Hastings Battleaxe is blown into into the New Year

Blown into the New Year? I’ll say. Yesterday afternoon we went down to the beach during a brief respite from the rain but braved a wild gale – could have been up to 70mph. Have never experienced anything like it.  New Year? I can only pray it is better than 2023, but who knows – the world situation is not looking good.  New Year poetry workshops… Finally, of course, it is Hastings Battleaxe’s Blogoversary – I have been writing these pieces for 13 years, would you believe, since 29 December 2011.  As ever, here is the link to the very first one.

People often say that ‘it was so windy I could scarcely stand up’. Well, until this afternoon I thought they were exaggerating – unless they were out in a tornado or something. Well, I now know what it’s like. We went down to Rock-A-Nore (via TK Maxx, but I won’t go into that.) I had to cling on to Philosopher to walk across the beach, and when he stopped to do his coat up I had to hold onto a post to keep my balance. It practically sucked the breath out of your body. Exhilarating, but not scary. I’d have only rolled onto the shingle in my big thick padded coat, and we didn’t go too near the sea.  It was beautiful – although the sky was grey and heavy, the sun was just about out. The waves were truly massive, exploding over the Harbour Arm in plumes of spray. Lots of people were down on the beach enjoying the sight.  Here are a couple more pictures:

The weather has been just evil, horrendous. Incredibly wet, and very windy as well. For a period last night Hastings was totally cut off. All 3 train routes blocked by floods or fallen trees, and the A21 as well. Readers will remember we had the exposed end wall of the house re-pointed in the summer. Well, we just discovered extreme damp in my clothes cupboards, which back onto that wall. The rest of the wall is covered up – tiled in the bathroom, cork-lined in this study to keep the room warmer. Mat our neighbour came and looked in my cupboards and said it is condensation – which makes sense, the wall is so cold, constantly battered by strong winds. Philosopher is on the case, lining the cupboards with plywood to keep the cold at bay.

There was a brief respite in the weather on New Year’s Day, so we went to Winchelsea for a walk – it is a bit of a tradition, to see the incredibly early-blooming daffodils. As ever, there were a few out. They always make Battleaxe and Philosopher feel a bit spring-like.

I do hope the world situation can improve a bit this year, but can’t help feel that the West is generally in a very precarious position. If this country and the US don’t stop this mindless, disproportionate support for the Israeli government we will have the whole Arab/Islamic world against us, and who could blame them?  Then, it is apparent that Putin is getting stronger… There was a depressing article on Sky News this morning about the future in war zones across the world this morning, here it is: and the situation could get much worse if Trump wins in the US. I suppose we might have a brief upsurge of hope if Starmer can win the forthcoming UK election for Labour, but the task to tackle the utter chaos and disaster left by the current government, will, unfortunately, be daunting.

I have signed up for a daily Zoom writing hour during January, with poets Kim Moore and Clare Shaw. It was a little difficult to concentrate today because my laptop had turned its nose up at my own Zoom account and magically logged me in via the East Sussex WI Federation’s account, which I used when I was a Trustee. I didn’t notice for a bit, and had unsuspectingly changed the name on the account to mine and the profile pic from the dignified East Susses martlet shield to a picture of Digby’s backside, which was all I had to hand on the laptop…  Suddenly realised what I had done, ended up having to de-instal Zoom, reload, open a new account for me and log in again, by which time I’d missed most of the hour. No way would anyone have noticed my shenanigans because there are over 200 people signed for the workshops at any one time. It annoys me when people say on the chat that they can’t open the event/can’t hear/see/will have to log in again etc. Yes, we’ve all been there, but we don’t all need to hear about it… I’m sure the workshops will be useful. Yesterday we were asked to write about our ‘muse’. Not sure if I have one….

Yes, Blogoversary, 13 years of Hastings Battleaxe. Am not ready to give up yet!

Just googled up ‘Battleaxe’. Got this. Make of it what you like.




  1. John Ballantyne
    January 3, 2024 / 8:00 pm

    Happy Blogoversary. I can’t believe it’s been 11 years. I started reading your blog from the beginning, when I was planning my escape to Hastings and have been here 7 years\summers already. Here’s to many more years (and blogs).

    All the best for 2024

  2. John Ballantyne
    January 3, 2024 / 8:12 pm

    Oops. 13 years even

    • January 3, 2024 / 8:59 pm

      Reading Battleaxe from the beginning? If so, I’m pleased and flattered. Glad you are enjoying Hastings. Happy New Year to you too.

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