Back to Sunday - out we went, and walked across to the West Hill. We have found a lazy route which means not having to drop right down off our hill and have gut-busting climb all the way up again. We meander through the streets of Clive Vale, cross the Old London Road where it joins Priory Road, and then cut down North Terrace, Halton, Bembrook Road, across the top of the open space. Views are fantastic.
It is always a surprise to me to read that statistically, the Broomgrove and Farley Bank/Halton estates are in the most deprived 1% in the country. Coming from Birmingham, where there were some real shockers, and of course, having worked on Castle Vale, the Hastings estates don't look too bad at all. No mattresses, not much graffiti or litter, no prowling youth. Maybe it is because the estates here are so much smaller - they blend into their surroundings. Run-down big city estates are worlds on their own, and the likes of us would not be strolling through them on a sunny Sunday morning while admiring the scenery.
|At the Blue Dolphin....|
When we reached the West Hill we actually managed to sit outside on the cafe terrace for coffee, although my backside was practically frozen to the cold metal of the chair.
Then down to town - things finally seem to be waking up for spring. The pubs and cafes had put their tables outside, the seaside tat shops were open, the Amusement Park had come to life.
I felt bad passing the Lilac Room - their lovely spring and summer clothes have been on display for weeks and nobody can be buying them - even though the sun was out it still did not feel the time to strip off and try things on. Gave Kate a guilty wave and scuttled past.
We ate fish and chips at our favourite chippie - the Blue Dolphin on the corner of the Old Town High Street.
|Hauling up the lifeboat|
On the Stade Open Space one of the frequent (or so it seems) parades of old military vehicles had assembled. The people who drive and care for them dress up in the appropriate costumes - it is clearly a serious business, although these guys are clearly enjoying themselves.