Thursday, 20 May 2010

hasting home and away again

The seagulls in Hastings were large and vociferous, this one marches up and down the road when we walk by with Hattie, shouting very rudely. But when they are gliding thru the thermals at the cliff edge they are so elegant and beautiful.

We had S&D visiting for the last couple of days, it was a pleasure to show them why I love this area so much, the morning hike was great but in the afternoon the sea mist came rolling in and everything went cold and grey.
This happened the day before as well, so I persuaded RP it would be an excellent opportunity to f*** off to the flics, so we went to see Robin Hood, it was quite enjoyable - Russell Crowe was as solid as ever, tho his Nottingham accent lent more to blarney, Cate Blanchettte as Maid Marian is more of a woman than a maid, so was encouraging to identify with.

Too many battle scenes however, most of which never happened, even in myth. King John was a hoot and the Sheriff of Nottingham looks as if he may amuse in the sequel. There were at least 10 other people in the cinema who seemed to all have fun.

We are home again now, got lost 3 times leaving Hastings which I swear wasn't because I didn't want to go. RP just assumed that having done the trip 6 times before he could remember the way to the A21. No.
Tonight we chug off again to Heathrow to meet daughter and the Glorious Grandson who will be with us for the next 3 weeks.
This is great, but also frightening as my room/house is in no way toddler proof. For the first 5 days they will base themselves at my mother's house as she is gadding away down in the West country, inspecting gardens.
I went over today to her bungalow to make sure I knew where everything is, and was somewhat un-nerved by the number of knickknacks she has on show. Otherwise the house is a bit like an hotel as she is avidly modifying her life and environs.
When daughter and GG are decanted for what I hope will be a long refreshing jet lagged sleep I will have to trawl round and place all the china and flora up high. Ma presumably thinks that GG is still very small and helpless..............

Friday, 14 May 2010

another invasion?

Apparently, so the story goes, the cottage was built after the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805 as we all recall, for the widows of the slain. As there are only five in the terrace I would guess it was limited to officers wives with no private income.

I guess their families turned to fishing as a quieter way of life and the strange tall net drying huts were built down on the shore.
The Art Gallery is to be built next to the huts so they all sport signs stubbornly saying NO TO THE GALLERY, totally ignored by the workmen constructing avidly beneath them.

The fishing boats still sail in on the high tide straight up onto the shingle where tractors pull them up onto the beach out of the water.
Hopefully the shoals of intelligentsia expected next year will still enjoy fish and chips and jellied eels.

We spend a lot of each day pottering on the cliff tops, there are at least half a dozen magpies nesting, rooks [or are they crows] and crowds of very raucous seagulls. The gorse is a gorgeous buttery yellow, the bluebells are still there hiding under the trees, as everything is late here too.

Hattie the dog ignores it all and scurries back and forth tail wagging and hoovering up rabbit poo - her favourite delicacy.
Happily east and west cliff each have a funicular / lift thingy for when the steps down to the cottages seem too many.
They were out of commission for a year, but are now renovated and smoothly slide up and down like vertical ski lifts if you see what I mean, they don't make any horizontal progress. Slowly the place is being gentrified, public buildings gtting a face lift, junk shops are getting rid of their junk and importing tat, maybe the fishermen are right.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

hail to the chief

If I ever win the Lottery [which will be difficult, as I wouldn't lower my dignity or common sense to buy a ticket - but the Retired Person is locked in, as he chose fixed numbers, so he can't stop]........I would force Dick the Wig to sell us this cottage and then we could come down to stay every few months........that's after I had spent my weekends in my London riverside flat of course

So far it has been great here, long walks, good food, even some sunshine.
Too many of the junk shops have been arty fartyfied however.
Today has been a bit different, this afternoon it hailed - ricocheting remorselessly off the couple next door who were trying to break down their front door.
They had locked themselves out. Being older, responsible citizens every door and window was securely locked against them. [NB Always expect the unexpected or leave spare keys with a neighbour!]
Meanwhile Pinky and Perky have been madly coalitioning, doling out jobs to the boys except the poison chalice of Home Secretary to Theresa the shoe shine queen. Hopefully they will play nicely.
I see the even more weird of the Milliband brothers has stepped forward to offer to lead us all to glory once Pinky and Perky have absorbed all the venom generated by the inevitable cuts. Poor Gordon is probably much better off spending more time with his family.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Back again, for the seventh holiday in this fisherman's cottage, fortunately he is no longer needs it.
They are building an Art gallery down by the shore, the locals are furious as it will be on top of their coach park - who will buy the fish and chips and ride on the carousel? The Worthies obviously have a different clientele in mind.
We are here for two weeks and already I can feel my shoulders relaxing - sunshine, doggie walks and lovely food - remarkable that we are still in England, if only clinging to a Southern edge.
The cottage has been equipped with a new TV and digi-box thing so we have been able to keep up with the political machinations, it all seems so craven, crawling up to Cleggie offering him goodies if only he will play nice.
How can the Tories just fold and reverse their statement that they do not believe in Proportional Representation?
I think the Lib Dems are mad if they hitch up to either, the Tories should just go with their minority government and see what comes...............but there again what do i know, I am on holiday.

Friday, 7 May 2010

hanging chads?

Jelly babies were my only friends last night as the election went from bad to Tory, apart from Hattie the dog and the Agamemnon the cat of course.
It was all very strange, seats slipping and sliding and ending up in quite unexpected places. Thankfully, IMO Labour were not wiped out as the Tories were 13 years ago. I guess they are still hamstrung by that defeat as they couldn't win outright this time even in the face of the country's finacial implosion.
But what on earth happened to the LibDems, after all that enthusiasm and excitement they actually lost seats.
Weird - was it an MI5 black op?
And queues at Polling stations! voters so keen they waited for hours and then couldn't even be let in to vote. Amazing.
Here in the village we strolled in after walkies with Hatters, the only punters in the hall. I toyed with the idea of a tactical vote but Dim Yeo had a 6600 majority last time, so no hope of putting the skids under him. The stub of pencil scratched in a big thick cross for this young woman I knew nothing about and somewhere a socialist fairy smiled.
The BNP and UKIP seem to have been struck down in various ways. I went to school in Barking so I am pleased they no longer have 12 BNP councillors, not that Margaret Hodge is anything to relish.
What ever will happen next? Young Nick is crushed then is raised again pampered and flattered by that awful balloon faced, mean mouthed Tory, tho I can't really revile his nasty little opening without agreeing that Gordon smiling should probably not ever be done in front of the children.
All so weird. Fortunately we are off on hols tomorrow, so by the time we get back life may have returned to something resembling normal.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

when a tree falls

Very windy here the last few days. One of the poor dead elms above the Lane could stand it no longer and started wavering in a very sad manner.
RP was delighted/disgusted that he could get out the chain saw thingy and hack away again - but on the whole he'd rather not, at the same time.
I quickly realised I was merely lumberjack's mate offering only timely advice, as ever.
For an impulsive person with no mathematical or spatial relationship expertise I do seem to have some talent in and teaching will refine that talent i suppose.
It was a very tall tree.
Someone once told us that the elm beetle doesn't attack until the trees reach a certain height, if that is true they fly high.
I gazed with some trepidation up the ivy clad trunk and tried to measure how far it would fall from the neighbours garage below.
Fortunately the ivy actually helped as it netted the tree to the others [ashes I think] so once he had chopped sections off we could haul it down from the vertical to the lengthening horizontal, and then dismember it.
Two nearby dead elms reviewed our performance and decided to remain firm for now.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

rooting around

It was first of May again and the nearby village lays out its Plant Fair to gather shekels for their church. Lots of healthy little seedlings at very reasonable prices

Usually they claim to open at 10 a.m. but the locals/locusts always turn up early and queue aggressively until they break down the resolve of the organisers and are let in.

Those from further afield who turn up on time then grumble that the tables are no longer groaning with a pick of vegetation.
So this time it opened at 9a.m. this seemed to have some effect as my ma dipped out saying she couldn't be civil at that time and gave me a list.
However on our arrival at 8.5o the queue was already champing and we were let in 5 mins later. A queue of elderly obsessives is not one to gainsay.
Price of entry is steady emotional blackmail to buy several raffle tickets.

This is the resident expert and her heavy books to answer all queries. I know so little I don't even know what i should ask.
The plant trays have names and little pictures taped to the front with a hint or two as to size - that's far enough for me.
We bought some geraniums and petunias and clematis as far as i remember, one goes a little buy crazy. They are outside now still in their little pots, presumably gazing round and wondering if this is a good spot to have landed. It is raining heavily, and then not, and then heavily again - after weeks of drought; at the same time helpfully softening the soil and swishing out the pots, so all would seem promising for them to set root when it stops.