Ruffling Feathers


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.


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.


My Ultimate Plan for Sorting Whitstable Harbour Out – Finally!

Right, back to my normal chipper demeanour.  I have to say I feel better for airing my grievances.  However, I did promise a ‘spesh’ on my carefully considered and dynamic architectural ideas for the Harbour that would create a MASSIVE GDP and inward investment for the town and improve it beyond belief.

First of all, we need to eradicate some of the existing structures.  Here’s my preferred method for getting rid of the carbuncle that is Bretts –


 So, what’ll will be there instead?  Well here’s my little plan.  I would just like to say this is ALL MY OWN WORK, however, I did get lots of help and tips with the fine architectural drawing from my bud Alec.  He’s a proper architect and very important locally.  Here he is – obvs he doesn’t normally look this demented.  We go mountain biking quite a lot and I’ve talked through my ideas.  He wasn’t able to give it his comprehensive support unfortunately.  Something about ‘legals’ but he did smile a lot.


See?  He has other friends with beards too!

So here’s my idea.  I’ll list the attractions in case they aren’t clear enough on my plan.

Plan with writing

So, on the West Quay there will be the Peter Cushing Vampire Experience!  Imagine Dickens World, Harry Potter World etc but all dedicated to Hammer Horror and old Pete!  Who wouldn’t love that?!  Then along from that, do away with the huts and build some very attractive waterside apartments.  Something like this I thought –


 Then, we ABSOLUTELY have to get rid of the whelks.  Just yuk.  I imagine, in my darkest moments that suffocating in a mountain of whelks might be the actual worst way to die.  Eugh.  Perhaps ‘the people’ could decide what to put there instead?  A kids play park perhaps?  I dunno.  I’ve done all the hard work here!  HELLO!

Now along from that, we have The Peter Firmin/Bagpuss Experience!  Same thing as The Cush, but with children’s workshops, lots of experiential learning and lots of screenings.  Could be part of the big INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL I have planned for the Harbour – more about that later.  The building could look something like this –


Lots of parking to replace the garage (compulsory purchase) but FREE for locals and DFLs that have lived here for say, more than 5 years.

Then – and this is what I’m REALLY excited about – a giant mixed arts venue, a bit like the one in Bristol.  Here’s the blurb from the Watershed’s website:

We curate ideas, spaces and talent to enable artistic visions and creative collaborations to flourish. We produce work that cuts across film, music, theatre, design, visual art, and the creative and technology sectors. Examples include The Passion of Joan of Arc, Theatre Sandbox, Electric December and our ongoing artist residency programme.

Watershed and the Pervasive Media Studio (a city-centre research space) occupy the first floor of a historic Grade II* listed building at the entranceway to Bristol’s Harbourside.

In the building you will find three cinemas, a large, light and airy Café/Bar, flexible conference and events spaces and the Pervasive Media Studio, our research space which brings together a network of over 100 artists, technologists and academics to explore the future of mobile and wireless media.

With audiences and participation at the heart of the organisation, Watershed delivers a diverse cultural programme of films, events, festivals, artist commissions, tours and conferences. In all of its work Watershed seeks to produce open collaborations and create opportunities which bridge expertise, imaginations and boundaries to promote new ideas and enjoyable experiences.

Here’s what it looks like and the harbour a little further along.  Lots of space underneath for popular chains to open (like Pitcher and Piano).  And this would be where we could hold the Whitstable International Film Festival.

Bristol Watershed

Bristol Waterfront

However, seeing as there isn’t a beautiful historic building there to renovate, I thought it would be cool if it looked a bit like this –


Right behind that, I thought it would be fun to have a mega high ropes/bungee/zipwire/climbing wall experience!  Something for all those teens to do while there parent’s are getting drunk in Pitcher and Piano.  They could even run regular schools sessions for when they split up from GCSEs, that sort of thing.  Why should PGL in Devon get all our smelly teens and what they’d pay at the end of July?

Nice bit of waterside space (like the South Bank) for tourists and locals to mingle, have a picnic, share a laugh.  Then demolish all the beach huts and build some seriously sexy high rise luxury flats.  Something like this –


I’m not done yet!!  Who doesn’t love that massive ferris wheel at Brighton?  Nobody, that’s who.  Demolish the indoor bowls (deliberate) centre and build an even bigger one there! 


Why stop there?  Want to put Whitstable on the map?  What about having something like this in that space too.  Wowzers!  A mega roller coasters.  Let’s do it!  We could be a destination for thrill seekers the world over!!


Now – the film festival.  Film Festivals are serious business for writers/directors/producers/acquisitions people/distributers.  I’m not suggesting a frothy affiar of rubbish block busters, I’m mooting a serious industry led market where deals are sealed and buisness is done.  There is a small (weirdly English led) festival I would say would be a good model in Dinard in France.  Dinard has grown to 20,000 delegates, 50 screenings over five days.  We’d have to start with a modest weekend, 500 delegates with a closed competition and selection, industry panel, mentoring, workshops, discussions, networking and pitching events.  Yes, some public screenings to raise awarenes and give it a public facing aura, but really, it will bring film industry money into the town.  Christ – these people are here every weekend anyway, so why not just make it easier for them?  Look at the success of the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival – and it’s in SHEFFIELD!!

So, that’s it.  I’m off to do some skating now before it chucks it down.  I’m stuck on a scene and in the absence of decent wind for my kite, skating helps get the ideas flowing again.  Well, that’s the plan anyway! Lol.

Next blog will be from London as we’re borrowing a friend’s flat for a few days in Chiswick, our old patch.  I must say, I’m looking forward to getting back up there for a break.

Love to all!