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Showing posts from 2015

Happy 4th Blogiversary - and Happy New Year!

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Yes, indeed, Hastings Battleaxe has been up and running for four years!
Us bloggers are supposed to celebrate these Blogiversaries, so let's do it.

     I won't bother yarning on about the past - here's the link to the first ever post, written on 31 December 2011, when we had only just moved to Hastings.
     Sometimes, Battleaxe wonders why she carries on. Can only be because she enjoys it. I don't make any money from blogging, and although the blog does quite well - it has had 105,500 page views - and has a band of loyal readers, it is unlikely ever to be a viral sensation. I think that is partly because Battleaxe chops and changes topic areas too much. It's partly a travel blog, partly a 'lifestyle' blog (whatever that is....), partly a fashion blog, partly about arts, food or whatever grabs her attention.
      The most viewed posts with the wider internet over the four years have been mostly local 'review' posts - antique shops, coffee stop…

Happy Christmas from Hastings Battleaxe

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All ready for Christmas, done and even dusted now. Philosopher has even put the candles on the revolving jingle chime thing, ready for tomorrow lunchtime. Just waiting for our friend +Shaun Mckenna  to arrive - hope he is not stuck on the M25.
Actually the house was quite clean anyway - we had all the neighbours round for drinks on Tuesday so all was still tidy after that.
     We've had a pickled walnut crisis - I told Philosopher not to have such a hot bath - no, really, there aren't any to be had in the whole of Hastings. Cold turkey disaster.
     Weather is horribly windy. I don't like the way it howls around the house up here... It's still incredibly mild though. Our turkey won't fit in the fridge so we have had to make a cool box arrangement for it in the garage with a crate, lots of bubble wrap and ice packs - otherwise it would get too warm.
     I have spent ages trying to upload videos properly to this blog. The last one, the the most recent post about t…

Down the Hastings to Bexhill Link Road, Birmingham Christmas capers...

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This morning I said to Philosopher: 'Let's drive down the new Link Road', (or Combe Valley Way as we are supposed to call it), so we did.

    Diligent Battleaxe readers will know that I wrote a blog post about this controversial road ages ago - I even won a prize for the piece in the Hastings Writer's Group journalism competition. (Now there's a thing - I have not even been placed in a HWG competition this year - first time ever...).
     The road was opened last week - the exact opening time was kept secret until the last minute to deter environmental protesters, but in fact they still managed to sit themselves down in the road in front of the VIPs. Seems a bit pointless to me, when the road is finished...
    Although the original arguments against the road are still valid, and it will have little impact on the local traffic on the sea-front route, it's here now, so we may as well use it. In fact, for us folk living near the Ridge, it is ideal to get to Bexh…

Christmas meal and Wreath-making with the WI

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Getting a bit WI-crazy Christmassy here.  Battleaxe has been very busy, so this is quite a quick post.
On Tuesday this week we had a Christmas outing to the Fairlight Lodge Hotel, on Thursday it was Book Group, Saturday afternoon I went to a wreath-making workshop, tomorrow we have a Christmas Coffee Morning - crikey.
   The Fairlight Lodge Hotel is a funny, quirky, somewhat tumbledown old place just out of town along the Fairlight Road. It has had a long history, being once the home of the Martineau family, and most notably, Robert Martineau, the nineteenth century artist and associate of Holman Hunt.  Hunt, Millais and Edward Lear stayed at the Lodge before and after they stayed at Clive Vale Farm, where our house now stands.
    Martineau's most famous painting is 'The Last Day in the Old Home', now in Tate Britain. According to the hotel website, the room pictured is now the hotel bar, but the scene is more likely to be the Ashford home of the bloke who was the model fo…

Spectre, Lady in the Van and Abba madness!

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Had a busy cultural week - not that one could call Abba 'culture'.... nor James Bond.... and not even Maggie Smith.
    Went down to the Hastings Odeon to see Spectre. We weren't that keen on the last James Bond, Skyfall, too much inner agonising and psycho-babble. Looking at the post I wrote about it back then I read that the cinema was heaving - this time, it was virtually empty. What's more, the screen we sat in had obviously been poshed up - new seats, more leg-room and no sticky floor. Interestingly, as I've been moaning about the wet, windy weather, I also see that in back in November 2012 it was apparently worse than it is now. How quickly we forget.    
     Anyway, this was a much more straightforward Bond movie - good locations, including the brief sequence in Rules Restaurant, which Battleaxe visited a few weeks ago. I see that the restaurant was closed for three days for filming, for a scene which only lasted about 30 seconds.  Overall, though, we felt…

Chatham Historic Dockyard, and Rochester revisited.

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Just back from a couple of days extending our exploration of Kent. Back in the summer we went on a trip to Canterbury, Whitstable and Rochester. We meant to visit Chatham that time, but it was too much.
     I'm glad we left the Historic Dockyard until later in the season. On a dull, blustery, damp November day, just before it closed for the winter, the place was practically empty. I've often moaned on here about the crowds at various visitor attractions, but this was the complete opposite.
     We started off with the Rowland Hilder exhibition. Since we moved down here, we have often been struck by the Kent 'Hilderscapes', oast houses, vast skies, rolling hills and bare trees, still much as he painted them. He is often dismissed as a chocolate box Christmas card painter, but his work is beautiful. Here are two examples:
 Next, the historic warships.  
    HMS Gannet is the oldest, a hybrid sailing/steam ship dating from 1878. The ship was empty except for the custodia…

Two bright days - vintage fair at the De La Warr, dazzling sun at Winchelsea Beach

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After an exhausting day on Saturday at the WI Bazaar, Battleaxe enjoyed some chill-out time in two brief bursts of good weather. The Bazaar went well - it is a wonderful thing to see so many women pulling together for a common cause. When I was at work we'd have paid millions to anyone who could have told us how to get similar levels of motivation and energy. Have written about such things before...
     The weather was terrible - sleety snow and a howling gale when people should have been flocking into the hall,  but total takings were only about £300 down on last year.
      On Sunday, it was a dazzlingly bright sunny day. Philosopher and I went to Bexhill, for a bit of sun and sea on the sea-front, and then the Vintage Fair at the De La Warr Pavilion.  The fair, run by local Red Rose Vintage Fairs, was part of the Front Row Fashion event, which takes place annually.  They have a big fashion show on the Saturday night, showcasing young designers and upcycled clothes. I did think…

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