It’s an abomination. You won’t believe this, but Gemma “Blast her Eyes” Atterton didn’t email me last week. Extraordinary, I know, given my frightfully generous offer of a bath, but I guess she was either on a tight filming schedule or didn’t have access to Wi-Fi. No, I’m being obtuse – obviously, she was too nervous.
There she would have been, in her Hastings B&B, uttering an involuntary tinkly laugh at my blog. Cuffs of ecru lace no doubt kissed her cheeks as she blushed, fingers poised over the keyboard, agonising over an amusing repartee to email me. Chagrin in her heart…No, OK, I’m still talking bilge. I reckon it was really the cab fare up the hill that finally halted in her tracks, like a doe frozen in a Ford Fiesta’s headlights.
Anyway, there is far more to Hastings than the filming of Byzantium, so if you missed the movie stars you needn’t fret. Something far more titillating is afoot, something catapulting Hastings into the forefront of style and sophistication. Yes, Adult Panto graces our White Rock Theatre on January 6th – Jack and his Giant Stalk will no doubt draw hordes in their droves.
Oh yes, he is!
But there’s more. You know all that “He’s behind you/Oh no, he isn’t” tripe? Well, actually, maybe he is – you see, Hastings is seriously haunted. Oh, no it isn’t. Agh! I wish I hadn’t started this. Now, I recently joined a Hastings ghost tour to learn a little more about our poltergeist-strewn passageways..
‘I don’t allow note-taking on my tours,’ said the guide. I shan’t mention his name, but he was one of those inveterate control freaks, quite possibly shaped by decades of classroom teaching. I smiled, moleskin notebook flipped open, quill daubed liberally with ink. Surely he’s joking, I thought, glancing up airily.
Laugh a minute
Watery eyes stared back, his head waggling a little like an Indian waiter’s. ‘I find it distracts me,’ he continued, losing any shred of credibility. ‘And as far as I’m concerned, that’s a health and safety issue.’ Now, rarely am I gobsmacked. In fact, even Pervy Ray’s description of bukake had a considerably less marked effect.
But I was poleaxed, speechless and in a decidedly invidious position. Should I bop him on the nose or swallow my tongue? As he offered me a refund, the crowd hung with bated breath upon my reply.
‘Health and safety?’ mocked an auburn-haired girl in a cagoule, as we strolled around Hastings Old Town. ‘What are you going to do, stab yourself with a pencil?’ Our guide, fortunately, was out of earshot – and far too busy belittling any ignoramuses foolish enough not to take ghost walks seriously. Crumbs, I hadn’t had so much fun since I was bullied at school.
But don’t let me put you off popping down here. There’s a splendid chip shop if hauntings aren’t really your bag. And the mini golf is to die for – we even host the riveting World Crazy Golf Championships..