And so to Brighton. Well, Hove, actually. Although you never really go to one without the other. We turned up on Hove Lawns at 8.30 in the morning, for a reason that I'm sure will be expounded upon soon by the inestimable Wartime Housewife. For the first time in years I was able to just relax and take it all in. Being so early meant the light was just right for snapping Nash & Georgie's Holiday Pavilion. And oh what light. This time of the year means the sun's lower, perfect for photographing all those extravagant terraces and squares by father and son architects Amon and Amon Henry Wilds, and for picking out the details in shop windows in The Lanes. I chatted to a bloke who was doing the music for a film on Cezanne (only in Brighton), and he was revisiting the town after having lived here for ten years or so. "You have to watch it", he said, "It gets very seductive". I know what he means. It's any number of towns for me. The Brighton of Graham Greene's novel and the 1947 film Brighton Rock still showing through, the Brighton of the Len Deighton-scripted film of Oh! What a Lovely War that one uses to put back the vandalised West Pier. Piper aquatints, Southdown buses. The air, the light, the people. And that so pertinent quotation by Keith Waterhouse: "Brighton always looks like it's helping the police with their enquiries".
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)