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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.