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Showing posts from February, 2017

Hastings Battleaxe does Malta

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Our first visit to Malta.Very interesting and enjoyable four/ five days. Weather fab. Sorry, this is a long post, but there's lots to say.We stayed in Valetta, in the old city. There are very few hotels right in the centre, partly because much of the place is still unrestored and ungentrified – just what Battleaxe and Philosopher enjoy.   We chose the little Grand Harbour Hotel, with unrivalled views over the historic Grand Harbour towards the Three Cities and out to the sea. Our room was on the 4th floor, ideal for the fantastic view. Battleaxe would totally recommend the place. It is quite basic, but spotlessly clean, comfy bed, free WiFi, very pleasant staff, handy for sights, buses, ferry etc. Choose a harbour view room, though.
Old Valetta is totally fascinating, built by the Knights of St John around 1600. It's a tightly-knit grid of narrow streets covering a small peninsula. The architecture is very distinctive – Grand baroque palazzos, houses with ornate covered balconi…

Loo latest and quick update

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Ok, I promise this is the last bit about loos you will see. This is just a quick update before we set off for a few days in Malta. It'll be good to escape this extra-grey February.  Yesterday we went on a grey sort of stroll at Pett Level....
     In the last post I mentioned that I was going to the Council Cabinet meeting to present our loo petition and have our five minutes to talk about the issue.  Well, I went, accompanied by Philosopher and three stalwart WI chums.
     It was in the Council Chamber in the newly named Muriel Matters House. Eh? you might say. The building, a thoroughly unappealing 70s block right in the middle of the seafront was called Aquila House until a few weeks ago. One may wonder why Hastings BC, more strapped for cash than any local authority has a right to be, should be spending money changing the name of its offices. I remember from my time with Birmingham City Council, working for what started off as the Central Personnel Department, then became Per…

Toilet protests and music at Fairlight Hall. A day in the life of Battleaxe....

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Well, social/local media has been so full of the toilet protest I scarcely want to write about it further, but I'll sum it up here, and it did make a great contrast with a very civilised musical luncheon at Fairlight Hall straight afterwards.      All this was last Saturday. The loo protest seems so teeny tiny in comparison with the stuff going on in the wider world, but hey, it makes a change from Brexit and Trump. Toiletgate is still very much alive because on Monday evening I will be speaking for five minutes about loos to the Hastings Borough Council Cabinet meeting. I'll report back on that later.
     Like most local authorities, and especially those, apparently, who serve the most deprived areas (why, you may ask...), Hastings BC is facing savage government cuts to its funding. In the current year, the Council has to make up a a £1.2 million shortfall. One proposal to save money is to close public toilets, most notably those in Ore Village, and in Harold Place in the to…

Keith Tyson exhibition at the Jerwood, plenty to look at

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The latest exhibition at the Jerwood, Keith Tyson's 'Turn Back Now' started at the weekend.  Hastings Battleaxe made her obligatory visit. Here's what she thought. It might have actually provided an uncomfortable insight into my own motivation....
    My first thought: Oh good, masses to look at. The space is full. The walls of the big Foreshore Gallery are totally covered with his Studio Wall drawings, in fact there is so much material it would take several visits to view/read it all.
    Second thing, see photos above, you are allowed to take pictures of Tyson's stuff, which makes a blogger's life much easier.
     But what actually is it?  The closely packed images are a sort of visual diary, or as Tyson says 'a kind of emotional headline of the day'. The items are on a vast, random range of topics, some of them are stark graffiti-like agitproppy things, some are much more gentle, some are rude.
     Is it any good? How do I know?
     The man clea…

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