Hastings Battleaxe hopes for Spring and enjoyed her tea.

Today is the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and the situation shows no signs of being resolved. It has actually got worse – on-going destruction and  misery for the Ukrainian people, Putin still intransigent, and most alarming of all, the potential for China to get involved. Look, ever since 2016, and the Brexit Referendum, Hastings Battleaxe has said in these blog posts, ‘Surely, things can’t get any worse…’ But they do. Worse and worse. Week after week, every single time. So am going to give up saying it.  This week Battleaxe enjoyed a sumptuous Afternoon Tea at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, with friends, and to start us off, here’s a Spring-like photo.

Have seen daffodils in many people’s gardens, but for some reason all ours seem to flower later.

My dear WI friend Jean has her 80th birthday on Saturday, and sadly, her husband Owen died last year, so for her birthday treat a little group of us took her out for the afternoon tea. You may remember Battleaxe and Philosopher stayed the night at the Grand for our first post-pandemic outing, and we had tea then. Back then, the poor hotel had only been open two days following Covid lock-down, and all things considered, they did us very well. This time, they could not have done more for us. The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. I had told the hotel it was Jean’s birthday so they came out and sang Happy Birthday and gave her a tiny cake!  All of us enjoyed ourselves and ate far too much. Battleaxe would recommend. However, I’d say, again, that we might have been better sitting in more upright chairs than disappearing into squishy armchairs and sofas…  Here we all are:


Earlier in the day, we had been on an Exhibition Tour at the Hastings Contemporary Gallery. The bloke who led it was a member of the gallery staff and he did an excellent job – made the art really accessible. Why can’t they write the notices on the walls in plain language that people can understand? Battleaxe has gone on about ‘art speak’ before. It drives me mad. A few days before, Philosopher and Battleaxe went to Bexhill and glanced at the current exhibitions at the De La Warr. In the main space there was something by someone called Angelo Madsen Minax. Don’t ask me what it was about because we didn’t take the time to find out. You had to wear headphones and sit and watch and listen so we couldn’t be bothered. Something to do with sex, I think, because the doors were all blacked out so the impressionable and easily offended couldn’t see in.  But I did photograph this notice as the epitome of Art Speak…

Gosh, Battleaxe does sound an old grump, doesn’t she?  Anyway, am not going to say anything more about Ukraine, or about the current state of the nation. I may make things worse still…



  1. Jacqueline Scales
    February 24, 2023 / 5:09 pm

    Agree about seats at the tea…but the actual tea (and service) were amazing.

  2. Valerie Poore
    February 27, 2023 / 9:46 pm

    A change of focus can be a good thing, Stephanie. I agree with you about the state of the world, but I did enjoy seeing your marvellous tea!

  3. Frances
    March 1, 2023 / 11:57 pm

    Terrible, convoluted label text really gets my goat too – it’s so unnecessary and is really all about the curators showing off, not thinking of who they’re actually writing for. I can tell you that at museum conferences, there are special break-out sessions and committees on label writing! however, unfortunately not enough museum people seem to go to them…

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