Thursday, June 29, 2006

London Calling

Got to nip up to town again (cue thunderous applause from the north of the Ile). They've asked me to host a couple of corporate whatsits at London Calling 2006, some sort of 'new music' convention. Although why they want an old hoofer like me hanging around, heaven knows.

Anyway, I'm sure you're all grown up enough to continue commenting in a neat and orderly fashion while I'm away. Hmmm, on second thoughts perhaps I'd better turn the comments off!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


What a fascinating read Jonathan Aitken's newly published diaries make. I just can't seem to put the book down!

The erstwhile perjurer, perverter of the course of justice, (almost) son-in-law of Her Maggieship, biographer of my alter ego (Nixon - A Life), and receiver-in-the-gob of half a glass of decent claret from my old chum Anna Ford, tells a typically hilarious anecdote about his time as one of our local MPs, in his book 'Heroes And Contemporaries'. Out on the stump with his zoo-keeper mate John Aspinall, Aspinall apparently addressed the assembled Ramsgate masses thus:

"Napoleon once said that England is a nation of shop-keepers. As I look around Ramsgate High Street this morning I see that Ramsgate has become a nation of shop lifters."

Now it strikes me that some of my older readers may have been in attendance at this rally, and what I'd like to know is what happened next? Was Aitken:

1. Run out of town by a marauding pack of pit bulls?
2. Told by some wag at the back there were no more shops left to lift?
3. Re-elected on the basis of his charming chutzpah?

Answers on the usual post card, please.

Sun City

Blasting the TT back home down the M2 at some god-awful hour this morning, after yet another showbiz charity yawn in the West End, I became aware of an orange glow on the horizon, in the direction of Margate.

'Nothing new there', I thought, and began mentally crafting a post about the Arsonists' Playground being the Ile's very own version of 'The Smoke'.

It was only when I got past Herne Bay that I realised I had made a mistake, and was in fact gazing at Dawn's Crack. Seems just as appropriate in oh-so-many ways.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Everyone Bites The Dust

Bit of an update on that last post, as Tony Flaig (Man Eating Sausage In Wenceslas Square) has pointed out, everyone's now gone from yer man's list of blog links, apart from the excellent Thanet Blog List.

Probably just an admin thing then. Happy to correct that. No hard feelings. Water under the bridge. Time's a great healer. Plenty more fish in the sea. A stitch in time saves nine. Ect.

Another One Bites The Dust

Thanet's Blogmaster General has culled another blogger, I see. This time the victim is the East Cliff's very own, viridescent, car-crushing councillor Dave Green.

The Incredible Hulk (as DG's known in these parts) claims to be mystified as to the reason. Personally I imagine the Doc's had another one of his hissy fits, and blasted any link that was left with 'Eastcliff' in the title.

Cat Tales

Thanks for all the concerned emails asking whether I've been re-united with Bertie the Burmese. As you can see, he's alive and well, and back in Ramsgate. Angela had temporarily removed him to Barnes for safe-keeping.

She's questioned Bertie's pedigree many times, but the breeder definitely said he was a Burmese as I handed over the rather substantial cheque, so there's confirmation.

In other feline news, Bev, my agent, rang to tell me that I've been booked as the face of Catch It In A Bag, a new brand of deodorised litter tray liner. As part of the deal I can have as many samples as I like! Apparently they loved my suggestion for a tagline: Catch It In A Bag - The Purrfect Partner For Purrer's Nests!

Filthy Talk Talk's Filthy Talk

Mr. Filthy Talk Talk was in fine fettle when I popped round to his teeny-tiny post office this morning. Apparently he and the missus went to his sister's wedding in The Smoke over the weekend, and had to share a bedroom in the family home with another couple.

"They were effing bloody having it effing off all night," he explained in his own, inimitable fashion. "Me and the missus didn't get an effing wink."

He even drew me a diagram. Of the room, that is.

Monday, June 26, 2006

You Say Angina...

I forgot to mention another, er, new kid on the block The Angina Monologues in my recent Blogger's Digest. For an old duffer, he's not got a bad sense of humour.

Although he appears to have nicked off with my cat.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Give A Blog A Name

Yikes, that's torn it. I see the flying doctor's reared his floating head again, in the comments under my 'Blogger's Digest' post. I knew I should have kept my big trap shut. He says he can't find any talent, achievement or redeeming features in my humble jottings.

Oh well, Doc, to paraphrase Roy Hattersley, you shouldn't be in politics if you can't understand a joke!

Out Of Their Tidy Minds

I see Thanet District Council has retained its warped sense of humour while I've been away.

They've fixed this huge banner, informing us 'Ramsgate is beautiful, let's keep it that way', to their rusty old temporary fencing that prevents people from straying too close to the edge of our crumbling East Cliff.

Despite an engineer's report that the cliff is in imminent danger of collapse, the go-getters at our new look, newly responsive TDC have done nothing about it for more than a year.

Still, I'm sure they'll offer to tidy up the mess when the whole thing tumbles onto the site earmarked for luxury apartments below.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Blogger's Digest

I've been catching up on what's been happening on the Thanet blogging scene since I've been away.

Good to see Little Weed blossoming. And it seems Lucy Mail has decided to give herself a bit of exposure by starting her own blog.

Meanwhile the flying doctor continues to entrance us with his scintillatingly irresistble mix of lost dental plates, Sir Roger Wind's after dinner speeches, notes that he's found scribbled on the back of carpet tiles, and gags 'borrowed' from yours truly, amongst others. If you ask me, the poor old chap's running out of ideas. In fact I see he's now begging people for suggestions.

Oh dear, did I just think that or write it? Me and my big mouth!

Friday, June 23, 2006

This Is Saturday, What A Show!

So many things to do today! Here's my itinerary:

1. Toddle over to Broadstairs to watch Victorian weirdos cramming little boys up chimneys.
2. Back to Ramsgate to tour Goth mansion on West Cliff built by Airwick millionaire Augustus Plug-in.
3. Dance the night away to groovy sounds at the East Cliff bandstand.

Life doesn't get much better than this!

Piers Pressure

Taking a quick squiz through the trade papers this evening, I notice that bloody dreadful Piers pulled 12 million viewers with his new US show 'America's Got Talent' this week.

The programme's produced by that other mild-mannered celebrity, Simon Cowell. Let's hope the winsome twosome don't come to blows over who wears the trousers.

Wheelie Bad News

I'm still on Cayman time, so when dawn cracked at 3.30am, I couldn't get back to sleep. Nothing for it but to take the TT for a spin around the Ile, and check out all the changes that have taken place since I've been away.

Over in Arsongate, one thing in particular was noticeable by its absence. Where's One-Eyed Pete's Big Wheelie Bin? It's vanished. Did anyone ever ride on it?

I suspect that it was, after all, self-propelled, and like some manic, Dad's Army style secret weapon, has shaken itself from its moorings and taken off out to sea for a new life in Southend.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mile High Pile

Where was the bunting, eh? Where were the crowds of well-wishers?

Nothing, nada, not une saucisse. Just a pile of Sadscenes big enough to build a tower block with, 497 pizza menus, a two inch layer of pussy fluff everywhere, and a couple of desiccated purrer's nests under the lounge room rug. What a welcome.

I thought Angela was popping in every day to look after Bertie. Come to think of it, where is Bertie?

Mile High Club

It's amazing what you can do these days from the comfort of your first class bed, 30,000 feet above the Atlantic! I've just booked a taxi to pick me up at Heathrow, and now I'm writing this cods on my laptop.

I expect there'll be a delegation to welcome me back when I get to Heathrow. In case nothing's been arranged, I'll be there around 11 o'clock, BA252, Terminal 4.

That should give everyone just enough time to put up the bunting.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Last Post

Well, the last from the Cayman Islands at least.

Apologies for the hiatus, but I've been taking full advantage of the all-inclusive rates at my Georgian Caribbean style resort over the past few days. Might as well get my money's worth.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Ile de Thanet again. I'm sure everything's changed since I've been away, viz:

1. Anthea Turner Centre finished
2. Ramsgate's crumbling East Cliff rebuilt
3. Harvey Nic's opened in King Street

Can't wait!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Flight Full Predicament

Flaming bananas! (I've taken my cue from last night's dessert).

Nigel tells me my Lear jet has been impounded at RAF London Manston Kent International Thingummy Whatsit for non-payment of airport dues.

And there's nothing available on a scheduled flight until next Wednesday. Oh well, nothing for it but to order another Tan Squirrel.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Turtle Head

What a night. Tossing and turning. Turning and tossing. And now, at breakfast, they tell me they eat their own turtles over here. I mean, you'd need a fork and chainsaw to tuck into one of those things, surely?

That's it, I'm on the first flight home.

The Brown, Brown Grass Of Home

It's the wee small hours here in the Caribbean, and, as is traditional, I've had to get out of bed to do a small wee.

I made the mistake of turning on the radio, and listening to my replacement, and now I'm so cross I can't get back to sleep. With all this talk of the rainy season approaching, accompanied by a plague of mosquitoes, then the hurricane season, even Margate's taking on an air of Shangri-La.

And there's nothing like a tiny island to bring out the know-all tendencies in some people. At least in Thanet I could drown my sorrows with a decent cup of tea.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Quay Mistake

That's the last time I hang around the docks asking sailors if they know of any good positions for a multi-talented thespian. Some of the things they said I didn't even understand.

Off Air

Cripes! It seems as if the German influence stretches across all walks of life on this tiny island. When I got into work last night, there was another presenter sitting at my desk, and a note from the station manager saying I would have to make an on-air retraction of my use of the 'K' word.

To which my response was a cheery and heartfelt "Bollocks!"

Oh well, I'm sure the cruise ships will leap at the chance of hiring me.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sour Kraut

Sitting here in my Georgian Caribbean style all-inclusive resort on Seven Mile Beach, I'm struck by the number of Germans there are in the British West Indies.

Americans I can understand. I mean, it's only a hop from the States. But Germans?

The top act out here is some wizened old, peroxided Kraut who arrived with a guitar (and no talent) in the 70s. This tuneless Teuton goes by the sobriquet of 'Barefoot Man'. He plays quite irritating, twiddly-diddly Calypso. If you can imagine Rolf Harris in lederhosen singing the banana boat song, you wouldn't even begin to be getting close to the horror.

All I can say is: "Why?" Already I'm missing Elton.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


My idea about the .ky domain suffix doesn't appear to have met with universal approval. One caller told me to stick my idea where the sun doesn't shine, and I can tell you, there's not many places he could have been talking about here in the Caribbean.

Mind you, I hear on the World Service that Blighty has been enduring a bit of a heatwave itself. I wonder if it's been hot in Ramsgate? I do hope Ronnie Corbett's teeny tiny kiosk hasn't melted.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Lubricating The Economy

Just time for a massage with a Tan Squirrel from my new assistant Sheila, then it's off to the radio shack to prep my show.

You know, people seem to have very similar concerns on this small island to some of the people on that other small island I used to inhabit. Immigration, tourism, litter, regeneration. Same old, same old.

Still, at least they have a bankable asset here. Some years ago, the Polynesian island of Tuvalu got minted by selling its .tv internet domain suffix. The internet domain suffix here is .ky - imagine what Johnson and Johnson would pay for that!

Maybe I'll mention it tonight on 'What's Up, Dick?'.

Radio Therapy

What a joy and delight it is to be back where I belong, broadcasting to the nation! Admittedly, the Caymans are a rather small nation, but they do seem to appreciate quality when they hear it.

Only last night, on my phone-in ('What's Up, Dick?', Ocean 95 FM, 2am - 5am), one of my regulars referred to me as 'the biggest Dick on the island'. High praise indeed around here, I can tell you.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

From: Richard Eastcliff, Cayman Islands, B.W.I. To: Angela Heatherington Smith, Ramsgate, UK

Angela you nana. I'm having a terrific time here in the Cayman Islands and have forgotten all that nasty business with my blog.

There's even talk of me getting my own show on Ocean 95 FM, so I think I'll be here for a bit. Please don't invade my blog again.

Must go now as it's very late and I've had a few too many pina coladas. Give my regards to Ramsgate.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

From: Angela Heatherington Smith, Ramsgate, UK To: Richard Eastcliff, Cayman Islands

Eastcliff you twit. What are you doing lurking in the Cayman Islands? And using TBANoel as a password for your blog? Anyone could guess that.

Your cliff top mansion's a mess. I'm fed up with having to go round there and feed Bertie every blasted day. People want you back. The local paper's leading the front page with council workers on chocolate fountain away days. It's practically a gift.

I'm going to squat this blog and write about interior design until you see sense.