Well, last week’s effort clearly appealed, but not to everyone. Maybe some felt I was going too far… But how can fiction surpass the ridiculousness of current reality? Anyway, just to say that I got it so nearly right in the ‘letter to Putin’ but I hadn’t suggested that the sudden police involvement in the party affair might be…eer… a cover-up tactic. So, in this post I am back to everyday life with Battleaxe (oysters, anyone?), with perhaps just the sneaky addition of another ‘Tory Type’.
First, it was Global Serpent Day yesterday, 1 February. Who knew? Battleaxe has always been into the Mystic Power of the Snake. These days, I wish I could summon up a few real mystic powers… Most days I wear the heavy silver snake bracelet shown above. I have had it for 30 years now. It came from a shop, then newly-opened, called ‘Crazy Pig Designs’ in Covent Garden. Crazy Pig still exists, and they still sell the bracelets – cripes, have just looked at the website – I don’t think I’d pay that much now. The jewellery is all a bit rocky-horror goth, and rock-chick is no longer a good look for Battleaxe (more like rocky old hen these days) but the bracelet is still one of my favourite things ever. I also have a cobra tattoo on my stomach, covering one of my operation scars, which relax, I’m not showing you. The serpent has been a symbol of healing for millennia (see this).
Talking of that, Battleaxe has been a bit poorly the last few days – no, not Covid. Have taken endless lateral flow tests…. It is a sort of fluey thing. It started on Saturday, which was a bit inconvenient because I had to go to an away-day for the Conquest Friends Trustees at Fairlight Hall. Actually spent some time in bed on Monday, which was a pity, because it was a very sunny day. We’ve had some very welcome brightness. Here are a couple of pictures.
London? Yes, last Thursday. We were meeting one of Philosopher’s old colleagues, Alan. Started off with an exhibition at the Royal Academy, The Late Constable. Apart from seeing some of his most famous paintings ‘live’, like this one below, it seemed that apart from a few Turner-ish watercolours, late Constable is pretty much the same as early Constable. Battleaxe readers may remember that we visited Dedham and Flatford Mill on our trip to Essex and Suffolk in 2020 – here’s the post about it – so it was interesting to see more paintings of the place. Apart from that, Battleaxe didn’t think that much of the exhibition.
Afterwards, we went for lunch at Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, in Swallow Street. Again, Battleaxe readers may remember that Alan has a taste for classic high-class restaurants – we’ve been with him to Rules on a couple of occasions, Simpsons-in-the-Strand... Anyway, Battleaxe is not averse to the occasional burst of high-end old-fashioned luxury.
Bentley’s did not disappoint. Of course, I had to have some oysters. Yes, I do like them – a taste acquired in mid-life, at a housing conference in Harrogate. (Housing Conference? Oysters? You may well ask. I’ll just say that for outrageous, over-the-top corporate hospitality, little could surpass the excesses lavished by building contractors, property developers and utility companies on only-too-willing local authorities and housing associations back in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s). But back to Bentley’s. They had about 8 different varieties of oyster to choose from. I can’t tell the difference, so had West Mersea, to commemorate our Essex jaunts. Rock though – i.e farmed, not native. Native Whitstable oysters were £7 each – a bit much for one mouthful, I thought. I enjoy the fiddle-faddle involved in eating oysters – the shining platter of crushed ice and sea-weed where they sit, the little dishes of chopped something or other, the lemon, the Tabasco, the little scoopy fork thing to get them out with, the requisite slurping…
So, dragging myself away from the oysters, as promised, to finish up, another Tory Type. Here’s a sample of the Swivel-eyed Loonies. Can you honestly imagine who might vote for the likes of these creatures? Ugh, aren’t they horrible? Still to come – the Old Grandees and of course, the Women…