Love it or loath it Hastings is my home town. Where I met my husband and had my little boy. We have toyed with the idea of moving away over the years but have never made the leap. I never wanted to be someone who has lived in the same place all their lives, convinced it would define me as a person. I’ve made my peace with this now and no longer feel that this will take something away from me having never lived anywhere else.
Since having my son now 2 and a bit, it has really opened my eyes to what Hastings has to offer, so I’m writing this totally from a mummy perspective.
Alexandra park…I practically live here, it’s impressive all year round and looks different throughout the seasons so we never get bored, it’s one of the first places I took my son as a baby in the early days when I was worried about breast feeding in public. The cafe has great food and drinks and it’s really family friendly so you don’t feel like a terrible mother if your toddler is having a ‘challenging’ day and happens to hurl a drink off the table. Ducks, squirrels with more confidence than Chuck Norris, the playground, a bandstand which is just that but children all seem to gravitate towards it. I can’t wait for summer so I can set up for the day with a picnic and a football and relax – with a toddler ha ha.
The seafront is another favourite, we spend hours on the beach looking for shells and building sandcastles. Toddlers are fascinated with everything and mine will happily have a 10 minute conversation about doggy footprints in the sand. Fish and chips and ice cream, things we never did pre baby even though I’ve lived here most of my life. Even on a freezing cold day it’s a good way of getting out when the house has been trashed and you can’t handle another episode of Peppa.
Hastings library is in the middle of a massive refit so we have all been crammed into the children’s library for the last year or so, it’s such a forgotten thing, going to the library but I love browsing and doing something that feels so old fashioned when we are all so busy now. The new fully refurbished one is opening next month and I’m really excited about it. It’s in such a magnificent building even covered in scaffolding, I can’t wait to see what they have done with the inside. They seem to have also revamped their website to get with the times so you can reserve online and access ebooks. They will also have rhyme time for toddlers and sessions on coding for older children. Yes coding, it’s like we’re in the matrix, impressive for a seaside town but I can’t say I’m not a little upset we haven’t got the hover boards from Back to the Future yet.
We have a town full of history, the smugglers adventure has been great this last year for rainy days out, wandering around the old town on a Sunday afternoon and looking at the historic buildings, they are beautiful even if you don’t care about history and a backdrop to family time. The Pier, the source of so much controversy, it’s too old, it burned down, it’s too new, it won an award, there’s not enough on it….at least people are talking about it.
The miniature trains that run along the sea front and the park that I’ve squashed myself into more times that I can remember, the true crime museum, where me and my husband went out for our first date day when we finally felt able to leave our son with his grandparents. It’s a good afternoon doing something different, when we went they had a sort of treasure hunt on where you had to solve the clues and find a safe combination at the end. The staff were fantastic which always makes me want to return.
I have some days when I just think of all the bad things I’ve read in the local paper or I see the horrible side of people and feel like I want to have a fresh start with my little family but every town will have this. Nowhere is perfect. This town has so many positives and life is what you make it so for now we will just enjoy…