Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's Back!

No, not me. I'm on a break. I mean the funfair on the Pleasurama eyesore. Just spotted them setting up.

I don't know, first they were on, then they were off. Then they were on again. Then off. Now it looks like they're on. Again. Bit like the EDF leccy supply round here, I suppose!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Moon Shot

I know, I know. I'm meant to be having a break. But I couldn't resist this. There's an amazing view from the balcony of my cliff top mansion tonight. The moon glinting on the sea is quite beautiful. I took this photo just now, hope you like it.

What with that, all the showbiz deaths announced today, and the gin, I'm... I'm welling up.

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

I wonder if anyone else has spotted a similarity between the recently deceased iconic Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman and that nice presenter of Channel 4's Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud? Are they by any chance related?


Cone Fishing

Zillions of millionaires on Ramsgate beach this afternoon. It seems summer has finally arrived!

Clearly we're now well into the silly season. Parliament has broken up, with old One Eye Brown off to stay with his brand new chum Camp David. The kiddy-diddlers at the BBC (a survey out today shows 60% of adults now trust the BBC less since scandals such as the faked Blue Peter phone-in) have all scarpered to their villas in Tuscany, leaving the viewers to digest endless repeats. And, as you can see by the headline on this post, I'm rapidly running out of ideas for atrocious puns.

So it's time for a bit of a break. There are ice creams to be licked, bottles of Krug to be popped, and an autobiography to be written. But like the Beeb, I'll be bunging up a few repeats, and who knows, if something interesting happens I might even be persuaded to comment on it. As I've always said: You can't get rid of me that easily!

Reading Between The Lines

Margatonians might be forgiven for thinking that all roads out of the town now lead to Reading in Berkshire.

Of course, we all know that one of Margate's prime eyesores, the Dreamland site, is owned by Reading firm Waterbridge. And that Head Dreamland Saver, Nick Laister, who wants to put knackered old rides on the site, is based a few miles up the road in Wantage.

Now the council has given the contract to renovate the pier to a company called Pineapple. It's been quite a trek finding out who Pineapple are, as there's more than one company of that name, but the old Eastcliff mincers eventually alighted upon Pineapple Property (Kent) Ltd. Who, despite having the word Kent in their title, have their registered office in? You've guessed it, Reading!

To be fair, four out of the six shareholders do live in Thanet, according to the latest annual return filed at Companies House, with the other two living in Oxfordshire (not far from Reading).

Oh well, that's what attracting investment is all about, I suppose. Just as long as Margate doesn't end up as, er, attractive as Reading!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Flight In The Ointment

I see our 400 tonne chum is practising not crashing into the Millionaires' Playground again this morning. How nice for the carnival!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ramsgate's Big Weekend

The Millionaires' Playground is the place to be this weekend! This evening sees the Summer Fiesta at our out-of-this-world East Cliff Bandstand, featuring the St Peter's Stage Band, Vocal Expressions a la Mode, and The Grumpy Gypsy (courtesy of Councillor/Doctor Doctor/Councillor Simon Moores).

And tomorrow we're holding our rip-snorting carnival, with scantily clad luvvlies parading up and down the front dressed in only the skimpiest of sequin-spangled bathing suits. Or am I getting confused with that dream I had last week? New attractions for this year's carnival are:

The Mayor Hair Bunch: Our bouffoned tonseuristas will be handing out free mayor-alike candy floss to the kiddies.

Turn The Councillor Blue: Councillor Mike Taylor, who was recently elected our first and only Ramsgate First representative, but then discovered he had 'always been a Conservative at heart', has sportingly agreed to be paraded around town on the back of a truck and pelted with rotten plums.

Guess The Weight: Plucky Thanet Council officers have volunteered to stand on the rotting Albion House balcony. All you have to do is guess how many it'll take before it collapses!

The weather, however, may not entirely play ball, with the East Cliff bash looking like fun in the sun, while the carnival might end up being a pain in the rain. If only people didn't jet off to sunnier parts and leave our traditional resorts to suffer the climate consequences, we might get our summer back!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thanet Plan-It

Hurrah! I've just taken delivery of my copy of the Thanet District Council Corporate Plan 2007-2011 and boy, what a gripping read! Enough to make me put down the latest Harry Potter, although we all know by now that he dies at the end so that hasn't exactly been holding my attention.

Most of the contents have already been aired extensively. Nonetheless, when you're onto a good thing, milk it. That's my motto. So here are the highlights:

Economy: Continue support for Manston and their one, rather dodgy plane. Establishment of a Thanet Festival programme. Promote a 'cafe culture'. 300 more homes at Westworld Chaos by 2012 with 2km of road improvements. Commercial diversification of Port Ramsgate including fish/market/restaurant facilities. Margate - Turnip, Dreamland, Arlington, blah blah.

Safety: Reduce crime (natch). Er...

Beautiful Thanet: Less rubbish and barkers' nests. More green, blue and, um, gold flags (What they? - Ed.)

Housing: Encourage developers who build quality homes, and for every development insist that quality of design and material is key. Use the council's assets and landholding to develop new homes. Concrete over anything that moves.

Healthy Communities: More community centres, activities for the kiddies, grants for the less fortunate.

Modern Council: Reduce number of council offices by moving to one site (where?). More benefits claimants and fewer books for the rebuilt Ramsgate Library. Less than 83 years to deal with a complaint.

Coincidentally I see our Sandy has been blowing his own trumpet again in today's Isle of Thanet Gazunder. His new theme appears to be 'Margate has turned the corner'. Let's hope it's the same, 180 degree corner that most day trippers turn when they discover Dreamland and just about everything else is closed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

TV Or Not TV?

I've received an email from those nice people at Kent on Sunday asking me if I'd like to upload my ECR TV films onto their new TV on demand site. Here's what they say:

I am contacting you from KOS Media, the company which publishes the newspapers Kent on Sunday and Saturday Observer, and the website www.kentnews.co.uk. We are currently expanding our services to the people of Kent, with a new series of local newspapers and websites.

We are also launching a unique online TV on demand service featuring video material created by both our reporting staff and members of the community who wish to upload material. We are confident in attracting a large Kent-based audience to our new sites, and we are keen to share the material you have posted on YouTube with our viewers.

We are writing to ask your permission to upload your Thanet films onto our site, and to share it with the hundreds of thousands of people who are regular readers of our publications.

It's left me wondering why Kent County Council should line Saint Bob's already bloated pockets with our taxes to produce KCC TV, when a commercial organisation like KOS Media can provide a community 'television' service for Kent that's effectively free. Answers on a video postcard please.

Dreamland Dream Comes True!

Reader Marky-Warky, aka Thanet's Greatest Living Rocker, Mark Hewins, will be chuffed to see that his plans for Margate seafront have been taken up, in part at least, by no less a figure than our glorious council leader Sandy Beach!

Mark's proposal included the pedestrianisation of Margate front. Now Thanet Adscene is reporting our Sandy as saying the front will be restyled to give priority to pedestrians. The Save Dreamlanders will be cock-a-hoop too, as Sandy also endorses their plan to put knackered old rides on the site, along with a stipulation that at least 51% of the area be devoted to a funfair.

Now I know in the past I've stood on rather less than firm ground when it comes to Dreamland. As would, apparently, any housing development that might be bunged up there, due to the soggy nature of the terrain. And we know from past experience that any front page lead in the Sadscene, especially one that features a pronouncement from Mr Beach, should be treated with more than a soupcon of salt. But really, where's the vision? Where's the state of the art, digital coasterdrome Margate deserves? Honestly!

Pile-Up On Victoria Parade

Another scoop for ECR! Regular reader Samantha has just emailed me these photos. She writes:

The East Cliff in Ramsgate came to a stand still this morning following a collision between two cars at the junction of Victoria Parade and Victoria Road. I had my small digital camera on me and took these photographs. An officious little man in an NHS hi-vis came up to me and told me it was 'illegal' to take photos, quoting 'patient confidentiality'. I told him I was perfectly within my rights as I was standing on the public footpath, at which point he got onto his mobile saying 'I'm going to have to call my controller'.

Sounds like utter tosh to me, Samantha. So, here are the pictures they tried to ban!

On a serious note, you have to wonder whether our local caff-crushing, car-crushing councillor Dave Green's new safety bollards are working along this stretch of road. Cars still have to edge out of the side roads onto Victoria Parade before they can see what's coming. I'd hesitate to suggest traffic lights at this junction, though, as that would just turn all the side streets into rat runs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Golden Browne

The East Cliff's grimy back streets are remarkably clear of barkers' nests at the moment, and the crushed Carlsberg and Strongbow cans are easily circumnavigated, so I thought I'd vary my route for today's afternoon stroll. Blow me down if I didn't come across this:

A wall plaque commemorating John Collis Browne, inventor of one of the Victorian era's most famous patent medicines. It seems Mr Pfizer wasn't the only pharmaceuticalist to take a shine to this part of Kent! Upon closer inspection the plaque reveals that it commemorates the death of Collis Browne in the very house it's attached to at the, er, ripe old age of 65. So perhaps the stuff wasn't exactly the elixir of life.

Upon arriving back at my cliff top mansion, I took the liberty of looking the chap up on Wikipedia. Apparently his 'Chlorodyne' mixture sold in bucketloads. Not surprising, really, as it was mainly composed of opium, chloroform and cannabis.

I'm sure he'd be pleased to know that you can still buy at least two of those ingredients within yards of his plaque, albeit no longer from a chemist!

The Lunch Bunch

More good news on the work front. A well-known publisher has offered a substantial advance for my autobiography. Hurrah! Next stop, Richard and Judy!

Consequently I've been rifling through the old Eastcliff diaries and they make fascinating reading. Here are some scintillating examples:

5 July 94 - Lunch with xxxxx xxxxxxxx in Covent Garden. Offered free tickets to the British Grand Prix, but had to decline due to imminent departure for the villa in the south of France.
6 July 94 - Lunch in Chelsea with BBC exec to discuss my upcoming series.
11 Aug 94 - Chat with Chief Presidential Advisor on Whitehouse lawn. Followed by lunch.
19 Aug 94 - ITV interview with xxxxx xxxxxxxx cancelled due to the latter being a bit, er, worse for wear. Dinner in Covent Garden.
25 Aug 94 - Sally Line ferry on fire out of Ramsgate. Lunch with xxxxxx xxxxx in Islington.

Gripping stuff I'm sure you'll agree. I've disguised the names to protect the guilty, and, more to the point, make you pay for the book when it comes out!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Chocolate Fountain

Good heavens! What on earth has happened to the trendy East Cliff's Festival of Britain Fountain? Here it is in November last year:

And here it is this morning:

I know the KFC gulls have a penchant for irrigating their colons in the fountains foamy spumes (who wouldn't after a chomp on the Colonel's finest?), but this is meant to be a historic, decorative feature not a flaming bird bath! All that gull poop's turning it green!

The Voice Of Doom

Bev, my agent, called to say I've been booked for a gig! Apparently one of those disaster committees need to update their emergency messages, you know, 'Remain calm', 'Everything is under control', 'Please drown quietly', that sort of thing, and they picked the old Eastcliff larynx for its 'reassuring quality'!

Not my usual cup of Earl Grey, I admit. I'd like to sneak in a few bon mots, I'm sure I'll be able to persuade them that a spot of humour in adversity is the British way!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Noah End To The Rain?

Well it hasn't stopped tipping it down here in the Millionaires' Playground all afternoon. Still, we must be grateful that we're nowhere near as badly off as those poor blighters in the Midlands.

Sitting here in the comfort of my cliff top mansion, well above sea level, I began to wonder what would happen should the Wantsum flood. Would Kent County Council build us a bridge? Or would they be content to leave us to our own devices and float off into the North Sea?

Hmmm. On that note, I'm off to start constructing an ark!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Acceptance Speech

Well I see Dr M has now graciously (as ever) received his Hypocrite of the Year Award. Here's his acceptance speech:

As readers will know, I'm a reluctant censor and I would rather leave it to others to moderate their comments, as unlike other bloggers, I don't have the luxury of sitting in front of my PC all day. I work for a living, I have a family, I have a life and I can be hundred of miles away when comments appear.

I'm not a "publisher." This is not a newspaper its an "open forum" and you will see a waiver to that effect on the sidebar.

I don't need to hide behind a malevolent under-achieving fictional character with too much time on his hands and I don't need to constantly invent stories about anyone.

As for thanking ECR, he should be thanking me! Without his relentless fictional content about me, much of his blog simply wouldn't exist
How sad!

Well, Simes, that's, er, smashing, although I'd just like to pick you up on one or two of those points:

I'm a reluctant censor Um, short memory there, Doc, maybe you should have the old bonce looked over. Wasn't it you who emailed me last year attempting to get a comment about you removed from my blog? And we've all lost count of the number of times you've turned comments off. Although I admit you seemed quite cheerful when one of your supporters labelled me a paedophile recently.

I'm not a "publisher." This is not a newspaper its an "open forum" and you will see a waiver to that effect on the sidebar. Although you're happy to threaten people who attack you and your cronies with the old 'I've got your IP address and the cops will be round toute de suite because this is libel in exactly the same way as the printed word' ploy. And excuse me, but didn't you style yourself, until recently, 'Thanet's Alternative Newspaper'?

I work for a living, I have a family, I have a life and I can be hundred of miles away when comments appear. Er, but you're only too happy to let us know you're on the blog from your first class BA seat to Dubai.

I don't need to hide behind a malevolent under-achieving fictional character with too much time on his hands and I don't need to constantly invent stories about anyone. I think you'll find I'm only malevolent towards barefaced hypocrites, Doc. And yes, I've got all the time in the world for that.

As for thanking ECR, he should be thanking me! Without his relentless fictional content about me, much of his blog simply wouldn't exist. How sad! Relentless fictional content? How on earth can a couple of passages reproduced word for word from your blog be fictional? Oh, well, er, there again!

As for the Doc frequently featuring on these pages, I'll admit that he does seem to crop up more than most, although I'd hardly call it 'relentless'. But then, he's chosen to be a high profile Tory politician, what are we meant to do, all bend down and chant 'we are not worthy'? Come on, Doc, if you can't stand the heat, why are you in the kitchen?

And by the way, you still haven't adequately explained why you shouldn't be reported to the Standards Board for publishing comments about 'Gippos'.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Manston In A Spin

I see this week's Isle of Thanet Gazunder carries a full page puff for RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport in the form of an interview with the airport manager, 28 year old Matt Clarke. Mr Clarke's clearly rattled by my petition to No. 10 Downing Street to improve the regulation of the airport, as his first para reads:

My role covers a wide variety of aspects including responsibility for the airport and staff safety. This involves compliance with all aviation rules, council regulations and noise abatement laws.

Yeah, right. Elsewhere the paper reports that in June this year there were 100 heavy training circuits over the course of five days. Anyway, I'm sure that supporters (Tony) of the non-stop, oozalum style training flights will chime in here with the usual pro-noise and pro-air pollution arguments.

And speaking of puffs, I've just nipped back from Pride over in Margate, before, er, nipping back again. A word of warning though. The closure of Marine Drive appears to have had quite a knock-on effect on the Ile's roads, which are more bunged up than Melvyn Bragg with a bad head cold, especially around Westworld Chaos. I think I'm going to have to jump in my millionaire chum's Sunseeker for the trip back!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hypocrite Of The Year Award

On whose blog would you find a statement from its publisher like this:

I think, OVIT, you are confused with one person being banned from this website for attempting to export the personally offensive material and language so frequently found on his own...

Whilst allowing a comment on the very same post like this:

As he was awaiting his fry up ... an untaxed wreck of a Tranny pickup pulled up and some Gippos came in to collect old catering range etc ... to take as scrap metal. My mate watched the Dept of Environment inspectors slink off out the way until the gippos had driven off in their untaxed (probably uninsured unroadworthy) truck. And YES ... the gippos were smoking !!!!!

I'll give you a clue. He's a councillor. And, er, he's not Labour.

Child's Play

Yet more news from the north side. My spies have spotted a group of school children conducting interviews in Margate under the auspices of the Margate Town Partnership. Apparently they've been tasked with writing essays about the future of the town, which will no doubt resurface at some point as detailed (and presumably free) 'research'.

Interestingly they've been warned of a couple of 'no go' areas. No mention of retail being converted into residential, and no mention of other boroughs shipping their unfortunates to the seaside.

Speaking of retail being converted to residential, whatever happened to the questions that were going to be asked about public money being used to tart up the Outfitters Gallery, which went on the market recently for £415,000? I see on the Lovetts website that the price has now dropped to £399,950. Perhaps the owners have decided to offer a 'controversy discount'?

Hidden Treasures

Have you ever wondered what it's like inside the Cliftonville Lido these days, or that rundown restaurant on Ramsgate's seafront car parkarama? This website will reveal all!

Update: Along with a salutary lesson in the parlous state our local council has allowed the West Cliff Hall to fall into.

Curry Inn Favour

This is something of an admission, but I appear to have enjoyed a number of visits to Margate recently! My latest foray was to the Indian Princess, a new Asian restaurant where the George used to be. You know, next to that barn that burnt down about a year ago.

Now this joint is not your average curry house. Forget piling in after the pub to sit down to a bowl of bright red something or other slopped over a couple of cubes of warmed up chicken, sloshed down with several pints of lager. No, this is definitely authentic Indian cuisine. Fresh local meat and fish, Welsh lamb, subtle flavours, amuse bouches, even a crunchy mango sorbet between courses to 'cleanse the palate'. The cheeky young maitre d' will expertly explain what's on offer, and the smartly dressed chef will more than likely bring your meal straight from his hotplate to your table. Yum!

When I was there, the place was packed with the cream of Margatonian society (the bloke who runs the fish stall on the pier). It's definitely not cheap, but if you tell them Richard sent you, you might get a little Brucie Bonus!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Late Night Line Up

Whilst making an emergency gin run to the local Murco/Costcutter just now, I observed the following interchanges take place through the late night, plate glass security grille:

First (tracksuited) customer: Can o' Stellaaar 'n er packet o' blue Rizlaaars.
Costcutter dude: £1.30
Second (suited) customer: Do you have any crumpets?
Costcutter dude: Uh?
Second (suited) customer: Round, bread type things. You eat them with butter.
Costcutter dude: Uh?
Second (suited) customer: No, no, you probably don't stock those. Do you have any croissants?
Costcutter dude: Uh?
Second (suited) customer: Croissants?
Costcutter dude: Uh?
Second (suited) customer: A bit like cakes? You have them at breakfast.

With all us millionaires piling into the area, surely it's about time they opened a 24 hour Fortnums Express round here?

Pesky Jetski

Staying with matters nautical, relaxing on the verandah of my cliff top mansion sipping the afternoon G&T just now, I heard a series of frantic toots coming from one of those TransEuropa tubs. He really was giving the thing some welly, and on closer inspection with the old 20x100BMs, it appeared that one of those jetski wallahs was impeding his progress into port.

Now I'm not the type to complain about rich-and-famous style activities such as charging around the ocean on your own personal aquabike, but really. If it came to the crunch between a 4000 ton ferry and a waterborne hairdryer, my money's on the ferry!

Local Customs

All the nice girls love a sailor. Or in this case an HM Customs and Revenue officer, but that's a bit prosaic. This is HMCC Valiant, and we'll be getting used to the cut of her jib here in the Millionaires' Playground, as she seems to now have a permanent berth in the Royal Harbour. Here's what they say about her on one of those websites for nautical anoraks:

Special care has been taken to provide a high standard of living accommodation for the crew during operations. Low noise levels and a relaxation area for those off-watch reduces crew fatigue. The large, well-equipped galley is designed to enable the crew to prepare meals and drinks in all sea conditions.

Cruisey! Assuming she can actually get out of the harbour at low tide, that is, seeing as half the entrance now appears to have sprouted a new beach.

As I rather nosily peeked through the windows, I caught one of those bell-bottomed types peering back at me through an enormous pair of binocs. Maybe I should speak to my accountant about getting those tax returns up to date!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All The Fun Of The Fair

According to my gold plated atomic clock (a gift from a grateful North Korean cove after I put on a private gig for him back in the 90s), today is the 18th of July. So what? I hear you cry. Well, I'll tell you what. Our local council promised the summer funfair on the Pleasurama eyesore would be in place two days ago, that's what. But so far, nada.

Still, all is not lost, as Oakleigh Developments, who rebuilt a bit of the Granville a few years back, have bravely stepped in to fill the boredom gap. With the school holidays in mind they've been beavering away since February, when their site fence blew down, building an adventure playground that will keep even the most mindless teenager entertained and amused during the summer break. Admittedly they've yet to get their health and safety certificate, but I'm reliably informed that'll be a breeze. Take a look:
Free entry (round the back)

Lots to explore and set fire to

Cracking facilities

What A Load Of Cods!

Trawling through the latest edition of Fish Update just now (way too much time on my hands), I noticed that one of our local Barnacle Bills has been fined for having too small holes in his cod net.

Sea fisheries officers from the RN Fishery Protection vessel HMS Tyne boarded the Sarah Louisa, owned by one David Turner, 45, of Herne Bay, in January six miles east of his Ramsgate base, and discovered that his mesh was smaller than the minimum 140mm. He's subsequently been fined £3,400.

Now as you know, I rarely venture into the world of politics unless it's to mock the afflicted. But it strikes me that if successive governments hadn't flogged our fish stocks off to the Spanish and Russkies, courtesy of the EU, this poor sod wouldn't have found himself in these sorry circumstances, yet alone have to worry about a few millimetres here or there in his mesh ('twould still have been inches, surely?). And we wouldn't be having to nosh saithe, either. Whatever the hell that is.

Bring back the Cod War, that's what I say!

Full story.

Fence Post

Here's an idea for what to do with the 'temporary' fencing that's, um, graced our crumbling East Cliff for the last 815 days.

It's courtesy of that place with fewer listed buildings than Ramsgate - Bath. Their local arts group, BANA, is running an open art fair (I think I've spelt that right).

Artwork for the requirements of this Art Fair will be deemed to be any original work of Art which has used the medium of coloured Pigment in a 2D fashion to create a work of Art suitable for hanging on a system of Heras Fencing which constitutes the Arts Display area. Costs of Artwork will range from £100 to £10,000. No reproductions or limited edition prints.

At those sort of prices, we could hold a sale and pay for the cliff to be repaired ourselves. And have enough left over to book Elton for the grand opening!

Bath Open Art Fair

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Park Strife

Call me a boring old sausage ect. Yes, I've banged on before about illegal parking here on Ramsgate's trendy East Cliff. Double yellows not enforced, restrictions ignored, blah, blah, blah.

But you could have knocked me down with the proverbial after two years of never witnessing a parking attendant anywhere on the Ile, yet alone the East Cliff, when I clocked two traffic wardens adorning our local white van men's finest with the old 40 quid price stickers this evening. Maybe our local car crushing, caff crushing, graffiti removing Councillor Dave Green, who's also been banging on about illegal parking on his blog recently, has swung into action again?

Face Off

I've not been feeling myself recently, and it's nothing to do with any kind of improvement in my love life. So this afternoon it was off to the luxury, five star private hospital to have the jolly old sawbones look at what he persisted in referring to as 'a nasty patch' on the Eastcliff physog. Something to do with the ozone layer packing up in 1983, and a surfeit of Caribbean cruises.

Well, they don't hang around in these private places. None of this: 'Liver packed up, has it? We might be able to squeeze you in next March.' Nope, it was straight off to theatre for the op.

Now I know Bev, my agent, has been on at me to have a bit of work done to improve my chances with the showbiz Suits, but I'm not sure this was quite what she had in mind. Unless she's put me up for Phantom of the Opera or the remake of Scarface, that is. Oh well, for those of you obsessed with discovering my real identity, it shouldn't be too hard to spot a bloke wandering around Ramsgate with a blinking great gash down his right cheek. Although, come to think of it...

Ted Not Dead

Reports (er, by me) of the demise of one of the Ile's most redoubtable bloggers have proven premature. Dane Valley Ted is alive and well. He'd simply moved. Sorry Ted.

If you'd like me to come round and treat you to one of my comedy monologues ('Brilliantly observed!' - Plastics Distributor and Fabricator Industry Magazine) by way of recompense, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I suppose that could be one way of describing the scene over in Margate's Old Town Piazza (The Parade in old money), what with a 37 week, freeform jazz festival currently grinding on there. But in fact it's my colourful way of informing you that I've been approached by a well-known, Middle East based, global TV channel to make a short, personal film for them.

I can't give too much away, it's all a bit hush-hush. And, of course, I wouldn't want to sound like Mr Boasty-Pants over in Westgate. But you could say that my flagging showbiz career is about to 'take off'! Geddit?!?!?? No, I don't either.

Painting The Town White

As we all know, Ramsgate is on the up and up. Not only is the trendy East Cliff's Granville Cine-theatre-ma getting a long overdue lick of paint, but this, erm, hut opposite our imposing railway station is also receiving the millionaire treatment.

One of our local bear hench bigwigs told me over a beverage the other evening that those nice people at Pierremont Cars have bought the place and are planning to run a swish car hire centre from it. Bentleys and Mercs only, one presumes. And so handily positioned for all those City types alighting from the futuristic fast train service!

Actually, I think it's a charming piece of art deco architecture which has been neglected for too long. Did you know it used to be the Ramsgate tourist information bureau? Yes, you probably did. And I think I know a bibliophile who might have a photo of it from its heyday. Michael, a link please!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Down And Out In Margate

Today's Sunday Times carries a follow-up to this week's report by the Blue Rinsers that society is broken, and would be a much better place if everyone was married. As a case study they've chosen Margate ('boarded up', 'crumbling', 'run down', 'depressing'), and interview one poor unfortunate who states, rather phlegmatically:

During the day there’s not much to do. I just stand around on the sea-front smoking fags and spitting.

Hmmm. But hang on, didn't I see Tory councillor Roger Latchford on the telly earlier in the week telling everyone that there was lots to do in Margate and it was 'spiffing'? Must have misheard him.

Full story.

A Crafty Rank

Not a reference to my old showbiz pal Wossie's impertinent inquiry into David Cameron's teenage fantasies. No. What I mean is that avid observers of this drivel may have noticed that I have promoted a couple of local bloggers to my 'Millionaires' Row'.

Zumi has proven to be a person of discriminating tastes, much in my own mould, and a real asset to the Millionaires' Playground. And Captain Dog seems like a thoroughly decent cove, not averse to the odd tipple, who's about to become a dad for the first time. Good luck with the nipper, Captain!

No slur intended on the other 'Exciting New Talent' still awaiting promotion. It's more a question of it being handier for me to find the blogs I visit most if they're higher up the sidebar. Nobody could ever accuse me of not being selfish!

Thanet Island Discs

I say! Our Greatest Living Thanetian is on Radio 4 this morning! No, I'm not talking about that pretender over in Westgate, but rather Oliver Postgate, creator of Noggin The Nog, Bagpuss and The Clangers, all filmed in a converted cow shed somewhere near Canterbury. The octogenerian animator, who lives in Broadstairs, is putting in a rare appearance this morning on Desert Island Discs at 11.15.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sassen Rassen

Boredstares has come second in some seaside award. It's in the Guardian. No mention of Ramsgate. Grrrr!
St Ives: better than Broadstairs

Hello Clampers

Regular reader Wee Willy Watcher has sent me this photograph, along with the following text:

I spotted the Operation Cubit car crushers out today taking this away. It almost perfectly matches the description of the car used by the Phantom Urinator of Olde Ramsgate Town who I've emailed you about before. Almost because teh make and model is the same but its not a Latvian plate. I may have made a mistake about that in the dark so I apologise to our Eastern European guests (the guy was speaking some kind of Eastern European lingo though).

Ah, justice. It's a wonderful thing! Although crushing someone's car for having a tinkle in the street might well be construed as taking the p*ss!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Bit Of Politics

I have to say that the sight of Alastair Campbell attempting to act as he read out his dreary diaries on BBC2 earlier was enough to put me off my supper. I only met him once, fortunately. Verdict? The politest expression I can think of is 'charmless git'.

But it's reminded me of the political shenanigans much closer to home. I'm talking about the Ramsgate Firsters, who successfully campaigned for a teeny-tiny council last year. They even got themselves a chap, Mike Taylor, elected to Thanet Council in May's local polls.

Since then, though, things appear to have gone pear shaped. Mike Taylor flounced off, all Macca-like, from Ramsgate First a few weeks ago citing differences with Ramsgate First First Minister Gerry O'Donnell. He says he's in talks with a national party, but has yet to reveal which particular ship he's jumping to. Will it be UKIP? Nope, been there, done that, got the T shirt. The Blue Rinsers maybe? Perhaps he likes the look of that toffee-nosed twonk on a push bike? Nope, been there, done that, etc. Surely he's not going to cling to the hoary old bosom of Ming The Charisma-less? Nah. Must be talking to Labour, then.

Interestingly Gerry O'Ramsgate has yet to tell his side of the story. Gerry? Are you out there? Fancy spilling the beans? My comments page is always open!

The Big Stink

Phwoo! Has anyone been down by the port recently? I tell you, there's a stink down there that's going to outlast religion.

Apparently the main sewer out of the Millionaires' Playground has been bunged up for weeks now, and Southern Water are having to ship all the, erm, waste matter out in road tankers every few hours while they carry out repairs.

Nonetheless, when I was down there last night there seemed to be plenty of holidaymakers partying on their boats in the marina. You could say they seemed undeterred.

Quad Squad

A change to the usual kind of vehicle you see in Augusta Road. No, it's not a couple of turbocharged grannies, it's the council's anti-weed patrol. Although given the recent debate on this blog about public urination in Augusta Road, an anti-wee patrol would probably be more appropriate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Windy City

Remember this headline from a few weeks back? Just before the local elections, our glorious leader Sandy Beach was photographed handing over the keys of our dilapidated West Cliff Hall to the Global Generation Church, who were going to renovate the building and install a juice bar, cream teas, rock school and pie factory.

Not much has happened since then, apart from the story being pretty much nixed by our council's chief executive. So what to do with the place?

Well, I've had a brainwave (I get them constantly but this is a good 'un). With the Millionaires' Playground soon to be the centre of construction for the massive wind farm that's going to blight sea views for the Arsonists and Dickensians, why not convert the hall into a visitor centre? We could even get the old West Cliff lift running again, so people could nip down and have a shufti around the port.

There's plenty of interest in fart farms, what with the climate being turned up to 11, and companies like E.ON getting in on the act with that TV ad. Who knows, Ramsgate could become a huge, ecological tourist attraction, just like that greenhouse in Cornwall. So, anyone for Ramsgate - The Windy City? Of course, with the emphasis on wind, this would have to be one of the prime exhibits:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fairground Extraction

Well, all the fun of the fair has faded as quickly as it arrived. The Pleasurama eyesore has reverted to doing what it does best - being an eyesore. Only now it's not even a green eyesore, more like a great, white scab.

I guess there weren't enough millionaires even here in the Millionaires' Playground to keep the carny guys on for the summer.

Update: I've turned that blasted comment moderation off, as you all seem to be keen to have a nice debate now. I know Dr Whatsit said I've got too much time on my hands, but checking my email for comments every two minutes really is eating into my precious thumb-twiddling.

Found In MySpace

Our Greatest Living Thanetian is getting all stressed out, I see, over a Guardian report that there's only one member of MySpace, the popular networking site, in Thanet.

So I took the liberty of doing a bit of research, and, well, I think I may have got to the root of the problem.

Thanet's only MySpace member.

Clown And Out In Margate

As my showbiz career stutters towards its inevitable conclusion - an autobiography followed by a five minute spot on Richard and Judy - I thought I could at least use some of the spare time on my hands doing charity work for the kiddiwinks.

So yesterday I was in Margate being soaked by water pistol toting teenagers who were here for the annual seaside trip put on by London cab drivers. Typical. Umpteen years of 'South of the river? You must be kidding mate!' then 150 come along at once.

Speaking of Margate, Blue Rinser Roger Latchford was on the lunchtime news, telling everyone how spiffing the place is. Apparently traders are bemoaning the duff weather and the dire lack of visitors. 'We've got a South Eastern train coming at 3.30' was Our Roger's rallying cry. Well, that should do the trick then.

Still, just over a week and Margate gets its first ever Gay Pride. I wonder if Justin will be going to that? Actually, where is Justin?

The Things They Say

A spokesman (for Thanet District Council) said that since taking over the airport last year, Infratil had quickly met 95 per cent of the requirements in the section 106 agreement, and that the firm is working with the council on the remaining areas of concern.

He said: “During this initial period it has been impossible to achieve 100 per cent compliance as (previous owner) Plane Station’s arrangements for the section 106 agreement involved a number of third party contracts that did not transfer to Infratil, and new commercial arrangements have been required.

Having recently resolved this issue, Infratil is now in the position to achieve total compliance within two weeks, when new noise monitoring equipment will be installed.”

Kentnews.co.uk, 16 June 2006.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Let's Have A Nice Debate

With regret I've had to turn on the old comment moderator as things are getting slightly out of hand regarding my petition to Our Gordon Master, asking him to instruct the local council to regulate these infernal training flights over the Millionaires' Playground.

I know there are some strong feelings out there, but I will not have respected councillors labelled 'f***ing *ss*rs'. Let's leave that sort of thing to the leader of the Tory group.

This is the first time I've had to do this. I hope to resume normal service as soon as everyone's calmed down.

Gazunder Gets Bluer

I expect our local Blue Rinsers are cock-a-hoop that the Isle of Thanet Gazunder has been acquired by Northcliffe, the owners of the Daily Mail.

How we must all be looking forward to even more stories about how the island is going to the dogs, and how only the Tories can save us!

Click here for full story.

Stormy Weather?

By the way, if you ever need to check whether you're roof is about to be blasted off (apart from by a knackered old jet, that is), the best site I've found is the Ipswich Weather storm tracker, which updates lightning strikes every minute.

Bloody Hail!

Holy hail storms! That cloud burst just now was a cracker! I've just put in a last minute bid with the International Olympic Committee to host the 2014 Winter Games here in the back yard of my cliff top mansion!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tour De Nowhere Near Here

Blimey! I'd just whipped out the Fortnums hamper for a spot of tiffin at a lovely little spot I know in the Kent countryside, when this lot came charging by. Something to do with the Tour de France apparently.

I did manage to flag one chap down, though, and explain to him at length that we would have loved to have accommodated the Tour in Ramsgate, but unfortunately we had a prior engagement. He seemed very upset at the news, judging by the way he grabbed me by the throat and shoved me into the verge!

No Tab Tab

One of my readers has sent in this pic demonstrating a novel approach to the recently introduced smoking ban by the chaps who run the Harbour Cafe in Broadstairs.

In case you can't read the sign in the window, it says: Anybody who is caught sitting in this chair who is not smoking will be fined £80.

That should keep the puffers happy!


How marvellous to see the Millionaires' Playground thronging with, er, millionaires this weekend. And with all the fun of the fair back on the Pleasurama eyesore, Ramsgate is nothing short of smashing.

However, as you know, I've never been one to quibble, but I have noticed one small side-effect of clearing the site. My cliff top mansion now seems to be infested with a myriad of small spiders, ladybirds, and a zillion other examples of creepy-crawly.

I suppose bulldozing ten years of tundra was bound to bring a few things out of the woodwork, although clearly it wasn't enough to tempt Pleasurama's former owner to put in an appearance.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bungeed Up

Hmmm. Perhaps I shouldn't have spent 15 quid having myself flung into orbit over our crumbling East Cliff at today's powerboat spectacular. Well, it cost slightly more than that, if you take into account the three pints of the Gaddfather's finest and the very large sausage that were written off as a consequence.

Nonetheless, the day's been a great success so far. Only a couple of powerboats sank, the waterskiers eventually got the hang of it after going round the wrong buoy a couple of times, and I've seen more tattoos than the Queen ever did in Edinburgh.

I Declare This Powerboat Weekend Open!

They're off! Although nobody seemed to be entirely clear which way the sea was this morning from the look of this photo. And as the stage was still being built, the opening ceremony had to take place on dry tarmac.

The event's 'main sponsor' (to the princely tune of £3000 I hear) was unable to attend personally, so he sent his accountant. Still, people were already hoeing into the beer and burgers even at this ungoddenly hour of the day. So, let the party begin!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Exodus Genesis

With all the excitement over the Ramsgate Powerboat Weekend, I clean forgot to mention a couple of things happening on the north side.

The Margate Jazz Festival starts tonight, and goes on (and on) until the 22nd of July. And tomorrow sees the premiere of Exodus at the Dreamland cinema. The film, which was shot in Margate, features an enormous statue, constructed from old tut by internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley, burning to the ground.

Ticket holders only, I'm afraid to say, but no doubt if you're that keen to see something burn to the ground in Margate you won't be disappointed if you just hang around on the high street for a couple of hours.

Pedestrian Idea For Margate

Reader Marky-Warky, aka Thanet's Greatest Living Rocker, Mark Hewins, has sent in this plan for the Arsonists' Playground.

His proposal includes gardens for the Dreamland site, and the complete pedestrianisation of Margate front. Now I'm not a town planner, but looking at the scheme, and the current state of Margate, the words 'nail' and 'coffin' immediately spring to mind. Still, I promised him I'd let you all take a look and decide for yourselves.

Interestingly, Mark designed his scheme using the Margate Town Regeneration Company (aka Waterbridge, aka J Godden Esq (40%)) 'Create Your Town' feature. This facility lets you draw up your own plans for the Dreamland site and then email them to Waterbridge. Oh, except the email bit doesn't actually work. And it won't let you demolish Arlington House, or the Dreamland Cinema. Although you can, rather surprisingly, burn down the listed rollercoaster, should you be so minded.

Although I'm not convinced about Mark's urban regeneration skills (sorry Mark!), he does play a mean slide guitar. Get an earful of this:

No. 10 Dream

Hurrah! My petition to Our Gordon Master to instruct The Uranians to enter into a proper agreement with Infartil, the owners of RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport, has been approved by No. 10!

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not against the airport as such. If people want to maintain aircraft, fly to Benidorm, park their Lear Jets, or just chug around all day in teeny-tiny planes tugging banners, that's fine by me.

But when it comes to knackered old jumbo jets flying round and round in circles every Saturday and Sunday, blasting the roof tiles off my cliff top mansion, enough is enough. The latest corporate plan from Thanet District Council makes developing the airport a key priority. Great. But without a formal agreement in place to regulate its use, and impose penalties for taking the proverbial? Not great.

Of course, the usual response by the Blue Rinsers who run our island whenever someone with a few bob comes along is to roll on their backs and purr. Let's hope this petition gives them the prod they need to get amongst the pigeons!

Just click on this link and it'll take you to the petition on the Downing Street website.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Boots Hangs Up His Boots

So Farewell then
Boots Randolph.
Benny Hill used your tune Yakety Sax.
As did Mr Ceaucescu (no relation)
on his Around Thanet in 2 Minutes film.
Er, that's all I know about you.

EC Richard, aged 29

Site For Sore Eyes

The old glass eye nearly popped out of its socket during my post-prandial constitutional just now. Not only has ten years of tundra disappeared from the Pleasurama site in preparation for the fun fair which is going to be placed there after the powerboat weekend, but two years' worth of weeds and detritus has also been cleared from behind the Heras fencing.

Hurray for Thanet Council! Eh? No, that can't be right surely?

Cycle Of Ignorance

Yet again the best bit of Kent gets a bum deal, with this weekend's Tour de France going no further east than Canterbury. Full marks, though, to one of our local estate agents who, with a delicious sense of irony, has commissioned our Doctor/Councillor from Westgate to tug a banner behind his teeny-tiny plane telling spectators to 'Go 2 Ramsgate'.

And just so that nobody can accuse me of not doing my bit, I've asked some of my god-fearing friends in the Canterbury area to rally to the cause!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mayor's Chain Pulled

News has filtered through of Monday night's meeting of the Ramsgate Charter Trustees at Albion House.

My spies report that the parlous state of the building (where, you'll recall, Queen Vic herself once hung out her smalls) was one of the main subjects of discussion. Our local council has threatened to flog the place off to developers, but following objections has done what it usually does when there's a spot of controversy - let the place rot until we're all grateful when someone comes along and pays 10p to demolish it and build some luxury apartments.

Other debates surrounded the duties of our Mayor, my old chum (he waved at me from a float at last year's carnival) Steve Ward. Vital matters which came under scrutiny were:

1. Whether he is, in his official capacity, able to climb our super-duper new East Cliff flagpole.
2. On which occasions a flag should be flown from said flagpole.
3. Whether there should be an increase in his petrol allowance.

The last issue apparently arose after the Bouffoned One argued that he has to attend a number of functions in the Smoke (not Margate, the one up the M2) in order to promote the Millionaires' Playground, and if his chauffeur has used up his 20 hour weekly allowance the poor lamb has to drive himself. He did let slip, though, that on such august occasions people appear to show more interest in his chain than his actual person. But that if he drives himself he can only take his badge, as for some reason he's not allowed to pull his own chain. Which must lead to disappointment all round, really.

Licence Fee To Print Money

What extraordinary news from my old chums at the BBC today! No, no, not about Alan Johnston being released, although good luck to the poor devil. No, I mean about the DG, Mark Thompson, milking more than three-quarters of a million sovs from the licence fee payers last year. And in the same annual report, he's saying that the Corporation requires slimming down, and more producer types need to feel the weight of his size 12s up their hairy jacksies.

Good on yer Mark! By the way, you couldn't pop a few extra bob in the meter down at our local transmitter, could you? This Freeview mullarkey only seems to work round here when the wind's in the right direction.

Bit Of A Pisser

Reader Wee Willy Watcher (presumably not his/her real name) has emailed the following:

Are there any laws in this country against urinating in public? I have witnessed the same man urinate in public on Augusta Road twice now. He is of Eastern European origin as he always indulges in this little ritual come rain or shine, day or night, before he gets into, or just after he gets out of a 1980s Latvian plated blue Golf Polo with his mate.

Is there nothing that anyone can do to stop this appalling antisocial behaviour?

Well, er, Willy, I think the poor chap deserves our potty, I mean pity, as there's clearly something wrong with his plumbing if he's getting caught short in the street.

Still, the distinct whiff of stale wee-wee around the place isn't doing much for property prices I can tell you, so does anybody have a suggestion as to how to stop the Phantom Urinator of Old Ramsgate Town?

Godden Mammon

Three cheers for our local slots-to-property magnate Sir James Godden, who's sponsoring this weekend's powerboat extravaganza here in the Millionaires' Playground.

Much of the fun and frolics will take place in full view of Sir G's former Pleasurama amusement park, which tragically burnt down last century resulting in the above decade-long, er, hiatus on the Ramsgate coastscape.

Sir Flames has suffered a number of fiery misfortunes over the years, so I'm sure you'll join me in wishing him the 'asbestos luck' (geddit??!!??!?) for this weekend's event. Let's hope the only smoke on the water will be belching from the exhausts of those souped-up speedboats!

(Read my review of last year's knees-up here.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tourists Flock To TV Isle

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Travel Editor Honor Freebie

It's official! The Isle of Thanet has become TV adland's top destination! And now tourists are flocking to admire the Isle's natural and man-made wonders, seen by millions in hit commercials like (fill in hit commercials here - Ed.)

Here are some of the top attractions they're raving about:

Mount Emin - at 80 feet, Mount Emin is the highest point in Thanet.
The Pleasurama Tundra - miles of deserted wasteland, home to a huge variety of wild animals (rabies vaccination advisable).
The Great Temporary Fence of Ramsgate - The only man-made structure which can be seen from outer space.
Westworld Cross - Hours of fun for all the family in Thanet's answer to Disneyland's car park.
Turner's Hole - stand on the very spot where the famous artist once stood (pay and display)
Luxury Apartment World - tickets start at a reasonable £189,000.
Madeira Falls Log Flume - foamy fun for all the family!
Madeira Falls: Foamtastic!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ramsgate Ad

And just to even the score, here's that much nicer advertisement for Waitrose featuring Ramsgate! This one you can click on.

Fart Farm Ad

I suppose you've all seen this TV ad for E.ON, featuring Boredstares front. Here's what they say about it on their website:

The 60-second ‘Wind of Change’ execution
(who died? - Ed.) features a sleepy British coastal town (that figures) invigorated by an energetic, optimistic wind that lifts the spirits of all those in its path, illustrating the wind of change that E.ON is bringing.

To translate the corporate speak, what that actually means is Ramsgate will get all the jobs constructing the wind farm, while 'sleepy' Broadstairs has its sea views blighted. Yay!

Unfortunately they've disabled the 'embed' function on BoobTube for the ad, so if you want to see it in glorious, moving Technicolor, you'll have to click here.