Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Bognor Regis - Thanks a Lot King George!
We live in beautiful Bognor by the sea, well maybe scrap the beautiful bit, it's a little bit rundown, a little bit past its best, but there are plans afoot to make some big changes which aim to revitalise the town. And in the meantime it retains its title of being the sunniest place in Britain, with an average of over 1900 hours of sun a year. Our south-facing balcony does very well out of this, and most years we're still picking lovely ripe tomatoes in late October.
I ended up here almost by accident in 2004, a far cry from previous homes in Exeter, London and Moscow! But towards the end of my teacher training PGCE I was casting about for a job by the sea somewhere and Bognor came up. I didn't know much about the place, other than one holiday in the area as a child, but came for the interview on a sunny April day and thought why not?
Being used to pitching up in different cities and countries not knowing a soul, Bognor was fairly tame by comparison, and teaching meant making some new friends fairly quickly. Even now, a walk into town means bumping into various ex-colleagues and ex-pupils along the way, it's that kind of place. All in all, despite some ups and downs over the past ten years, I am pleased that I moved here, most of all because it led to me meeting my darling Steve who had washed up just down the road in Portsmouth, but that's another story!
When I bought my flat in 2005, I didn't expect it to go through various rejigs and expansions to meet the growing demands of two cats, a second adult, a third cat, two children, and more! But we re-imagine and re-work the space we have and manage very well. We have been looking around at bigger properties though, and although I don't claim to know much about house prices, with 3 bed detached houses or bungalows starting from just under £250k it seems pretty good value to me. Like us, you'll have to check out the mortgage calculator from Halifax to see what you could afford in da Regis (or wherever you live)! But let me tell you a little bit more about Boggy first...
A fairly typical seaside town on the surface, Bognor does boast a wide variety of events, eateries and activities to cater to every taste. This past weekend we have had the rather madcap Birdman competition where crazily-dressed participants aim to 'fly' off the end of the pier; we have two major carnivals a year; fetes, fairs and concerts aplenty, including the rather fab Bognor Rox in a couple of weeks' time, which boasts hundreds of acts across four stages in a hectic two days which attracted over 40,000 visitors last year.
Bognor sprawls along several miles of beach, with the western quieter end being our home. Here you will find fishing boats, beach huts, parks and gardens, as well as the lovely Thai restaurant Tup Tim Siam, purveyor of some of the best Thai food I have had outside of Thailand, and the relaxing Waverley public house which overlooks the beach. There is no shortage of children's playgrounds, including that massive sand and pebble one at the end of our road!
So with all that nearby, not to mention a thriving town centre, good schools and a university campus, a range of supermarkets and excellent independent food shops, all that beach, and lots going on, 'bugger Bognor' seems a bit harsh!