Hastings Battleaxe sighs with relief… and boredom… and despair.

I watched Biden’s inauguration yesterday. I told Philosopher I had to, because I felt that if I didn’t, something awful would happen. He’d be shot, bombed or simply expire with a heart attack at the podium. None of that happened, so, Hastings Battleaxe sighs with relief.  Boredom? Well, now it is getting that way. Philosopher asks how can I be bored, with all my ‘inner resources’.  Yeah well, maybe. Despair? Well, you know…

2021 Inauguration Day full coverage: Biden, Harris sworn in - Los Angeles Times
Picture – LA Times

Yesterday morning a memory post came up on Facebook, referencing this Hastings Battleaxe post from 20 January four years ago.

If you look at the post, you can see I was wondering whether or not to watch the 2017 inauguration. No, I didn’t. At the best of times, those ceremonies are a bit boring – everyone freezing cold, endless dull inauguration addresses, America the Wonderful, Great and Beautiful (not so much now methinks) and too many clerics blethering on about God.  Of course, Trump’s monstrous, vicious followers think themselves to be guided by God. All in all, that God has provided a convenient justification/excuse for far, far too many outrages down the centuries.

The last inauguration I saw was Obama’s first, 12 years ago, back in Birmingham. We had our grand daughter with us after school, then aged 7, and tried to make her watch as well, saying history was being made, first black President etc etc. Needless to say she got bored after about 30 seconds.

So, why did Battleaxe have to watch yesterday?  I used to be dangerously superstitious/obsessive when I was younger. For example, if a bloke I liked asked me out, I’d spend ages thinking up every conceivable thing that could go wrong, with the belief that if I’d imagined it, it wouldn’t happen. So, instead of washng my hair and thinking happy thoughts, I’d be thinking…. ‘well, I’ve thought about him not turning up, so that won’t happen, I’ve imagined he’ll be hours late… I’ve done spilling food down myself… wetting myself…’ Dunno what psychiatrists would say about that.

Actually, yesterday’s event was OK. Nice clothes. Leaving the women aside for a moment, thank goodness we now have men who can wear a suit properly. Biden is always immaculately tailored, as was Obama. How anyone could vote for a man who looked like Trump is utterly beyond me.  Of course, our own Prime Minister is well up there in the grotesque appearance league. Those tatty ill-fitting suits… that pathetic hair… Ugh, get back to the US.

Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and Michelle Obama looked just right. Good colour choices, well put together.  Even Hilary Clinton had an OK purple pants suit. All so much better than the stiff, chilly, artificially over-dressed Melania Trump. Lady Gaga looked great – that red skirt! I was a bit afraid she’d trip down the steps, but she clung on tight to the young man who was escorting her…

Lady Gaga Wears a Schiaparelli Confection to Sing at Joe Biden's Inauguration | Vanity Fair
Picture – Vanity Fair

J-Lo was a bit… nothing, but the young woman, Amanda Gorman, who read a poem looked, and sounded, amazing. So confident.  Here is a link to her poem.

Amanda Gorman, Inauguration Poet, Is Wearing Jewelry From Oprah
Picture – Oprah Mag

It said on telly that staff were working extra hard yesterday clearing and deep-cleaning the White House in the wake of the departing Trumps, ready for the Bidens. I don’t think I’d fancy anywhere after Trump had been in it, however deep-cleaned it was. Reminds me of a time we occupied a hotel room right after Chris Evans had stayed in it. Yuch. I kept thinking I’d find a ginger pube in the plug hole… Still I trust the White House has better cleaners than the Grand Atlantic Hotel in Weston-Super-Mare.

Boredom? Well, one moment of excitement last week was the arrival of my second photo book ‘A Time of Tiers’, from the publisher, CEWE (highly recommended). I have designed it to tie in with the first one, ‘Lockdown Walks’, and am particularly pleased with the back covers, showing the same lane in summer and winter.  There will be a third book covering January to March. Let’s hope that it will be the last. Inner resources or what.


It won’t be the last book if the vaccination programme in Hastings carries on so slowly. Our old friends in Birmingham have now had their first jabs – even Sue M, who is a year younger than me, goes for hers on Monday. All of them are younger than Philosopher, who at 75 has still heard nothing. I try to be a bit glad for my friends but I confess, the over-riding emotion is fury. I just don’t want to hear about any more of them. The Hastings Observer recently told us that the Hastings Centre, where we will eventually go, is vaccinating… wait for this… only 1200 people per week. At that rate it will take months to get through them all. Despair? Moi?

As so often, I’ll end with a different sort of picture – a rain storm coming in over the sea. We went out to Ravenside this morning, to the big M & S. What excitement. Went for a brief walk by the sea, but it was freezing cold and then this loomed up.




  1. Valerie Poore
    January 24, 2021 / 7:35 am

    I love your photo books, Stephanie, but I’m sorry, you do make me giggle with your rants. It’s not that I don’t sympathise. I do, but I suppose because you do it so well, I can almost hear you speaking and I’ve always found rants funny. On a sober note, England is way ahead of NL with vaccinating. I think it will be next year before we get ours.

    • January 24, 2021 / 9:41 am

      Thanks Val – I’m glad I can bring a few moments of cheer! Am currently enjoying lazy Sunday morning in bed while it tries to snow outside…

      • Valerie Poore
        January 26, 2021 / 3:25 pm

        We had a bit of that too (the snow, I mean) much to my surprise. We’re also having awful anti-curfew (apparently) riots in the cities, which has surprised , or rather shocked, many of us even more. I hope you enjoyed your lazy Sunday morning!

        • February 1, 2021 / 9:58 pm

          Hi Val – I read about the riots – they sound dreadful. Still no snow here!

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