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By William Shaw
Typography & design by
Exhibition and installation
Publishing consultant Adrian Driscoll
The pavement in front of Churchill Square, the shopping complex
She will be late getting back to work if she doesn’t hurry. Sara has already spent all her lunch hour looking for a vegetarian café in the Lanes. New to Brighton, she lost herself in the small streets.
Instead, somehow finding herself in Churchill Square, she only has time to grab a takeaway. She goes up to the West Cornwall Pasty Co, the stand just west of here, and chooses a takeaway vegetable pasty for £2.50.
Clutching the brown paper bag, she starts to stride back to work. Her office is on the far side of the Old Steine. But she hasn’t walked 40m when the pasty slips out of the bottom of the bag and lands on the pavement, its innards spilling out onto the grey concrete at her feet.
Typical. Absolutely typical! Her company have transferred her here for four months, but from the very start of this trip bad luck has followed her everywhere. Boarding the plane at Christchurch in New Zealand they tried to surcharge her $4,500 overweight baggage. She had to repack three times before they’d let her on the plane. At Heathrow the friend who met her dropped her suitcase on the escalator. It tumbled down, almost killing her and breaking the case. You think that’s bad? It gets way worse. That night, too exhausted to make it to Brighton, she checked into a hotel. She turned the taps on to run a bath, went to unpack, and ten minutes later water was overflowing everywhere. The furious manager said she’d flooded four floors. It would cost £1,000 to fix. She couldn’t believe it. She stood there shaking.
What a way to make an entrance to a new country.
Against that, the pasty hardly seems like much. Still it seems that nothing good has happened since she arrived. A herring gull swoops down, but Sara has already scooped the remains off the pavement. She walks over to that black bin and deposits the remains inside, then returns to the West Cornwall Pasty Co to buy another.