Showing posts from August, 2017

Worthy goings-on in Hastings. Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and Hastings Pride

This weekend has been an absolute boiling scorcher - just the time to be advised to shut all doors and windows because of some obscure chemical gas cloud drifting along the coast from Birling Gap. It never reached us anyway.... On Saturday night we went to a production of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at the new Opus Theatre in town, and the next day stumbled across the first ever Hastings Pride parade.
   The Opus Theatre is in the old Congregational Church in the town centre. I mostly wanted to go just to see the building. I did take some photos of what is indeed a fine old building but some of these on here come from the internet - it was very hot and crowded, so couldn't even bring myself to go upstairs to the gallery to take a proper picture.

     When we first moved to Hastings we discovered that one of Robert Tressell's homes was just along from our little rented house in Plylimmon Road on the West Hill. I tackled the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, but gave…

Alma-Tadema at Leighton House - and the Design Museum

A day out in London. First ever visit to the lovely Leighton House in Kensington to see an Alma-Tadema exhibition, and a less satisfactory experience at the Design Museum in what used to be the Commonwealth Institute.
       As its name implies, Leighton House is the former home of the painter, Lord Frederick Leighton. Architecturally, it is a fine example of over-the-top Victorian oriental romanticism - an Indo/Moorish mixture with lots of beautiful Iznik tiles. No photos were allowed in the house - I sneaked a few, but most of these come from the internet.

     Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a frequent visitor to Leighton House, and must have appreciated the exotic d├ęcor.  It was a very apt setting for the exhibition, which was excellent. His paintings are still unfashionable - the popular image of them is of wispy air-brushed nudes in classical settings, but they are more than that. I remember some of the big narrative paintings from my childhood - I used to love poring over the details…

Garden Centres and Nurseries near Hastings - some new ones

I've done two posts about garden centres before. The first one is now quite old, but remains consistently in the most-visited top ten, and the more recent follow-up, is also very popular.  So, for this post, off Battleaxe goes again, finding yet more new places to visit and enjoy.
    It was my birthday on Tuesday. In the evening I went to the Hastings Lifeboat House followed by a fish and chip supper with the WI. That's another story - sounds a strange thing to do on your birthday  but we had a really good time. So, Philosopher and I had a daytime outing, wisteria hunting (see below).
    We went over to Cripps Corner, between Sedlescombe and Bodiam, to Ed's Nursery and the Staplecross Shrub Centre.
     Ed's Nursery is a very traditional place - lots of interesting-looking plants, and a knowledgable, elderly lady tending them. Plants looked healthy and prices were very reasonable. I bought a yellow crocosmia but didn't take any photos. No website either.

Hastings Battleaxe - A week in the life.....

This time last Sunday we were trundling back on the train from London Cannon Street, having fetched grand daughter (GD) from my daughter, (D) her mother.  Today we are just back from Birmingham, after a weekend seeing friends etc.
      I've written about GD before - even though she is now 16, she is not as most girls her age are.... Currently, there are difficulties about finding her a college place for the autumn.  The places at special needs colleges in BIrmingham have all been allocated to young people leaving special needs schools, and GD has been at a mainstream school - but mainstream colleges say they cannot meet her needs.  I've told D to contact Steve McCabe, their local MP, but the poor guy has recently had a brick thrown in his face as he was riding along on his bike. It's tough up in Brum.
      Looking after and entertaining her is stressful - but it is what we do.
      On Monday, after a trip to Waterstones to stock up on reading matter - fortunately she l…

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