PG is presently NON DOM whilst on secondment to Hastings Borough Council where she is using her expertise and dynamism to support the regeneration of St Leonards by the Sea. Her trusty house guest Biggins, as usual, is at her side.
Moving my third home to St Leonards by the Sea has probably, definitely been one of the best decisions I have ever recently made. It’s as if St Lens was waiting for me to arrive. Jointly we are as one, together, partners just like Tintin and Tonto. I had absolutely no pre-conceptions about St Lens I hadn’t even heard of it other than from the non-award winning Gordon Busbridge TV ads. I guessed it would be a spiritual, tranquil seaside retreat but ‘oh contraire’ my life here has been a social whirl from the Get-Go. I have viewed, been schmoozed, and ‘canaped’ around more new galleries and private openings than I could ever have dreamt of. Advising galleries comes so naturally to me. As usual, I was in terrific demand.
Norman Road is surely the best kept shopping secret this side of Bexhill and the other side of Dungeness. A gorgeous eclectic mix of stylish, practical, weird shops that Brighton would die for. I also adore the adjacent Kings Road too, as well also. Apparently, it has just been modernised, but the planners have managed to retain an impressive, authentic down-at-heel 1960s Notting Hill ouvre. I can hardly wait for those barmy summer evenings promenading with my weekend celeb house guests. The likes of Ramsay, Bragg and Clary will go mad for the earthy charms of this darling thoroughfare. This is authentic 70s Seven Dials nostalgiaville wonder and the rumour of a Tin Drum opening ices the biscuit.
As a top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder myself, as I sit serenely sipping my double brewed tea outside Kings Road’s Little Lil’s Café, I feel like I’m in paradise. Died and gone to cloudnine. Surely, this is the Staffee capital of the world? A trophy dog catwalk watching nirvana of a place. The Council really should promote these assets more. I will raise this in my monthly text report to them.
From knowing no one, within days I have got to know everyone; well, to be exact, everyone has got to know me. A friendlier, earthier, exciting place there couldn’t be, you can forget Hove.
Housemate Biggins has settled better than I had possibly hoped for, he has joined the local Pimped Bike Chapter, developed a healthy appetite for Doner Kebabs and has made friends with some ‘local characters’. Biggins meets his new bestest chums every day at the sea-front shelters where they are mostly engaged in research for the Hastings Observer’s Guide to Super Lagers. They are writing a sixteen page pull-out supplement. Biggins’ evenings are spent at the Robertson Road Kebab Hut where he recently appeared in a Police CCTV ‘training’ film. I am so happy the move has been so positive for him. Ever since he got back from the jungle, Biggins has tended to live under my shadow’s laurels, as well as in my home. Biggins says he is almost a local now and at only £147,300 for a four bedroom three reception Victorian house he might even stay. (You can’t even get a West Hill studio for that.)
My own nine bedroom seafront home, given to me by Hastings Council, is looking amazing. I didn’t even need to send to London or Brighton for all my hand-made wallpaper and interior designer needs. A nod from moi meant many artists have already followed, de-camping here and buying up derelict pubs and empty shops to set up workshops.
They really are true fine arty regenerist pioneers. These DFLs (Down from London) and OFBs (Over From Brighton) are the exciting new breed of St Leonardatonians, true cappuccino culturians. Real exploratory, regeneration foot soldiers. What’s more, for each new Hackney, Hoxton and Brighton arrival, I earn hefty Arts Council cash bonuses. For me it’s win, win, win here on the regenerative front line.
A wonderful, fantastic, marvelous, brilliant, extraordinary first St Leonards’ month. My only regret is that I have only been able to actually spend five whole days here so far, and have officially just one month left on my contract. I have an inevitable hunch that as part of their sustainable development, regeneration, neighbourhood renewal strategy, the local council will be begging moi to stay! Secretly I’m missing the West Hill Dials so very much, but this is important work and little St Leonards by the Sea needs me so desperately.
Pizza Girl’s work in St Leonards is sponsored by the South East Development Agency (SEDA), Hastings Borough Council (HBoC), The Arts Council (TAC), The British Library (TBL) and the Caravan Club of Great Britain. (CCLGRTBRTN).
PG says : Copyright PG – absolutely, definitely, no reproduction in any form without written permission from PG