20 SOUTH COAST MUSINGS: VICTORIA FORBES LEAVES LONDON IN SEARCH OF A NEW LIFE
Good morning from sunny Hastings!
After a week away from the city, I wanted to share my 20 points of seaside clarity with you. I had not left Zone 1 for more than a night for absolutely ages, hence the jail break. Sometimes London can grind a person down and I believe my start-up journey so far also lead me to take some 'time out' - has anyone else experienced start-up burnout?
I chose Hastings because I have lived in Brighton, Hove and Worthing and I am not a fan of Eastbourne. Hastings is a lot like Margate, a quintessentially British seaside town that is slightly stuck in the 1950s. In Hastings, you can expect to witness brilliant seaside views, some scenes of domestic violence on certain streets, a broad range of absolutely terrible outfits and some fabulously garish souvenir shops on every corner.
At the time of booking, I could think of no better place to work on my crime novel. I was highly unlikely to bump into anyone I knew (unless someone was on the run from reality like me or in hiding) and I could satisfy my penchant for a cheap glass of Sauvignon in the sun down a romantic cobbled street in the old town.
Love and candy floss vibes,
1.) When a thoughtful and analytical person steps out of the hustle and bustle (that's putting it lightly) of the city, the city looks increasingly like Koyaanisqatski, which is both insightful and terrifying. I saw this movie when I was an art student but never noticed the moment that I became a part of the theory.
2.) Oxygen does exist. You can really notice the change in air quality within a couple of days. My body appears to have reacted to this and I am randomly ill, like a fish out of water. My mum says my body has gone into ultra detox mode.
3.) You don't realise how bad your city diet is until you are taken away from the endless supply of free alcohol readily available in the media industry. Women who go to clubs with promoters, you'll experience the same.
4.) The slower pace of life that previously seemed 'boring' to me is actually not so bad. You can concentrate more and you have time to stop and chat to fellow human beings who seem slightly more inclined to converse out of the city?
5.) London dating is stressful. Would you rather be on your own with the sea breeze in you hair or chasing after a real life Gaston from Beauty and the Beast / Megan from Love Island?
6.) On the whole (and this is just my opinion), people in the city have a different set of priorities, largely motivated by financial successes and the need to be 'the best'. People on the coast seem hedonistic in a slightly different way, content with a slower lifestyle and simpler pleasures?
7.) I've learnt the value of 'switching off' from work. Although I will never fully abandon my laptop on any given day, I know I can generate more genuine and meaningful content if I take time to generate moments that facilitate creativity.
8.) I like living out of a suitcase and having a staple wardrobe of denim shorts, swimwear and plain / comfortable t-shirts with practical footwear. Stilettos are amazing but I do not miss them.
9.) It is possible to find a half-decent glass of red wine on the Sussex coast for £2.90.
10.) In areas of poverty such as certain parts of Hastings (not being a bitch, this is a fact), there is plenty of material for crime writing. This town is the third biggest hot spot for heroin addiction in the whole of the UK and I have witnessed 2 fairly serious crimes since arriving.
11.) Air BNB is amazing. The beach town house I have been staying in is absolutely beautiful in a white-washed, Nordic-influenced, brand new grey carpets kind of way.
12.) Seagulls are funny and cute for only a short period of time. When they are keeping you awake until 5:00am, you will be thankful you are so obsessed with Bill Bryson, Ben Fogle and Bear Grylls that you know how to sleep for 1 hour per day and still stay alert.
13.) The sea air will not necessarily give you a clear complexion. I thought 5 days without make-up would make me look like a flawless mannequin but quite the opposite has happened. This morning I am back to my Disney-inspired full face of make-up, I guess my skin reacts badly to change.
14.) There is nothing more fantastic than British battered cod and chips with tartare sauce. I love tartare sauce so much that I have been collecting an obscene amount of sachets from local restaurants.
15.) For the £1,300 per month I pay for a double room in a shambolic Kensington house share, I could have a 4 bedroom apartment with beach views to myself. Be right back, just popping down to the souvenir shop for my novelty shell keyring.
16.) There are lots of tattooed people in Hastings. From dolphin tramp stamps to Sailor Jerry sleeves, I have seen it all this week! For once, I feel like I do not stick out like a sore thumb with my vast array of Disney / Nintendo / food tattoos.
17.) Don't bother downloading Tinder on the South Coast / Kent borders.
18.) Carrying a pen knife on the beach is handy for apple slicing, the carving of carefully selected words into rocks and alfresco beer bottle popping.
19.) You will realise who is truly important to you when purchasing novelty postcards and stamps. Love transpires.
20.) I am ready to leave London and move back to the coast. I am going to find the best of both worlds, enjoy a life full of exploration and get that crab tattoo I have been planning for years.