Showing posts from March, 2012

Best sea-view cafe in Hastings?

Of course, I am leaving out the Jerwood - excellent if you want a view of the rusty old iron and broken crates on the Fishing Beach, the White Rock Hotel - too near the road, and the Azur.... this is the view from Debenhams cafe, an unexploited potential gem.  If the store were prepared to invest a bit in the cafe, it would be an excellent way of drawing more customers in.  As it is, the windows don't open, and the sun blazes in making the place uncomfortably hot.  The menu is not exactly gastro either.  (This afternoon I had a cup of Earl Grey tea. It came with the bag separate from the pot of hot water, like you get in America or something, and then believe it or not the tea-bag was an American product. Why?)

I don't think Hastings and St Leonard's have enough sea-side cafes and bars - it is partly the geography, with the main road cutting off the shops on the sea-front, but Eastbourne and Brighton have managed it.

 Then of course there is supposed to be the new Lido - …

Hastings Battleaxe in Battle

Two trips to Battle in two days:  quick look through the clothes shops (see earlier post) to see if there were any new Mad Battleaxe spring looks with gold lurex laces, fringy bits hanging off etc.  Needless to say there was loads of choice, garments further enhanced with wild print fabric for this season's look.  Who else shops there apart from me? There must be only a finite number of mad old ladies/witches/over-age goths in East Sussex.

For the second trip, a long walk round Battle Great Wood with picnic for lunch. Nerdy moment coming now - I have just got the OutDoors GB app for my iphone.  You have to pay a bit to download the large-scale OS maps but it is well worth it.  Normally, on a woodland walk like that with loads of paths we would end up thrashing through the undergrowth, hot, sweaty and lost, but with this app - wow, it was brilliant.  Sun was boiling hot.  Lovely celandines, wood anenomies (that does not look right!) and primroses.  However, much of the wood was too…

Hastings Half Marathon, Jerwood

Just back from week in sunny Cornwall to even sunnier Hastings.  Half Marathon this morning - they ran down the hill past our house in Harold Road.  Real festival atmosphere, all the neighbours out on their front steps, clapping the runners as they trotted past on mile 10 out of the 13 - or tore past, in the case of the three highly superior looking guys in the lead, who zipped past around 10 minutes before anyone else.  Here they are, zooming past the surgery.
I don't know who won, but all respect.  All respect also to all the people who settled down on the edge of the pavements to clap every runner that passed - and there were thousands of them.

Then down to town for our first look at the Jerwood.  Paid our £2 for locals, and in we went.  As I said last week, the Rose Wylie paintings leave me colder than cold.  Literally - despite it being like summer outside, the exhibition room was cold and stark, and I don't like to say it but the paintings look like the graffiti on a w…

Hastings Battleaxe sneaks Jerwood preview...

Just walked past the Jerwood... much gathering of media luvvies for the Press Preview.  Saw the featured artist herself - Rose Wylie, standing outside, looking cold,  with a couple of beardy geezers wearing crumpled linen.  I snapped two of her paintings illicitly through the window.  What do I think of these?  Not much at all, to be honest. 
There are many talented, well regarded local artists in Hastings and St Leonard's.  I know I sound like some whinger writing to the 'Observer' but couldn't we have done better than this?  It will do much to confirm the locals' perception that the Jerwood is full of artsy fartsy rubbish that has no relevance for them - particularly as you can see the paintings plainly through the big front window without having to go in and pay.  (I say again that £7.00 admission for people outside Hastings is far too much.)

I understand that the Jerwood permanent collection includes a fine selection of twentieth century British art - I just h…

Battleaxe visits Naturist Beach

Oh no dears, don't get excited - no pictures, no nudity even.  Scorching hot day yesterday, up to the Country Park - coffee at the Coastguards Tearooms - good sticky lemon cake, and a sighting of a green woodpecker in the garden -  then walk. 
     We like the Country Park but it does have some wind-pipe bursting climbs.  We decided to explore and see if we could reach the beach by Fairlight Glen, despite the notices saying access was 'not advised'.

     We knew it was a semi-official Naturist Beach, so it was no surprise to see quite a few folk enjoying the sun when we eventually scrambled down a very steep path and some rickety steps to the shore.  The beach is a mixture of sand and stones, but it looked lovely - warm, sheltered and peaceful.Access to the sea looked a bit rocky - you'd need swimming shoes. Do naturists wear even those?
      I suggested to the Philosopher that we might strip off and stay for a while.  We were tempted, but we had our walking gear on, …

Hastings Battleaxe Granny takes a Zip....

Still in holiday mood... not surprising, weather in Hastings is as hot as Madeira.  At least it was until about half an hour ago - just looked out of the window and mist is rolling down the valley past the house - unusual - it usually rolls in the other direction. This is me having a go on the Bembrook Road playground zip wire yesterday.  Had walked past it lots of times but it had been always occupied by moody, brooding adolescents.  This time they had lurched off to brood elsewhere, and it was empty.  Zip wire was very good, but not long and scary enough.  Note to Hastings Council - lets have some more - or how about a special Battleaxes playground?  I like the outdoor gym up there as well.

We ate fish and chips for lunch at the Mermaid Cafe at Rockanore. (I wonder if it will go all gastro when the Jerwood opens?)  I guess we have been spoilt by days lounging in the sophisticated cafe bars of Funchal, but really it was like a madhouse.  The service was so slow we nearly died - they…

From Funchal to Hastings.....Madeira holiday

Just returned from a fantastic week in Madeira.  Funchal is not unlike Hastings - perched on hills dropping down to the sea - and in fact the view of Hastings Old Town from the West Hill is better than Madeira...  No litter, and no dog poo in Funchal!  Here is an idea for Hastings, to liven up that Stade open space I was moaning about a couple of weeks ago.  In Funchal all the pavements and open spaces are paved with mosaic-like black and white chippings - the white is marble I presume.  There is a variety of striking patterns and pictures - see photo.  A design like this would look really good in Hastings - you could even make a picture of the Net Huts in black on white.
   Madeira is very beautiful - fabulous gardens. Here are some flowers:

Come on Hastings - ditch that crazy Link Road!

Excuse this presumption from a Hastings newcomer, but I just thought I'd write this little rant about the proposed new Hastings-Bexhill Link Road before going on holiday.

Today we were trundling along the Ridge at 25 mph behind a queue of traffic with a learner at the head of it.  What on earth can anyone be thinking of if they are imagining diverting more traffic onto the Ridge, from the proposed new Link Road, to join up with the Rye Road at Ore?  The Ridge is a poor road, and at maximum capacity now.  Many residential roads join it, plus the Conquest Hospital, the Fire Station, at least 3 schools, the Crematorium, the Industrial Estate... crrazy...

Then don't get me started on that idiotic junction where the Ridge and A21 cross - presumably, in the planners' brave new world, people would want to go whirling off there for the A21. Massive works would need to be done there to enable traffic to run smoothly.  And when they get onto the A21 - wow - what a cracking fast roa…

Sun and fossils at Pett Level

What a glorious sunny day today! 

We went down to Pett Level - it was low tide, so we walked along the beach.  I had read somewhere that it is possible to walk all along the beach from Pett to Hastings - about 4 miles, looking at the interesting bird life, rock formations, dinosaur footprints, naturists etc.  We weren't planning to do the walk today, just explore how rocky it was.  We walked at least a mile along, past Fairlight.  It was totally quiet.  We met one man and his funny little dog on our way out - a fossil hunter, and another on our way back, but didn't see a living soul for most of the time.

Does the picture show a fossilised fish?  It looks very like it.  We also saw what looked like a skeleton of something large, maybe some dinosaur poo, and possibly a footprint but we could have imagined them.

The rocks are great - many layered in brown, black, grey red and beige like liquorice allsorts. It seems a little sad that there is no access to the beach from Fairlight …

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