Eastbourne Life with Graham Walker: Airbourne comes early!

Graham Walker
Graham Walker

We have a moving in date for our new home in Eastbourne. “We are engaged,” said the text message from my wife. Guessing that that she meant to say ‘We have exchanged”, I shot back my reply “Is there really any need for this now that we have been married for eleven years?” Then I enjoyed a quiet moment of relief knowing that we can finally tell the boys the good news.

Of course when I did tell the boys I got the usual responses. An understated “Wow” from my youngest son accompanied by eye rolling at his older brother. The older son then gave me “You have said that before dad and it didn’t happen.” I am slowly getting used to the amused cynicism of the boys who used to hang on my every word. Luckily, it wasn’t too long ago that they were both babies and I have enough embarrassing stories to hold my own for now.

I am on a bit of a personal campaign for the Herald to be a bit more upbeat in tone. I know I am not the only one that feels frustrated by the ‘row brewing’ headlines whenever a local business or the council wants to invest in the town.

There has been lots of good news this week. Eastbourne has held onto its crown as sunniest town in the UK, beating even the Channel Islands. The Grand Hotel won ‘best waterside hotel’ in the UK and a new powerboat race is coming to the Eastbourne seafront. All of these good news stories will help encourage more visitors this summer for what looks set to be a bumper year for the town.

My kids are already excited about Airbourne. They say Christmas starts early but our preparations for the festival in the sky have started already. Invites have issued to family friends for each day of Airbourne 2012, picnic and viewing spots selected. Funnier, the boys made me do a practice walk from our new house to our selected viewing spot counting number of paces and time taken. With so much emotional investment, I now have my fingers crossed for much better weather and clearer skies this year.

A group of parents are looking to set up a new free school in Eastbourne. I picked up some information as both of my boys are approaching secondary school age. My wife and I desperately want a modern education for our kids, supported by the latest technology that equips them for the modern world. So mention of ‘traditional’ education is a huge turn off for us so we won’t personally be supporting the free school application, particularly as the town has some great existing secondary schools that deserve our support.

Last week, I gave a shout to Eastbourne Can www.eastbournecan.com, a new group which is organising a community design day for the Wish Tower restaurant redevelopment. I am pleased to report that Stephen Lloyd MP has agreed to attend the group’s next meeting and that Eastbourne Council officers seem keen to support too. Another priority for the group is to get something done about the empty row of shops opposite the station. Drop me a line or go to the Eastbourne Can website if you want more information or to get involved.

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• Email me at grahamcwalker@googlemail.com

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