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Showing posts from November, 2014

View from The Conquest Hospital, Hastings

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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.

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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…

In praise of the WI

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Battleaxe is feeling especially warm towards the WI sisterhood because our Hastings Ore WI Winter Bazaar was so successful - we raised over £1,300.
     Such events are massive feats of enterprise and organisation for everyone concerned.  We are better off than most WIs because we have 70 members - a big enough pool to find volunteers willing to help with all the background and front-line tasks.
    We had to publicise the event, make things, donate things, collect things, price and display things, carry stuff about, be places on time, make and serve teas, wash up, sell on stalls, clear up again, and deal with the money.... and what amazes me is how willingly, cheerfully and effectively we all do it, and how well people work together.
    It was the same with the jumble sale we had back in August. One minute the hall was like a chaotic battleground, absolutely full of stuff, within 30 minutes the place was empty, all cleared up, as if we'd never been there.
    A few years ago, Ba…

Backstage at Glyndebourne and Motown in Eastbourne - cultural extremes!

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Well, Battleaxe certainly gets about. I've been on a backstage tour at Glyndebourne, followed by an outing to the Congress Theatre to see the Motown show, 'Dancing in the Streets'.
     The Glyndebourne visit was arranged for us by our old friends Bob and Alison, who now live in Horsham.
     It was the first true crisp and frosty autumn morning we have had, and the drive over there was very pretty.
     Although the other two had been to the opera at Glyndebourne, Philosopher and I have never been before, and we didn't know what to expect. Reading the blurb, it was clear that our companions on the tour were likely to be elderly - they warned us of steps etc. Realistically, we thought, for able-bodied people, just how many steps can you have in a theatre, unless we were going to be shinning up the ladders to the fly-tower?
     Indeed, when we assembled in the Old Green Room for coffee, many were indeed elderly. We were asking each other how long it will be before we s…

Folkestone Triennial and Chapman Brothers at the Jerwood

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An artistic interlude after last week's theatricals.... Our old friends Sue and Graham came down from Birmingham to Folkestone to see the Triennial, and we drove over on Friday to meet them there and bring them back to Hastings for the weekend.
   It started out a bit pear-shaped. The main road was blocked both ways out by Brookland, and the journey took us a stressful one hour forty-five minutes instead of the pleasant journey along the coast road we had planned for - it was a gorgeously sunny, warm day.
   However, we eventually got to Folkestone, and parked down by the harbour. It was all looking very bright....
   The Triennial is a festival of public art, and there were strange installations all over the town. Graham is a lecturer in art theory and fine art at the University of Stafford, and clearly is interested in such things. Fortunately they had already been on a massive walk all around the town before we arrived, so we only saw a few bits - readers of this blog will know…

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