Brightonians, how is lockdown treating you? Although it affects everyone, we are clearly not “all in the same boat”. Some are in punctured dinghies, others are in luxury cruise liners… And we don’t just mean in terms of wealth and quality of surroundings. Your experience of lockdown is going to vary greatly depending on your health, age and the company you keep.
The list of scenarios for lockdown happiness or hell are endless (loveless marriages, businesses sinking, mental or physical health challenges), but one thing we can all relate to has to be: how do we entertain ourselves? How do we get by? We can’t go to the cinema or gigs or restaurants… but thanks to the internet (and delivery drivers) we can watch films, listen to music and order in food and drink!
So just in case you haven’t figured out by now some of your local options (and let’s face it, most of your favourites will be delivering/live streaming by now), we’ve collated some of Brighton’s best offerings for you whatever your budget (honest):
Want to see the seafront? Perhaps you’re self-isolating or not willing to risk a trip down there for your daily exercise. Well, there’s a webcam for that. Seriously, you can watch a live feed of a view of the pier from the Queen’s Hotel, here.
Wish you could be at a comedy gig? Komedia are doing live YouTube gigs on Friday nights (for free but donations welcomed and deserved and previous live gigs are still available to view.
Missing your regular coffee and pastries routine? The Flour Pot is delivering or offering click and collect on coffee beans, ground coffee, plus lots of delicious treats, including a new range of burgers and they’ve just confirmed doughnut Fridays are back!
Desperate for your favourite food? Not only are a lot of Brighton eateries available on Deliveroo, but some have created new ways to connect with their patrons. Cin Cin has created home delivery options (which requires some cooking on your part) with a three-course meal for just £35. They’ve also had some ‘cook along’ livestreams – updates via their Instagram.
Looking for an insight into Brighton isolators? JJ Waller is taking isolation portraits across the city and posting them to his Instagram, creating a beautiful record of this strange time.
Got kids at home to entertain? Why not join livestreams with local children’s entertainers? Little Pickles offers live Facebook music classes, Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays (£5 via PayPal to cover all 3, view via private group), Music with Mike has a YouTube channel offering lots of videos for the kids for free (but appreciating donations) or Brighton baby music institution Under the Bridge is offering live interactive Zoom classes for £8.
Busy baking bread? If you’re finding flour difficult to get your hands on, Stoneham Bakehouse is open Tuesday and Friday afternoons selling bread flour and can offer a bit of sourdough starter to get you, er started as well!
Hankering for a wander around an art gallery? Kellie Miller Arts has launched an online gallery to help keep art enthusiasts happy at home and local artist Denise Harrison is encouraging locals to display art in their windows throughout May as an alternative to the Artists’ Open Houses that would normally take place – you can share your windows online using #OpenWindows2020 on social media.
Sad that the usual festival opener the Children’s Parade is not happening? Well it’s going ahead! With #ChildrensParadeAtHome! Brighton Festival and Same Sky are encouraging people to create the parade vibe at home, with puppet tutorials and costume ideas, so hang out of your window, dance on a balcony or boogie in your front garden at 10.30am on Saturday 2nd May.
Living alone with no one to turn to for help? Covid mutual aid Facebook groups have been set up across Brighton and Hove and can easily find you a volunteer willing to assist with shopping supplies or even a simple telephone call to combat loneliness. Find your group: www.brightonmutualaid.co.uk (there’s even a group for pregnancy support). There is also a new Brighton Covid-19 help directory, which pulls together all the services and groups you might need in one place.
With all this and more going on, and a strong community spirit, it seems that if you’re going to live anywhere during a worldwide pandemic, Brighton is probably not a bad place to be.