Sunday, May 02, 2010


After a fairly challenging week of depressing letters from the bank, ill health and bad news at work, I was determined to enjoy my weekend. "I want to go to Hastings." I announced. Everyone groaned, particularly my wife.

What has she got against Hastings? My wife has never been there and yet every time I suggest a family outing to Hastings, the idea is swiftly vetoed. I suspected ignorance rather than simple blind prejudice and this was confirmed when, as we entered the town, my wife exclaimed "Oh, I didn't know it was by by the sea."

I had dragged three people kicking and screaming (literally, in the case of one) to Hastings and as I parked the car, I couldn't help wondering why I'd bothered. But I still had faith that Hastings would work its magic and the moment we got out of the car, I perceived a slow but tangible thaw in the mood.

I have written about Hastings before and yesterday's visit didn't prompt me to revise my opinion. I still noticed an unusually high number of mishapen faces, some of which seemed to be the result of fist fights or car crashes. I also spotted an unusually high number of dog owners.

And where else but Hastings would you find Morris dancers outside a tattoo parlour?

The quirky eccentricity of Hastings is irresistible and after five hours there I had two happy children and a penitent wife. What more could anyone ask for?

But the day wasn't over yet. In the evening, I met another blogger - The Poet Laura-eate - and her friend Terry, who were visiting Lewes for the weekend. Like my recent meeting with Oliver, it was a very enjoyable evening and I only wish that Laura and Terry lived a little nearer, as our two-hour drink at The Lamb went far too quickly. I hope we have a chance to meet again.


Richard de pesando MA(RCA) said...

I actually know someone in that picture ( not a dancer! )

Anonymous said...

It does have a down at heel feel to it; we always thought of Hastings as Peckham-on-Sea,though of course you need to know Peckham (not advised) to follow that one. My husband spent many childhood summers there at his grandparents' caravan so had a particular fondness for the Old Town. Living In Tunbridge Wells as we do, it is very accessible so we have visited it a lot over the years. Always the Old Town end - the antique and junk shops, the Shipwreck Museum .... they have lost interest in the Sealife Centre now!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Steerforth, it was a pleasure and a privilege to meet you, having so long enjoyed your writings.

I sat in the pub thinking 'This is the internet at its best - introducing kindred spirits who share so many interests and concerns about the world in which they live, but who in all likelihood would never have otherwise met.' Terry also greatly enjoyed meeting you. It was a lovely trip all round and we have just got back from a day on Brighton beach.

Glad to hear you won the Battle of Hastings. A lovely place as I recall, particulary the old town.

Liberty London Girl said...

I LOVE Hastings. Is the roller rink still there?! LLGxx

Motherhood The Final Frontier said...

My cousin and I spent a lovely weekend at Hastings visiting some nice people we met on a random holiday in The Gambia (the latter a bit like Peckham in West Africa - also not advised). I thought the town charming, and it filled me with fond memories of childhood history lessons of 1066 for which I got an 'A', a rarity in my academic career. Did you get the family to go to Battle, too?

Steerforth said...

We went to Battle a few weeks ago. I love Battle Abbey because it has so few visitors. I had a dark, dank medieval cloister all to myself and could really begin to let my imagination wander.

Nota Bene said...

Hastings is a town of two to stick to the nice end!


depesando said...

I almost forgot to mention - Sir Cloudsley Shovell's Mother in Law's house is on gthe market - nice location - but very small ( unless you are 5'4" )

Steerforth said...

Well I'm 5'11", but I could have surgery. I'd love to own some Shovellrabilia.