Battleaxe bakes at Beachy Head and enjoys the Towner Gallery

Hastings Battleaxe has been very busy the last couple of weeks, and this blog has got a bit behind… I’m going to concentrate on an outing when one of Philosopher’s old students, from Hong Kong, came to stay. In the morning we went to the Towner Gallery – always one of our favourite places to visit, and right now they have a truly excellent exhibition:  A Life in Art, Lucy Wertheim, which is on until 25 September. Battleaxe totally recommends.  After, we drove up to Beachy Head and went for a walk – on one of the hottest days of the year – and had a meal (eventually) at the Beachy Head pub.

Us two with Eleanor, actually taken the day before, at Rock-a-Nore.

Lucy Wertheim was a collector and patron of the arts in the 1930s, and although she is not widely known in her own right, many of the artists she represented went on to greater things, such as Barbara Hepworth, Roger Hilton, and Victor Pasmore. She also liked to choose works from under-represented artists, including many women.  Many of them I had never heard of, but deserve to be better known. It is a large exhibition – one of the largest I’ve seen at the Towner, and includes some fabulous things. Here are a couple of my favourite paintings:

The Chess Players, Roland Pitchforth, 1925. We have one of his watercolours here – a seascape. Philosopher likes it but I find it a bit wishy-washy… this is so different.
Thames in October, Suzanne Cooper 1936. Had never heard of this artist…
On the Beach, Robert Greenham 1934
Art? Not so much. Battleaxe has a rest.

A couple of the pictures are a bit skew-whiff because it was hard to get rid of glare… well, at least Battleaxe isn’t glaring, for once.

I took this pic of the big wheel on Eastbourne seafront on our way from the gallery…

So, what on earth were we doing walking in such as exposed place on such a hot day? Well, we wanted to show it to Eleanor, and there was actually a bit of breeze, so it felt OK. However, the sun was so strong it gave me spotty, itchy lumps on the bits of my feet between my sandal straps and on the tops of my shoulders – both missed by suncream.  The ground was parched yellow as far as we could see… the sea was dazzling, the sky flawless blue. As ever, it was beautiful. We have been up there at so many different times of year, and in all weathers, and it is always wonderful.

I say had a meal eventually because, as so often these days, the service in the pub was slow, slow, slow.

Obviously Eleanor had a lot to say about the increasingly repressive regime in Hong Kong… we think things are bad here but they haven’t quite got as bad as that – but we are rapidly heading that way… less of that.

A couple of other things before I finish:

Many of my friends have seen hummingbird hawk-moths in their gardens. I really wanted to see one as well – as the climate warms they will become more common in this country. Well, no sooner had I said to Philosopher that I wanted to see one than we go outside and there one was, hovering round some valerian. I only got this very bad photo. They move far too fast.

Then, finally, the other day it was Digby the cat’s tenth anniversary – on 12 August 2012 we collected him from the RSPCA Bluebell Ridge cat rescue centre. Here he is in his first day with us, and as he looks right now. Similar, but a bit saggier and more portly.  Not surprising, as he is now probably 14. His eyes have also changed colour.




1 Comment

  1. Susannah Farley-Green
    August 20, 2022 / 3:26 pm

    I enjoyed the Lucy Wertheim exhibition at The Towner very much too. I will try to go again before it closes in September because there was such a wealth and variety of art to take in.

    The Beachy Head pub has always provided great food with a wonderful view but for many years the service has been very slow and unreliable. You have to have plenty of time and patience to eat there.

    Good to see you at the meetings this week. I look forward to seeing you at Fairlight Hall for the Conquest Friends Summer Fair.

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