Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mardi Gras, but the Council still can't sort out street cleaning!

This morning

Whilst a grande Fat Tuesday festival of music for this evening has been organised very efficiently, the Council still couldn't organise a party in a brewery, sort it out!

It's Mardi Gras, Party Time!

OK, unlikely to see anything quite this exotic locally this evening, but today is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday in Hastings... Which means hours of music in many locations: The Jenny Lind, Nelson, Standard. Trader, Dragon Bar, Albion, Old Market, Carlisle, FILO, Porters, Dolphin, Anchor. plus The Fringe: See the Fat Tuesday website for which bands are playing where, SIX playing at each venue from 8pm!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Umbrella Parade...

Despite the wind and rain the Umbrella Parade persevered...

I told you it would kick off from Butler's Gap

Umbrella Parade and more today.

Last year

So, this Sunday the Fat Tuesday pre-festivities start off with the Umbrella Parade, this year starting at noon from the Stade (according to the leaflet), or assembling at Butler's Gap in George Street at 11.30am, as last year, (according to the website!) and heading for the Palace at White Rock; I'd be tempted to go to George Street first... At the Palace, noon until 2pm, is 'Preservation Sunday' with food, drink and music. 

Music also with 'Off Axis' from 1pm until after 9pm with many bands at various sites around the town centre, that is, at Flairz, the Brass Monkey, Union Bar and Carlisle. Plus, a celebration of avant garde electronic music from noon onwards, 'Thee Sunday Sonics', at a few central venues, starting on the basement floor of the Borough Wines building in Robertson Street. For further details of the day go to the website.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Fat Tuesday: Unplugged Saturday from 1pm to 6pm

This is the bigger news in Hastings for today, so do enter the world of non-stop live music in 16 venues for 5 hours this afternoon from 1pm to 6pm in Hastings Old Town, of course, followed by more live music this evening in many of the bars too! 

So, music on at the seafront, High Street, All Saints Street, George Street and Rock-a-Nore Road, that is, at the Stag, FILO, Porters, Jenny Lind, Dolphin Inn, Standard, Anchor, Crown, Albion, Nelson, Pumphouse, Seed, Whistle Trago, Dragon Bar, Albion Seafront, and Lathams! For details of who is playing where and when go to the website.

Of course, this precedes Fat Tuesday, when even more live music can be enjoyed, but enjoy the more gentle acoustic version today, have fun!

Fox News

No, not the dodgy American media source, but I have had feedback on twitter from Richard regarding my recent blog, who told me that: "there's quite a few like that living in the woods between Croft Rd and Bembrook allotment." 

Many thanks Richard, probably just a genetic thing, now I'm disappointed...

The Second New Seafront Kiosk

Back in September (blog) I reported that a second seafront kiosk, between the Pier and Warrior Square, was planned and 'expressions of interest' were being sought to manage it. Well, it appears to be being built now...

My original estimate may have been wrong

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Piano Concerto Competition Kicks Off In Earnest!

The 13th Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition kicks off at the White Rock Theatre in earnest from today (Thursday 23rd February). If you'd like tickets for this event, or to find further details, go to their website.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

24 hour RMT Conductors Strike on Southern today...

From Southern Railway it appears that there will be services from Hastings today, but there are some cancellations planned; see website for details, and good luck!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Interbred Fox in Hastings?

No, not this one (this is an image from google), but I've seen a fox with a completely pale grey torso, young and with fluffy face and legs, definitely very healthy. Now, it's probably just some genetic throwback regarding the colour of the animal, but it appears that foxes and dogs can interbreed, though rarely seen; if so, any offspring would not be able breed due to dogs and foxes having a different number of chromosomes.

I saw this one when I was walking down from the West Hill into Old London Road near midday, and hadn't mentioned it until someone else confirmed they had seen him/her, though it appeared to be male to me size-wise... Has anyone else seen similar, and/or have you any photographs you could share please?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Fishing from the Pier still, plus video...

I saw this on the Paul's Tackle facebook page, which said that there are "loads of fish coming off the pier this week...every day... the best catch was to Bill and his mate on Tuesday...80 fish and 8 different species, including Flounder, Plaice, Dab, Whiting, Rockling, and Pouting... Only reason they packed up was because they ran out of bait!" 

There is also a video on youtube about fishing from Hastings Pier, well worth watching. 

Remember, details of fishing and permits can be found at Paul's Tackle, enjoy!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

One Step Beyond...

The Azur Pavilion, which was used as the older peoples' home in the film Byzantium.

Our very own Banksy...

We could be living on the Cote d'Azur!

The Winter home of the St Leonards beach huts!

And this was "one step beyond" - as in, one step further than the sign that tells you you're entering the Combe Valley Countryside Park.

The wonderful De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill...

On my way back...

Here, I met a couple of older lads (my Devonshire coming out here!) who fish from boats launched from the beach here by Bulverhythe, and we had a great chat, and when I was advised that cod hasn't appeared this winter, and whiting is quite small, but this was a couple of weeks ago, indeed, confirmed by a Hastings fisherman I know since, but, some cod has since been landed by Hastings' boats...

And I ate the last locally caught cod and chips that they had at the Dolphin this lunchtime, excellent piece of fish, and the chips weren't bad either! Looking forward to some more locally caught cod soon, I hope, but I do like huss, and plaice too, for that matter

Music Month 2017

How did I miss this? OK, I've already blogged about Fat Tuesday coming, and its associated events, and the Piano Concerto Competition, but, apparently, Music Month started on Valentines Day, and continues until the 17th March; see website.

By the way, here's a young lad enjoying himself on the piano in Priory Meadow shopping centre a few minutes ago, and he was very good too!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Just walked home along the seafront, gorgeous sky!

How to upset your voters, HBC...

Already upsetting older people in the Old Town by telling them that they need to walk up the hill to Clive Vale to see their GPs, now, I saw yesterday, the Hastings Old Town Hall Association has been passed by finally (see my previous blogs) so that a commercial indoor 'playground' called "Discovery" takes over the space; see my blog and their website. Although the website suggests it opened in 2016, I walked past and noticed that redecoration was in process, so presume it will open soon, good luck to them...


Meanwhile, regarding residents in other areas, hygiene, and toilet provision, voters all over town are demonstrating and setting up petitions, in Ore, St Leonards, the list goes on. Most people will be aware of the continuing problem of dog mess all over town, I didn't think you'd appreciate a suitable image here, so I've just photographed a small corner of St Andrews Square in the town centre, which has regularly seen 'fly tipping' here, despite 3 huge bins in the diagonally opposite corner of the square, and which has been a mess for weeks now! Oh yes, and there are planned closures of public toilets in Ore and in the town centre, councillors had better be careful who they upset with their monetary savings, even if national government stimulated, if they wish to be re-elected...

13th Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition

The 13th Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition kicks off with your chance to play a grand piano over the next 3 days, ie today (Friday), tomorrow, and on Sunday at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre (book a time to ensure a slot; email pianoevent@hastingsconcertocompetition.co.uk or text 07788 723003), before the competition itself runs from the 23rd of February to the 4th of March at the White Rock Theatre; see website for further details.

Aslef to rejoin the Southern Fiasco!

So, Aslef members (the majority of train drivers) have voted by 54.1% to 45.9%, on a turnout of 72.7%, to reject the 'deal' with Govia Thameslink, the owners of Southern Railway... Now it's wait and see how many more Southern trains will be lost due to strikes and working to rule by Aslef, in addition to the RMT strikes, oh dear...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Hastings Old Town Surgery

I've already posted about the petition recently, but I was in the surgery the other day, waiting for someone (not my surgery), and read this; I have since 'liked' the Hastings Old Town Surgery facebook page. Some have asked me for further information, so I reproduce some info from the facebook page. 
"Planners may force them (the surgery) out of the Old Town. The Old Town Surgery in Roebuck Street has served residents well for many years, but the practice no longer has the space to provide the safe, modern service that patients expect and deserve.
Dr Craig Namvar has drawn up plans to move to new premises in the Ice House on Rock-a-Nore. Besides GP consulting rooms, there would be a healthy-eating restaurant, a pharmacy, an optician, and facilities to deliver physiotherapy, chiropody, and more clinical services that are not possible in the crowded Roebuck St site.

Hastings council have refused planning permission, because they claim the surgery would take away hotel space and cause traffic, waste and parking problems. These “objections” don’t stand up to close inspection, and Dr Namvar (has resubmitted) his application. He needs your support to get his application approved. 

What’s the alternative? It’s true that moving our GPs to Rock-a-Nore would mean a longer walk for many Old Town patients, but the alternatives are worse. Staying in the Roebuck Street building is not an option in the long term. The council accept this, but are unofficially floating the idea of moving the surgery to Clive Vale, where it would also serve a new residential development. This would mean much longer journeys for old town residents, many of whom are frail, live alone and have mobility problems." 

Further updates as and when... 

Battle to Hastings...

We took the bus to Battle yesterday morning, £2.80 each, and got off the other side of Battle railway station, a lovely wee brick built building indeed, then we started to walk...

Walking into the countryside from Battle...

OK, it was pretty muddy for most of the walk (thankful we were wearing our wellies yesterday!), and some light snow, hailstones, mist and mizzle for much of the walk, shiver...

We walked along the 1066 Country Walk for most of the day, via Westfield, the nine miles to Icklesham, Oh look, there's half a dozen llamas in that field!

 Oops! They've seen us and are coming over, inquisitive creatures...

OK, you know you're in Kent or EAST Sussex when you see converted oast houses, and we saw plenty yesterday, obviously.

Don't hold back... dog owners beware!

Our Icklesham stopover for a pint and a sandwich, the Robin Hood (website). Then we walked the half dozen miles more back to Hastings, via Pett Village and Fairlight, and found a pub in which to watch the rugby, there's another story, but quite a full day!

Friday, 10 February 2017

RNLI and Air Ambulance

I've known for ages that the RNLI, our lifeboat service, is not funded by the Government, which has always seemed strange to me, but the other day I was asked for support for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex air ambulances, which is funded by the Kent Air Ambulance Trust, a registered charity that raises funds from public and private donations!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Best wishes to John the Cobbler.

A wee birdy has told me that John the Cobbler is retiring soon, my best wishes to John, seen here with Paul Denny when receiving his certificate from Paul for raising funds for Macmillan Nurses following Paul's run in the London Marathon; See previous blog. I hope you get more time to yourself than I have since I was meant to have retired, John! 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday 2017!

OK, if you want to visit Rio or New Orleans for Mardi Gras, hurry up and book your tickets, but, if you live in, or wish to visit, Hastings, we have our very own Fat Tuesday 2017 on 28th February! Now, the weather here is likely to mean there won't be so many scantily clad folk parading round town as on the other side of the Atlantic, but still mucho fun between Friday 24th, Unplugged on Saturday 25th, the Umbrella Parade on Sunday 26th, and culminating in Fat Tuesday on the 28th; more complete details on their website.

Something to look forward to, see, I'm a happy bunny, sometimes...

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Will the Southern Rail Saga ever end?

And now the unions, the RMT and Aslef, seem to be at loggerheads, whilst Southern Railway plays one union off against the other! 

When will we ever get a decent rail service from Hastings? "The deal lets Southern run trains without a guard, or indeed, an onboard supervisor... Not all drivers are as pleased with the deal as their leader Mick Whelan, and some are struggling to see what they've gained from the talks with Southern... The RMT, which has held a number of strikes since last April, is due to hold talks with Southern next week." 

See the BBC website for more info...

Friday, 3 February 2017

Early one morning...

Well, yesterday morning actually, and our very owner cricketer at Priory Meadow. I liked this photograph, and realised that I hadn't posted anything in February yet (where did January go?!?), so here you are, enjoy!