Sunday, January 29, 2006

Flying Down to Ramsgate

Yet more evidence that Ramsgate is the new millionaires' playground with the news that millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett is flying into our local international airport soon.

Apparently he's taking off in his private jet and flying the 26,000 miles from Florida to look at a couple of Grade II listed Georgians round the corner in Augusta Road. Good on you, Steve, and welcome to Ramsgate!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Frozen Knackers

With temperatures diving below zero here in Ramsgate (the millionaires' playground), it's good to see our postie has absolutely no intention of letting the weather get him down.

Dressed in shorts, as always, he cheerfully delivers our mail, whistling all the while.

It all rather begs the question what his summer attire will be. Presumably he'll be down to his regulation Royal Mail thong.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Putting the Wow! in Ramsgate

The Uberfuhrer of Thanet District Council is interviewed in one of our local organs today about his vision for the Ile .

Councillor Sandy Beach says he wants to put the wow! factor into Thanet. His ideas appear to revolve around even more residential/hotel developments, with the odd fish and chip shop thrown in. This, of course, is all well and good for Margate, but here in Ramsgate we prefer things to be a little more chi-chi.

For example, in Margate, the biggest debate in the past decade, apart from the hand-wringing about the new Anthea Turner Centre, has been whether or not to re-instate a mini roundabout on the sea front. And, of course, what to do with all the amusement arcades that have been torched.

During the same time, here in Ramsgate, we have had our eyes on higher things - building a marina to rival Monte Carlo's, restoring the local church, and, of course, burning down the 19th century library so that it can be turned into a residential Starbucks cum Hilton Express.

Now that's what I call forward thinking.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Local Television

Although I refuse to watch commercial television, I do occasionally tune into the BBC, especially the local Kent and Sussex news, whilst I'm having a bite at lunchtime, or during supper.

Generally these broadcasts consist of an ugly fat bloke with a stubbly beard, or post-menopausal bottle-blonde TV spinster, or both, informing us that a toasted cheese sandwich bearing a vague resemblance to Mother Theresa has been discovered in Dover, or that there will be a fete held this weekend in Canterbury, featuring a stuffed cat spinning round on an old record turntable.

So it was a revelation this lunchtime to see some real news happening in front of our eyes. As our weather forecaster, the heavily pregnant Natalie Booker, was about to tell us how cold it was going to be this evening, she doubled up in agony, muttered something about having to go, and rushed off the set. Let's hope Natalie, and the little one, if that's what it was, are doing well.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Ile de Thanet - The Idiot's Guide

So many of my London friends seem to mistakenly believe I have moved to Margate that I am now obliged to publish a short guide to the Ile de Thanet.

Travelling in a clockwise direction around the coast of the Ile from north to south, one encounters, in order:

Birchington - small seaside village with many clifftop residences for the 80s and over.
Westgate - as above but with even more chemists selling incontinence pants.
Margate - home of Tracey and future home of Anthea Turner Centre. Was once a thriving seaside resort until the pier blew down and most of the amusement arcades were torched by teenagers in tracksuits. Dreamland amusement park currently a nightmare.
Cliftonville - mostly torched.
Kingsgate - Some very posh residences, mostly owned by people who have profited from paying teenagers in tracksuits to torch amusement arcades, then claiming on the insurance.
Broadstairs - Charles Dickens apparently wrote some books here. Every year they have a festival devoted to him, and another devoted to wizened old men in beards drinking real ale and singing 'All Around My Hat' through their noses.
Ramsgate - the new millionaires' playground with high speed train links to London, a harbour and marina, frequent ferry service to the continent, and an international airport.
Pegwell - bit of a dump.

In the middle of the Ile, surrounded by fields of fart bushes, sits the brand new, £100m Westwood Cross shopping centre (see previous posts).

Massive Wrench

I fear I will have to forgo my usual Saturday afternoon treat now that I am in Ramsgate .

I generally pause at 5 for a pot of Earl Grey, accompanied by a round of pate de foie gras sandwiches on plain white bread. It seems, however, that Fortnums do not deliver this far east. "I know," I thought, "I'll toddle down to the Saturday market in town, and buy my pate there."

It was very disappointing to discover that the items on sale ranged from handbags at £3.99, to a selection of enormous spanners. Not a soupcon of pate in sight. Perhaps Harrods will oblige.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Aldi Dealer

Today I was tooling through Ramsgate in the TT when I came across a building with a large sign outside saying 'Aldi'. Remembering that I needed to find somewhere to have the old jalopy serviced in a few weeks, and imagining that the local track-suit-touting grease monkeys had made a kong-size typographical balls-up, I turned into the car park.

Imagine my surprise, then, when the place turned out to be some kind of supermarket! "No matter," I thought. "I'll pop in for a nice Aberdeen Angus or wild Scotch salmon ready meal." But anticipation turned to disappointment when I found the chilled cabinet bare, apart from the odd, mouldy-looking tube of meat paste. In fact the entire place looked decidedly tawdry, so I scarpered toute suite.

As I was making good my escape, a man in a track suit approached me in the car park and held out a bag of what looked like dried leaves. Of course, I ignored him and pressed on to the car. I found out later, however, following a conversation with Angela, that he was probably offering me some kind of narcotics. Must go via Waitrose next time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tony or Tory?

Having spent the last day or so researching the local political scene here on the Ile de Thanet, it appears we have two MPs. This means we're quite well-endowed with politicians, given that there is only a total population of around 125,000 (including pit bulls).

One of the MPs is the appropriately named Roger Gale (appropriate given the amount of wind he appears to emit). He's in that nice young David Cameron's party. The other is the no-less strangely named Dr Stephen Ladyboy. Dr Ladyboy is the Minister for Transport for Tony, which means he has something to do with making the trains run on time, I think.

So far I have not come across any sign of the Liberals, who are more my cup of tea (especially if it's got a nip in it, if you know what I mean). I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Anthea Turner Centre

There appears to be a lot of kerfuffle here on the Ile de Thanet about something called the Turner Centre.

The powers that be are going to spend £30m building this centre, for painting and such like, in the sea off Margate. This is apparently because a painter called Geoffrey Turner stayed at a B&B there once on his way to somewhere else. And also because some lady called Tracey (urg!) who comes from Margate and is famous for making beds says so.

Now excuse me, but really, Margate? Surely Ramsgate, the new millionaires' playground, would be more appropriate? Here we appreciate the finer things in life, and a new arts centre/cafe complex in the marina would be just the place to sit and sip my latte on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

And while we're at it, perhaps we could think of a better title for it? How about naming it after one of my hugely influential and highly creative showbiz pals? The Anthea Turner Centre (tracksuits not allowed) has a much classier ring to it.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Filthy Talk Talk

My new friend who runs the local sub Post Office seems to be having a spot of bother with unsolicited sales calls.

As I stood there waiting to find out how much it would cost to send a package to Barnes (Angela has been on at me for months to send her the latest Thanet property pages), our beloved postmaster ranted into the phone like a man possessed.

"You effing bloody idiots I've effing bloody told you you effing bloody bastards. You effing Talk Talk people have called me effing bloody seven effing times today, and I'm already bloody effing bloody with bloody bloody effing Talk effing bloody Talk. Now bloody eff off!" And with that, he slammed down the phone.

"Spot of bother?" I asked politely.

"It's bloody effing Talk bloody Talk, they been bloody phoning seven bloody times a day, bastards. And I'm already bloody with them."

Poor chap could barely compose himself to stomp upstairs in search of the padded envelope I required.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Barkers' Nests

How dismal to find that, out for my evening constitutional last night, I'd stepped in a barker's nest.

The pavements round here are littered with them, probably emanating from all those well-endowed pit-bull terriers being tugged around on strings by rather unsavoury looking people wearing tracksuits.

I shall invest in a can of luminous spray paint and daub all the offending items. That way they'll glow in the dark, and all responsible Ramsgate citizens will be able to avoid them.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Further to yesterday's post, a Harrods delivery van has just been spotted in the area.

Must be a consignment of the finest Melton Mowbrays for my mate Elton. He eats so many of them we've had to re-name them Elton Mowbrays.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


How exciting, our local sub Post Office has applied for an alcohol licence.

Since I moved here a few months ago, I've been wondering why I have to drive all the way to Waitrose to stock up on Krug and Dom Perignon. Now all I'll have to do is walk round the corner. And I'll be able to post those letters to my friends in Barbados at the same time. How convenient!

Not only that, but a new Costcutter has opened just a few doors further down, so that's the Beluga sorted.

Much better than the only other local convenience store, which just seems to be patronised by people wanting half a bottle of Kirov, ten Mayfairs, and a packet of Rizlas. (By the way, why on earth would you buy ready-made cigarettes AND Rizlas?).

Monday, January 09, 2006


Now that Ramsgate is officially a millionaire's playground (see Country Life magazine this month), I propose we get some new signage that's more appropriate to our new-found status.

My suggestions are:

- replace shabby old welcome sign on Manston Road with flash new sign in glowing gold neon. While we're about it we could replace all those nonsense twin towns that we've never heard of (Conflans anyone?), with e.g Monte Carlo, Cannes, Geneva.

- build massive 'HOLLYWOOD' style sign on top of St George's, would be seen from miles around. (Obviously this would say 'RAMSGATE', not 'HOLLYWOOD'.)

- take down obsolete signs to 'Model Village' and 'Motor Museum', replace with signs to 'Olympic Village' and 'Guggenheim Museum'.

I'm sure it would only be a matter of months before Harvey Nic's opened a branch here.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Westwood Cross

Great shopping centre, but why was it built in the middle of fields of fart bushes?

Was the location, among 20,000 acres of Brussels sprout plants, a deliberate attempt to force all us shoppers into the Body Shop when the wind is in the west?

I think we should we told.

Welcome to Ramsgate

Welcome to the Isle of Thanet's newest blogspot, based here on the East Cliff in Ramsgate, Kent.

I'll be posting comments most days, feel free to add your two penn'orth.