Well, the Election results came in, with predictable disasters for Labour, and the next day we had a beautiful sunny outing to the last garden on our local list, Great Dixter. Have done various Zoomy and other social things, including a Zoom interview for Hastings Battleaxe with BBC South East that they didn’t show a single second of. It all ended up on the cutting room floor, like my hair in the previous post.
Let’s go to Great Dixter first. Once again we were very lucky, because the very next day there was a massive rainstorm. The garden was looking so colourful – I don’t think we have ever been at tulip time before. I love the ‘wild’ planting at Great Dixter – I say ‘wild’ because I know how much time is taken weeding and cultivating in those beds. A couple of years ago the head of gardening at Dixter, Fergus Garrett, came to talk to us at the WI and told us how they achieve the effect (how did you manage that, they cry – well, he only lives in Hastings Old Town…) In many ways I prefer to see the tulips underplanted with semi-wild things like forget-me-nots, and interspersed with apparently random clumps of honesty, to the regimented lines and bare earth that we saw at Pashley Manor. There was a one-way system round the garden, which whipped you along a bit quickly – we usually like to meander into lost dead-ends among the yew hedges, but it was still fabulous.
Battleaxe tries to achieve this unstructured effect in our garden, but fails. Love these tulips and forget-me-nots at Dixter
Ah well. Can I be bothered to go banging on about the political situation? No. It is too discouraging. I’ll just say this to Keir Starmer. Now, look Keir, it is no use you thinking you can solve anything by trying to sack Angela Rayner and have a bit of a shadow cabinet reshuffle… Shadow? I’ll say so. I wouldn’t recognise most of that lot if they walked past me in the street naked, and if you think the masses are going to notice or care, forget it. What you need are a few decent policies that people can identify with, and to stop all the destructive infighting. Sigh, right now, I can’t think there is any hope for Labour.
So, anyway, on Monday I got a call from BBC South-East, asking if I, aka Battleaxe, would be willing to do an interview on Zoom about the political situation in Hastings. We still have a Labour Council but we lost seats to the Tories, including one here in our Ore Ward. It was going to be shown on BBC South East Today after the 6pm News. I agreed, did me hair, put on a bit of slap and logged in as requested. Now, I should know from experience that 99% of any TV coverage you do is never shown, and indeed it wasn’t. I think the trouble is this… maybe they ask for Battleaxe because she is supposed to be an opinionated firebrand, but I try too hard to be balanced. The interview goes something like this:
Lauren Moss (for t’was she… seemed a nice gel…) So, you are saying that voters in Hastings turned against Labour because of poor performance by the Council?
Battleaxe: No, I’m not saying that. The picture is more complex. There is a national move away from Labour, and a Conservative ‘bounce’ due to vaccines, Brexit etc yada yada. The Council has tried its best in the face of massive budget cuts, and the services that people complain about the most, like transport and the the state of the roads, are actually the responsibility of the County Council, which is of course Conservative yada yada yada
Lauren: So, you are saying that Ore is a massively deprived area?
Battleaxe: No, I’m not saying that. Ore is a very mixed area with pockets of deprivation. We have a thriving local shopping street, newly opened community library yada yada.
And so on ad infinitum. I just don’t tell her what she presumably thinks viewers want to hear…. and of course, after wasting most of my afternoon none of it is shown at all.
Heesh. Next week’s post will be interesting… it is the next stage of the Great Opening Up on Monday, and on Wednesday we have booked ourselves into the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne for the night… yes, I know it is totally ridiculous but I just fancy crisp white linen tablecloths, waiters in tuxedos, pillow menus, chafing dishes, cocktail bars with much shaking of ice, and, of course, a hotel breakfast.
For now, let’s go back to Great Dixter…