St Leonards-on-Sea

Saturday 04 July 2020 – St Leonards-on-Sea.

It has been a couple of weeks since the last post, the daily updates having finished, though life has yet to fully return to normal and we are still in some form of lockdown. Though lock down is not the right term anymore. Under some restrictions is a better term.  I refuse to use ‘new normal’.

El and I are at the flat in St Leonards, we have just entered week four and, apart from rubbish weather in the past week, it has been successful. This is the longest El has been away from Walthamstow since 1988. I find this incredible, but in reality this is more usual then being away from a home  town for any length of time. Before I went travelling and my expectations changed, I had not been away from ‘home’ for longer than a couple of weeks since 1988 either. Anyway I am glad that she is taking this time away from Walthamstow with me, and we are planning on being here for another two weeks before heading back for a few days; El has a haircut and it is her birthday and we will have a small gathering in the garden. Fair reasons for heading back to London, though we will be back here for the foreseeable.

On the subject of haircuts and long periods, El cut mine yesterday, it was the longest it has been since 1986 and the goth phase. I have been moulting everywhere and finally got sick of it being in my eyes all the time. The barbers opened yesterday, along with pubs and restaurants, but I don’t know any barber here and am not sure I want someone breathing on me that closely quite yet. I also like my barber in Walthamstow, we moan about Arsenal for the 30 minutes I am there.

A before and after… I really like it, a good job was done.

I took four days out of work the week before last. I needed it as things were getting stressy and I was grumpy and tired and probably not a lot of fun to be with. We had some glorious days and I managed a swim, some walks and a lot of reading and had a good run at a short story I am writing. I was pleased with the time off and felt a lot better for it.

I am working at the dining table and sitting on a dining chair, the table is fine, but the chair is not good for my back and I am constantly uncomfortable. I have a new office chair arriving tomorrow and I am very pleased about this, hopefully it will be good. I would not normally buy a chair off the internet. I have a desk coming in a couple of weeks and can set up a little work area in the sitting room, El has a desk in the spare room to work at. The hope is to be here all summer, until we both have to go back into the office, so decent working conditions are critical.

El does not work on a Friday so we went for a drive in the Kent countryside to the Chapel Down winery where we bought a couple of bottles of wine and had a little picnic. It was very nice being out and about again and the snacks we bought were very nice. Yay for summer and picnics in the sun.

On Sunday we had breakfast on St Leonards beach.

Then the weather turned to crap and it has been bad ever since, today being the first proper sunny day for over a week, though it is still ferociously windy and was raining when we woke up.

Outside of working we did not get up to much, we walked most days, though not all. I did a few house chores, like stuffing something up the chimney, which El amused herself by taking a photo of being elegant.

El has started painting, so I took a sneaky photo of her in revenge, though she is far more poised than I was.

I have been doing a lot of reading, and some writing, as well as taking the odd photo, like some dead flowers in the living room; now in the bin. I have been trying to do more photography, but the weather was a bit too challenging. I don’t mind the rain, but the wind was too much.

Yesterday the pubs re-opened in England, a decision I think is very premature and I wasn’t going to go to one. However, I saw a message on social media that my favourite little bar ‘1200 Postcards’, the bar mentioned in my last post, was going to re-open, and well I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to go back to show some support for the business, I really didn’t think it would re-open, plus I wanted to re-establish myself there. I waited for the worst of the weather to be over and set off for a walk, taking the little G16 camera with me.

I was very tempted to take this metal stork with me, if I had been on the way home and not out I would have grabbed it from the ‘free to take’ pile outside a house down the road. I may wander past there this week and see if it is still there.

The cloud was very low and the wind was howling down the beach, but it was nice to be walking, there were a few people out, there always is, and Hastings was quite busy.

I found this old spray painted ‘Punx’ in bottle alley, I was listening to punk rock as I walked so it seemed appropriate to take a picture. I have walked though bottle alley dozens of times and have never noticed this before. I am wondering if it stood out more as everything was wet.

I have not seen this before either, though I have seen others from ‘Scrabbleman’, and know there are more around the sea front.

It was great arriving at 1200 Postcards, Dave, the owner welcomed me with a loud ‘Phil!’ and seemed as pleased to see me as I was him, and I felt good that I had made the decision to stop for one pint. I will return when things return to something more like they were before.

My family shared photos on Whatsapp this week, and I love this photo of my eldest son and my granddaughter in Australia and the photo of my mum, sister, son, niece and grandson at his 6 birthday party.

A big news story…

El and I have decided to move to New Zealand! From mid-next year or how ever long it takes to sort El a visa and then for me to find a job there, we expect this to be a long process. Updates as they come in.