Very busy weekend in Hastings – Saturday, the town was heaving. We went to look at the famous Collective Spirit Boat which was ‘moored’ on the Stade open space – bit of a swizz that it had arrived by road instead of sailing here – apparently the weather was too bad. I don’t quite understand what this Cultural Olympics is supposed to be about – someone has also just balanced a tilting coach on the edge of the De La Warr Pavilion as in the Italian Job…. what has any of this got to do with fostering national sporting effort?
I thought the Olympics were supposed to leave a legacy of improved sporting facilities and increased take-up of activities? I guess what we have instead is a few more playing fields sold off for development. Don’t get the wrong idea, Battleaxe is not a sporty type – I’d rather look at a boat or a wobbling coach than run round a track or puff and pant in the gym any day, but one has to worry about fat kids I guess.
Anyway, the boat was pretty. I liked the guitars and hockey sticks, and the Philosopher was keen on the spirit level. There was a bit from Hastings, too – see below.
Yippee – the Jerwood was free! They, thank goodness, are just changing that Rose Wylie exhibition, so had opened up the rest of it. We went in and had a cup of coffee, but didn’t much look at the pictures again. I think we were spoilt in Birmingham having the beautiful City Art Gallery, full of the most tremendous stuff, including the collection of Pre-Raphaelites, available to us for free. In that gallery were favourites that I enjoyed visiting time and time again. The Jerwood just doesn’t have enough in it – fill up those empty spaces of wall with a few more pictures, I say. It is not just me either – later in the day a party of Brum friends came over from Tenterden, where they were staying, and visited the Jerwood before coming to our new house. They also felt the content was thin and were relieved they did not have to pay, although they liked the architecture. I think we almost have more pictures hanging in our house!
Our friends also grumbled about the horrendous traffic jams in the Old Town. I expect loads of people were arriving because of the beer/music festival.