A very Happy Christmas from Hastings Battleaxe

Phew, it’s nearly here! Cards are written and sent, presents are wrapped. We’ve seen our children, driven up to stay with friends in Birmingham and entertained the neighbours for mulled wine. I’ve done the WI celebrations and nearly finished the daily Digby Advent Calendar on Facebook. But the main event still hasn’t quite arrived. This year our Christmas will be a bit different – I’ll write about it afterwards. For all this OTT jollity, it is still hard to forget the horrors going on in the world. Battleaxe is not a believer, but I hope those who profess to be Christians can spare a thought for the suffering of Palestinians living in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. Ah well, I do like vintage Christmas cards….

As usual, Battleaxe has been having a ridiculously busy time, and has already eaten several Christmas lunches. This is a picture of one of them, the WI Book Club, after a massive feast at the Sea Angler’s Club.

Our drinks do for the neighbours was last night. Mulled wine, pigs in blankets, some sausage rolls, mince pies – all courtesy of M & S! I combined preparations for the event with trying to snap the daily photo of Digby for his Advent Calendar, back on Facebook this year by popular request. Here he is lying in the middle of the cleared living-room floor, waiting for attention. If that was a video, you’d just see the tip of his tail flicking impatiently back and forth. It is hard to get good photos of an older cat, he spends much time asleep, and even when he is awake, as little time as possible on his feet. I tried to get him to pose by the Christmas tree for his Christmas Day picture, but he would have nothing to do with it.

Just while I was writing this, I had a phone call from Heather Bishop, who is standing again for election as a councillor in Ore.  Just to say that the Hastings and Rye Labour Party, and Hastings BC, is in a state of complete and utter hoo-haa at the moment. Nobody knows what is happening. 8 senior Labour Councillors, including the Leader of the Council, the Deputy Leader and most of the Council Cabinet, have suddenly resigned from Labour and gone independent. They cite a hotch-potch of reasons largely to do with Labour Central. Whatever those reasons are, it is totally the wrong time to do what they are doing. They need to focus on their core business as councillors – local issues. The town is in a dreadful state and on on the verge of bankruptcy, and the poor Council staff are totally run ragged.  Local elections come up in May, and of course, the General Election is on the horizon. What do these quitters want? The Tories are now the largest group on the Council…. Anyway, poor Heather is now the leader of the Labour Group. She wanted to know if I was still loyal to Labour. Well, I am. Hastings Battleaxe says: Starmer may not be the greatest thing ever, but listen, people, just suck it up and stick with Labour. Do you want more Tories? More of this depraved, rotten government?

Ugh, what was just a faint whiff of Christmassy mood for Battleaxe has vanished now. Look at this creepy Victorian Christmas card. What is it, a beetroot? If so, why?

As I’ve started on the grim stuff, let’s carry on for a moment. Maybe not just Christians, but anyone who enjoys singing carols and the traditional Christmas celebrations, might think about what Bethlehem is like now, today. Palestinians who live there, in the West Bank, are increasingly attacked and driven out of their homes by militant and violent armed Israeli settlers. West Bank Palestinians also suffer because of the terrible situation in Gaza. This piece from Sky News sums it up well:https://news.sky.com/story/bethlehem-praying-for-a-ceasefire-this-christmas-as-war-rages-on-13035805. This photo shows an installation in one of the Christian churches in Bethlehem, which has taken the place of their traditional nativity scene.


Whatever life holds in store for us….

I wish all Battleaxe readers the best possible Christmas!





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