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Showing posts from October, 2012

Stade Colour competition - success....and more successes

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In a previous blog post I described how Philosopher and I went down to the Stade so he could take photographs to enter for the Colour on the Stade competition, which is part of the Brighton Photo Fringe festival. We felt that we may have got the thing a bit wrong - that the judges were looking for something more experimental.

Well, despite this, one of his photos was selected as part of the final 50 to be framed up and hung in the exhibition, which runs in the Blue Reef, the Shipwreck and the Fisherman's Museums until 25 November. As we suspected, the winner was thoroughly experimental - here is the link to the Observer:

Last Saturday evening we went down to the Stade for the prize-giving and the opening of the Exhibition.  Philosopher didn't win, but it was excellent to be selected.  Here he is looking at his entry, which is in the Shipwreck Museum.  He looks like a deranged hoody.



Coincidentally, one of my colleagues from Hastings Writers' Group, Amanda, also had a photo…

Royal Opera House, National Theatre - in Hastings Odeon...

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Well, we have been to sample the 'live feed' performances beamed from illustrious temples of Metropolitan culture to us provincial yokels. In our case, down the road in the sticky-floored Hastings Odeon.

A couple of weeks ago we saw the National Theatre play, 'The Last of the Hausmanns', starring Julie Walters - that was excellent, and the cinema was absolutely packed out.  The film experience, where you see lots of close-ups of the actors, worked very well for a stage play.  We even had ice-creams delivered in the interval.

A couple of days ago  we went to see Swan Lake, from the Royal Opera House.  Much to our surprise, the cinema was much emptier - I would have thought it would be very popular. Zenaida Yanowsky danced Odette/Odile.  I have not seen Swan Lake on stage since I was at school, and Act II, with the swans by the lakeside, was just as romantic as I remember.

However, normally, one views ballet from a discreet distance. I think the cinema close-ups did reve…

Psychology of supermarkets - Winchelsea and Pett

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Lordy me, the weather is just terrible today - it has rained solidly.  We have only been out to Sainsburys.

The Philosopher said that he doesn't like how most people in the supermarket look so grim and bad-tempered - is that people's default 'off-guard' expression? I said I perceived them as looking more preoccupied than grim, but I thought the space was so large and the crowd so big, the experience had become depersonalised, and people did not therefore feel the need to look pleasant. So, he says, do people only bother looking pleasant in case they see someone they know? I dunno. If someone goes into the corner shop, they generally look pleasant - is that because they know people, or are they trying to appease/reassure the others because they are a few people in a small space? Oh, I dunno.

Anyway, we did meet someone we knew in Sainsburys - Robin from the Lilac Room. I had on a nice new jacket I got from him last winter.

Less of that.  Here are some lovely photographs…

Badgers appear, for real.....

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One thing that surprised us when we came to Hastings was all the talk of badgers.
     When we first moved to Harold Road, I brought many plants in pots down from Birmingham, and was mystified to find them either eaten or churned up.  Add to this strange large muddy footprints on the steps coming down from the top garden - not a dog or a cat, too big for a fox.  'Ah, it's the badgers, ' said our elderly neighbour.

When we moved up here things grew more exciting.  Our neighbours have a set in their garden, and presumably also they trot down here from the Country Park. The Philosopher soon embarked on an all-out war of attrition to keep them out of our back garden.  They dig under the back fence, he fills the holes with concrete blocks, they move the blocks, he reinforces the fence base with planks and metal stakes.  They break through the side gate, he reinforces it with netting.  They tear the netting off, he.... and so on for ever more, presumably.  Once in, they dig up t…

Walk at Fairlight - puzzled by Bradshaw

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Once again, I look back on a glorious sunny day from dark, dull one.  On Wednesday it was sparklingly bright.  We went up to the Country Park and had coffee and cake at the Coastguards Tearoom.

The Coastguards is a welcome stopping place on Country Park walks - we once saw a green woodpecker in their garden.


After coffee, walk. The night before, we had watched a repeat of one of Michael Portillo's railway journeys on TV - he went from Hythe to Hastings.  He came up to Fairlight with his Bradshaw, and after looking at the Dripping Well and talking about the Victorian passion for ferns, started talking about the view from the Coastguard's lookout.  It so happens that the Philosopher found a facsimile Bradshaw in a charity shop not long ago, so I'll quote what the book said:

'Let the pedestrian make his way, however, to the signal house belonging to the coast-guard station at that point, and he will have a panoramic view around him which it would be worth his while walking…

Walk to Bexhill, De La Warr and more...

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Well, it is hard to look out of the window now and remember the gloriously sunny weekend, so I'll write about it to remind me.

Our friends Dave and Carole came down for the weekend from Brum.  It was their first visit to Hastings so we wanted the place to put on a good show for them - things didn't start well because they got stuck in terrible traffic on the way down - apparently the A21 was really bad.  Now, I've said this before but I'll say it again - why are we bothering with the controversial Bexhill Link Road when the real issue is people getting down here in the first place?  Not that we personally care whether communications are improved - we prefer Hastings cut off, but on the other hand it is not great when we, or people we know, get stuck on the way in or out!

Anyway, the next day was sparkling sun, so we decided to walk to Bexhill - our guests wanted to visit the De La Warr Pavilion.  Unusually, we walked all the way from our house - we wanted to show them …

Oh no - Jerwood again - I promise this is the last...

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Blogging about the Jerwood is getting boring.
Trouble is, I really, really want the gallery to do well for Hastings - I want it to be successful and an asset to our town.  I want to enjoy it for myself.  I want it to be one of the shiny 'string of pearls' of gallery projects along the south coast - but at the moment it is more like a knot in the string than one of the pearls....it just makes me so cross....

Back from sunny Sorrento, we were a bit downcast by soaking Hastings - but yesterday was a fine and sunny morning.  We had a few errands to do down in town, so decided to walk down, and use our shiny new Jerwood membership cards to have a nice luxury coffee in the nice sunny cafe, to banish those post-holiday blues. Blow me down - the place was shut.... and had been shut, what is more, since 24 September, and not re-opening until 6 October.  The notice on the door said it was because they were hanging a new exhibition.  Why on earth does that necessitate closing the whole g…

Return to Sorrento De De De De Deee Da etc

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Dee..d aaaa….Torna a Surriento.Well, we did, six years after our first visit. That song was composed on the terrace of our hotel, the Tramontano. It is hard to sit in a restaurant in the town without some itinerant musician invading one’s personal space to wheeze out the tune on an accordion.
Never mind restaurants, on the packed rush-hour train to Ercolano (for Herculaneum), a Latin busking band got on and played ‘La Bamba’ very loudly up and down the crowded carriages.
‘This would never do in England,’ I hissed at the Philosopher, while directing best frosty Battleaxe glare at the musicians. The Italian commuters had less restraint – they shouted, swore and shook their fists until eventually the buskers departed, empty-handed.
The Philosopher preferred Pompeii, which we visited last time, but I liked Herculaneum.  It was quieter, the houses have surviving roof timbers, stairs, iron grilles at the windows, and even furniture. I had always thought it was a modest little fishing village, …

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