Trudging is about the size of it. Everything feels very trudgy. The weather has either been wet and dark or bright but freezing cold. Overall, Battleaxe prefers bright and cold. What has been happening at Battleaxe Towers? Stepson Tom came to stay for a few days. We went to Bexhill and saw a relatively rare meterological effect over the sea – a sun halo. Have seemed to have been watching a lot of telly – like most of the nation we were transfixed by Mr Bates vs the Post Office. Now watching The Traitors – heaven spare us. However, after the post office issue dominating the headlines for around a week, Sunak’s cabal, in its wisdom, has started waging war on the Houthis in Yemen without any parliamentary scrutiny. One would feel a bit less bad about the whole business if the Tories were not so incompetent. Grant Shapps taking us into a potential WW3 scenario? Oh purleeeze…. Anyway, here is the sun halo.
If you are interested, here is a Wiki piece telling us how sun halos are formed. That day at Bexhill was warm and sunny – for a bit. We had coffee sitting outside at the De La Warr. Reminds me of something else Philosopher and I saw a few years ago – also sitting outside at the De La Warr – nacreous or rainbow clouds. Very rare, apparently. Here is the pic I took at the time – goodness, back in October 2016.
Anyway, in 2024 the three of us went to lunch at Wetherspoons in Bexhill – The Picture Playhouse. Don’t get Battleaxe wrong, I still have severe reservations about the political suitability of patronising Wetherspoons, but with three of us to feed we opted for cheap and cheerful and dammit it was excellent. Nicely done out, comfortable, good and plentiful food, quick service and so cheap. Lunch for 3 including pints of beer only cost £28! We’ll go again, I regret to say.
Funnily enough, talking of 2016, a couple of weeks after seeing those clouds in Bexhill, Battleaxe and Philosopher went on a cruise to the MIddle East, including a trip down the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. It was a very turbulent time in the region (as usual). There had been massive unrest in Egypt. In the Red Sea, Somali pirates were creating havoc, and surprise surprise, the US were carrying out drone attacks against the Houthis. Ours was the first cruise ship to go down the Suez Canal for several years – we were escorted by a gunboat, and we slunk down the Red Sea with the ship in darkness and festooned with razor wire to stop the pirates climbing up. We had to do Pirate Drill – we were ordered to run and lie down on the floor in the internal cabins – apparently the pirates missiles wouldn’t reach us there. I remember some unfortunate had a heart attack in the middle of the Red Sea. The ship had to stop for hours in probably the worst possible place ever, opposite Somalia and Yemen, and the man was hastily bundled onto a motor launch which would take him all the way to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the nearest safe place. I expect he died before they got there. The poor cruise company, Voyages of Discovery/Swan Hellenic, went bust shortly after. Here’s the first of two blog posts I wrote about it… Blimey, reading both posts, it is little wonder that we didn’t fancy cruising again… Trump supporters, armed guards in Alexandria, gunboats on the Suez Canal, hailstones like golf-balls in Sharm, floods in Petra, razor-wire down the Red Sea, Pirate Drill… it was all quite exciting but not exactly restful.
So, back to today, what else? Battleaxe isn’t good at being positive in the winter. I don’t like dark and cold. What’s more, in Sunak’s Britain, our central heating just gobbles up money so ferociously we switch it on as little as possible, which is discouraging. Worse still, we have also cut down our use of the tumble dryer and dried clothes indoors, which has contributed to increased condensation. The mouldy moisture likes to settle on the cold back wall in my clothes and shoes cupboards. Good old Philosopher has lined them with cork and hardboard, but still, ugh. We had a brief scattering of snow at the beginning of the week – here’s Digby staring out of the window as the first flakes fell.