I met Flo at the Dr Blighty Pavilion lights show on Saturday night (which for your information was brilliant), we got chatting as we slowly made our way out of the packed Pavilion gardens. We spoke about her journey to Brighton, what she’s done in the mean time and why she plans on staying.
How would you describe yourself? I’d rather not. But if pushed happy.
How long have you lived in Brighton? 20 years, I came from Wales but via London and Coustouges in the South of France.
That route sounds somewhat convoluted why so many stops? Well, firstly I studied in London, and then in France I met my husband, but that story is maybe a little long winded.
What do you do for a living? I’m a teacher, I specialise in music and love it.
What other interests do you have? At the moment I am heavily interested in synchronised swimming, I started going to a synchro-fit class at St Luke’s swimming pool on a Monday night. It’s really fun, a great way to keep fit and is finally realising my childhood fantasy of being Esther Williams.
So you’ve been in Brighton 20 years what else have you done to keep yourself busy whilst you’ve been here? When I first came to Brighton I was working as an actress, which meant a lot of the time I was actually working in the cafe in the old Cannington’s department store. Then when I had my first child, acting had to take seat furthest from the front (the boot some say). I then got involved in local community work, which led to me starting up a community cafe in a local children’s centre. That was great fun, I learnt a lot but as my family grew it became apparent that wasn’t quite the right career choice. So I retrained as primary school teacher (these were the last days of the Labour grants and bursaries to train! For which I will always be grateful as I wouldn’t be able to do that now a days!!!) and I haven’t looked back since.
Where abouts in Brighton do you live and what’s it like? I live in Hollingdean, since 2001 and absolutely love it. Hollingdean is great, you have access straight onto the downs at the back. It’s like living on the roof of Brighton. Close enough to the city but far enough. The neighbourhood has really changed in the last few decades becoming a great place to bring up children.
How does Brighton compare to the other places you’ve lived? Compared to London Brighton is a lot more manageable on a budget yet still retaining that liveliness. It’s a fun city to be in.
What’s the best thing about Brighton? The best thing? The beach. It’s what everybody loves but how many major cities have a great beach?
What’s the one thing in Brighton you would recommend for everyone to do? The Open Houses, during the May festival and at Christmas. I’ve just had a brilliant month looking at many of the artists wonderful work. They’re truly inspiring.