What’s the Anti-Growth Coalition you ask? Well, where have you been all last week? I assume you have not attended the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham, in which case I’m afraid you can’t join the AGC. As well as celebrating her membership of this exciting new club, Battleaxe has been doing all sorts of things – an interesting guided history walk round Hastings Old Town, meetings of my novel critiquing group and the Hastings Poetry Stanza Group, lunch with women friends, a WI Fair and my Covid jab – which, for me, means a day in bed.
Here are a few of the many Anti-Growth Coalition t shirts that have mushroomed on the internet in recent days. Rumour has it that Keir Starmer has been seen wearing one. Not sure which style I like the best yet. If you fancy one, here are a few links: Balcony Shirts, Red Molotov, NewsThump Store.
Clearly though, the whole idea of the AGC is around taking the p*** out of Trussolini, who very unwisely coined the phrase to describe a wholly imaginary grouping of just about anyone who disagrees with her deranged, far right version of Toryism, with its ideological fixation on discredited ‘trickle-down’ economics. So, supporters of Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Greens, plus trade unionists, Remainers, environmentalists, ‘Talking heads’ whatever that means – are in the AGC, and responsible for everything that has gone wrong with the country. Never mind what the government in power for the last 12 years might have been responsible for. That’s just about everyone I know, but members will now also include some traditional Tories who are outraged about Truss’s plans for the environment/farming etc. Here is a good article from Marina Hyde.
It really annoys me when ministers, the media etc go on about this being a ‘new’ government. No, of course it bloody isn’t. If it was actually new, we would have had a General Election. Slim hopes of that, those Tories will hang on no matter what. It would be just plain funny to watch the kicking and screaming death throes of what used to be the Conservative Party if it wasn’t so scary to see the likes of the truly evil Suella Braverman given air time on the mainstream media to air her dangerous, offensive gibberish.
Meanwhile, in Russia, Putin has annexed areas of Ukraine, and the Ukrainians have just attacked Putin’s pride and joy, the bridge between Russia and the Crimea built after the 2014 annexation. I don’t like the look of it at all, not least because we have such inexperienced, brainless, hot-heads running our government.
Ah well, back to Hastings Old Town. Went on a guided history walk with the WI. It was a cool, windy and cloudy day, but I did find out a few new things. Hastings is a real treasure trove for a Battleaxe who enjoys picking up historical fragments.
Who knew the one and only Queen of Haiti lived in Exmouth Place? This plaque was only put up this month, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her time in Hastings. See this article.
‘I am reborn from my ashes’ it says…
What about this funny little doorway at the side of the Laindons B&b in the High Street, under the archway. Seems it was once a coaching inn, and this door was at the right height for coach passengers to get in and out of their conveyances, to access the inn…
Then we went into All Saints Church and were told about the ‘Doom’ painting above the chancel arch. Have been in that church several times, and even yawned and scratched through organ concerts with Philosopher and step-son Tom (who likes that sort of thing) – the church has a Father Willis organ, which is supposed to be quite special – but never really clocked the painting.
Turns out many medieval churches had these paintings to warn their (mostly illiterate) congregations about the horrors of the Day of Judgment for sinners who did not repent. Practically all the paintings were destroyed/painted over, very few survive. The Hastings one is unique because it shows the sinners (on the right) being hung rather than suffering the usual hell fires, dismembering etc. Our guide thought this was because of the church’s proximity to the town gibbet.
My Stanza poetry meeting was the day after the Covid jab… when I was likely to be ill. Spent most of the day in bed but dragged myself out for the evening because many of us were workshopping our ekphrastic poems from our trip to Berwick (see the last post). I felt incredibly dozy, hot and ragingly feverish throughout the meeting… I am fed up of feeling ill after Covid jabs. Every single one has had the same effect on me. Have now had the flu jab as well, so have doubly sore arm.
I chose to subject myself to that jabby business because very shortly we set sail on the Queen Mary 2. Yes, you read that right, Philosopher and me plus Jan and Tom are off on a four day cruise to Hamburg and back! After our one and only cruise experience in 2016 we decided never again, but after seeing the QM2 parked near us in Torbay during the pandemic, (see this post) I thought I’d just like to see what it is like to go on the world’s last ocean-going liner.
So, soon we set sail from Southampton. I have had to get my biggest Turkey suitcase down from the loft to contain my vast wardrobe. Battleaxe will be reporting back.
Anyway, to finish , here’s a view of Hastings from the Ladies Parlour by the Castle, where our walk started, and another from a walk to M and S in Ravenside. How many people are lucky enough to get views like this right by Marks?