We have just moved to Hastings from Birmingham. We arrived on November 18, although the sale of our former home was only completed just before Christmas. We are now living in a temporary house in Harold Road, Clive Vale. That’s me, the Battleaxe, and my husband, the Philosopher.
|Our Harold Road house|
|View from the sofa – cozy|
I have been writing email updates for the Brummies we have left behind, who include family and our dearest friends. Most of them think we are crazy coming all the way down here, and I guess it is a bit mad – we know absolutely nobody here and have no friends or family nearby. Both of us felt we wanted a final big adventure – to do something new and totally different with our lives before we got too old.
We originally thought about Brighton, but it is too busy and too expensive. We did a summer holiday travelling up and down the south coast, and Hastings seemed suitably eccentric – and cheap….
Anyway, people seem to be enjoying the email updates, so I thought I would start to record thoughts about our new life on this blog.
Why am I the Hastings Battleaxe? Well, battles and Hastings are pretty obvious. I guess I am a Battleaxe too. Old enough – and tough enough.
The past few months have been a bit traumatic – leaving our home of over thirty years to make a new start. It took absolutely ages to sell the Birmingham house, and it felt like we were stuck, and nothing would ever happen. We sold once, but it fell through, and then I got ill – requiring a big operation.
When I was better we decided to take action, buy this little house and get moved. Needless to say, almost as soon as the ink was dry on the purchase documents, the Birmingham place finally sold. A good deal of our small stuff is in the excellent Senlac Storage in Battle, and all the big stuff is in Robinson’s depository up in the Midlands, waiting for us to buy our forever home. This is a nice little house, but too small for us in the long run.
Most of the furnishings here in Harold Road were in our rented places, first in Brighton, and then in Plynlimmon Road, Hastings (see below).
Here is the Robinson’s lorry outside the old house in Birmingham:
Despite promising our friends, and ourselves, that we would not look at any houses until we had settled quietly for a bit, being us, we have looked at several. We’ve reluctantly turned our faces away from more huge Victorian heaps, and are currently negotiating to buy a place further up the hill, into Clive Vale. Typical of us.
We walked up there a few days ago to snoop round, and the road was totally dark, not a Christmas light to be seen from our potential new neighbours. The property is a detached 70s house, suitably smaller and easier to manage than the Birmingham house, but it will feel very different…. It is in a quiet location, has a good sea view, and is in easy reach of shops, bus etc. It is a bit odd because the couple who live there now, who can’t be that much older than us, are downsizing out of it while we would be downsizing into it. We would also want to do a load of building alterations before we moved in, to make it right for us. Lets hope that progress towards securing the house can be made in 2012.
Tonight the Philosopher and I went to see the lights in Westfield, a
village near here. Us Brummies like a bit of sparkle… It was really
foggy driving along the Ridge – spooky. We liked the lights. I have to
say lights-wise, Hastings is a bit of a disappointment. Not many people
seem to have lighted Christmas trees in their windows, let alone lights
on their houses.
In Birmingham we always used to put out a set of Dancing Santas that light
up and play ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ whenever anyone walks
towards the house, but this year they are languishing in the store – we
felt our new neighbours here in Harold Road would not appreciate them.
I feel excited about our new life and the new year here in Hastings – there are so many possibilities.
We do know pretty well that this is where we want to settle – we rented a little house in Plynlimmon Road on the West Hill for 18 months, and came down every other weekend. It was a tiny, cozy little house but had a strange past – it was the site of a grisly murder in 2005. Not, of course, that we knew about that. Did it make any difference? I’m usually pretty sensitive to house atmospheres but that place felt warm, cosy and welcoming…
First thing, I will be joining the Hastings Writers’ Group in January. I’ve been once to have a look, and the other members seem friendly. Hopefully, this blog will be a bit of a regular writing exercise as well as an account of our new life.
Happy New Year!