“What a horrible, great, huge, ugly expanse of tarmac! What a blot on the landscape!” I muttered to my partner on first encountering the promenade at Hove.
I’ve lived here for a few years now and have completely changed my position on this. Actually it’s an almost unique Alexander Technique resource. Where else can you encounter such a wide open and perfectly flat space that’s empty(ish) for the majority of the day?
Here are some photo links in in mybrightonandhove.org.uk to give you the idea. I particularly like the old photo at the foot of the page. Have a look also at the contributory quotes by Mick Gates and Jackie Collins about their joy in this wonderful open space.
This is a game I like to play – Walking with my eyes closed… I estimate how far I can walk without bumping into a person, a dog or a building. I close my eyes. Slow down. Feel the ground underneath. Sense the sky above. Be aware of the space behind and to the sides. Lengthen and widen into the space above, below and around.
Open the eyes and transfer the same spatial awareness into eyes-open walking.
I’ve treated my partner and my daughters’ to the experience. A gentle hand on the elbow and I become their trusty guide-dog. Lovely on a sunny winter’s day or on a starry, windy, cloud scudding winter’s night.
I’m counting my blessings right now!