Showing posts from 2014

New Year's wishes for Hastings - and 3rd Blogiversary


Hastings Battleaxe is three years old today, and shows no signs of flagging. 
     People ask me why I keep blogging. I guess because it is a writing discipline exercise and I enjoy it. Hopefully, others do too, as traffic continues to increase steadily, month after month. 
Philosopher says these posts are getting too long. Are they? What do you think?

     On this day in 2012 I blogged about New Year Resolutions for me, and some wishes for Hastings, so let's revisit them, and add new ones if necessary. Back then I was still a newcomer, so lets see if increasing familiarity with my new home town has made any difference.
      In 2012 I really wanted to make friends, and I am happy to say this has happened. When I was ill a few weeks ago I was reflecting on this, because they were there for me. The WI has played a big part, but other things too.
      Clearly, new friends can never replace Brummies we have known for 30+ years, but it is heart-…

Hastings Battleaxe celebrates - Christmas cards

Let's hope everyone has a happy and peaceful Christmas! This post is a bit late.  We have been very busy, up in Birmingham the last few days, seeing family and friends.
    I have just finished sticking our Christmas cards up in the hall. Battleaxe does enjoy getting them, particularly from people we don't often see. It is a link, however tenuous. I am not so keen on writing them - I do around 60.  It is fine when you can just sign the things, but different when you feel the need to put news as well.  I try and tailor the news to the recipient, and it takes ages.
I read that the incidence of traditional posted cards is declining with the growth of social media, e-cards and, of course, high postage costs. This is leading to massive loss of revenue for charities. Why can't the Royal Mail have a reduced rate for Christmas cards?  Am I dreaming it or did there used to be a cheaper rate for cards that were unsealed?
    However, hand-made, hand-crafted cards are becoming incre…

Gray's Emporium Tearoom, St Leonard's, and some pre-Christmas browsing.

Well, am out and about again, browsing round St Leonard's, the town centre, and the Old Town. Pity I missed both the St Leonard's FrostFair and the Old Town Christmas shopping day.
     It was an absolutely beautiful day on Saturday, and we went for a snoop round St Leonard's. The clouds rolled back to reveal crisp blue sky and a clear, hard winter light. Philosopher and I never tire of looking at the sea - it is never the same twice. Here is the view from the seafront car-park just as the clouds began to clear.
     Our first stop was at Gray's Emporium, a new cafe that has opened in the refurbished art nouveau shop in Kings Road. It is lovely to see this beautiful shop so sympathetically restored. Tea and coffee were both very good, and we even had a timer on our table to time the brew of the tea! Oh, and home-made soft amaretti cakes - delicious. Pleasant staff and good loo. Battleaxe would recommend this place, and I hope it does well. They also do nice looking lun…

Rye Harbour - nature, walks and lovely cakes!

I've never done a proper post about Rye Harbour. It is one of our favourite places - so open, with amazing views of skies and water. 
     Saturday was a sunny, crisp day - the nicest day since I emerged from the Conquest, so off we went. I felt a real need for emptiness and wide horizons.
     When we first moved to Hastings I very much wanted to visit Rye Harbour, because I loved the pony books set in the village, written by Monica Edwards, who spent her childhood there. The books combined all the curry combs, snaffles, pasterns and throat lashes a girl could wish for with rattling good adventures about smugglers, ghosts, wild times at sea, and even, as the characters grew older - boys.
       Monica Edwards' father was Vicar of Rye Harbour, renamed Westling in the books, and the locations are all very recognisable. The vicarage where she lived is now a B and B, the village stores are still there, but unfortunately there is now no ferry across the river.

View from The Conquest Hospital, Hastings

Well, not much view, actually. My room overlooks an inner courtyard. While the ward bays have lovely views down over a lake, Battleaxe, oh luxury, has a room on her own. I'm spending a week in the Conquest Hospital, recovering from a big operation.
     My time here didn't start out well.  After my operation I was put into an incredibly noisy bay - right by the Nurses' Station, and excellent creatures though they are, the concept of whispering at night seems alien to them.
     There was a very old lady next to me with dementia who spent her time shouting 'Nine Sardines! Sardines for tea' unstoppably, interrupted by the occasional nurse who shouted down her ear 'ARE YOU IN PAIN DARLING?' 'NINE SARDINES' , she replied.
     There were people wheeled in from theatre, constant shrill  bleeping machines, miscellaneous groaning and wheezing.... and a bin at the bottom of my bed with a noisy clanging lid. Every few minutes a nurse would open the lid - cl…

V&A Wedding Dresses, Abram Games - Jewish Museum, Women Fashion Power - Design Museum.

Just back from a couple of days break in London before the unpleasantnesses of next week (see end of previous post).
   Started out in the V&A.  Philosopher had wanted to see an exhibition of  Russian theatre designs, but we started with the Wedding Dresses, which I had fancied seeing. Battleaxe would recommend it. No photographs were allowed, which is always annoying, but there are plenty on the internet. Here are a few:

     Then we ate in the cafe - it has to be one of the worst laid out and most crowded eateries in the UK - before seeking out the Russian Avant-garde theatre designs, which were tucked away at the top at the back of the museum - I had never been up there before. Philosopher is very interested in the radical Russian art which emerged after the Revolution, and some of the stuff was indeed wonderful:
    The V&A is the most amazing place. On our way from the theatre section we passed through the Jewellery, which again I had never visited. It was absolutely, tot…

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