Thursday, 14 February 2013

From the horse's mouth - Hastings hairdressers, Writers' Group - and the Women's Institute

Valentines Day today...weather due to improve.  Hurry up, spring.
     What a crazy business this horsemeat saga is. In principle, I don't particularly mind the idea of eating horse, but I prefer to know what I am eating, and don't fancy doped-up racehorse carcass, or the scraggy bones of some Romanian peasant's worn-out old nag.  It is just staggering to read that these utterly repulsive so-called meat products apparently can be shipped all over Europe and still sold, at a profit, as reconstituted packaged shite meals in main-stream supermarkets. By the time you have taken off the vast transport costs and the packaging, the raw materials must be utterly worthless.
     All this fatty, synthetic rubbish processed food should be banned. People need to pay proper prices for decent meat. Yes, I know the argument that poor people can't afford decent stuff - it is spurious. Everyone could eat better, and as cheaply, by cooking nutritious food themselves.  It doesn't have to be meat at all - we could all do with eating less of it.
     Anyway, less of this nagging on heh heh. There are some funny horse/cow jokes on the internet - I quite like these:.
     A Tesco burger walks into a bar. "Pint please". "I can't hear you" says the barman. "Sorry" replies the burger. "I'm a little bit horse".
     'Those Aldi horse burgers were nice, but I prefer My Lidl Pony'
     My last post, about the Jerwood exhibition, has gone a bit viral - it is already the fourth most viewed Battleaxe post of all time. The Hastings Battleaxe blog has had over 7000 'hits' since starting at 1 January 2012 - not bad, considering that over the house-moving period in May, June last year, I made very little effort and traffic dropped to only 150 views per month. This year, I should get over 10,000.
     What news in Battleaxe Land?
     Had my hair done this week. I go to Ronni (with an 'i') at the George Street Salon in the Old Town. He has a distinguished pedigree as a London stylist, does it well and is a nice bloke too - but does anyone ever have a grumpy hairdresser? One place I used to go to in Birmingham, the girls used to constantly shriek and scream at each other about their love-lives at the tops of their voices and pretty much ignore the customers. I wouldn't have minded but their stories were utterly boring - the eternal gripe about how a good man is hard to find.
     I find it hard to find a hairdresser who will do my hair sufficiently in yer face bright - Battleaxe doesn't do subtle. This time, Ronni has blitzed up the colours massively, but people are still not going to fall back in amazement when they see me in the street.... but then do I want that? Yeah...  The reading matter in the George Street Salon used to crease me up - a mixture of 'Heat', 'Vogue' - and 'Shooting Times'.  Unfortunately the latter has now disappeared because Ronni's dog turned out to be 'gun-shy'. I enjoyed looking at the adverts for the extraordinary clothing men apparently wear to go out shootin'. Anyway, Ronni doesn't kill things, he just trains dogs. I thoroughly recommend the place.
     Hastings Writers' Group meeting also this week. It was a Manuscript Evening, where people present their work in progress to the group and have it discussed. I always think it takes courage for new writers to do this, especially when there are about 20 members present, but people do it happily enough.This time, we had a bit of a workshop on how to critique others' work effectively - mostly led by Kate O'Hearn, who is probably our most successful published author, but I also did a bit on the process stuff. Our meetings have been very well-attended so far this year - twenty people plus each time.
     The next night Battleaxe really pushed the boundaries of her envelope and went to the Hastings Ore Women's Institute. Had been planning to sample it for a while. Philosopher and I went to see 'Calender Girls' at the Stables Theatre last week - Philosopher was virtually the only man in the place! I found a little flyer advertising the WI on the table in the bar, so I thought that was an omen....  I really didn't know what to expect. Lots of women of all shapes and sizes all crammed into Christ Church Hall in Ore Village - very handy for Battleaxe. Ages ranged from 35 to 85.  I was astonished how much they get up to - as well as the monthly meeting they have a walking group, a book group, a craft group etc.I am going to the book group to give it a go. Battleaxe might have to sellotape her gob up, though....
      Then busy busy - friend Pete coming down from the Midlands at the weekend, then its half-term week, grand daughter, visit to Brum etc. etc.