well-known Regency buck I think.

    Hope you are recovering nicely!

  164. Shelley:
    We found it much more difficult to give up our house and garden in Herefordshire which we had lived in for some 25 years. However, having managed to walk away from that we feel that we are much stronger for it and now truly believe that home is exactly where you make it to be.

    You must have seen many changes in the NE in recent years. It is an age since we last visited but feel that a return is long overdue. So many bold and exciting developments which we really want to see.

  165. Thistle Cove Farm:
    We have often wondered where that glorious view of your wonderful landscape was with respect to your farm and now we know. We can so easily imagine the happy times that you and Dave will have spent gazing out on that marvellous view with all its many changes throughout the seasons.

    We too can spend hours looking out of our windows since there is always activity. At all times of the day or night and in every season there is always something of interest both in the Human and Natural World!!

  166. Half-heard in the Stillness:
    We love your analogy between the colourful cockerels and the dandy Beau Brummel, yes that seems a perfect comparison!!

    We too love the Regency balconies with their overhanging lead canopies and iron railings. They are very elegant and look particularly attractive when viewed around the square as a whole.

  167. I'm sniggering in a most undignified way as curtain-twitching and naked butlers link together in the sordid recesses - (of my head, not your drawing room). Axx

  168. What a fabulous post! I always have the sense that I myself am spying on some (not-so-secret) mischief and fun in which the two of you are incessantly engaged. I love coming here. I love the figurative window onto the Hattatt cosmos. And the view from the bedroom ain't too shabby, neither!


  169. Such charm and wit there is in every line of this post, beautifully capturing the spirit of each place--and your spirit as inhabitants within it.

  170. Hattatt: I am not sure my comment took, so am trying once again. Such charm and wit in every line of this post. You capture so well not only the spirit of place, but the spirit of your residence within it.

  171. I am booking the flight... I am catching the train... please bil the kettle, warm the tea-pot and stoke the fire ... ETA - as soon as dreams allow. I love your new abode - Brighton was a jewel in the crown of our Uk vacation... we loved the atmosphere, the cafe culture and the sea... esp the "pebble beach" ... sigh...

  172. Fabulous place to live. I just love places where life has passed by for so many years, very evocative of a bygone age. The view of the sea from your bedroom window would keep me happy for hours. I lived by the sea for a few years as a child, and I hope to return to it one day. The scent of the air, the sound of the waves, you are lucky indeed.

  173. Annie:
    We are so pleased to note that you do not think that there are any sordid recesses in our drawing room!!

    We are delighted that the naked butler gave you cause to smile, but we can assure you that we did not make this up. It could only be in Brighton...!!

  174. Suze:
    Thank you for your kind and generous comment.

    We sometimes think that the sneak peeks which we present in our blog do give rather bizarre insights into our lives. But then, it is the absurdities of life which fascinate us beyond all measure!!

  175. Susan Scheid:
    Thank you for your most kind words. We are delighted to think that we may have been able to convey something of the larger than life 'persona' that is Brighton!

  176. Brown Paper Packages:
    We are thrilled that you managed to squeeze in a visit to Brighton when you were in the UK and that you clearly enjoyed your time here.

    Although it would be so nice to have white sandy beaches, the pebbles do always make the beach look tidy and clean. Particularly needed for those who make camp on the beach throughout the summer!!

  177. Susan T:
    How wonderful that you too share a love of the sea. The ozone in the air is so very invigorating we find and really does 'blow the cobwebs' off when one has been holed up indoors.

    There are so many little nooks and crannies in Brighton where one can easily imagine being transported back to bygone days. And it is, as you say, quietly reassuring that one is part of a scene which has been re-enacted over the decades so many times!

  178. London by the sea sounds like a lovely place to be. The people, the history, the view. Of course wherever you all are would be much the better for your outlook.

  179. DearHelenHartman:
    London by the Sea is a name well earned by Brighton. Indeed, the locals all sound like East Enders!! Just a short train ride from the Capital, it fills up at night with the party crowd and at weekends with those seeking fun at the seaside away from the smoke of town.

  180. Dearest Hattatts, you home and those uber views look utterly blissful. You jet setting lives are a constant source of awe. Where do you get the energy to do all you do? I too love to eavesdrop in coffee shops.
    Hope you are keeping warm!

  181. YONKS:
    Really Dianne we have degrees in doing very little at all!!

    We are trying to keep warm but the wind is rattling through the sash windows as we write. So different from Budapest where even in temperatures well below zero, all public buildings and everyone's houses are always beautifully hot.

  182. Dear Jane & Lance...I just noticed that the comment I left yo uin the previous post somehow never materialized and as writing thoughts the second time around are never as good as the first, I just wanted to say that I'm terribly sorry for the loss you both suffered over the holidays, you have my deepest symathies. ♥
    I am glad though that you have such a lovely place as Brighton to recover and rest, from both grief and surgery.
    Blessings to you both...
    xo J~

  183. What a blog, what a post. I see many of my blogging friends have visited here before me. Needless to say, I'm new to your blog, and excited to be here.

    I'm not much of a traveler myself, more a stay at home who travels in her imagination and extensively in the blog world, but I can say I've been to Brighton. I lost my watch there. I've never been to Budapest, but the idea of this place draws me near given my European origins. As for Brighton, I found it fascinating and now even more so as it rests in my memory, further revived by this wonderful post. Thanks.

  184. Dear Jane and Lance,
    Hope you are doing well, and healing on all fronts!
    Thank you for this wonderful post..I must say that as much a I dream of someday visiting London, I think I would prefer to reside in Brighton!
    I am passionate about the sea, and the atmosphere of the town sounds like my kind of place...
    I saw your comment regarding the weather, strangely we had horizontal snow and ice today! But Spring is right around the corner, is it not? :)
    Stay warm and well, dear friends..
    - Irina

  185. And again, a post I missed and only found because I clicked on your name when you kindly left a comment on my blog.
    Never having been to Brighton myself (I am usually up North when I'm in England), your description makes it sound quite appealing, even though I can not detect any lace curtains on your windows (no curtains in my flat, either; I want my windows to let the light through without any obstacle). I like the few pieces of furniture seen in your pictures, and the vase of daffodils adds such cheerfulness to the room.

  186. Good morning friends,

    Just a little hello. Can you believe that someone (Jen) came over to my blog having found me here? Ah now if that is not a fabulous reference I don't know what is and I told her so.

    Yes, it can be disheartening how long it can take to recoup after a surgery but how worth while it will be once it is done!

    Wishing you both a wonderful weekend. Bundle up and stay warm please!


  187. I am still learning about places in England. I have been to London but not Brighton, yet. It is a long way from Australia. I loved the view from your window of Brighton Pier. And I am with you on the lack of curtains. There is so much to see of the world passing by. Thankyou for this post.

  188. 24Corners:
    Dearest Jessica, your comment is there and we treasure it.

    Yes, Brighton is a good place to gain strength. The light is wonderful, there are easy long walks along the promenade and the sea air is invigorating. We feel very fortunate to be able to escape here for rest and relaxation.

  189. Elisabeth:
    How thrilled we are to welcome you as our newest Follower and now we have found your wonderful blog too!

    We are sorry to read that you lost your watch in Brighton but hope that you had other, more positive, memories of the place. We regard Budapest as home, returning to the UK only infrequently. It is a beguiling city and we do so hope that you may have the opportunity to visit t one day.

  190. Palomasea:
    Thank you so much, dearest Irina, for your very kind comment. We too prefer Brighton to London, not least because it is far less crowded and has a much more relaxed feel.

    Progress,we are happy to say, is good on all fronts. Our friends are doing the most marvellous job of keeping our spirits high.

    Horizontal snow and ice sounds very alarming. The forecast here is also bleak. A big freeze for a month....or so they say!!

  191. Librarian:
    Oh dear, we are so sorry that you keep having connection problems. Happily, your blog pops up in our Reader now!

    No, no lace curtains anywhere for us. The Hungarians are very fond of them and virtually every window is screened with them. We often say that the Iron Curtain has been replaced with the Lace Curtain!

  192. Lost in Provence:
    How delightful that you and Jen have now connected. What a marvellous place Blogland is!

    The Big Freeze we are told is about to arrive from Siberia and will stay for a month. Now that is something to look forward to!!!

    Hoping that your weekend is happy and relaxed, such good news about Remi's photography!!

  193. Christine:
    Australia does seem a very long way away to us, but we understand that there is a Brighton Beach there too!!!

    At night the pier is illuminated with masses of lights and a Brighton Pier sign flashes on and off. Against the inky sky and jet black sea, it all looks like a scene from a fairy tale.

  194. I do adore your views of Brighton out of those windows of yours, its such a pretty place. The sea, the city, the style, the well just about everything has its charms.

    Overlooking the Themes in London, wow, that must have been nice. Although I always think that when I see it on the telly, or even on the unusual few times I venture North of the Lewis Road, it it's really that nice, or if the smells reach up to the windows. You know, what with it being the most polluted river in Europe and a quarter full of sewage....

    I so wish to be like a naughty school boy and say something a little rude. So please forgive me, if I venture down the naughty school boy, dare I add camp into the mantle and say, "Ohhh I like your cock" as seen in the second photo down.

    Ok, I've grown up again and am now started to arrange flowers.

  195. I love your Brighton room, it's very poetic but I must say please try and move to the countryside, your entire life is gonna change. I've lived my entire life in the city up until 5 years ago, now I could never trade nature for a anything in the world. Give it a try..

  196. Jason Shaw:
    The views in London were wonderful and, no, the smell of sewage never did reach up to the windows, indeed, it was never evident at all. But, as you mention schoolboys, a favourite weekend prank was for a small group of local boys who would come to the river's edge and moon at pleasure boats sailing by!!!

  197. Unikorna:
    For 25 years we did live in the deepest countryside of Herefordshire where we created a 2 acre garden and did not have a neighbour in sight. And so, city living is very much a change for us, and we have to say that it suits our interests nowadays. Now we just enjoy the nearby gardens and local parks!!

  198. What beautiful views! You have a nice home at London and at Brighton. What a luxury! Personally I like overlooking the sea. I'd like to watching ships come into sight one after another from the horizon.... from the lovely windows like yours.



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