Showing posts from July, 2015

Best shops in Battle, WI exhibition in the museum

Our neighbouring little town of Battle is always good for a wander. Battleaxe has blogged about Battle before, focusing particularly on 'Mad Cat Lady' (MCL) clothes shopping, not forgetting Tweedy Horsy Hiker (THH), Pagan Priestess (PP), and Dynasty Revival with Added Gold (DRAG - love it!) etc. Maybe I'm getting a bit MCL/PP myself. Maybe the shops have toned themselves down. Whatever it is, I no longer seem to notice off-the-wall clothes so much..... worrying.
      There are touristy tack shops in Battle, but also plenty of interesting ones, housed in attractive old buildings, either on or just off the High Street. There is ample parking just off the High Street, and plenty of pubs and cafes for taking a break.
      This time, we started by visiting the auction house, Burstow and Hewett, to view the picture sale. There were three original watercolours by local artist Annie Rae. We already have one of her big drawings of St Leonard's, and left a bid on one of the w…

Brighton etc - Granny Battleaxe takes a trip

Granddaughter was born in Brighton, and hasn't been back since she was six, so we went for a day trip on the train. Philosopher was working at the Jerwood, so it was just the two of us.
     Getting there was an ordeal. GD's difficulties mean that she doesn't like crowds, or noise. We started off well on a nice quiet, but slow train, and things were fine until we got beyond Polegate, then the train gently stuttered to a halt in the middle of waving golden fields of barley.  It was tranquil and beautiful, with the Long Man of Wilmington looking down at us from the downs above the fields.

     The scenery palled after about twenty minutes. An unhelpful man sitting across the aisle leant across to us:
     'There's no toilet on this train.' GD's head shot up from her game. Loo anxiety is another significant factor in her personal universe.
     'I think I may need to go a little bit', she said in a small voice.
     'Not long now,' I replied ro…

WI Centenary antics, National Theatre 'Everyman' at the Hastings Odeon, Barbara Hepworth at Tate Britain.

I've already written about the right royal fuss at WI Centenary AGM - not surprisingly, I suppose, that piece is on course to be one of the most popular Hastings Battleaxe blog posts ever.
     On Tuesday we had our own Hastings Ore Centenary meeting. We decided to do a traditional WI meeting, with the Committee wearing big hats sitting along the top table. We even sang Jerusalem. I won't embarrass my colleagues by posting the pictures of us all. My hat, purchased at vast cost from a charity shop, was too big, and kept slipping down over my eyes. It wasn't my best look ever. 
      Instead, as we all wore our WI badges, here are my three - a 2015 Centenary souvenir badge, a vintage - probably 1950's - East Sussex Federation of WIs badge given to me by friend Jan Kelly, and a very old, probably 1930's, 'For home and country' badge.  The oldest badge is one of two I got off Ebay a few months ago, one to give as a part of a present to Sarah Kowitz for hosti…

Piano recital at Fairlight Hall, Bridget Riley at the de la Warr

Beautiful sun this week - the one wet day was Sunday, when we were supposed to go to Fairlight Hall for the Hastings Piano Concerto Competition winner's recital. It absolutely poured down in the morning. As the piano event involves picnics in the gardens, followed by semi-outdoor concert, anxious frissons must have been rushing round all over the place...
     Fortunately, it cleared up by about 3.30pm, and the sun emerged. We decided to leave the picnic, and just have a Pimms when we got there. We had a stroll round the gardens - very tranquil and pleasant.  As I think I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Peter, the head gardener is, or was then, very keen on a biodynamic approach to cultivation - planting things according to the phases of the moon.  I keep on meaning to ask him how it went, and keep forgetting. Some things in the walled vegetable garden were excellent, some a bit less so - our broad beans are better-looking than his, and he gave us the seeds, too. Lovely border …

Hastings Battleaxe gets botanical - wild flowers are difficult

It has been so hot..... last week we went for a cool walk along the Royal Military Canal, stopping for a shady picnic by the water.  During our walk, I was struck by the different varieties of wild flowers beside the path. 
     I'm not good at flowers. I can learn a name one day, and have forgotten it the next. And so many look the same, particularly little yellow vaguely dandelion-ish things - they are the equivalent of little brown birds.
     My sister is much better than me - I can remember admiring her carefully-compiled and labelled pressed flower albums. Not surprisingly, she grew into a very skilled and knowledgeable gardener.
     Philosopher and I often reflect that modern kids don't seem to have hobbies in the same way that we did. Both of us collected stamps when we were children, involving much agreeable palaver around soaking the stamps off envelopes, tweezing, licking stamp hinges (which came in little tins), arranging them in albums, comparing contents of swap…

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