Who’s Beach is it Anyway?

Oh dear.  More controversy about ‘who owns the beach’ in Whitstable.  This story has been rumbling on for DECADES and I find it perpetually amusing.  The locals just can’t accept that their beach is privately owned – yet it’s true.   Like a simplified fairytale, the locals would have Barry Green and the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company cast in the role of the evil overlords of their feifdom.  They have taken posession of the town, held the humble, defenseless villagers to ransom, stripped them of their right to use metal detectors  on the beach and forced the town to become – economically vibrant and successful!

Oh.  That’s not how it goes…Lol.

No.  And that’s becuase Barry Green is a GOD.

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There you have it.  And I’m not the only one who thinks that.  Read what Duncan Roy has to say about it from his blog in 2011:

“If Barry had not bought the Whitstable Oyster Company and preserved it and the surrounding buildings the Oyster Stores would have been demolished.  They were slated for demolition.  Barry saved the building and by doing so saved the town.

Barry is not a philanthopist..he is a businessman. …. People need jobs.  Especially now.”

Here, here.  But don’t those locals go on.  Honestly!  I’ve read people on Facebook paranoid that the Greens will put a toll booth at the end of the Street!  The issue blew up again last year when a campaign group tried to register the beach as a village ‘green’ (how stupid are these people – when did you last see a green pebble??).  It got rejected – read the article here.

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See how normal Green junior is – he’s wearing rigger boots! Oh look – Bretts. GRRRRRR!

I got to know Barry and his bonkers wife quite well in the 90s when me and Pip were just weekenders.  I was always very impressed with his commitment to business development and how personable he was.  I only saw him pinch a waitress’s bottom once, but y’know, if you’re the governor, you get the perks right?  All of that, surely can be forgiven if  you can single-handedly turn the fortunes of a drab, lifeless, jobless, dull seaside town around and turn it into something – Whitstabubbly.

So here’s a little adaptation to the sign they have on ‘THEIR’ beach – one of the several signs the locals are getting all het up about:

Unicorns

Because actually, what Barry Green has done is like sprinkling Unicorn doo doo on the town – it’s made it all…magical.    Thank you Barry.  I still think £35 is too much for some grilled fish but I’m tight these days.  Lol!  But on a more serious note, what do people think might have become of Whitstable if the Oyster Stores had never opened?  I’ll tell you…it would have become like HERNE BAY.

Just don’t go there.  Unless you want to buy a carpet or you only have a pound.

Laters!

 

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Assimilation Part Two: Women

Well my rules of assimilation seem to have, indeed, ruffled a couple of local feathers.  I’m not making anyone read this and it is meant to just be a bit of fun.  Lighten up!  God.

On that note, I now move on to my next topic, reluctant as I am to dwell on this.  My wife thinks my opinion on this one is bang on and she even agrees with the archetypes I created of DFL women (she’s a Fierce DFL – see previous post).  I had a bit of help with this one from some Twitter friends.  Big thanks to @NotSureJustYet for bringing the genius and wicked humour of Phil Lucas to my attention.  Big thanks to @PhilLucas for letting me plunder his colour charts.

I haven’t written this as a guide for women, becuase they don’t need it.  This is more of an explanation if anything.  A way for DFL men to pigeon hole thier own wives and for locals to  recognise the forces at work here.

Here are Phil’s brilliant charts I have utilised to define my DFL ladies style and character:

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So, in by book, there are two ways DFL women assimilate.

1.  Barren women and women who have chosen not to have chilren

Time it takes in order to assimilate?  None – they don’t.  They work in London and have only moved down to make themselves look better in front of their friends and have great parties here for their friends and gloat.  They think it’s a provincial backwater and a cultural wasteland.  They don’t bother coming down in the winter unless there is an event or party, rarely patronise local establishments and never EVER buy clothes here.

Now, to make this a bit more visual and so you can easily identify these types if you should see them, I’m going to use this year’s A/W 14/15 fashion colour palette that best encapsulates this first type.  No word of a lie – some fashion person has actually based a collection of clothes on the colour palette for the film Frozen – no shit!  It seems wholly appropriate for this DFL type – frozen eggs (she’ll never use), frozen heart and frozen forehead.  Lol!

frozen Palette

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Designer bathroom. The shaving mirror is for her – Lol!
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A fondness for whimsical, pointless ‘fashioin pieces’.
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Work work work!
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The power nail. It screams ‘I’M THE ONE WITH THE TESTICALS ROUND HERE!’
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Vile clothes in vile colours. No concept of ‘dressing for her age’.
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The ‘nude’ lip. Think Theresa May. Looks vaguely like a woman, but could rip your head off at any moment.
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Have you noticed that EVERY DFL house in Whitstable has it’s front door painted this colour. Boring!
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She does business best over a boozy lunch.
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To match the ‘nude’ lip, a ‘nude’ Laboutin. This shoe has teeth.

2. The Cut-throat ‘Yummy’ Mummies

Time it takes to assimilate?  Approx a year.

This group can comprise of all three archetypes of DFL women (Fierce, Mumsy and Slutty) who all have slightly different assimilation approaches.  Broadly speaking, all three USE THEIR CHILDREN to fit in and make friends.  Often, it just ends up being with other DFLs, but if they get lucky, they meet a BFL ( Back From London – a local who was educated enough to move to London and work, but has since come back to breed) or some nice middle class, educated friends they can lord it over.  Slutty DFL has the added advantage of being able to flirt with the other women’s husbands so her assimilation is hugely accelerated.  They have another thing in common though – they are all horribly competitive.  Fierce DFLs take over local child-rearing institutions with the same single minded ‘lunch is for wimps’ gumption they had in the boardroom (my wife).  They are commodifying thier children and using them as a kind of cultural capital to leverage some local gravitas, and it works.  Mumsy DFLs are the ones who are always so fucking cheerful.  And nice.  They grin all the time and everything is fine and nothing is too much trouble.  Beneath this sunshiny exterior beats a dark, bitter heart, full of resentment, regret for their old life and a genuine hatred of women that actually quite like their children.  These are the ones that decorate the bloody beach, make bloody cupcakes at any opportunity whatsoever.  They’re all on Mumsnet (hello Mumsnet!) and they LOVE Boden (apart from Slutty DFLs who wear their daughter’s clothes from Top Shop to prove they’ve ‘still got it’).

These women didn’t just move down here for the sea and to have a ‘slower pace of life’.  They moved here for the grammar schools.  FACT.

So, what colour palette for the Cupcakes?  Well seeing as group no.1 was inspired by the cinema, I thought I’d stick to that theme and come up with a palette inspired by ‘Gone Girl’.  Apt, becuase as soon as these ladies (with the exception of Slutty DFLs who remember to throw up their cupcakes and yoga it off), they all grow huge and develop massive SQUARE bottoms (see previous post).  It’s extraordinary!  So, yeah, the Girl you married, has most certainly GONE.  And she ain’t coming back!  Lol.

The Gone Girl 14/15 Colour Palette – you’ll recognise these colours on and around this group of DFL assimilators.

Gone Girl Palette

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Slutty DFLs will try wearing ‘young’ make up like this.
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They save inappropriate/expensive boot wear just for the shool run
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The ‘bag’ or cloak/rug/throw – whatever! This covers a multitude of sins. It’s HORRIBLE.
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These types run everywhere. In pairs. Talking. I see them when I’m kite surfing. They wear expensive bright ‘look at me’ clothes and are just as chubby 6 months after they take it up – because they don’t even break into a sweat!
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Just. So. Wrong. But they’d wear these and love them
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Sometimes they dress like they’re going hiking on a mountain. I checked. The nearest mountain is in Wales.
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Inappropriate necklaces. You seem them in coffee houses practically strangling their infants with these neck weapons.
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AAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!
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This is the colour they will wear when their position as ‘Whit Lit Children’s Poetry Corner Club’ project manager is challenged. Like a Eurofighter on the offensive. Boom!
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What they’d like us to wear. Same colour as a newborn’s poop poop.
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The school gate is the most cut throat environment on the planet. Forget boarder control between Syria and Turkey. Try being a man dropping kids off at school with this lot. Grow a beard, wear shades, be stealthy.
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Sssssssss. Boooo. Remember what I said about the fake rictus grin. The masters at work. Ssssssss.
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They would love to look like Nicole but apart from Slutty, they don’t have the discipline.
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A-Line skirts. Again, look sort of passable on a skeleton, but on my wife you could have held the local cubs jamboree in there. Lol!
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Gastro food. Locals are just honest and tuck into a burger puff – these chicks have biltong in their picnics.
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Look at those lovely Gone Girl berry shades! That’ll turn into a hideous jumper she’ll expect you to wear that she made in her knitting group.
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More stuff she’ll expect you to wear. At least if you got in your time machine back to the nineties you’d fit in with the locals in their shell suits. The Belgian lorry driver look.
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A sensible top. She’d match it with an A-line denim skirt off of the 70s.
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I have actually seen my wife in this ‘colourway’ on the weekends. She says it’s ‘playful’. I say bollocks.
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Match your entire kitchen to your wardrobe. My wife did.
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And if the DFL husband isn’t as spineless as me, just make cupcakes that will match your Gone Girl wardrobe.
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Unflattering bag top.
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Ugly. I actually might be sick. I mean really, if you met a woman wearing shoes like this – would you?
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I approve of the hat – on me. Again, the bomber jacket. Not so slimming as you might think.
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Even the beach huts get a colour make over once a year. Don’t get me started.
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On nights out, these ladies often overdo the eyemake up to compensate for the breastfeeding/school run bags. Discourage.
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Just because she’s fit.
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A faux fur. If these DFL’s didn’t look like the honeymonster already, this’ll clinch it.
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Sexy see-through clothes. But these days they’ll be a sensible bra from the old ladies underwear shop in the high street. Apparently Victoria is keeping it Secret.
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They LOVE to go berry hunting then cook mountains of muffins for a month, just in case they hadn’t made engough cup cakes.
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What all DFL dad’s would REALLY like to own (it fits the colour scheme!). No. We have to have a RangeRover Vogue instead.
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Remeber this? Bit hazy? That’s because these ladies strip most DFL men of wallet privilages from the moment they begin their assimilation. Keep a separate account.
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The ugly bulky jumper.
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No one escapes the colour coding. The children are just an opportunity for this group to express their innate creativity.
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There is a propensity for these women to ‘go vintage’. Like wearing something vaguely 50s and slapping on bright matt lippy is going to make them stylish. They will tell you they like the look because it ‘celebrates the curves’.
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Please be on alert. This look goes hand in hand with TATTOOS. Most DFL women wouldn’t – not anywhere you can see, but some might be swayed when the hormones kick in.

So, I think I’ve covered that.  Some of these ladies throw the towel in and go back to work in town, leaving us DFL creatives to do the menial stuff.  It’s a fairly good arrangement but the power balance is a tricky obstacle course beset with paranoia and confrontation.  I’ve made quite a few friends who have their little space to work and hide a away once the kids have been dispatched.  It’s a compromise but one I’m happy to make to persue my art.

Please alert me if you spot any of these types using my handy colour palettes!  And as for you lovely locals hoping I’ll ‘fuck off back to London’ – sorry!  Here’s a virtual *chestbump* to show I care.

Next blog – London Film Festival review.  Yay!

Keep it real home boys.

Ruffling Feathers

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A very close, local friend just sent this to me – apparently I’ve made the gossip column of the LOCAL RAG!  Well if you’re visiting me for the first time because you saw mention of my blog in their column, hello!  You might not always agree with what I have to say or my world view, but it is only MY view.  I don’t have a problem if I’ve ruffled feathers either – I think debate is a force of good.  Let’s face it, this whole DFL bashing malarky has been going on (in my memory) since at least 1990 when we first visited.  There is room for more than just a black and white view of it.

If you agree or disagree with anything I’ve written or you just want to say hello, or if you want to talk, I don’t know, fashion, kite surfing or beards, leave me a message!  And if you’re really offended, I’ll just delete it!

Ok – enough of this small town back street gossip – it’s the London Film Festival – starting TOMORROW!  Very excited to be going to the opening gala to see the The Imitation Game.

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I’m all over historical drama at the moment as I’ve been working on a screenplay loosely based on the 1953 flood in Whitstable.  I’ve not mentioned it before, but it’s coming together now and my agent is getting lots of interest/talks with broadcasters etc etc.  All good.  The truth is, the LFF isn’t like Venice or Cannes because it’s usually dismal weather, cold and dark.  The venues are all over the place and there’s no one central shmooze-venue.  But  – BUT – I would say the parties and the buzz is off the scale more cool than any other festival maybe apart from Berlin.  Which is why people like me LOVE IT.

As for the for the closing night gala.  Gonna give that one a big fat swerve.  Fury – set at the end of WW2, gritty, human suffering, blah blah.  Set in a tank that reeks of testosterone, sweat and fear.  Violent etc.  Well, I hate to admit it, but I saw Saving Private Ryan on the opening night in Venice and I nearly threw up on the Italian veteran sitting in front of me – that’s church, I swear it’s the truth.  When it comes to war flicks, Private Benjamin or Kelly’s Heros is more my cup of tea.  I get nightmares.  But, you know, if you want to put yourself through that for two hours – don’t let me stop you!

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So, if you’re new to my blog, welcome, if you’re a member of the Whitty Times team – how about you make me a Whitstable Pearl?  Or might that lose you a few hundred readers?  Lol.

Next blog – I’ll do a little review of the LFF and I suppose I’ll have to get round to my Assimilation Guide for DFL women.  Best not put it on Mumsnet though.  Hello Mumsnet!  Lol.

Laters!