Hastings Battleaxe is under the weather…..

Well, I know what the old wives meant by that phrase… Battleaxe feels oppressed by this January. We have had a few sunny days, but also what feels like endless rain, strong winds, dank misty days where it never seems to get light. I envy other parts of the country their crispy snow. So what does Battleaxe do to cope with this miserable winter?

Another sunny morning….

     Firstly, trying to avoid eating too much.  Am deeply attracted to roast dinners, mashed potato, buns, cake, thick slices of buttered toast, chocolate, red wine….  There is clearly something in those foods that has benefit – is it carbs? Is it the magic ingredients in chocolate and red wine? So, I’m not cutting any of them out, even if weight remains static.
     Next, keeping up some exercise. I find that if I put on my bluetooth headphones, get up some feel-good cheesy disco or Latin/ballroom music and dance energetically around the house for 30 minutes I feel firstly, better, and secondly, virtuous.  I know that me leaping about drives Philosopher mad, but it is only for a while… Getting out in the fresh air is best though.
     Comfort shopping is good. Philospher and I hit Dunelm Mill last Saturday, tottered out with mountains of random stuff, then did the same at Blackbrooks Garden centre on Sunday. Recently Blackbrooks has transformed itself into major-league Leisure Shopping Destination, full of all sorts of tacky tat. Just right for a wet day.
     Hibernation on sofa in front of telly.
     As well as my normal diet of grisly medical programmes, animals and the occasional arts thing have tried to watch firstly, McMafia.  It is simultaneously too complicated and has too little happening. James Norton is far too inscrutable – could I even say wooden? His fiancee is infuriatingly dim….

Boringly inscrutable

     Then Britannia, a sort of low-rent Games of Thrones thing starring David Morrissey as animplausible Roman general – more like manager of a car dealership at a fancy-dress party….

Caesar the geezer….

     Here’s a very funny review by Camilla Long from the Sunday Times about MacMafia and Britannia. I’ve copied and pasted extracts because it is hard to access Times articles without registering and presumably, paying….

‘Every two years there is a vast group spasm, a collective,
high-pitched shrieking, a slopping of pink drinks and a sturdy loosening
of the nation’s knickers, because it is time for another piece of hot
male totty to be stripped naked and thrown to sex-starved Sunday-night
audiences. If you have been watching the BBC’s Russian gangster drama, McMafia,
you will know that this year’s sacrificial buttocks belong to poor
James Norton, whose white, cold, pitilessly overhyped lady lumps edged
into choirboy view in a shower scene for the fourth episode last week.

his predecessor, Tom Hiddleston, Norton seems uncomfortable naked,
sucking his stomach in, walking gingerly around the edges of rooms,
hiding behind towels, wanting to disappear on the beach, hoping that one
of the show’s many psychopaths will kill him before he has to force himself into the ceremonial Vilebrequins again.

well, he’s got a point. He’s obviously bored by his character, a
drippy, dull, unimaginative  hedge-funder called Alex Godman. And
he’s clearly uninspired by his rictus-grinning, lollipop-headed “ethical
banker” girlfriend (Juliet Rylance). Personally, I’d rather be thrown
off the top floor of a Prague penthouse in a tiny tanga by a corrupt cop
than endure another minute of pillow talk between this pair of oxygen
thieves. Their house is dull, their dinners are dull, they wear dull
clothes, have dull friends and talk about the weather in bed.

is an extraordinary thing: a sexy Sunday-night drama with absolutely no
sex. Week after week, I’ve been trying to work out what it’s missing,
wondering if the BBC’s biggest drama since The Night Manager will ever magically spring into action. At the halfway point, however, it’s still
so cerebral and measured that even the prostitutes are told they can
give sex a miss. Godman’s mentor, an unsavoury oligarch named Semiyon
Kleiman (David Strathairn), explains to a trafficked sex slave that she
won’t have to do anything revolting. What?

a sprawling woadgasm about the Roman invasion of Britain, featuring Zoë
Wanamaker as a painted Celtic queen and Kelly Reilly as a flame-haired
proto-Boudicca. Britannia is patently Sky’s attempt to make its own Game
of Thrones, and they’ve hired every British actor who hasn’t yet put on
a crusty pair of leather shorts or a penitential merkin in the other

Inevitably, it has the unfavourable feel of second-hand
goods: the familiar daft costumes, only worse; lamer prosthetics, uglier
slaves, thinner twigs, smaller bits of hay, more boring deflowerings,
uninteresting crones, not enough crows, un-auguring augurs, not wooden
enough teeth and, worst of all, garish Day-glo face paint.

also quite far from what Britain in AD43 would have looked like. Instead
of a sad, murky swamp populated by a thousand Wayne Rooneys, Britannia
is a sexy, fully deodorised climate-change camp with great tits and
working lavs. Improbably, the ugly people are the Romans: an army of
second-rate Italian waiters in leather dressing gowns, led by Aulus
Plautius, played, Caesar-the-geezer style, by David Morrissey…..

     Well, that extract tuned out to be so long that that it will have to be all from Battleaxe for a bit.
Final coping strategy: give up and head for somewhere hot. Yes, we are ‘jetting off’ (why do celebs always jet off to places? Why can’t they just catch an ordinary plane like everyone else…) to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria shortly, just for a few days…. Have never been there before. Will report back accordingly.

Las Palmas

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