Blazing Saddles – A Community Bonded

So. the weird weather dealt the desperate people of Whitsable a reprieve.

It was gloriouly hot and clement for an outdoor screening of a very funny, cult film, Blazing Saddles.

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Now, I’m all for bringing children to see films outside.  I’m also all for showing children ‘important films’ that will help them understand war, relationships etc.  But when the word Nigger is  used in the first 5 minutes and there are constant  RAPE jokes I fail to understand why people brought small children along – 8-9 year olds that wouldn’t get the sexist/racsist jokes – but maybe just think that language is alright because everyone around them is laughing.  Most poeple are doing the 8 tins of fosters and a fish and chip take away.  Lovely.  Sharing a Fosters with your children while they watch men hit women and learn racist jokes?  Hmmm.

This is what we ate. Yum.

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Lovely turn out though.  Saw lots of friends. Thank god most of them didn’t bring their children.

Call me a prude.  I’m alright with that.

Ohh.  Next blog.  I’m going to answer my critics. It will be conprehensive.

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The ‘Naming of the Oysters’ – DFLs Just Got STUPID.

It’s hot.  The Council have sort of sorted the parking situation (although I still don’t believe people will ‘park and ride’ and what’s wrong with the bloody train?)  It’s Oyster Festival Week!  I’ve got a blinding hangover, so just bear with me.

Now you have to understand that as a DFL myself, the wife and I trudged down to Whitstable year after year for this event, but I don’t remember it ever being quite so – mental.  The Harbour felt more like a Tokyo tube station at rush hour than the quaint little fishing village we first discovered back in the 90s.  The truth is, I’ve done everything to avoid the chaos since I moved here five years ago, but today I braved it – just for you!

I took a wander along to Tankerton at lunchtime then came back along the seafront with a wave of tourists headed in the same direction. You can tell which beach huts are owned by DFLs a mile away – they are all festooned in Cath Kidston bunting.  It’s hateful.  Any thing that jolly ought to be stopped.  Burnt in fact.  As I well know, beach hut burning was a thing in Whitstable.  Maybe someone ought to bring it back.

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We overhead the dappy teenage ‘life guard’ at the designated ‘it’s alright to drown here’ bit of Tankerton beach remark, with surprise that she hadn’t noticed a massive Thames barge sailing right in front of her.  ‘Has that been there all the time?’ she asked her pimple faced colleague.  ‘Uh, dunno.’  He replied.  Doesn’t bode well if you are hoping to get rescued does it?

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Some innovative approaches to bbq apparell.  Nice.

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We came around the corner at the public bogs (which bizarrely have a new dwelling being renovated above them – nice – constant smell of urine and used needles outside).

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The vista that presented itself just reminded me of this –

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That’s right.  Beirut.  That all too familiar granite works chug chugging out it’s throat clogging plume of dust and asthma inducing smog, looming over a beach that resembled Torremelinos in high season, but with the sound track of war drums echoing across the bay.  They weren’t war drums but they certainly got my adrenalin up.  The sound is produced by this group of pudgy, bored women (mainly) who all wear pink and spontaneiously drum for no reason at all and in no kind of pattern, arragement or order.  It is one of the most annoying features of the Oyster Festival. They also randomly ‘flashmob’ in supermarkets, shopping centres and parades.  It’s loud, irritating and their smug painted faces make me feel, at the very least,  like committing some sort of criminal damage.

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I stopped in front of the Continental, immediately aware that if I was to proceed further – for you – I would need some alcohol.  So, while the wife went for a dip (through the seaweed), I lit the rubbish throwaway bbq and cracked open a bottle of Prossecco.  Nice.  Then the drunnming stopped.  Thank god.

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Weirdly, we spotted this lovely young lady – I think she used to be someone.  Didn’t she get sacked from the TV because she was too thick?  Something like that.  I think she’s from Chatham.

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It’s amazing what a man can put himself through with half a bottle of good booze inside him, but even that didn’t prepare me for sheer madness that was the Harbour.  As we left the beach by the waterski club, we overhead a particularly stupid tourist point at the shingle and pronounce, ‘That’s where the priest performs The Naming of the Oysters!’

THE NAMING OF THE OYSTERS!!!!  What did this woman think the vicar would be naming them?  Bob?  Gary?  Or, in honour of the DFLs rammed into the town, Tarquin?  So DFLs just got very stupid. 

We laughed and laughed right up to the queue outside the row of portaloos when we finally realised that we were going to have to penetrate the dense crowd in order to find more booze.  The population at the Harbour seemed to be made of up average DFLs (as you’d expect), extremely drunk sunburnt shouty locals (as you’d expect), famous people (more in a minute) and swathes and swathes of Japanese people!

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We saw – Thick Girl from Chatham, Gemma Arterton, Iggy Pop and – and this TOTALLY DID OUR HEADS IN – Prince Harry!!!!!!!!!

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More beer.  Lovely.  Bought a shower curtain from my great old friend Laura at Hot Rocking Belle.  Pip bought another vintage style dress.  All part of her DFL costume to play her part in the theme park that is Whitstable.  Anyway, was good to see trade so flippin good for all my friends.  We survived the main part of the Harbour (two pints of lager) and got round to the West Quay, bought a burger from my old buddy Karl at Burger Bros and caught the last few choons my best pal Mark was spinning on his wheels of steel.

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Anther DFL in ‘costume’ – he’s come as a sailor!

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Burger Bros – best gourmet burgers in town.  Usually at the Coach and Horses – although not really a pub I would ever dream of going in!  Don’t be mad.  We just get them as a take away instead.

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Chilled out choons.  Great singer-songwriter, tasty burger and more beer.  The sun went in a bit too which helped.  Finally I felt a bit less panicky.  Then we made the mistake of GOING INTO TOWN… We overheald Stupid DFL number 2 point at a random clothing boutique and announce ‘That’s Dawn Porter’s FAVOURITE shop!’

We got some more beer then settled at the beach by the Horsebridge for another hour.  Astonishing.  People sitting, literally sitting, on top of old crab legs, shells and fish spines.  Children picking them up – playing with them.  Just URGCH!

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Of course, there were beards everywhere – here are some I spotted –

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There were the Japanese –

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And these do-gooders – the Street Pastors!  They seemed to be largely helping dogs become less overheated with the power of God.  Totally pointless.  Anyone who lives in Whistable knows 1) Everyone gets wasted at the Oyster Festival 2) The people that really ‘need help’ are more likely to headbutt a middle aged Christian do-gooder poking their smug kindly faces into their own private drunken world.

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Can you imagine the reception they’d get if they tried to help this lot?

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Then we saw these cheeky fellas.  That put a smile on my face, largely becuase it made DFL children cry.  By this time I was feeling very very grumpy.

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Now, you know my feelings about buses, but we’d been invited to a bbq at a big house up in Tankerton and we just couldn’t be bothered to walk up there, so we got the bus from the Horsebridge.  Oh look, The Prince Albert.  It’s been refurbished but really, you can’t polish a turd right?

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Got a fedora on?  No need to USE THE PAVEMENT then!

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Yes, I am a DFL, but this DRIVES ME MAD.  Just-use-the-bloody-crossing!!!!!  Nice beard though…

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So, no sunset for us.  I can’t say I really ‘enjoyed’ it.  I am glad people came and spent loads and loads of money, but for me, the whole thing has lost the cosy, intimate, uniquely Whitstable feel it had before the festival grew and grew into the monster it has become.  I probably will head down to the mud tug tomorrow, but I’ll be taking one crucial precaution first –

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Necking a bottle of this!!  Cheers.

It’s Such A Perfect Day, I’m Glad I Spent it with – Orlando Bloom!

So yeah, the meal.  There we were at the Hotel on the beach, ordered wasabi nibbles, New Zealand dry white,  soaking up the heat out on the terrace when there’s an insistant (quite frankly) rude knock on the window.  It was so dark inside it took me a while to work out who it was – it was my old mucker Bloom!  Now,  some of you might know Orlando grew up in Canterbury. He was down with his little munchkin, in top secret meetings with a certain lady director we all know (wink).

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So we ate moules marinere, drank a crisp white while they finished their meeting (Jesus – how could you really talk about anything with a toddler there!  They wouldn’t do that in L.A.)

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We looked at this – oh yeah – you don’t get to do that in LONDON.  But we also have to look at and breathe in the gunk from this…

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We soaked up the sun and talked about us, how long we’d been together and how hard it is for a married couple to survive child rearing.  We went and joined Orlando, baby x and Fabulous British Director for a drink.  I didn’t really understand what they were saying, but Pippa managed to secure a meeting with Fabulous about distribution contacts and I talked to Orlando about having daughters.  I warned him.

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They left extremely quickly afterwards, sort of without saying goodbye, which was odd.  Then, as luck would have it, Dave Ripley  showed up.

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Dave Ripley.  Legend.  Not sure what he does…

Pippa was a bit reluctant to sit with him at first until he bought a bottle of champagne.  He had security with him.

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I’m not sure what what sector he’s in but he means business.  He’s well connected and has mooted coming in as an ‘executive producer’ on the film (which literally means chucking money at it and not really doing anything significant).  He’d love to have his name on the credits.  I just said YES.

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Pippa started digging her nails into my thigh after the sun went down, so we left.  She’s downstairs, watching  Postcards From the Edge or something, crying.  I’m here – hello- doing serious stuff.

I love Whitstable.  You just don’t know who you’re going to bump in to and what opportunities it might just open.

Ugh.  I hear the telly going off.  Right.  Night, night then…wish me luck!

Oyster Festival next!  Yay.

Second Chances

So, she’s back.  And it’s alright.  I eased the transition a little with some gifts.  My way of saying sorry for being such an arse.  Which I have been, I admit.

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I bought her a lovely summer frock.  She has the same blue eyes.

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These, which she already has but in different colours, with straps and stuff, so I knew she’d like them.

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Finally, this.  A little nod to our life by the seaside.

She was grateful but a bit withdrawn.  She’s read the blog.  To be honest, she was more upset by the (unpublished) comments.  So I’m sort of on probation.  All I can say is that no one really knows what goes on in a marriage.  I may have presented ours in a certain way, but it’s just a mediation of the truth.  Hell, I don’t even know what’s going on in my marriage!  Anyway, I’m taking her out tonight – for something like this –

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That should help.  We had a nice day yesterday.  Girls have broken up from school and were off with their friends – I don’t know where.  The weather was a bit crazy but we braved it and went in the sea.  I was really warm!

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(No – that IS NOT a bald patch! Lol)

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We got home just before the heavens opened and put on some old tunes.  Stuff we listened to when we first met.  Let’s see if you remember some of these bands!

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We argued over the pop stars we fancied at the time –

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Me – Louise Wener – largely because she never wore a bra.  Look at those norks!Image125

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Her – and I was SO glad when my hero Damon Albarn STOLE Justine Frischmann from him – Brett ‘Pretentious’ Anderson!  How could she like him!  I must admit.  Having an argument with her about him, making her justify why she loved him so much, made me really insane with jealousy, which made me realise I still quite love her a bit.  Only one picture of him though.  Grr.

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Even worse, she went through a ‘bad girl’ stage and got obsessed with this nob head!  I can barely bring myself to put a picture of him up, he’s just so distasteful.  I mean how could she??  Only chavs liked Oasis for God’s sake!  Everyone knows Blur were FAR superior!  Here’s a pic of him looking like an ape.

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Separated at birth?  Oh yes…

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I feel much better now.  Ahhh.

So yeah, we drank some wine and put our fave old film on – an absolute classic.  If you haven’t seen this, find it.  It’s really sweet and made us quite nostalgic and romantic.

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So in other news.  Wade did something really silly.  You see Wade, my kitesurfing compadre, has this blog and it’s not that great.  He wasn’t getting many hits or whatever they’re are called.   So he got it into his head that he could drive the hits UP by pretending to be this imaginary Pro Kitesurfer and appear on the biggest Kite Surfing forum known to mankind, causing all kinds of upset – just to get them to visit his blog!  Well, these kitesurfers aren’t stupid.  No.  They were onto him in a jiffy and sussed him out as an internet Gremlin immediately!  He got kicked off the forum and blocked, then the vengeful kitesurfers turned on him and wrote hundreds of completely unnecessary, rude and abusive comments on his blog (unpublished)!  He had been a silly boy, alright, but really – poor Wade.  He just made a schoolboy error to go messing with that bunch of overly educated, domineering, rumbustious, bullying, savage, bitchy and vicious kitesurfersKitesurfers who have TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.  He won’t do it again, but hey, he got 2000 hits on his blog in ONE DAY. So there.

So yeah.  Her and me.  Like I said, we’re taking it easy.  I’m so fricking busy, we’ll hardly see each other to be honest.  She’s on leave and it’s great for her to just chill out and spend time with the girls – if they’re ever here.  And it means I don’t have to do the laundry, shopping, cooking or cleaning any more!  Now that is worth getting back together for!

Next week – Whitstable Oyster Festival Week – Purgatory or Paradise?

Laters! CK

Whitstabooty – a Growing Phenomenon

Well, I was up in town for the beginning of the week.  Met Doug, my producer, at Bafta.  We snuck into a preview screening there and met a few old faces.  Then we had lunch with someone from the public funding body supporting the film.  Looks like there’s a possible link up with Artificial Eye with a view to a fairly decent theatrical release at Curzon.  Early days but trying not to get my hopes up.  Had lunch there – the eggs benedict is to die for.

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Went back to the Hotel in the afternoon and used their sauna, had a massage.  My back’s been a bit knotty since my last surf and the train journey didn’t help.  Had a kip, then headed back to Piccadilly for a quiet dinner with Miles, the Director, at Criterion.  If you haven’t been there you should.  Beautiful space, wonderful food and atmosphere.  I was back at the hotel by 10pm  for an early night.

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Day 2 was a day of budgets budgets budgets.  The funders asked us to justify certain scenes and locations, so me Douglas and Miles holed up in the hotel bar necking coffee until it was reasonably late enough to justify going to the pub.  All good.  I’d forgotten how much I like Hoxton.  Proper buzz about.  Saw a lot of people I kind of knew.  Film people.  Men with beards.  It became obvious, fairly quickly when we were two pints in and each talking to a separate person over our shoulders, that no more budget work was going to get done.  I took the paperwork back to the hotel and we carried on from there.

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We got rather intoxicated.  Not something I’d done with my London friends for a loooonnng time.  I think I had a really good time.  We had a bite in a nice grill place, then went to a bar.  I actually danced – just as well I’d had the massage or I wouldn’t have been able to move.

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Lots of very pretty ladies out that night.  Really fit, hot women, like I’d not seen for a while – not round Whitstable anyway.  Lol!  It felt very good to be out as a single man, but I forget how shy I get with women I don’t know.  Had a bit of a chat and a dance with one young lady but it didn’t go any further.  I was bladdered by then.

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Took myself off to bedibyes at the Hotel.  Saw my phone at about 5.30am when I woke up dehydrated with a stinking hangover and realised I’d had a drunken text conversation with Pippa the night before which I was completely unaware of!  I turns out I’d told her I miss her and arranged to meet her for breakfast at Carluccio’s that morning.  What was I thinking?!  I went back to bed, then woke up drenched in beer sweat ten minutes before I was due to meet her.

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She was not impressed I was 45 minutes late, or at the state I was in.  I must admit, I was ruined.  Just out of practice and too old!  Lol.  I looked at her face and felt depressed.  All too familiar.  She says she wants to come back for a bit, just to see how we go.  She’s got some annual leave.  I actually couldn’t be arsed to say no.  It was just easier to go along with it.  I felt really sick and just wanted to get on the train and go to sleep.  When we stood up to leave, I couldn’t help notice something really quite bad had happened to her.  To be precise, to her bum.

It’s become square.

I’m not sure when this happened.  It certainly slipped past my attention, but there it was.  Big and very, very square.  Another factor in the development of our relationship I’m going to have to adjust to.  Just like she’ll have to get used to my beard. In fact, the object her bottom most resembles now is a square, yet slightly curvy juggling ball.  Like these, but, obvs flesh coloured:

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I thought about the fit women I’d met the night before.  Pippa’s butt had once (almost) resembled that.  Roundy, sort of firmish.  Now it was just – square.

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See?  These are what the bottoms look like in London.  Perfectly roundy and fit.

When I got back to Whistable, the crappy rain had gone and it ws hot.  As I’ve been mouching about town – the very empty town – over the last couple of days, I’ve become aware that people are taking their clothes off – people that shouldn’t take their clothes off  for the sake of other people, like me, who have to look at them.  I’ve also noticed a disturbing trend – and begun to develop a theory – about the phenomenon of WHITSTABOOTY.  This must have been what has afflicted my own wife.

It’s the process by which a perfectly normal London bum, goes wrong once a DFL permenantly moves here.  Once I’d identified and named the trend, I realised THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!  To prove a point, I went out for a bit of field work with my long lens and this is what I captured.

WARNING!

IF YOU HAVE A HEART CONDITION OR ARE A FAINTER

DON’T LOOK!!

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Cargo pants.  Why?

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Your G might hint that you’ve been surfing.

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Your butt would suggest otherwise

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The classic cheesecutter.  Roxy stylee.

(It’s still a cheesecutter…)

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I had to sit down after this

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She was moving quite fast.  Lotta muscle in there.

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How much publically funded toilet tissue does one woman need?

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And why was she saving some for later?

Thankfully, she realised and hoiked it out.  Which was quite a sight.

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The ‘pincered skirt’ look before the poo-dip

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Mrs Whitstabooty goes down for the doggy doo, clearly demonstrating a basic grasp of yoga – clearly long since practised.

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And she’s down.

Absolutely NO ONE  should have to see this in their lifetime.

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Nice bag of doggy ploppings which she then just caried around with her for 45 minutes.  Hello?  Use the bin, BIG BUM!

Now, all these women were in every other respect like my wife.  Clearly monied, well educated, well groomed DFLs.  Yet they’d all succumbed to Whitstabooty Syndrome.  Maybe it’s a Kent-wide thing?  This article would suggest so Two Thirds of Kent Adults Have Massive Butts  Maybe they move here and just stop caring.  Who knows?  The depressing thing is that my own wife has it and she’s coming home.  Soon.

Very, very soon.

I just hope she hasn’t read this.  I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know I’m writing it.

DISCLAIMER

I had absolutely NO PERMISSION WHATSOEVER to take these furtive arse shots.  I’ve always wondered, when there are items on local news, how cameramen get away with doing short depth of field shots of wobbly bottoms and jiggling beer guts.  Well, I know.  They just do what I did.  Get a bloody long lens and snap away! Lol!

Please don’t get all touchy about this?  Really.  You all think it.  You just don’t say it out loud.

Laters!  CK

Whitstable Regatta Day 2 – Where is Everybody?

Dragged Miranda the short walk from our cottage into town this afternoon (neither of us got up until late morning).  Thought we’d avoid Tankerton.  Been there, seen the weird stuffed tigers.

 

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She looked miserable.  Turns out all her friends have been bitching about her since she’s gone to a ‘posh school in London’.  Told her they are just pathetic jealous idiots and to ignore them all.

 

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The shop is great.  Real eclectic mix of everything you could possibly need for the beach and it looks like a photo album of every wonderful childhood memory of summer, beaches, seasides and sunshine.  I feel about seven years old again when I’m in there.

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We took a little walk around town.  Apologies for the shocking photography – Miranda can’t even take a good photo on a £1000 DSLR – the good ones are mine.

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The beards are out and enjoying the sunshine!  Note local beardy Mike Lawson (good pal of mine) immortalised by local street artist, Catman.

As we were wandering about, finishing our ice creams, I started to notice something – Whistable was COMPLETELY DESERTED.  For real!  When does that ever happen at the weekend? I ca’t believe, based on what I saw yesterday at the slopes, that everyone was at the Regatta.  So where are all the DFLs?  Surely, my blog with its modest 8 posts couldn’t have put them all off and  single-handedly reversed the rampageing economic growth of the last twenty years?!

Here’s the ghost town today – no cars, a smattering of DFLs a few locals.  That’s it!

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Looks to me like the Gorrell Tank closure is having a massive impact.  Best get that fixed then Southern Water!  400 cars – that’s 1000 people – absent people from our High Street.  Looks like everyone hates park and ride as much as me. Lol.

On the bright side – at least I got to park my van today –right outside my cottage!  Get in.

Whitstable Regatta – Money for Old Rope? A Review.

It’s Regatta time of year again, except, weirdly, it’s two weeks earlier than normal.  Now this wouldn’t make any differnence, except if you are lucky enough to work from home, by the sea, these kind of yearly milestones are what you set  your clock by.  Now mine is way out of kilter.

I have Miranda with me for the weekend.  She is 13 and was at school in  Canterbury.  Now she’s at some private school in London while she is TEMPORARILY staying with her mother.  Last year she loved the Regatta, so I had high hopes for a day of quality time.

Oh how a year can change things.

I will give my review of the Regatta first, then I will report back from Miranda (13) on her view of the Regatta (sources drawn largely from her facial expressions and her text messages).

Whitstable Regatta has been run every year since 1792.  The Whistable Yacht Club took over in 1912 and ever since there has been an aeroplane display.  The main difference between Regattas past and present seems to be the current almost complete absence of boats.  This is what the dictionary says:

regatta
rɪˈgatə/
noun
noun: regatta; plural noun: regattas
  1. a sporting event consisting of a series of boat or yacht races

Hmmm.  Not no more.

Well just to remind us what jolly japes they had on the slopes in the olden days, here are some beautiful, iconic images from Regattas past:

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Who could not love these archive photographs?

Regatta Review by CK Blaine – a DFL adult perspective.

Money for old rope – chavvy, expensive, gaudy, boring, some completely inexplicable stalls.  The Freemasons?!  What the bloody fuck?!  Here is my experience of the day in photographs.  Even though she appeared to loathe every second of it, it still cost me £40.  And that was before I went to the pub…

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The only DFLs I spotted the whole day!

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Miranda spotted her old school friends and refused to stand closer than twelve feet from me the entire time.

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So, want to know Miranda’s point of view:

‘I’d have liked it better if you weren’t there.’

She eventually gave me £20 out of her pocket money to go to the big pub that is a hotel so she could go off with her mates. I had a couple of ales then headed for the beach where I had a kip for a couple of hours when the sun came out.  Nice.

We did meet up again later for the fireworks.  Miranda was very grumpy – some petty falling out with a girlfriend, probably over a boy.  I bought her a hot dog and we settled down to watch the display.

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I have to admit, they were pretty good and most of the town seemed to be there to see it.  I was feeling tired, a bit paranoid.  Not sure why.  Too much beer and sun maybe.  Couldn’t help feeling like someone was watching me, so we left early.  Miranda was happy because her phone had run out of charge.  When we got home, I found her room looked like this:

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She’d only been back one night from Pippa’s!  I told her to tidy it up immediately which resulted in this:

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Not actually her, but you get the idea.  Then she screamed at me that I had no right to order her to do anything, then did this:

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Slammed the door in my face.  Nice.

So, another happy ending to an expensive day.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better…