In conclusion: Hastings is cheap.
What we really, really want is the ground floor of an early 19th century town house with a view of the sea. I was thinking that would be out of our price range, but it appears not. "You'd like really modern?" the salesman said- because I suppose that's what his elderly clients mostly demand. And we couldn't get it through to him that we wanted old, we wanted characterful, we wanted a front door through which coffins have passed.
There's a cafe just across the road from the beach where we had afternoon tea last time we were in town. This time we had lunch. The proprietor grilled me a couple of fresh mackerel (heads still attached) and served them on a bed of salsa. How splendid to live in a town with a fishing fleet!