Spring? Hastings Battleaxe eats outside for the first time….

Well, the weather is totally crazy in Hastings. Wednesday was freezing cold, howling gale, snow and sleet. Yesterday was mild, wind free and sunny.  I sat outside for coffee in town, and then ate lunch in the garden – the first time this year.
    I had to fetch my new Fitbit Charge HR from the Post Office delivery place.  I have worn a Fitbit Flex for over two  years, and really love it, but thought it was time to upgrade. The new model is chunkier, but does more things, such as measuring your heart-rate, as the name implies. It took a while to make it work, but it seems OK now.
    I sat outside Caffe Nero in town – always a good people-watching spot, and particularly on Thursdays, as you can look at the market. Actually, the market seems to be  growing – good.
    Sitting in the sun, sipping my skinny latte and dunking my biscotti, I was reflecting on the media hype about the gentrification of Hastings, such as this recent article from the Guardian. 
    Sure, we may have more artisan coffee shops, up-market eateries, art-house cinemas and retro industrial metal, taxidermy and skeletons homestyle emporia, but eavesdropping on the conversations at the next-door tables reassured me that there is a long way to go…
     One one side, three loud-voiced hairy old geezers, with comedy dirty wheezy laughs. They were talking about some footballer who has just been convicted of molesting a fifteen year old girl.
     ‘Terrible, innit,’ says one. ‘Poor f***er, career ruined, all over the papers, and ‘e didn’t even get his leg over!’
     ‘At least he got to do a bit of grooming and fondling…’
     ‘That’s like groping, innit?’
     ‘HAR, HAAR HAAR….’  They glanced at me. ‘Shush, there’s a lady at the next table.’  Well, at least they had some sensibilities….
     On the other side of me, two large women, probably mother and daughter, with a dummy-sucking baby in a push-chair.
      ‘You gotta think what’s best for ‘im when ‘e grows up,’ says the mother, indicating the child. ‘With this Brexit business, like.’
      ‘I dunno,’ says the daughter, ‘but it’d be better with Boris in charge.’
      ‘Yeah, Boris…. I love ‘im! ‘E’s just like us, ain’t ‘e?’
      What? I tried not to make eye contact with anyone at either table, just stared at the cabbages being sold by the East European bloke on the stall opposite me.
       Later, at home, lunch outside in the sun. The garden is just starting to wake up, although some silly daffodils have already come and gone.

First lunch outside

     What’s the book?  ‘Please Mister Postman’ by Alan Johnson, the second part of his autobiography. Am enjoying it, but not quite as much as the first one. It is too full of blokes from the union all called Tom and Jack and suchlike, I can’t remember who is who. But it makes poignant points about the decline of the Trade Union movement, once such a force for good, and the loss of mechanisms which enabled social mobility in the past.
      What’s the sandwich? Lighthouse Bakery Black Russian rye bread, with salt beef, sliced gherkins and a touch of mustard, with mixed leaf salad on the side. Pretentious? Moi? How could you even think it…..
       DFL? No, DFB, Down From Birmingham.
       I was joined by Digby, who will do anything to ensure maximum attention

Don’t read, pay attention to ME
Tummy tickling required


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