Tanya Jackson was born in Exeter and spent her early years in Exmouth but after trying to make a break for the open sea as a three-year-old when her parents left the front door open, the family decided that Watford might be safer.
As a teenager, Tanya and her grungy pals made the pilgrimage every Friday night (indie night at Electric Ballroom) and Sunday afternoon (markets and rockabillys) to Camden, the then-home of all things alternative, uncommercial and cheap – music, fashion, food and body piercings. So as an adult, landing a job stuffing envelopes at Bauer publishing, based in Camden, was a dream come true.
That job led to a subbing position on Spirit & Destiny magazine (where she met her now-husband, Steve), and then years of freelancing and contracting on various newspapers and magazines (the Guardian, Brummell, Sunday Telegraph Style, How To Spend It, Psychologies)
as sub, writer, production editor. A musical career ran parallel, as a singer and guitarist in bands such as Galley Beggar (psychedelic folk-rock), T Mandrake (1960s big-band cabaret), the London Bulgarian Choir, the Mediaeval Baebes and her folk group, Long Lankin. Camden changed during the noughties and became the corporate-sponsored incarnation we know today, but that teenage yearning to find the unconventional and independent still burns strong. The decision to move from London to Sussex to raise her family comes from an in-built desire to instil a similar set of values in her kids.
Sussex is drenched in history, folklore and folk music. Here you can find adult drop-in trapeze classes (Brighton), Capoeira for under-5s (Hastings), and community-supported veg box schemes (everywhere). It's full of ghost tales, independent businesses and exciting pop-ups. Tanya's proud and delighted to call it her new home, and hopes you'll enjoy exploring it with her.
Steven East was born in a village on the Hampshire/ Wiltshire border and grew up working on farms and cutting the expansive lawns of the wealthy in the area.
He studied history at the then-Roehampton Institute (now University) and followed that up with an job teaching history in Korçë, Albania, before returning home and driving trucks throughout the West Country delivering booze to pubs and furniture to Argos customers. After moving back to London and working as a cycle-courier, street fundraiser (he was a very polite chugger!) and children's home carer, he was persuaded by Office Angels that a £12,000-a-year job as a postboy for a magazine publisher would be a ‘foot in the door‘.
It was, and over the last decade and a half, he’s worked for The Times, The Telegraph, Wallpaper*, Time Out, Country Life, and countless other magazines, as well as being Suzy
Menkes’ digital content editor for her Vogue reviews of the four big fashion weeks of Paris, Milan, London and New York.
In 2007, Tanya began subbing next to him on a magazine and, besides falling in love, she persuaded him to do
something with his songwriting and singing interests by getting some classical singing lessons and to learning some music theory at Goldsmiths College.
That led to a four-year postgraduate course at Trinity Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich and a career as an opera singer, which has taken him to English National Opera, Grange Park and many other venues as a soloist.
Looking after their two children with Tanya has meant juggling editing, singing and being a dad, and so was born the idea of running their own website, where he can have a little more control of his life but can also share all the brilliant stuff that there is to do in his new-found home of Sussex.
Angeles and New York where she found herself sitting opposite her childhood hero Rob Lowe and interviewing (or attempting to interview) the cast of Friends.
She moved back to Brighton 10 years ago to be closer to her family, but regularly commuted to London to work as a senior editor at the Express. After three years of slogging it out on the trains she went freelance again but still regularly contributes to Express magazines including S and Saturday. She also interviews celebrities about their travel plans for the Saturday Express.
Now based at home she works as a PR, copywriting tutor and journalist. Her friends call this a ‘portfolio’ career although she still can’t quite believe her luck. When she’s not working, she’s hanging out with her family, stomping across the South Downs with her dog and sourcing the perfect latte from local coffee shops. Her perfect night out is at Dukes at Komedia where she'll be found watching a movie with a glass of Merlot.
Justine Holman was born in Brighton. Not fully appreciative of what the city had to offer in the 1980s she ran off to university in London. Having read Smash Hits and Just Seventeen as a teenager she decided she wanted to be a journalist and set about fulfilling her dream. Gaining work experience on Elle, she eventually went on to become their junior researcher and found herself answering the phone to Jimmy Choo and Terence Stamp (although at the time she wasn’t entirely sure who these people were).
Eventually she landed her dream job on Just Seventeen, interviewing the likes of Take That, East 17 and a handful of male models. Moving through other teen magazines she then made the leap to be freelance and turned her hand to real-life writing for Chat, Blue Peter make-its for GirlTalk and following pop stars for Sugar.
TV listings then beckoned and she worked as features editor for TVTimes. This sent her to Los