Battleaxe makes the best of it

It’s hard at times… The Covid situation is getting worse, Brexit is looming up in an ever more horrible manner, and the government is a national and international laughing stock. Well, I would be laughing if I wasn’t so angry far too much of the time. I know anger at things you can do nothing about is bad for the mental health, but the corruption and incompetence of the Government is beyond belief. At the same time, however, nice times have been enjoyed, and Battleaxe picks out a few local hospitality businesses that really seem to have made the best of things.  As ever, too, we have been out and experienced some restorative moments… like this:

Winchelsea Beach

Looking back to the beginning of 2020, it is like glimpses of a lost world. Did we really go to Vienna? Did we actually go to galleries, to the cinema, to concerts? How could I have had the brass neck to title a post ‘How much worse can it all get?’ on 6 March?  Worse? What did I know about worse?

Now, even looking back at the early lockdown months of April and May feels like remembering a golden age of innocence, when the birds sang, the flowers were bright, everywhere was so wonderfully quiet, and we thought it would all be back to normal by autumn. Also, even at her advanced age, Battleaxe does suffer a bit from FOMO. In the lockdown days, one didn’t have to worry about what we might be missing, or that others were doing fantastic things that we didn’t know about.

We had our old friends Sue and Alex Twynholm to stay for a few days – I didn’t take many photos, but having people from out of Hastings to stay always makes us appreciate our area – seeing it with others’ eyes. One morning we went to the cemetery – Sue always loves a good graveyard, and yet again we marvelled at what a huge area it is, so full of interesting graves, and with such fantastic views. Anyway, they have now returned to increased lock-down measures in BIrmingham.

Have had a couple of WI gatherings – just managed to get them in before the ‘Rule of Six’ kicks in on Monday.  One of the many things that puzzles me about the fools that supposedly govern our lives is this. When they introduce something new, why announce it at about ten o’clock at night, usually just before a weekend, and giving everyone several days notice so they can misbehave before enforcing it? If something is needed urgently, surely it is needed straight away. We have had far too many examples of quarantine imposed with advanced notice, leading to people flooding back from wherever it is in crazed stampedes to beat the deadlines, infecting all and sundry on the way.

This weekend, we are told to expect everywhere to be infested with illegal raves as people enjoy their last opportunities to gather together. I asked Philosopher how old you had to be to no longer get invited to illegal raves. He didn’t think we had ever been invited to one.  As usual, yawn yawn, we are told that ‘there is a real risk that some members of the public will treat this weekend as a party weekend’.  Of course they will you cretinous idiots. And that’s another thing. People now have so little trust in, and respect for, the government they don’t listen to a word they say, especially the youth. It is only sensible oldsters that do as they are told, and some of us are pretty bloody-minded.

Well, even WI-wise I suppose we had our version of illegal raves – a book club meeting with nine of us together in a church hall on Thursday. Wowsa!  Then, a cup of tea and a walk round the gardens at Fairlight Hall, brought forward from next Tuesday to yesterday. That was lovely – the first, and last chance for numbers of us (up to 30) to meet together for the foreseeable. I did think perhaps we could all drop a few E’s and have a quick rave in the Walled Garden but somehow we didn’t get round to it. Too busy admiring the dahlias:

So, coronavirus cases are now increasing, and this morning, at the garden centre, we saw they were getting the Christmas stuff in. Oh spare us.

So, what are these places Battleaxe was going to recommend?  Am thinking venues who have made a real effort to create Covid-friendly spaces, and seem to be making an effort to keep their customers socially distanced and safe.  First, the cafe at St Mary in the Castle. It is a large, high ceilinged place anyway, but they have divided it up with screens (they look like shower curtains – cheap and cheerful) and plants.

St Mary in the Castle

Next, the Beach Cafe at Winchelsea Beach. They have created a truly excellent outside eating area, got buzzers to tell you when to collect your food, everything.

Winchelsea Beach Cafe

Also, the White Rock Hotel – and, from this morning, the cafe at the Hastings Blackbrooks Garden Centre.  Shop-wise, the winner of the Battleaxe prize is Aldi. The ‘traffic-lights’ outside the door are an excellent way of monitoring numbers that enter the store. Have not seen them anywhere else.

Times Local Newspapers & Magazines | Aldi shoppers to get the green light in new social distancing system

So, just another couple of pictures to cheer us up. Here’s an amazing cloudscape that appeared outside our window the other day, and finally, Digby not giving a flying f*** about any of this.

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