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Hastings Battleaxe visits Paul Feiler at the Jerwood - and pops into the Arts Forum....

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The Paul Feiler exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery has been running for a while, but Battleaxe has been a little busy... Then yesterday on my way back from London I met up with Philosopher at the Arts Forum, where he was attending the Private View of an exhibition by one of his Jerwood friends, artist Jennifer Baird.     So, first, to the Paul Feiler: 100 Years exhibition.  There is at least one of Feiler's paintings in the Jerwood permanent collection. The one pictured above is frequently on show, and in fact can be seen in the upstairs gallery space now. As ever with abstract art I can't say why I like it but I do. Is it the colours? Given that, I was interested to see more of his work. Also, even though he was born in Germany, Feiler is known as one of the St Ives school of painters - plenty of Cornish interest for us. He had a long and prolific painting life until his death in 2013, aged 95 - here is his obituary from the Guardian.
   During his long life, he developed his…

Hastings Battleaxe and Jack in the Green - our WI delivers the goods!

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As ever, I feel really proud of our Hastings Ore WI gang. On the hottest May Bank Holiday on record, yet again we made sure that the Jack in the Green revellers had access to a really great refreshment room, upstairs in the Jenny Lind pub. I've written about this before, we have done the gig for about five years now.  We really do have an exceptional crowd of women... we all pull together so well and work so hard.      It is good fun, but a massive feat of physical exertion. On Friday, some of us went to our storeroom in the Old Town (up on the first floor, up steep stairs) and carried umpteen heavy crates of china and catering supplies down to Battleaxe's and Philosopher's car. On Sunday evening, it all gets shipped down to the pub, where more of us are waiting to set the room up - the crates have to be carried up to the first floor of the pub, and much heavy furniture has to be moved around.
     Women across Hastings bake cakes and savouries ready to be taken down to t…

Verdi Requiem at the White Rock - Hastings Battleaxe enjoys a great performance

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A quick post to acknowledge the great night we had last night at the White Rock Theatre. The 90th Anniversary concert of the Hastings Philharmonic Choir, performing the Verdi Requiem with the Kosovo Philharmonic Choir, the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra and four excellent soloists, pulled together excellently, as ever, by the multi-talented Marcio da Silva.      What was not to like - a massive choir, orchestra, soloists and conductor all crammed onto the none-too-big stage  - no exaggeration, one of the double bases almost had a foot hanging into empty space, and I was concerned that the first violin would elbow the soprano in the back....
      The weather has now gone scorchio hot beserk. I expected to boil in the theatre but was surprised that it was actually quite cool - have they improved the air-con?  As usual for such events, everyone who was everyone in Hastings was there - it all gets a bit schizoid as one person after another comes along, says hello and starts a new conver…

Hastings Battleaxe enjoys a bright day in Winchelsea. Lovely gardens

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Yesterday was a rare bright sunny day - it has been unseasonably cold and miserable after a few good days when we were away in Yorkshire.  Battleaxe went on a WI garden visit to Winchelsea. The gardens were open for St Michael's Hospice. Everything was looking fresh, rain-washed and crystal clear.    One of the best things about Winchelsea is the red brick/tiled roofscapes. Lovely against the blue sky.

     Have been to those gardens many times but they never fail to please. This time many of the flowers that one would expect to be out this time of year were not in evidence - and some had got a bit bashed by the previous day's extraordinarily heavy rain. Speaking to the garden owners, it was clear that they had been at their wits end clearing up the debris and getting ready for the opening. Nevertheless, it was all beautiful, and inspired me to spend the afternoon scrabbling in our garden, which still looks like a war zone...  The water feature has got clogged up and smelly, …

Hastings Battleaxe journeys to Derbyshire and Yorkshire

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Last week was action-packed.  We stayed our first night in Matlock, visiting Matlock Bath and the Heights of Abraham, Chatsworth next day followed by scenic Peak District drive, then Wakefield for the Hepworth Gallery and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, then York and Castle Howard, and finally Hardwick Hall on the way home followed by a night with my sister. Phew.      The first thing that struck Battleaxe and Philosopher was the price of these places.... the cable car to the Heights of Abraham was £13.60 each... that would have included admission to the caves, had we wanted to go in them. But it was late in the day, and we just really went for the ride. Don't get me wrong, we are willing and able to pay to visit places, but so often we don't get a sense of getting value for money - perhaps we are just behind the times. How on earth do people with families manage?
Matlock Bath is a charming, odd little place - wonderfully old-fashioned, all Victorian architecture - amusement a…

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