Home Thoughts 103


I am off to Ghana today, and it leads me to think about how very much I have come to love Ramsgate. Walks along the cliffs and beach and across Pegwell Bay with my family are a major part of my life. The sea has always been important to reviving my spirits. Ramsgate’s magnificent Edwardian esplanades stretch for miles, and the Ramsgate Society is now putting a commendable effort into their restoration. Ramsgate has almost entirely ceased to be a seaside holiday destination and I really do not quite understand why.

All these pictures are of places within an easy 15 minute walk of my house:

The depressingly ugly Turner Modern at Margate continues to attract the visitors, 99.99% of whom are blissfully ignorant of far greater art – and infinitely greater architecture – just down the road:

The lack of public interest in St Augustine’s and its highly limited opening hours (Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoons only, from memory) appear to be a vicious circle.

Pegwell Bay still looks precisely as it did when Dyce painted it:

Right on the street where I live we have a particularly good ghost story:

All this just one hour and ten minutes from St Pancras. Unfortunately Ramsgate town centre has suffered disastrously from the decision to build a huge out of town shopping centre at Westwood Cross, but is showing some first signs of revival.

Want another reason to hate the big supermarkets? They are building a new Asda at the top of the High Street, and a fortnight ago the builders cut through a main sewer, flooding several houses including the local vet, where a number of recuperating animals in cages were drowned.

Here is a picture of a jumbo coming in to land over Ramsgate, taken from the Open at Sandwich. You can see my house in this photo:

I am baffled by the scheme to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary, when just down the road at Manston, and already right on Britain’s first HS1 High Speed Rail route, you have the second longest, now civil, runway in the UK, fully operational but working at 1% capacity. Manston can take the A380 without modification. I have seen proximity to Schiphol given as the reason Manston cannot be used, but it is further from Schiphol than Heathrow is from Gatwick.

Anyway, time to pack…


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

103 thoughts on “Home Thoughts

1 2 3 4
  • ingo

    Too late Nina, he’s gone and incommunicado for a few days I presume.
    Yes Franz, had some uplifting times in the CCCP restaurant in Ramsgate, the vodka’s in there are heavenly and proper measures.

    Ramsgate has some very poor areas as well and on coming home one night, about 11pm, we saw a scantilly clad lady and her equally exposed girlfriend, one hand a pint, another barely clutching the pushchair with baby asleep, zig zagging up the hill towards mid town, a sad affair, they were so drunk they could hardly walk, anothyer side of our rundown seaside towns, could have been Gt. Yarmouth or South port.

  • James Chater

    You live in a beautiful part of the world, Craig. It is good to be reminded of that amid all the squalor, the UK has so much beauty. The neglect of the church you mention is all part of the national inferiority complex. A lot of British things are underrated both at home and, therefore, abroad – at least that is my feeling from the point of view of an expat.

    Cheese: cheddar and stilton is not exported much.
    Wine: Britain could grow more of it.
    Cider: West country cider “scrumpy” used to be really good. Why is it so hard to find, even in the UK? Why do so few pubs offer it?
    Music: Elgar and Vaughan Williams deserve greater recognition outside Britain.
    And so on.

  • Mary

    Franz Would you like us ‘miserable ***s’ to be on happy pills and thus immunize ourselves from the ceaseless war propaganda let alone the effects of the plague on the world economy created by the gangsters-in-charge? Hard to ignore for this particular sentient being/old git.

  • Franz

    Mary:
    No, I am as depressed as anyone about the state of the world, but some people seem determined to subvert any attempt to remember the positive things. I wasn’t referring to the comments about politics, but to the sour observations about Ramsgate. Like most places I’m sure it has its positive and its negative sides. It looks quite nice from Craig’s photos.
    .
    (I guess it’s the British disease. Back in the 19th Century Schopenhauer called England the “most melancholic nation in the world” – we have a long tradition, it seems, of being miserable b*****ds. Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s just being surrounded by other miserable b*****ds 🙂 )

  • Mary

    😉 As you say. I think that British seaside resorts will have a revival as the cost of foreign travel becomes more and more unaffordable. I used to visit my stepson and family in Capetown at this time of year when the return fare was in the low £hundreds. The current fare is over £1,000 and plus the horror experiences at Heathrow, I do not go now.

  • Mary

    ‘Standard Chartered expects a recession in the UK in 2012’
    .
    I thought we were already in one!
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16136558
    .
    UK economy ‘to face bigger downturn’
    Standard Chartered expects a recession in the UK in 2012
    .
    The UK economy is to contract by more than previously thought, according to a leading forecaster.
    .
    Economists at Standard Chartered bank said the economy will contract by 1.3% in 2012, having previously predicted growth of 0.6% for next year.
    .
    The eurozone economy will perform even more badly, the bank forecast, contracting by 1.5%.
    .
    The Office for Budget Responsibility has said it expects the UK economy to grow by 0.9% in 2012.
    .
    And a survey of economic forecasts in November, carried out by the Treasury, suggested growth of between -0.4% and 2.3%.
    .
    However Standard Chartered said that “the mounting crisis” in advanced economies, especially the eurozone, has forced it to revise down its own forecasts.
    .
    “We think there will be a triple shock to the European economy,” said Standard Chartered economist Thomas Costerg.

    .
    /…

    Very seasonally cheery?

  • Iain Orr

    Craig

    Good to be reminded of both Ramsgate and Ghana. What’s happened to the building that formerly housed EastCourt School? Best wishes to George Opie and anyone at the High Commission who still remembers me. Can you send the stone from Devonshire House back here?

  • Franz

    Komodo: I don’t think Schopenhauer ever claimed not to be a miserable bastard, but that doesn’t mean he was wrong about the British 🙂

  • Azra

    Mary, Unfortunately a break in a UK whether seaside or not is quite often more than a holiday abroad specially with the deals one can find. I spent a week in Cornwall (and there were signs outside of B&Bs and small hotel showing there are vacancy) with family and it cost me twice that a week in Bulgarian Mountains, even a recent trip to south of France costs less. I think Brits do not know how to be competative, lk

  • angrysoba

    Komodo: Schopenhauer was one to talk. His Essays are full of gripes about the state of the world. Particularly the noise of carters’ whips, as I recall.

    .
    Are you not thinking of Nietzsche who had a funny turn after witnessing a guy beating his horse one day?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    “Mark is the Col Riad Al Assad you refer to a relative of President Assad and/or this father and son living in London whom I linked to in connection with Rosindell’s Register of Interests?”
    .
    No Mary I do not know of a family connection. Translation of his name varies possibly for security reasons because Turkey and Britain are keen to ensure his protection as a future leader of Syria. His name is Riyad al-Asad.
    .
    Ribal’s uncle is Hafez a cousin of Bahar and brother to Rifaat.
    .
    Rifaat, a war criminal lives in Mayfair and survivors of a massacre call him the Butcher of Hama. Now Rifaat is plotting against Iran with MI6 and I believe, although have not yet confirmed, is providing assistance from London to Colonel Riyad al-Asad who is in hiding and protected by Turkish secret service and an ex SAS soldier now close protection. Rifaat also has connections with Israel’s intelligence service and may although I have no proof been implicated in the death of Basil al-Assad.
    .
    Thanks for your research Mary which has proved useful.

  • OldMark

    Excellent photos of Ramsgate both here & on the link provided. Bon voyage Craig.

    ‘Your IFG link is unimpressive, to say the least.’

    I have to agree with that- the portrait of Roman Abramovitch it contains declares that he is rarely photographed ! The whole thing seems to have been written for a transatlantic student audience collectively enrolled on a joint honours course in Ecology & Sociology.

  • Mary

    Mark I cannot be certain but I think Rosindell’s sote was working the other day. Perhaps some pruning is taking place!
    .
    He and all those other Friends of Israel should look at this. A case of vengeance beyond the grave and a case of man’s inhumanity to man. Any human would assist in a case like this. But the old man and his dead wife were parents of ‘terrorists’ so no punishment was enough for the Occupiers.
    .
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=444136

    .
    Israel ‘stops 80-year-old exiting Gaza with wife body’
    Published yesterday (updated) 12/12/2011 16:23
    .
    The Erez crossing is the sole crossing out of Gaza via Israel.
    (MaanImages/Wessam Saleh, File)HEBRON (Ma’an)
    .
    An elderly cancer sufferer was banned from accompanying the body of his dead wife through Israel’s Erez crossing from Gaza, family members said on Sunday.
    .
    Huda al-Nmoura, from Hebron, died while visiting her sons in the Gaza Strip. Anees and Akram al-Nmoura were exiled from the West Bank after they were released from Israeli jail under an October exchange deal with Hamas.
    .
    Huda’s husband Mahmoud Taleb al-Nmoura went to Gaza to bring back his wife’s body, but Israeli authorities prevented him from leaving the blockaded strip with the body via the sole passenger terminal at the Israeli border, his family said.
    .
    The 80-year-old was deemed a security threat and ordered to return to Hebron through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, then take air or sea transport into Jordan, before crossing back into the West Bank.
    .
    It was not clear whether the cancer sufferer could complete the three-country journey before Huda Al-Nmoura is buried in the town of Dura south of Hebron at noon Monday, relatives said.

  • Komodo

    Why the citizens of Romford voted for (Rosindell) I’ll never know – perhaps he is ‘under construction’ like his personal web-site.
    .
    I think it’s his appeal to the lowest common denominator, carefully nurtured, right down to the not-quite-a-pitbull he takes to the Commons with him. Represents truckers and taxidrivers everywhere, but he isn’t BNP.

  • Mary

    Staggering sums being handed over to the Tories. Just in the third quarter alone in a period of ‘austerity’, austerity for some that is.
    .
    Thursday 1st December 2011 (Tables below on link)
    .

    60% OF TORY PARTY DONATIONS IN 3RD QUARTER 2011 COMES FROM FINANCE AND CITY NEW GMB ANALYSIS SHOWS

    .

    Total donations to the Tory Party in the third quarter of 2011 were £2,891,436 according to the recent figures published by the Electoral Commission. The donations from companies and individuals linked to finance, hedge funds, private equity, property and other city activities were £1,684,708 according to a new GMB analysis of the data. This is 58.3% of the total. In notes to editors below the details re each donation are set out a line by line with those linked to City and finance set out first.

    .
    /…
    http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/latest_news/rich__city_elite_fund_torys.aspx

  • Mary

    Mark I cannot be certain but I think Rosindell’s SITE was working the other day. Perhaps some pruning is taking place!

    ~~~~~

    Rosindell is one of the Tory right wing toadies who are standing up one after another applauding Cameron for his walk out in Brussels the other day. …bulldog spirit… standing up for Britain… support you all the way… toast of my constituents at the weekend…fighting our corner…etc etc
    .
    … Breaking news… Tessa Jowell is to receive £200,000 in damages from News Group related to phone hacking. To them that hath… She is the one mainly responsible for landing us with the massive costs of the Olympics.

    .
    They really are a repellent bunch.

  • Franz

    Komodo:
    “Better a miserable bastard than a lederhosen-wearing, thighslapping oompah-playing German, any day…”
    .
    Sometimes I think I am the only person in Britain who knows anything about Germany except for the cliches. It’s hard even to find a self-styled liberal in Britain these days who has any interest in the world outside, and in whom a Daily Mail reading bigot doesn’t lurk when you scratch the surface.
    .
    Expand your horizons FFS.
    .
    (And no, I’m not German.)

  • Pee

    Apologies OT and perhaps already reported.
    Re Flynn, Gould, Jews, zionists etc.
    A fascinating exchange of e-mails at
    http://jfjfp.com/?p=27228 An MP and an editor who hope we can’t tell zionism and Jewishness apart
    Brief description:
    “Martin Bright, the Jewish Chronicle’s Political Editor reports the apology by MP Paul Flynn for his comments on the UK’s Ambassador to Israel, 1. MP Denis MacShane took up the cause, 2. The indefatigable Elizabeth Morley tries to get MacShane to acknowledge that the issue was Zionism, not Jewishness. Two other citizens join in the email argument.”

  • John Goss

    William Hague is in the US with Hilary Clinton, speaking at this very minute, about the very close and important relationship beteen the UK and US, while Cameron defends his actions in separating the UK from the rest of Europe. The hidden message is that Syria and Iran are the two countries left on their hit-list, having f****d up the rest of the Middle East.
    .
    The two objectionable leaders have been discussing “Iran’s nuclear programme”. Hague says we need to return to negotiations. We will be concentrating on this in the early months of 2012. He finished off by saying “Britain does not have a more important ally than the US.”
    .

  • John Goss

    Guest it is worrying the build up of troops on the Syrian-Jordan border, especially with what Hague and Clinton have had to say a few minutes ago, which was mostly about closely monitoring the Assad regime. Syria looks like a stepping-stone to their long-term plans for Iran. They will never let people speak like they did in Hyde park in 2003. They just go straight into war. That’s the lesson they’ve learnt – you cannot give the electoraet a voice or they might not agree with you.
    .
    Pee, yes, the way people like McShane distort what was actually said to what they would like to have heard said, without apologising for misleading people and parliament. It’s similar to “Animal Farm” where the ten commandments are on display but the pigs keep amending them so they can get up on their hind legs, and sleep in beds by just adding the phrase “except pigs”. That was Orwell. For me, and George Ivanov, the animals were and are much more ferocious than pigs!

1 2 3 4