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Showing posts from August, 2013

Birmingham - save the old Central Library Building!

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All this time, and I've never yet written a blog post about Birmingham, the place we left to come here to Hastings.
     Neither Philosopher or I are born Brummies.  We both moved there, separately, married to other people, in 1979, him from York and me from rural Gloucestershire.  But after 33 years, both of us called it home.
     Like Hastings, Birmingham always gets a bad press.  Lazy journalists write about both places without ever visiting them. My favourite example of this was about Hastings. I forget where this particular article came from, but it mentioned the desirable properties that could be snapped up for fourpence an area called 'Cliff Rly' on the West Hill. Clearly read straight off the A to Z, this refers to the Cliff Railway - the funicular!
     In Birmingham, we lived in Moseley, a leafy Victorian suburb in the south of the city - from the start, I was always struck by how green the place was - big mature gardens with tall trees, and quiet tree-lined str…

Granny Battleaxe: Camber Sands on a windy day and other stories....

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We have grand daughter staying for a few days....  as usual, we planned an outing to Camber Sands, one of her favourite places - she loves the huge wide space, and playing in the dunes. 
    Usually we have a great time but it was very windy, and the tide was so far out you had to squint at a distant line of sea that looked
suspiciously close to the French coast.  The sand blew across the beach in stinging waves, and got into everything. The first encampment we made rapidly looked like a Saharan sand storm had passed through it..... Still, the sun soon came out, Philosopher made a lovely sandcastle, and we made a better place to eat our lunch without sand getting into the sarnies.

     You have to hand it to British holiday-makers, we gave up after lunch and came home leaving many still hanging out in their wind-break stockades. The camps looked like those round fortress houses you see on the wide wild steppes of Mongolia? Tibet?
      My thighs still ached yesterday after a heart-at…

Summer stuff, friends, Battleaxe Birthday, Towner etc.

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So, back in from the garden - what else has been going on?
     Busy... I have just about finished the Hastings Writers' Group website, and very good it looks. Am now working to get the group's charity anthology 'Animal Writes' ready for the printer. I am fed up with it. I don't think I'll do any more book editing - I have had no time to do any of my own writing, except for this blog. When I took it on I vaguely thought it would be like the housing publications we produced during my former working life - we just edited the words and then sent the whole job to the printers, who did all the layout, covers etc. But this is different - worse - you have to format the ruddy stuff and set it out as well as proof-read and edit it.
     We ask contributors to send in their pieces proof-read, formatted and corrected, but needless to say most material arrives as it was when it first fell out of the authors' heads. I don't mind proofing and editing, but I hate the …

Our garden...all is well.

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I thought I'd start this month's posts with a nice soothing piece about our own garden.
     I am very pleased with the way it looks now compared with how it was when we first moved in a year ago. 

    The previous owners of our house kept the garden neat and tidy, and even tended a little vegetable plot, but it was very featureless and bland. I sense that they did what needed to be done, but had no real love for it.
     Big areas were slabbed, decked or covered with pink granite chippings on top of membrane, with a few pots scattered about.  Here is a general view across the back garden, before and after.  You can't actually see that I have dug out a whole new herbaceous border on the top right.
     There is still a big slabbed area, but it is gradually filling up with containers, and the big vegetable trough you can see on the right of the picture below has helped too.


























At the back of the house a very large conservatory covered too much of the outside paved seating are…

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