Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2004.05.24 : City of Gardens
"I remember London as a city of gardens where the birds woke me in the morning."
        - Albert Camus

     Ali took me to Brighton on Friday, which is on the south coast 40 minutes by train from London, and widely regarded as Britain's San Francisco – much smaller, but with waterfront, pastel-painted row houses on hills, cool breezes and sunshine, a thriving gay community and a welcoming vibe. Ali's friend Janice, a very successful comedic actor, was doing an hour of standup that night as part of the Brighton Festival. Thusly did I made my [near-]stage debut, delivering a full three lines to nearly 400 people – as Janice's plant in the audience. I was smashing, take it from me. No doubt as a result, we got to spend the night in a guesthouse for actors, run by a couple – Bill and Agnes – who have been cheerfully putting up performers for 30 years.

During the day, we walked and browsed in funky shops and ate three fantastic meals in two different veg joints. We strolled on the pebbly beach – and out onto the classic touristy pier, with rides and games and food stalls. Ali even let me play a video game. The only photo I took was this goofy hybrid of the two old standards of the cardboard cutout and taking your own picture at arm's length.

* * *

     Back in London, we took a Sunday evening stroll through leafy and lovely Kensington, the weather glorious, we happy. We talked about how good and grand life was in that moment – and what such moments mean when they are over. Ali said that even if we don't capture them in words or pictures, even if the details fade from our minds, they still become part of the fabric of who we are.

We walked up to Kensington Gardens, where the Prince Albert Memorial peaked over the lush foliage. The sun set over the circular lake, where swans, glorious swans, promenaded in the last slow light.

  ali     london     photography  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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