Have you missed me? Well, I’m back in the Bubble. I’ve been out of the country for a year and that’s why I haven’t blogged. And before I hear any of you saying ‘Der, you can do it from anywhere in the world!’ The real reason is that I really just couldn’t be bothered. Soz!
We’ve been in the States, mostly in New York. The wife was given an amazing opportunity we couldn’t refuse, so we put the girls in boarding school (not entirely my preference) and off we went. It’s been epic! Obvs, not just a crucial supporting role for me. I had lots of very important film opportunities, let’s just say documentary type opportunities, to explore out there too. Lots.
Anyway, I’ll be giving you the odd anecdote about my adventures state-side in good time, but this post is mainly dedicated to what’s the same and what’s different in Whitstable since I’ve been gone.
So, I’d like to invite you to take a little virtual walk along the High Street and around the famous sights of the town and help me re-familiarise myself with my adopted home and the people in it
- Bretts – Oh yeah. There it is. I can feel my alveoli swelling with dusty gunk already.
- The Gorrell Tank – Still not repaired it then? What a surprise… Trade must have been good this year. Not!
- The old Post Office sorting office – I understand there’s been all sorts of drama about this shutting and various doomed attempts to take it over as a community space. Simple solution that would really serve a lot of people like me in the town is to invite Waitrose to open a new store here. I’m going to start a campaign!
- The Handsome Sam – Good good, another micro pub – shame it’s at the boring end of town. Probably give it a swerve.
- Another café in Harbour Street – exactly what the town needs. As my office can be anywhere, the more alternatives, the better.
- Another gallery – exactly what the town needs. Looks like they are actually attempting to exhibit good art too. I’m in shock quite frankly.
- The Post Office has vanished! And turned into a mobile thingy. Didn’t really use it to be honest – flattening that eyesore has made way for more much needed housing for people to relocate to the town. There’s no going back to the way Whitstable was before (see previous post). Embrace DFLs and enjoy the London cultural influences they bring! The town needs their money.
- New accommodation for unaccompanied young men at the old Ladesfield care home – been watching reaction to this on Facebook, particularly the volatile and mostly aggressive opinions on the group ‘Overheard in Whistable’. I think it’s quite right the empty building was used but it seems there is a lot of angry townspeople who disagree. Negative opinions are mostly ‘not in my back yard’ right wing knee jerk hot air from what I’ve read. These children need to live somewhere! It’s only when you’ve lived in a truly multicultural city like London or New York – then come back – that you realise how bland the town is. Come on Whitstable! Let’s face it – you’re whiter than a vanilla Minimilk! A diverse community is a rich community. One of the happiest outcomes of the growing Eastern European community in this and neighbouring towns is the Polish food aisle in Tescos! Who can honestly say they don’t love that? No one, that’s who. Looking forward to the Syrian, Iranian and Libyan aisles in the future.
- Another observation – distinctly less beards! Now this isn’t a bad thing for me. I read an article in the Guardian which suggested we had gone beyond ‘peak beard’ and we’re now, as a society about to enjoy a new bald chin era. It also suggested a phenomenon called ‘Negative Frequency-Dependent Sexual Selection’ – where women favour men with a different face-barnet to every other male in the room. Well I’m alright then! I’m one of a few with a great big beard in the town now. Move over baldies – restrain your women – I’m back and I’m bearded! Lol!
- One thing I’m glad to see is no different at all: Georges Mini Market. A mecca. I’m not sure what we humble townsfolk would do without it. I buy all my beard products in there for half the price. You have no idea how expensive serum is in America!
Now this brings me on to a little anecdote about my time in the US. There weren’t many beards around in the circle of friends we’d become part of, so while Pip was away one weekend, feeling homesick, I decided to go out in the city and see if I could grab an early evening beer in a place that reminded me somewhat of Shoreditch. Sure enough, I came across a bar that seemed to have a higher than average proportion of similar looking beardies like me. I had a couple of (to be honest, piss poor, weak) American beer and chatted with a couple of fellas at the bar. I popped to the Gents and just as I was relieving myself, the young man next to me introduced himself as ‘Wolf’, then asked ‘Are you a Fozzie Bear lookin’ for love?’ I zipped myself up so quick I nearly became a eunuch! I mean wtaf? No! So yeah. Did a bit of googling on that one. Looks like it’s a thing. Not my thing, but it seems it’s not just the girls that love my face-locks.
So, there’s two reasons why I thought I’d start writing my blog again. First, the wife is away – we’re back in the country but she’s now working all over Europe, so I’ll have plenty of me-time to write. Second, I’ve been roped into some project with a local woman who has suggested it would be a good idea to ‘drive up my stats’ before it starts. Not really sure what she means or why, she’s keeping it all very mysterious. But apparently my role as ‘fully assimilated DFL’ is core to the project. Whatever.
Ah, it’s lovely to be home. I’ve missed those sunsets!