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Showing posts from May, 2014

Hastings Battleaxe update - best shops and garden centres

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I was all ready to post 'Best Coffee places' but there was a very bad fire in Hastings Old Town the other night and my favourite, Hanushka in George Street, may have been damaged. We don't know as yet, so I thought for now I'd update some of the most popular Battleaxe posts.
     By far my most frequently-visited post is Best Shops in Hastings and St Leonard's, from December 2012. Looking back at the post, many shops have come and gone in the meantime, but I must have chosen the most stable and long-lasting enterprises because surprisingly little has changed.      In the Old Town, both Hendy's Homestore and Judges now do sit-down food. So far, we have not tried either. Hendy's is fiercely expensive and the eating looks uber-poncy - see this Guardian review, and Judges just has a few tables for coffee and cakes - there are better places.
      I'd also like to add the House of Habibi in the High Street - it stocks mainly Moroccan goods, but nice quality…

Romney Marsh churches - a fascinating day out

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Romney Marsh has some fine ancient churches, and Battleaxe has been meaning to visit them for some time.
    At our WI reading group, we had asked for something with local interest, and the library supplied us with 'Death on the Romney Marsh' by Deryn Lake.  I'd never heard of this author before, but she has published many novels, mostly historical who-done-its. Oddly, today I discovered that she now lives in Battle, when we showed our friend Shaun a lovely shop, British Design British Made,  and there was a copy of another Deryn Lake novel on display. Apparently she was in there for a book signing not long ago.
     This particular novel is set in 1756, about murder, smuggling, spying and other Dark Deeds, mostly set in Winchelsea, but describes several of the Marsh churches. It was enough to send Battleaxe and Philosopher out to investigate.  There is a very good reference website which enabled me to plan a route round the relevant villages.
     After a fortifying coffe…

Exploring Hythe, Kent. Battleaxe visits the Ossuary

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More exploration of the Kentish coast, see previous post about Deal and Sandwich. We've been to Hythe already several times, largely, yawn scratch, to visit Waitrose.  (Oh crikey, say exasperated readers, why don't these silly people order on-line and get the stuff delivered).
     Anyway, the first time we went to Hythe, we thought it was so cut off from modern life that it was probably inhabited by people with one too many heads. The second time, we found some good junk shops, and the third time, just recently, we had a proper look round. 
     The approach road to Hythe from Hastings is discouraging, passing horrible caravan sites, a huge military firing range and rows of downtrodden-looking little houses.  However, you pass the station of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway and drive into the town along the Royal Military Canal. We've been on the railway a couple of times, both times from Dungeness - it is quite interesting, but most of the journey is spent rattli…

Ansel Krut at the Jerwood Gallery: too slight, too much empty space

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After several months of good behaviour, and even producing a 'Members' Blog for the Jerwood website, I'm afraid Battleaxe is, again, not happy.
    We went down to view the new Ansel Krut 'Verbatim' exhibition.  On the empty white spaces of the Foreshore gallery, so recently, and interestingly, filled with paintings from the Jerwood permanent collection, sit precisely thirteen brightly coloured canvasses. Well, at least you can say that. They are bright.
     Boldly painted in primary colours, the paintings are cartoon-like, and in my view, very slight. Almost every one has something rude in it, either overt or hidden. Not interestingly rude though, more like schoolgirl snigger-bum-willy-fart stuff. One is called 'Arse flowers in bloom'. Oh, surprise, it shows a load of bum-holes shaped like flowers. Another has lady bits shaped like a prickly holly leaf. Laugh? I nearly wet meself. Battleaxe has brought up kids, and could forgive all that, but there is so …

Wild Garlic in Alexandra Park, King Lear and Great Dixter

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Just had a busy few days.
     Our friend Bill from Birmingham came to stay. Among other things we did the long walk from here, across the West Hill, down through Alexandra Park, up to Bohemia and down to town through Summerfields Woods, as described in an earlier post. (That post also made it into Hastings Online Times). However, this time, we combined the walk with our annual pilgrimage to see the wild garlic at the top of Alexandra Park, just above Shornden Reservoir. Philosopher has said he wants to photograph this every year until he dies - might be tricky in years to come, getting him up there in his wheelchair. We went much later in the month last year, and nearly missed it, but this time it was in full flower. The little wooded area is getting far more frequented and some of the garlic is trampled, which is a shame.
     We took Bill to the North Star for a pint en route, and then down to the General Havelock for lunch - he likes his beer.


     On Thursday evening we went acro…

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