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RIP poor badger... many more of them in the garden

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Yesterday morning we ran over and killed a badger. Badgers are much on our minds at the moment - our garden, and the gardens of our neighbours, are being over-run...  The sad fatality happened when we were driving over to Eastbourne, to sign the paperwork for our brand-new car - another Skoda Yeti.
      I don't know what the badgers were doing running across the busy Ridge at 9.30 in the morning - why were they not safely tucked up in their sett? There were two of them - one got across safely but the other ran out just too near the car and there was no way Philosopher could avoid it. We hit it head on.       I ran back and the poor thing was still moving, but obviously mortally wounded. A woman passing by stopped and we wondered what to do - badgers are big animals with a nasty bite, and this one was fully-grown. There was a man with a van nearby and I went across to ask him if he had a heavy weapon like a hammer to put the creature out of its misery. Indeed, he was already walk…

Battleaxe blinded by bluebells and Blues - and technology!

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Well, as you can see, Hastings Battleaxe is in the middle of getting a new look. I thought it was time I updated the appearance of the blog - it hasn't changed in five years, and Blogger has all sorts of whizzy themes to choose from.  Suffice it to say that have spent hours effing and blinding, it still does not look right, some bits have disappeared, and have used up all my writing time messing about.  I should never have started. So most of this so-called post will be pictures of flowers - which are looking splendid right now.
  The pictures above are from our visit to my sister in Bedfordshire last week. We went to visit a lovely garden, Coton Manor in Northamptonshire. The bluebell wood was just amazing.  Last year Philosopher and I went to Hole Park, near Rolvenden - I thought those were the best bluebells ever, but the wood at Coton was particularly spectacular with blue against the young green leaves of the beech trees.
   Talking to my sister near election time is always …

Battleaxe struggles with smugglers.

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Well, not literally. For the next Stanza poetry meeting, Smugglers is the suggested theme. We don't necessarily have to follow the suggestion, but this time is slightly different.  I don't know the exact details, but the Hastings Smugglers' Adventure Caves want poems about smuggling for an event later in the year. The poetic muse has abandoned Battleaxe at the moment, so I thought I'd write a bit about Hastings Smugglers to focus my thoughts.
    Well, firstly, the Caves. Although the St Clements' Caves were presumably the haunts of smugglers they are very ancient and their origin is obscure.  They were a Victorian tourist attraction - dances were held down there (presumably for revellers who couldn't face puffing up to dance at the Clive Vale tea garden - see previous posts) - and they were used as an air-raid shelter and hospital in WW2. Now, it is all spooky Smugglers' Adventure.
    Battleaxe has only been there once, many years ago, when Grand Daughter…

Hastings Jack in the Green again - Battleaxe exhausted!

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My, the year goes quickly!  Time, again, for our WI Jack in the Green Refreshment Room upstairs in the Jenny Lind on the May Day Bank Holiday, the day of the great Hastings Jack parade. I've written about it in previous posts. Weather was not too good this time, but that helps us - people come in to shelter and get warm. We had a very successful day!

     We are lucky in that the upstairs room at the Jenny Lind overlooks the parade route - people come and bag the window seats to watch the goings-on below.  We are very grateful to the pub for letting us use the room. The place gets very crowded, particularly as many of the customers are wearing enormously elaborate and bulky costumes.



     This time, we had people coming in even before we opened at 10.30, and threw out the last stragglers at 2.30. They ate every last scrap of food - we had to put a notice on the door saying 'Closed - sold out!'  Several times during the day we had to turn people away because the room was…

Battleaxe sighs over election horrors, Rye Harbour with avocets and creepy caterpillars

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Sighing is about the size of it. A General Election on 8 June..... It is still freakishly dry, and the garden is like concrete.  But, to lighten the mood, some wild life pictures from Rye Harbour      So, what's to be done about this utterly wretched political situation? The Tory Government is running riot, slashing and cutting everything in sight, but have a huge majority predicted to enable them to do even worse things. The Labour opposition is in disarray. Brexit looms horribly. The BBC still insists on giving the odious Farage air time on the telly, even though, hopefully, UKIP will collapse.
     In Hastings, we don't yet have a Labour candidate to stand up against Amber Rudd, who now has a substantial majority. Since becoming Home Secretary has transformed herself from relatively easy-goin' ex-media luvvie to, albeit pale and strained-looking, hatchet-faced Tory yes-woman. Our previous candidate, Sarah Owen, is not standing again - who can blame her. The latest news…

Granny stuff - and spring has sprung

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Was on Granny duty most of last week - hard work as ever. Battleaxe feels really tired. The week before I had a trip to London - met old friend Diana, then Philosopher came up and we went to some exhibitions the day after. Weather has been fabulous - pretty flowers in the garden.     So, what did Granny get up to?  We took GD riding at Fairlight Hall again - the woods were beautiful, and so peaceful. Here is a pond with lovely reflections. The water was heaving with tadpoles - provided inspiration for a poem I am working on. Remind me to tell you about transformations, transitions etc on another occasion... Here, also, is the riding menage. It is hard to tell if GD enjoys the riding, but she says she wants to go again, so we must assume it is OK.


       According to her mother, GD is very stressed at the moment at the prospect of doing GCSE's in a few weeks, and she has also apparently been bullied at school. That is not good at all - can the school not do more to protect vulnera…

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