November began with a day trip to Dublin. Naturally, while I was there, I took the opportunity to check out Street Art. Might as well, seeing as it was my first time there in two years.

Later that week, I did something else I hadn’t done for a long time. Not as long, just over eighteen months. I am of course referring to going to a concert, in this case, Lightning Seeds at The Limelight.

That was then followed by two road trips for Linfield away games, to Portadown and Crusaders.

Sandwiched inbetween that was another road trip, this time to Ards to get some Street Art photos, with a recent event having taken place.

It was a month of doing things I hadn’t done for a while. This time, going on a flight.

The destination was Gatwick, but not to go to London, but Brighton instead.

So many photo adventures, where to start?

Street Art in Brighton, of course. Also, a walk along Beachy Head, OMD in concert, and some sunsets while I was in Brighton.

Back home, a return to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Cliftonville.

Two days later, I headed to The Limelight to see The Charlatans in concert.

The month ended with Linfield matches against Glenavon and Carrick Rangers.

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Lightning Seeds live at The Limelight

Lightning Seeds live at The Limelight Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Ards Street Art

Ards Street Art Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Brighton Street Art

Brighton Street Art Photo Album

Beachy Head

Beachy Head Photo Album

OMD live at Brighton Centre

OMD live at Brighton Centre Photo Album

Brighton Sunset

Brighton Sunset Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

The Charlatans live at The Limelight

The Charlatans live at The Limelight Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Linfield v Carrick Rangers


Last day in Brighton, killing time and resting my feet, there was time for one last treat.

With the weather being nice all day, I had high hopes of getting a decent sunset to photograph, and I was not disappointed.

I haven’t got a decent sunset or sunrise photo for a while, mainly because I haven’t been out and about at that time with my camera.

Earlier that day, I was out trying to get sunrise photos.

I started out at Brighton Pier as the sun was going down, getting photos.

From there, I walked along Brighton Beach towards Regency Square, which is a decent length to cover.

I wasn’t the only one, there was quite a crowd gathered to watch the sun come down, some getting photos of it as well.

Not everybody was there to watch the sunset, there was one man out with a metal detector hoping to find some metaphorical or literal treasure.

Regency Square was my final destination, as that’s where my hotel was, to pick up my stored luggage and to get the train to Gatwick for my flight home.

Overall, it was a great trip, but ending it on such a high getting out to photograph such a spectacular sunset topped it off.

Photo Album


So, it’s Tuesday night in Brighton, i’m at a loose end. What luck that one of my favourite bands are doing a concert at a venue a five minute walk from my hotel. What luck I tell thee.

The trip wasn’t specifically to see OMD, I didn’t get a ticket until one hour before they went on stage for crying out loud.

Of course, as detailed in previous blog posts, I should have been going to London for five days in July (Beck and Duran Duran were scheduled to perform there that weekend) but I changed it to three days in Brighton.

I must admit, I did have a cheeky look out for concert listings, but I did expect this one to bite the dust and be moved to another date, so I held off buying a ticket.

It was a nice option to have for my Tuesday night, it would have been rude not to take it up, especially as this tour doesn’t have a Belfast date.

I arrived at the Ticket Office and purchased an actual ticket. A ticket, in my hand. I didn’t have to download a PDF to my phone.

It did make me feel sad knowing that this could be one of the last paper tickets for a concert I have.

As I entered the venue, I was asked for proof of vaccination status. I know, I was shocked to see a venue actually giving a shit and making an effort.

I showed the card with my vaccination details on it, which was accepted without question, meaning I didn’t have to channel Ian Paisley and start screaming “HOW DARE YOU!!! HOW DARE YOU NOT ACCEPT MY ULSTER BRITISH COVID VACCINATION!!!! CAN I SPEAK TO THE MANAGER??”

Brighton Centre is a curious set-up. For a start, if you have a Standing Ticket, which mine was, you have to exchange it for a wristband to get into the Standing Area.

Naturally, I forgot to get my ticket stub back as I left at the end of the concert. Thankfully, I called in the following morning and they still had some lying about so I was able to get a souvenir, no pun intended,

At every music venue I have been to, the Performance Area has always been on the Ground Floor. Not here. I had to go upstage to where they were performing.

Even stranger, every music venue i’ve been to, when you walk through the doors, you are facing the stage. No here, the doors were at the side of the stage.

The floor wasn’t that large and there was nothing to separate Standing Area and Sitting Area. Theoretically, you could buy a seated ticket and juts walk into the Standing Area.

Thankfully, the venue wasn’t sold out, meaning that the Standing Area wasn’t crammed.

Support for this gig came from Scritti Politti, with me arriving halfway through their set. Thankfully, I didn’t miss the two songs of their I know (and love).

Yes, you’ve probably guessed which ones – Absolute and Wood Beez.

This tour, called Architecture and Morality, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the album of the same name, that anniversary happening the week before this concert.

The band appeared on stage, all atmospheric and ambient, Andy McCluskey limbering like an Athlete getting ready before bursting into song and dance.

Dancing very badly, as per usual, I should say. He even acknowledged that he was glad that his son wasn’t on this tour to laugh at his dancing.

Architecture and Morality was performed in full, when completed, McCluskey remarked “You can all go home now”, because that’s what we were all here for.

Of course, we were here for hits, of which we got plenty starting with Messages.

As McCluskey screamed “Yes Yes Yes”, somebody missed their cue to the female “No No No” to indicate the start of Tesla Girls, although McCluskey was too busy dancing, he forgot to sing the opening verse to one song. McCluskey even announced before one song that the rest of the band have bets on how many bum notes he will play during each concert.

I thought that bra throwing was a Belfast thing, but it seems to be an OMD thing. This was my third OMD concert, and the third time that a member of the band has been hit by a bra.

This time it was Andy McCluskey rather than Paul Humphreys on the receiving end, with McCluskey telling off the drummer for wearing the aforemention bra on his head before performing Enola Gay. It’s a very serious song.

Other hits included Forever Live And Die, So In Love, Locomotion, Pandora’s Box and Sailing On The Seven Seas.

McCluskey then gave a shout out to “The Bexhill Crowd”, a group of fans who had made the trip to Brighton from nearby Bexhill, with OMD not playing De La Warr Pavillion in the town, a performance venue that has The Charlatans, Echo and the Bunnymen, Feeder, Ed Byrne and Sophie Ellis-Bextor on their listings for the next twelve months. Covid permitting, of course.

Talking of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, she should have been in Belfast while I was in Brighton, supporting Steps at The Odyssey, but she pulled a skive to do a Danceathon for Children In Need.

Belfast is so shit, people will do anything to get out of going there.

I was hoping that she would have her own Belfast show embargoed until the scheduled Steps appearance, but as yet, nothing has been announced.

Back to OMD, and McCluskey was giving more shout-outs, dedicating “If You Leave” from Pretty In Pink to all the girls who wanted to be Molly Ringwold and all the boys who wanted to be Duckie, before the band signed off with Electricity.

Photo Album

OMD Live At Ulster Hall 2019

OMD Live At Mandela Hall 2017


A third choice, but it turned out to be a good choice.

During my trip to Brighton, I planned on taking in a hillwalk somewhere. I had plenty of options.

My original choice was to go to Devil’s Dyke or South Downs National Park, but it soon became apparent that getting there would be an issue.

They are only served directly by Public Transport during the Summer.

Beachy Head would be the best option as I could get a train to Eastbourne and then get a short taxi from Eastbourne Train Station.

Travelling there by taxi, the road to Beachy Head reminded me of Upper Springfield Road as you head to Blackmountain, very long and winding and remote.

The comparisons with Blackmountain didn’t end there. When I arrived there, it felt very similar to Blackmountain, although Blackmountain doesn’t have a pub or views of the sea.

That’s where I headed. The views of the sea that is, not the pub.

The pub, named The Beachy Head, was to be my starting point for the walk. Yes, I know how much thought there was naming the pub.

I crossed the road and walked along the path to Belle Tout Lighthouse, about an hour there and an hour back.

It was grass all the way, but thankfully it hadn’t been raining in the days leading up to this.

Thankfully, it wasn’t raining while I was there, as there was nowhere to shelter.

Overall, a very enjoyable walk. The weather was very kind for taking photos, very bright, and most importantly, it was dry.

I was ready for a rest by the time I got to The Beachy Head. It was a good time to wrap up as it was starting to get dark.

Beside The Beachy Head is The Beachy Head Experience, an exhibition centre and a handy reference point for phoning my taxi back to Eastbourne Train Station.

It’s a walk I would recommend, although if I do make a return visit to Sussex at some point in the future, I would try out other walks such as Devil’s Dyke or South Downs National Park first, to see what they are like.

Photo Album


Whenever I go somewhere, I usually keep an eye out for Street Art, and it was no different during my recent visit to Brighton.

As I headed to my hotel from Brighton Train Station, I noticed that they have a programme like Dublin Canvas, where electric boxes are given a makeover with paint.

I didn’t really have a plan of attack, I just kept stumbling into pieces.

The best ones were in an area called Kemptown, there is even a lane where there is wall to wall Street Art.

I also got to benefit from a lot of daylight to work with for my photos.

When I was snapping one piece, a Roadsweeper told me of where to go to get more photos. Brightonians are obviously proud of their Street Art.


Photo Album


This should have been five nights in London but having observed the lack of effort the city has made in relation to Covid, I decided to have a change of plan. You have to go back to May 2020 for this one.

Back then, Airlines were offering bargain deals for consumers all the way through to 2021 to make up for the money lost in 2020. A few more weeks, and Covid will be over by the start of Summer 2020. Remember such optimistic times.

I logged on and booked flights for five days in London in July 2020, get out of Belfast during Silly Season and be in London for the weekend of the European Championship Final to see if I could blag a ticket (although most of the crowd at Wembley that night managed to get in without one) and even if I didn’t, I would have a weekend exploring London and all that.

It soon became obvious that London’s Covid response of “Fuck it, we’ll wing it” wasn’t really working, I decided to just give it a miss and change my flights to later in the year, and downgrade my trip to three days in Brighton. Downgrade in number of days only. I think i’ve just spoilt what my verdict on Brighton is going to be.

The last time I was in London, in 2018, I regretted not sneaking in a day trip to Brighton, so that’s why I slotted in an extra day to the London trip, which would have been Monday 12th July if all had gone well.

As it turned out, the Sunday I should have been in London was widespread public unrest due to the football, the, um, highlight of which was someone shoving a smoke bomb up their bum.

Then on the Monday, there was torrential rain in London which resulted in Brian May’s house flooding, as well as some other mortals who weren’t in Queen.

I’m guessing that the flooding was bad as there where a lot of posters in Brighton to advertise that his wife is doing Panto in Brighton this Christmas.

It looks like I made the right decision giving London a swerve that weekend. It’s almost quite impressive for a place to be so bad that you’d rather spend mid July in Belfast.

I’ve got a milestone birthday coming up in early 2023, so i’m looking at ideas for places to go. Seriously London, can you get your act together?

I decided to go ahead with this trip. I could have just been constantly putting the trip off and off forever.

This was my first flight since January 2020. I have a lot of observations about flying out of Belfast.

The first one is getting there. My flight was at 8.30am, so I got the 6am bus to get me there for around 6.30am. That was the first bus of the day. There were flights leaving before mine, so if there were people looking to get there for one of the earlier flights by Public Transport, they would be cutting it fine.

Belfast International Airport now has Water Refill Points, except, they don’t advertise them or have them signposted. If i’d known, I would have brought an empty bottle with me.

I did plan to get a bottle of water but after being quoted £2.70 at Fed And Watered, I decided I could live without it for a few hours. Seriously, can we stop using Covid as an excuse to take the piss with pricing?

It would be nice if people could learn how to walk on the left. It’s not that hard, it’s literally the first thing you learn in school. Especially so as Belfast International Airport isn’t the most spacious.

Also, masks over noses. You’ve made the effort to wear one, at least do it properly.

The mask ratio was a lot higher than a lot of other places I have been to, but it would have been more reassuring if it was a bit higher. Oh sorry, I forgot, quite a lot of people suffer from Maskexemptionitis.

It would have been nice if there was a pharmaceutical shop, such as Boots, Semichem, Savers or Superdrug.

As I had already paid for baggage, it was too much effort to change it, so I just went with it. If I was booking a new trip, I would have just taken a small wheelie bag and bought mini shower gel/toothpaste/etc at the airport. Well, I would have if there was a shop to buy it in.

Sometimes, I forget my toothbrush having brushed my teeth when getting ready and forgetting to put it in my bag, so I buy a £1 disposable one at the airport to do me. Well, if there was a shop where I could buy such a thing.

Information Screens could only hold one page of info but they publish two pages worth of information, and they stay on pages for a long time. At least with Ceefax, you could push a button on your remote to change the page.

If i’m there at 7am, I don’t really need to know about flights at 3pm. Or at least, get a bigger screen to cover two pages worth of information like Gatwick Airport has?

Whenever I was called to boarding, there was another flight boarding in the same area as mine. Hardly the most Covid secure idea to have so many people loitering about a small area, and they were both on the same airline. Surely they could have moved to another gate? And if people are called, get them on the plane instead of making them stand about and queue.

So, I arrived in Gatwick, before heading to Gatwick Train Station for the short journey to Brighton, accompanied by a copy of Metro.

I love Metro, probably because we don’t have it in Northern Ireland. Rush Hour Crush is my dirty little secret. They were blank on Monday and Tuesday. What was wrong with you England? I know Metro is available in Scotland and Wales as well, but it’s mostly (all?) people from England who post submissions.

There was a lot of submissions in Wednesday’s edition. There was a woman who had the horn for a man she saw eating a tuna sandwich.

Eventually, I arrived in Brighton, and dumped my luggage in my hotel, as I was a bit early for my check-in.

I stayed at Hotel Pelirocco, perfectly situated for both Brighton Beach and Brighton City Centre. It was easy to find too, being right beside British Airways 360.

Coincidentally, that would be my first place to go.

I usually avoid big touristy places but I made an exception for this. It’s an Observation Tower, allowing you to take in the sights of Brighton from a great height.

The best things is, you don’t have to walk up stairs or take a lift. You just walk in and the building moves upwards.

I booked on the next available flight, which was 12pm, although I later wished I was on the next one at 12.30pm, so I could be on the 12.30 flight, like in Africa by Toto.

It was a great opportunity to check out the views of Brighton, with each section you go to having the sights and landmarks to look out for highlighted for you.

One of those, was The Amex Stadium. Unfortunately, it was an overcast day so I couldn’t added to my Football Stadiums Viewed From A Great Height alongside Windsor Park, Solitude, The Oval, Easter Road and Edgeley Park.

I did go past it on a train on the Tuesday though.

As it was a weekday in November, it wasn’t that busy thankfully.

I was trying to imagine something in Belfast, and then I remember people would get offended about it being sponsored by British Airways, then they would argue about where to build it and what should be considered landmarks. People in Belfast aren’t allowed to have nice things. At least we can walk up Cavehill.

The rest of Monday was spent walking along Brighton Beach and Brighton Pier, Kemptown, The Laines and North Laine. Nothing much, just taking it easy.

I’ve discovered my new favourite shop, Snooper’s Paradise. It’s self explanatory really, a Retro/Vintage/Junk Store that is great for rummaging around for bargains. It is my sad duty to inform Empire Exchange in Manchester that they are no longer my favourite shop. I still love them though.

After checking in to my hotel and then going for a bite to eat, I was ready to put my feet up for the night. Tuesday was going to be a busy day.

Breakfast at my hotel was at 8am. As I was up early on the Tuesday, I headed for a stroll along Brighton Beach just to kill time.

As I walked along, I saw a camera crew. I was curious who it was, naturally. I had assumed that it was BBC Breakfast or Good Morning Britain doing a Live OB.

I then spotted a man in mismatching bright clothes. It wasn’t? It only was, Michael Portillo filming a new series of Great British Railway Journeys.

There’s a little exclusive for you. And yes, I was giddy with excitement at such a celeb spot.

After a spot of breakfast, I headed to Brighton Train Station.

I had planned to take in a hillwalk while I was there, and Tuesday was the day I had in mind for doing it.

That would involve a train journey to Eastbourne to visit Beachy Head. There’s a separate blog on that.

I got derailed, excuse the pun, by spotting some Street Art, going to get photos of it, and going for a wander around Kemptown.

Eventually I made it to Brighton Train Station, just missing the next direct train to Eastbourne.

I was able to get a train which meant I had a brief stopover in Lewes, which I took, getting to spot The Amex Stadium out of my window, adding it to my list of Football Stadiums Gone Past On A Train which includes Windsor Park, The Oval, Seaview, Lansdowne Road and Edgeley Park.

My train also went past Hampden Park. However, it was not a detour to Glasgow, but an area of Eastbourne.

That stopover in Lewes allowed me to get some food stock for when I was walking Beachy Head.

I arrived in Eastbourne and had a quick ramble through the City Centre. It’s ok. Lots and lots of charity shops if Charity Shop Rummages are your thing. St Wilfred’s had a lot of old News Of The World Football Annuals if that is your thing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to check out Eastbourne Pier or Eastbourne Beach, so I can’t give that a review.

I then headed back to Eastbourne Train Station to get a taxi to Beachy Head.

Beachy Head isn’t actually that far from Eastbourne City Centre, but it’s not accessible by Public Transport during Winter. There is a service during the Summer though.

My taxi wasn’t too expensive, £7 each way.

I really enjoyed my visit to Beachy Head, probably because the weather was kind, before getting a taxi back and then a train back to Brighton.

After a brief return to my hotel room, putting my feet up for a short period, it was back out to see OMD at Brighton Centre on Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, I was again up early, so I went for a stroll along the beach again to kill time before breakfast, although I didn’t spot Michael Portillo this time.

My brief walk escalated out of control and I ended up at Brighton Marina.

Following breakfast, I headed to Churchill Square Shopping Centre. Not for pleasure, out of necessity as my phone charge was broke and I needed a new one. I did make a note to come back though to the shopping centre and general area.

Upon my return to the hotel, came the worst part of any trip, packing up to go home. It turned out that I would push my 12pm check-out to the limit.

As my flight wasn’t until 8.25pm, I had a bit of time to kill, taking in Kemptown again, Churchill Square and The Laines. Basically, a wrap-up day.

Killing time at Brighton Pier, I decided to make the most of it being a nice day knowing it would be favourable conditions to get some sunset photos, starting at Brighton Pier and making my way along Brighton Beach towards Regency Square. There’s a separate blog for that.

And that was that, three days in Brighton with a lot crammed in. I’d really recommend a trip to Brighton if you get the chance, so much to see and do.

Any time I visit London (when they decide to get their act together with the whole not getting Covid thing) in the future, i’ll definitely put a day aside to visit Brighton.

If you are doing a day trip to Brighton, I would advise that you have an idea in mind of what you want to see and do, just to make the most of your time. More than one day, walk about, explore and stumble into things.

A trip that was delayed, and then altered, it was worth it, very enjoyable. Sometimes, ruined plans can be an opportunity to go in another direction.