Showing posts from 2017

Hastings Battleaxe reads her poems - a bit scary

Hastings Battleaxe has done poetry readings on two occasions recently: at the WI Literary Lunch, and at a combined choir/music poetry concert at St Clement's Church in Hastings Old Town. It surprises me a bit that I attempt to do readings at all - it is bad enough having to share stuff you have written, never mind reading it out loud to a load of strangers.     However, I think one advantage of getting older is that you no longer care so much about what people thiink of you. I have no trouble with standing up to speak, and with projecting enough volume - years and years of shouting at groups and now, leading WI meetings have seen to that. Hell, I even used to train managers in Presentation Skills. I do get nervous though, and worry about breathing, and the pace/timing of poetry readings. Some of my poet colleagues memorise their poems - I don't know if I could ever do that.

    The Literary Lunch was held in the very genteel surroundings of the English Wine Centre in Alfriston…

Paula Rego at the Jerwood Gallery - Battleaxe reviews

It is ages since I 'reviewed' an exhibition at the Jerwood. On Sunday Philosopher and I went - his first visit to the gallery since his hip operation - he won't go back to his duties there until after the New Year.  He told me that we had contributed some money to bring the exhibition, Paula Rego, The Boy Who Loved the Sea and Other Stories, to Hastings - first I'd heard of it, so was interested to see what we had helped to put on.       I say 'review' because Battleaxe is scarcely a serious art critic. Some of the offerings at the Jerwood I find a mixture of confusing and irritating, and have slagged off accordingly. Also, the day I start writing in 'art-speak' is the day I give up this blog for ever.
     To start with, look at this review from the Independent.  I love this description of Hastings:

'It is good to see works, paintings and prints by Paula Rego beside the sea in Hastings, with its ear-jangling brawl of drunkenly wind-buffeted gull…

Thoughts on the WI - our Annual Meeting

At the moment, I can't drag my thoughts much beyond the WI - it was our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, and on Saturday it is our Winter Bazaar.  I've written about our Bazaars before - I hope this year's  effort is as positive and life-affirming as our previous ones.  After the Annual Meeting, yet again I am President for another year....      As President, I find this time of year very stressful. Fortunately, we have an efficient Secretary (Hello Angela!) and an equally efficient Treasurer (Hello Jan!), and the rest of the Committee also get stuck in and work their socks off, which is a great relief.  Even so, I do inevitably feel the weight of responsibility, and it also feels a bit lonely and thankless sometimes. But hey, I am Battleaxe. It's what I do.... and between you me and the internet, I always enjoy Being In Charge.... When I was young, nobody would have thought for a single second that I could do this sort of thing.... 
     For the Annual Meeting, there are s…

Hastings Battleaxe goes to IKEA

What, you may say, a whole post about an outing to IKEA in Croydon? What a dull life that woman must lead... Well, for us Hastingas, where the most happening interiors stores are the over-priced vanity projects in the Old Town, or Dunelm Mill, IKEA is pretty darn exciting. We had an excellent time!      Croydon is our nearest store, and it still took over 1.5 hours to get there. Why IKEA? A while ago our WI Reading Group read 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' (which I had read before and hated) so we decided to have a Swedish-themed outing. Meatballs were compulsory. So cheap, too £3.95 for 10 meatballs, chips and lingonberry jam. Funny, I remember the meatballs being served with mashed potatoes.... Then we had apple cake as well, but you needed it for the walk to follow.
     The Croydon cafe is absolutely huge - interestingly, we noticed a few people who looked like Social Services homeless cases, lying on the sofas and getting endless free refills of hot drinks - I guess i…

Battleaxe as nurse - or Matron, more like it.... and other things....

Well, Philosopher has had his operation, and now has new bionic hip. It doesn't seem that bionic as yet, but really rather painful. Am not sure Battleaxe makes ideal nurse. In addition, have been rushing about with things like Amber Rudd's Seniors Fair and heaven knows what else.
     He was put into the Spire Hospital, which seemed pretty good to me - I always seem to end up next door, in the Conquest. The Spire is surprising small, all on one floor. It was wonderfully quiet and restful - none of the raging ward hubbub I have experienced, (see previous post, although on that occasion I did manage to end up in a private room...) no persons with dementia ranting and raving in the next bed etc. Best of all, I could park, totally free, right outside the window of his room.  Mind you, we are darn lucky to have both the Conquest and the Spire just ten minutes down the road.
     The poor man had to wait virtually all day on Thursday for his operation - eventually had it about 3.30,…

Weird weather - and an outing to Lewes

I think this is the longest time ever without a Battleaxe post. I've been busy and had some flu bug over the weekend. It is getting better now thank goodness. Last week we went all the way to Portslade to fetch a vintage filing cabinet. Don't ask. Then had a nice stop-off in Lewes. Weather has been strange - last week's yellow sky and red sun following Ophelia thing, then storm Brian....     Oh alright, the filing cabinet. You may as well ask. Have been busying myself on Ebay and various Facebook selling pages and groups because we have had to buy a high seat, high back chair for Philosopher when he comes home after his hip replacement op. (It is actually happening tomorrow - in the Spire Hospital - via the NHS. He seems quite calm about it so far... more news later).
     Anyway, I had to get rid of one of our Ercol armchairs, so being me, got rid of an art deco standard lamp, a coffee table, two Chinese floor vases and another Ercol armchair for a neighbour at the same …

Battleaxe visits Lake Maggiore - Stresa and beyond

My last post was all about the first part of our holiday, our trip to Milan. This is about the second half, visiting Lake Maggiore. We stayed in Stresa
     Readers may know that Battleaxe and Philosopher like historic, slightly faded grand hotels. Any Tripadviser reviews that talk about 'grand old ladies that have seen better days' will attract me immediately. I chose Stresa because it is easy to reach from Milan by train, and had two such hotels, the Regina Palace and the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees.
     I felt, visitng Lake Maggiore, one had to have a lakeview room in a traditional grand hotel, sipping a negroni on one's balcony, watching the pleasure steamers chug up and down in front of us etc.

     I went for the Regina Palace. It was a bit cheaper, nearer the station, boat terminus and town. I expected, as usual in such establishments, to be sleeping in the rooms of exiled Russian aristocracy, Prussian Grand duchesses, the Prince of Wales and Mrs Keppel, Edward …

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