Melbourne

When I was a baby my parents lived in St. Kilda, meaning that I spent the first couple of years of my life making sandcastles on the beach…

So when I visited Melbourne 20 years later, checking out the old gaff and taking a trip to Brighton Beach were top of my list – mainly to paint a picture in my head about how my life might have been had they decided to stay in Australia. When I arrived, the first thing that hit me was how different my teenage years would have been had I spent them living next door to one of Australia’s beaches… rather than huddled under a golf umbrella in a rainy park in Liverpool, drinking cheap cider, (that my friend with the massive boobs managed to buy for us, because the boy in the local off-license was a pervert.) Not that I would change those magical days for the world, mind.

The second thing that hit me, however, was how much it reminded me of my current home in Brighton, UK. 

See what I mean? 

But besides the glaringly obviously similarity of the beach huts, I also loved the fact that both Brighton, UK and St. Kilda are similar in their laid back, ‘anything goes’, bourgeois-esque  atmosphere… and are both crawling with vegetarian cafes, meaning I could get a good meal for once.

So which is better?

“What a ridiculous question” I hear you cry, “Of course Australia’s beach is better.” …and you’d probably be right. For a start Brighton Beach down under has sun and sand – two features that are both pretty high up in the, “things that make something a beach” stakes, (I mean, who thought it was going to be comfortable to lie on rocks?)

But for the sake of being fair I thought I’d put across three of the unsung perks its English counterpart has to offer…

1)Drag queens…

They literally roam the seaside like tall, glittery rays of joy – seeking out karaoke venues and fabulous cocktails and reminding us why Brighton is one of the UK’s best nights out! Hang around long enough on a sunny day, and you’ll see them staggering out of the Glitter Ball bar, adjusting their duct tape and swinging their wigs round in the air. It’s brilliant.

2) The Pier…

I absolutely love Brighton pier, and not just because it reminds me of being a kid and spending every penny of my pocket money on those 2p machines, shaking like a smack head from the sheer amount of sugar I’d consumed. But what better way to find your inner child than at the fairground plied with alcohol* from one of the many bars, and surrounded by drag queens?

3) Chavs…

Usually the presence of chavs is detrimental to any situation – but on particularly warms days, when the beach is packed, you get to see them at full force in their natural habitat. I swear it’s like the seams of Jeremy Kyle burst open to create a hypnotising documentary before your very eyes. Take last weekend for example; I saw one drunk woman getting physically removed from Nobles amusments at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. It was fucking mesmerising – right or wrong, it doesn’t half make you feel better about your own existence.

So there you have it. Australia might have the sun, sand and water sports… but the UK’s Brighton beach offers a service that you just can’t get anywhere else.

*Obviously within reason, hotties. Remember, you’re not Spiderman and Redbull doesn’t give you wings.

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