Back With a Vengeance

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

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  • Bretts – Oh yeah. There it is.  I can feel my alveoli swelling with dusty gunk already.

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  • The Gorrell Tank – Still not repaired it then? What a surprise… Trade must have been good this year.  Not!

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
  • 10842722-largeNew 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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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!

Beardy-byebye!

Hipstable – Did you see what I Did There?

So the Observer has declared the Hipster dead.    Well I’m pleased to see that the Guardian (their sister paper) want to prove them wrong, challenging readers to send in some images of ‘hipsters’.  Here are some of the contributions sent in:

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Hmmm.  Now, what’s the one thing they all have in common?  Oh come on now…yes – a BIG BEARD.  This post is dedicated to all things beardy.

My top 5 reasons why a fellow should grow a big beard:

1.  My wife wouldn’t let me grow one, now she’s (temporarily, apparently) gone, I’ve seized the day and gone for it.  It’s a statement of my independence, my virility and my masculinity.

2. Women LOVE a full beard.  You silver sisters out there might think men with beards have ‘let themselves go’ but not everyone feels like that and the messages I get sent from fawning young ladies on Twitter tell a different story, believe me!  Other men like a full beard too and I’d like this opportunity to issue a full statement here – I HAVE NO PROBLEM BEING FANCIED BY MEN.  jJust not my thing is all. That’s cleared that up…

3. Beards are comforting.  It’s like having a little animal, a lap dog or a small possum, snuggled to your chin.  In moments (rare) of self-doubt, a surrupticious stroke can provide instant composure.  I’m sure someone, somewhere, right now, is doing a Phd into how stroking a full beard can reduce risk of heart disease, like stroking a dog does.  That’s why they take them into old people’s homes – dogs – for the old dears to pet them.  Saves them on statins.  Imagine if us beardy types could volunteer our magnificent facial hair for beard-stroking sessions with those at risk.  We could run clinics  and single-handedly save the NHS from ruin – WITH OUR BEARDS!

4. Not all beards come with a mostache, but if yours does – you can twiddle it!  Bonza!  Here’s some of my fave twiddled mostaches:

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5.  Obviously, this doesn’t appy to me, but beards can cover a multitude of sins.  Got a weak chin?  Beard.  Got no lips?  Beard.  Got regrettable facial tattoes?  Beard.  I’ve found having a beard useful when I can’t get the appropriate facial expression right for the situation.  It helps me remain an enigma, it gives me some social camouflague.  That’s not dishonest, it just buys me time and helps people from jumping to the wrong conclusions if I pull an inappropriate face.  They just can’t see it!  Genius.  Let me demonstrate:

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Look at the picture on left – just look how vulnerable he is!  Look how he’s giving away his feelings of doubt, disquiet and insecurity.  Imagine how some – female – might take advantage of that!  Now look at the picture on the right.  See?  He’s a wall of incomprehensible emotions.  An enigma, wrapped in a mystery, cloaked in a myth.  Inpenetrable – safe.

And that’s the crux of it dear reader.  Beards make men feel SAFE. Not in a weak way.  In a strong way.  Like a mighty city wall.  Like a deep and deadly moat around the castle of manhood.  Strong-safe.  Like a real man should be.

In other news – after a few pleasurable gin and tonics with Giles (yes, he is a gay DFL) at the pub in the middle of town, I came home to this:

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Isobel had been ‘entertaining’.  I could tell an adolescent male had been in the house by the lingering smell of Linx Africa.  No wonder she’d been asking me what time I’d be out until.  I asked her to tidy it up immediately and I got this:

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This isn’t her (she’s way better looking that that), but you get the idea.  Then, she took one of my better bottles of wine and left.

Life with teenage daughters.  Tsk!

Thank god I’ve got my beard.

I’m not the only beardy in Whitstable, I mean Hipstable.  There are many, many bearded men here.  We are a tribe. We are one. Raa! Lol.

And for all those beard lovin’ ladees, here are a few choice males with bountiful beards!

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Next post – Regatta with my daughter Miranda – a review.

Pffft.

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Feeling very lost today.  Pippa is now in London until the forseeable.  I’m not sure what went wrong. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my beard,  but it did go wrong and I have to respect her decision, but I’m missing Miranda so badly.  I had to shut her bedroom door today.  Everytime I passed it and looked in, I remembered, again, she was gone.  Now I won’t see her until Friday evening.  I naively thought having one daughter here would compensate, but I haven’t actually seen Isobel since Saturday.  My wife inferred that she was ‘seeing someone’.  To be honest, I’m not even sure she’s slept in her own bed since then.  She’s 15.  She’s not answering her text messages and she’s blocked me on Facebook.  Bar from going to the police, I’m at a loss as to what to do.

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So – what to do?  Go to the pub, that’s what.  Now here are some pubby facts about Whitstabubble:  there were a lot of them.  Look it up for yourselves.  I can’t be arsed to tell you.  Go to the local library.  There are about a thousand books about it, but as you walk round town, you’ll start to notice houses that look a bit like they could have been a pub.  Even if they were two doors up from another house that looks like it could have been a pub.  It WAS  a pub!  They ALL were.

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I need to tell you, I’m a little drunk.  This happens in Whitstable too.  Especially if you’re as friendly with the locals as I am.  Today I was lucky enough to have the company of some gentlemen in the pub on the beach, who were building some flats on the old site where Dempsey’s Removals was.  Brick layers.  I couldn’t really understand what they were talking about, but when I told them my bitch wife had taken my baby away, they were all really supportive and told me about their bitch wives who’d done the same thing.  Then they left.  I didn’t know, until the giant Irish man told me, that we’d run up a tab in the pub.  I picked it up, knowing I’d really connected with some local men, made lifelong friends, tonight.  I think one of them was called Dean.

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I’ve been at home since, wondering where my big girl is.  I’ve been looking at photos of her on my iPad, from when she was a baby.  Now she’s out of my control.

My advice?  Get some sort of Posh Spice genetic test thing and have sons.  Really.  Daughters break your heart.

I’ve been nursing a bottle of XO and watching my award winning film – my Bafta award winning film, over and over.  Not sure it’s helping.  I just feel – lonely.

So here I am.  In my perfect family house by the sea – living the dream. Except I’m all by myself.  Just me and Mr Hennessy XO for company.

For Miranda, my sweet angel…

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