Monday, February 23, 2009

Past My Own Sell By Date

Yes ECR fans, as the late, great, dearly departed Eric Idle once wrote: 'My old knees have started to knock, I've just got too many miles on the clock.'

So with 1,132,324 visits on that clock, no, wait, er, 1,132,325... 1,132,326... oh well, you get the picture... what I'm trying to say is I have my retirement speech here. No, well, it was here, um... oh yes:

'It's been a great privilege to serve the people of Thanet for more than three years.... blah blah... it's been a rollercoaster ride but now it's burnt down... blah... can't get rid of me that easily... etc etc.'

Now it could be that recent bouts of the Delhi jip, combined with prolonged welfare sponging/axe grinding (©2007 Dr Simon Moores) have just worn me down, and what I really need is a rest. This happens to most bloggers sooner or later, and it's happened to me more times than I care to mention. Once my holiday tokens have come through from the JobCentre (Plus!) and I've had a couple of exhilarating weeks at the Derbyshire Miners' Holiday Camp in Skegness, I may be right as rain. But at the moment I can't see any future for a blog that takes the piss out of people who seem have forgotten that they live in a quiet corner of Kent and not Number bleedin' 10 Downing Street!

So, AMF as my American producer used to say! Or is it au revoir?

Update: Thanks to the literally hundreds of emails of support, I've had a slight change of heart and opened this site back up to public viewing. I shan't be posting, but at least you'll have the opportunity to search it using the facility in the top left hand corner. As the most talented person ever to have set foot in Thanet, I at least owe you the opportunity to read the best written and best informed blog the island has ever seen. A member of staff at the cliff top mansion will update the sidebar, and there'll still be short snippets and goss on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Heritage Schmeritage

Those of you who've been following me on Twatter will know that I've been laid low with the lurgy yet again. Must be something in the Thanet water.

However, I'm still dragging myself to the computer at least once a day to bring you the latest news nibbles and frankly yes I do deserve at least a medal if not a flaming knighthood. Through the paracetamol haze, I see the excellent Margate Architecture blog is reporting yet more unauthorised destruction of Thanet heritage by a cowboy developer. The historic buildings in Reeves Yard, owned by local estate agent Roger Crittenden and the oldest industrial buildings in Margate, have been demolished without so much as a 'by your leave'. Quite how our beloved council let's people get away with this type of behaviour is beyond me. One can only imagine it's down to gross incompetence, or brown envelopes stuffed full of fifties changing hands.

Today's news is reminiscent of the way the Marina Restaurant met its maker here on Ramsgate front. On which topic, my spies tell me that the owners now have until the end of November to restore the building otherwise it'll be compulsorily purchased by TDC. A new design for the extension has been submitted which is much more in keeping with the building's Grade II listed status (see below), but it has yet to go before the planning committee. Why is it that I get the feeling it'll still be a pile of rubble in twenty years time?

Click here to go to UK Planning website (application L/TH/09/0052)

Arson About

Not for nothing is the seedy north of the island dubbed the 'Arsonists' Playground'. According to the BBC News website, Foreness Water Ski Club in Palm Bay has received a visit from the chaps in the Swan Vesta sponsored tracksuits, and may now have to be demolished.

As ever, Kent's finest are on the case. And as ever, that's probably the last we'll hear about it.

Click here to read full story on BBC News website
Click here for picture on Thanet Extra website

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Recession? What Recession?

Although I'm perfectly happy with the old Toyota Priapus, I'm always on the lookout for a motoring bargain. And let's face it, there are plenty of cars which do better on the mpg than the Toyota these days.

Which is why I was pootling around the interfrangle just now, scanning the motors on the Teletext site. I must say, I was surprised to see our local Invicta asking 48 big ones for a Ford Ka. Haven't they heard there's a credit crunch on?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tim For A Change?

Photo: yourthanet
So Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate ad man and restaurateur, has declared himself the 'Green Independent' parliamentary candidate for South Thanet. As such he'll be up against Dr Steve Ladyman MP (Lab), Laura Sandys (Con), Gerry O'Donnell (People First), Uncle Tom Cobbly (Lugworm Diggers First), Anne All (Ice Cream Sellers First, Poodle Trimmers Second, Window Cleaners Third, 7/2 bar) and... er... Not that the general election has even been called yet, you understand.

Anyhoo, Tim's policies include closing Chas 'n' Dave International Airport and sealing it off with a police guard, seizing Infartil's assets, and withdrawing airport boss, Kiwi Matt Clarke's passport pending a police statement from him on alleged pollution breaches. Oh, and he'll sack Sandy and Deputy Rodge, TDC Chief Exec Richard Samuel and planning boss Brian White.

Well, although it might all sound a bit OTT, I'm surprised to find myself in total agreement with Tim's policies! Right, must dash now. There's a couple of baskets left to weave, and it's been ages since I watered the brains!

Click here to read Tim Garbutt's manifesto

All At Sea

Following my recent item about the RNLI, reader Michael writes:

Interesting bit of film you posted about the rough seas and the old cruise ship. Seeing as you are in nautical frame of mind here is a still photo from January 26th this year of Fred Olsen's Balmoral (ex Norwegian Crown) which sails from Dover and Southampton pitching alarmingly in the Bay of Biscay rather perilously close to land. This was just one incident out of many in a few hours of rough weather and possibly poor seamanship.

Yes it did come up again but cut short the cruise and returned to Dover with a few injured passengers and some damage.

I don't know if I am your furthest away regular reader but it's great to be able to keep in touch with all the wonderful things happening on the Plannit Fannit while I suffer here in Florida in sunny 75 degree temperatures and limited to two pina coladas per hour by a cruel mistress.

Hmm. I wonder if Michael is indeed my furthest flung follower? No, probably not. Stephen Broadhurst, the Blue Rinse councillor for Dane Valley, lives in Panama and phones his votes in, I seem to recall. He's bound to be an avid reader!

Click here to read about 'nightmare' cruise on BBC News website

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Côte De Rubble

The observant among you will have clocked the new ticker in my sidebar on the right, counting up the number of days since Isle of Man based Auclair Properties gave the listed Marina Restaurant on Ramsgate front a right old, er, developing. It's now been 380 days, 21 hours, 28 minutes and 32, no, 33, no 34... oh you get the picture, since we were promised it would be restored to its former glory. Personally I think it should stay as it is, since it makes a fine addition to the tourist attractions down there, viz:

- Lido turned into car park with EU money
- Decade long eyesore that was Pleasurama
- Deserted casino
- Festering Motor Museum
- Smoothie hut

Auclair have submitted plans for rebuilding the joint, albeit with what Prince Jug Ears would describe as a 'monstrous carbuncle' of a modern annex on the side, but this was rejected by the planning department. There's been a meeting this evening about the Marina Restaurant, and TDC's proposed sale of the Maritime Museum and Albion House, so we should hear more on the morrow.

Meanwhile it's not all destruction and desolation here in the Cannes of Kent. Regular contributor Millicent has sent me this photo of a new, Unidentified Frame-like Object that's appeared on the Rec. Apparently it's going to be an indoor basketball court when they get around to finishing it!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The G Of The Bang

Regular readers will know that I often cavort with the salty seamen down on our lovely Royal Harbour here in the Millionaires' Playground. In fact I can be spied most weekends, tooling around the marina in my brass-buttoned blazer, captain's cap and deck shoes, sporting, of course, the old Rolex Oyster (Whitstable Edition). It's on these occasions that I often get a nibble on a tasty titbit or two.

And this weekend was no different. One of those lifeboat chaps told me that the maroon has finally gone up for good, and there'll be no more banging to let us know when the brave RNLI types are on a shout. If you recall, the maroons were banned a while back for health and safety reasons. But then they were reinstated locally on appeal. Until such time as the stocks ran out. Which they now have, as Pains Wessex apparently no longer make them. 'It's all done by pager now,' moaned the morose, de-marooned matelot. 'Which is a shame as we come tearing along Military Road, but of course the town hasn't had a warning that there's an emergency'.

Fortunately, the RNLI have developed a 'desktop pager' which you can download for your PC or Mac here. While you're at it you can also make a donation to the guys in orange and blue, if you're feeling generous. Meanwhile if you want to know what a heavy sea looks like, I recommend you take a gawp at this cruise liner on BoobTube, narrowly avoiding a recreation of The Poseidon Adventure:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rivers Of Latte

Isle of Thanet Gazunder Leader Comment

Rich people from up there in London are beginning to talk about the isle as 'the new Monaco' or 'the new Marbella', following high profile features on national TV and in national newspapers.

Many are packing their YSL suiters, jumping in their Bentleys, and making their homes in Ramsgate and Broadstairs (what about Margate? - Ed.)

But how long will they stay, once they really get to know the island? Where will they get a decent latte? Where will they send little Nathaniel and Saskia to school? Where will they get their Porsche Cayennes serviced? And do they really want their carpaccio garnished with the fumes from a low flying 747?

There is still a long way to go before Thanet becomes Notting-Hill-on-Sea. But if our leaders and business people fail to rise to the challenge, we may, before too long, witness the sorry sight of burnt out Ferraris at Westwood Cross, and rioting ABC1s torching the local chippy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tony Flaig - An Apology

Tony Flaig, the author of Margate's premier blog, seems to have taken some comments I made about him to heart. They were meant in the spirit of jocular banter, but I guess tempers were rather frayed yesterday, and I have today received a personal email from him detailing my failings and culminating in the word 'Prick'.

It was never my intention to alienate Tony, or disparage his good name. He and I agree on many things. However, the airport is not one of them. I take it rather personally when the council votes to build an overhead motorway for 24/7 747s above my house without so much as a 'by your leave'. Tony, who lives in Margate, seems to think it's a good idea and that I should move to Poole.

I have now personally apologised twice to Tony, and removed any offending remarks from his 'ECR Censorship' post. I do happen to think it rather rude to post comments in capital letters, which is why I deleted his initial remark about the airport on this blog. He is not banned from commenting on this blog generally.

I wish to make it clear that I generally rate Tony's views. Just not on the airport.

Finally, for those of you who were expecting Sister Assumpta to return to your screen today, I'm afraid she's been called away urgently to cap an oil well in the Ukraine. Which is to say, I'm really not in the mood.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Good News!

Hurrah! Having had a quick chat with my local diminutive developer this morning, I'm told that my cliff top mansion could be a, er, hot property if marketed as a potential cannabis factory, or converted into ten bedsits for crystal meth crazed, swivel eyed, Stella swigging knuckle-shufflers! Kushti!

Just for the record, I suppose I should post the results of my Big Manston Poll. After an all time high of 254 votes, the results were:

Question: Do you support the proposed extension of night flying over Ramsgate?

No: 51% (132 votes)
Yes: 48% (122 votes)

As a postscript, I must say I find it a rather unfortunate irony that just a few days after Councillor/Doctor Simon Moores, our beloved council's aviation 'expert', wrote this...

The safety record of modern aircraft, certified to operate in the UK, is remarkably good and should hardly give cause for deep concern at Ramsgate... In fact, last month's 'Miracle in the Hudson', should illustrate this quite well, what can be done with a large passenger aircraft when the engines are suddenly shut down after departure, the most safety critical time of the flight.

...a plane plummets into a densely populated suburb in New York state on its approach to Buffalo airport. Hmm, yes Simon. I'll sleep much more soundly in my bed when it's relocated back in London!

Click here to read plane crash story on BBC News website

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Will The Last Person To Leave Ramsgate Please Turn Out The Lights?

According to Thanet's 'Popular But Beseiged™' weblog, the council have passed the night flight extension. I can't quite see how it's 'one small step for Infratil perhaps but one giant leap for Manston', as Dr Moores puts it. Or that 'laying aside the inconvenience and noise of 'out-of-hours' flights, this may represent one of the biggest opportunities for Thanet in a long time' is either justification, or, indeed, an accurate prediction of the outcome. Click here to read on.

What they have just done, in fact, is sign the death warrant for Ramsgate.

Any road, I expect I'll get the usual tirade of abuse for daring to speak the unspeakable. I'm off to bed to get some kip in while it's still possible! Tomorrow morning I'll be straight round the estate agents.

Click here for full report of council meeting on Cllr Nottingham's blog
Click here for full report on Stop Manston Expansion Group blog
Click here to read the selfish view from unaffected Margate
Click here for story on BBC News website

Manston Pickle

Apologies for the lacuna, but the Freeview SuperRoulette channel called me in to do a couple of overnight stints at the last minute. Well, you've got to pay the lecky bill somehow!

With just a couple of hours to go in my Big Manston Poll, it seems the Wantsum Want-Nots have carried the day ahead of tonight's council meeting. Unless there's a last minute surge from the Wants. So that's a slightly underwhelming 'No' to BA World Cargo's arm-twisting tactics to get night flying extended over the Millionaires' Playground.

Still, if I was a local MP or councillor with a marginal seat, I'd be worried by even a few percentage points one way or t'other, wouldn't you?

Meanwhile I see the chairman of the Chas'n'Dave International Airport Consultative Committee has come out in favour of more time to think about BA World Cargo's proposals. Click here to read his letter on Councillor Nottingham's blog. Interestingly, I see Cllr N has just changed the headline of that story from 'Manston - How To Bounce People' to the rather more anodyne 'Manston - A Late Submission'. I wonder why?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poll Chance

And just for balance (Tony), here's another picture of a plane. The Wantsum Want-nots are currently ahead, I see!

Four Legs Bad

What more appropriate symbol for a county led by old skool Tory duffers and self-serving stuffed shirts than this £2m 'Donkey of the South', unveiled today! Standing 5000 metres tall, this, er, artwork will greet drivers on the A2 just as they enter the Patio of England.

One consolation is that it surely won't be long before some Kentish wag dumps a 400 ton pile of horse manure at the arse end, and chops its moon-sized knackers off with a chainsaw. Still, at least there was a Margate angle - our very own, lovely Victoria Pomery was chair of the judges that chose it. Although some critics might argue she's already done enough to redistribute your taxpayers' wonga by curating that future white elephant at this end of the county - the Turnip Centre!

Click here to read full story on BBC News website

Enormous Poll Still Up

Er, nothing more to say really. This one's just for you, Tony!

Have A Go On My Enormous Poll

With two days left still to vote, my airport poll has already smashed previous records! 133 of you have voted so far, and it's neck and neck, demonstrating that there really is a rift between the Wantsum wants and want-nots.

Voting is totally anonymous, so come on, whaddya waiting for?!?!?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Jazz Festival Goes West

Cripes! Those rotters over on the West Cliff have nicked our jazz festival! The swinging sensation has been held at our very own super-duper, out of this world East Cliff bandstand here in the Millionaires' Playground for the past two years. This year, though, it'll be held in Spencer Square, which as we all know is a den of iniquity inhabited only by a few seedy barrister, journo and City slicker types. Kuh!

Mind you, I must say that, given the icy force 10 blasts that blow across our once-crumbling cliff here in the east, the most appropriate kind of wind instrument is not so much a clarinet as an anemometer. And considering that the biggest part of last year's audience was probably one man and his poodle 70 miles away in Belgium, you can't really blame them, can you?

Why An Aeroplane Could Never Crash On Your House

Wing Commander Jimmy Joystick, Tory member for Buftingtontuftington ward, explains why modern aircraft never crash.

Many people have asked me recently: With all this talk of expanding our local airport, could an aeroplane crash on my house? I must say, this question really does make me laugh. What these poor blighters do not understand is that aeroplane technology has come on by leaps and bounds since the days Chalkie, Ginge and I were forever pranging our kites and bailing out over the briny in World War 1.

Nowadays, with all the modern flying aids at our disposal, it is unheard of for anything ever to go wrong. With literally 100,000,000 aeroplanes flying over our heads every hour, not a single one has crashed to my knowledge, so there is no need for any concern. Pilots these days receive much more training and are told that, when approaching an airport, they should be on a 'flight path' that enables them to 'touch down' on the 'runway' rather than crashing in Mr Jones's cabbage patch, which might have been acceptable in my day!

This new technology is beamed directly into the pilot's brain, enabling him to concentrate entirely on the task in hand without being distracted by such thoughts as what colour knickers the stewardess is wearing, or whether he would prefer a gin and tonic or scotch and soda upon arrival.

That's enough flying news - Ed.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Nightmare On Wellington Crescent

Here's what a British Airways World Cargo 747 would sound like going over Ramsgate. I shot this bit of tape during the training flight, er, nightmare of 2007, in daylight hours. So you'll just have to imagine what effect it would have on you while you're snuggled up in your luxury, Hungarian goosedown doona. And no, I haven't doctored the sound track one iota.

Once you've had a peek at that, do take a moment to vote in my latest poll in the sidebar on the right. It's timed to end on Thursday, while the chaps at our beloved council are meeting to rubber stamp debate the proposed extension to night flying. Sweet dreams!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Stats The Way To Do It

Crumbs! Visitor numbers seem to be soaring here on the island's premier blog! Must be all the controversy over night flights at Chas'n'Dave International Airport. The graph shows the daily stats from my county-uppy-ometer as they stood first thing this morning. Yesterday, 5 Feb, I almost topped 1000!

Still, drilling down (as they say), at least some people out there are embracing the news that an expanded C'n'DIA will create local jobs:

And talking of expansion, KCC seem to be well on the way to achieving their masterplan for world domination!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Shit Sandwich

Before I toddle off and crack open my last magnum of Pétrus 1961, I thought it fair to warn you that if you're planning to go to Sandwich over the weekend, or indeed any weekend between now and November, my advice is don't bother.

Tucked away on page 39 of last week's Gazunder was this ad, detailing plans to spend the next 45 weekends or so digging up the A256.

It's all in a good cause, though. Well, they've got to get the juice from the fart farm into Richborough somehow!

Click on image to enlarge
Click here to go to Thanet Offshore Wind website

Pilot Hits Buoy

On my afternoon stroll around our lovely Royal Harbour here in the Millionaires' Playground, I witnessed some salty seafaring types hoisting one of those channel buoys out of the water.

Being the nosey sort who likes a good earwig, I meandered around in circles for a bit trying to catch their drift. Here's the upshot:

Matelot 1: What 'appened 'ere then Dave?
Matelot 2: The pilot boat 'it it, didden it.

Now call me old fashioned, but I thought the pilots were supposed to be the experts at not hitting things out on the briny, let alone their own deep sea channel markers!

Click here for more on (4.2.09 post)

Tell Laura I Love Her!

Ding dong! Piloting the old Toyota Priapus to the Smoke (Margate) last night, a vision of loveliness appeared to me out of the gloom! I'm talking about the new posters that are springing up all over the island for the Tories' South Thanet candidate, the lovely Laura Sandys.

Much like that road to Damascus thing in the bible, it was a revelation. So much so, that I only narrowly avoided careering off the highway and ending up in the ditch, thus emulating the only other tale I know from the good book, that good Samaritan thing.

I don't care if she hasn't got planning permission for the posters. I don't care if she espouses environmental issues whilst supporting the expansion of Chas'n'Dave International Airport. I don't care if she's already got a husband called Randy. This is one Blue Rinse babe that gets my vote! I'd be happy to take her on a 'night flight' any time, if you catch my drift!

Click here to read more on yourfannitinnit website

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

BREAKING NEWS - Council Set To Green Light Night Flights

This just in from Thanet Extra:

Controversial plans for even more night flights above Thanet are being considered. The shock proposals, which could become a reality as early as this May, would see dozens more flights into Kent International Airport every month.

The first planes would take off or land at Manston from 6am and would operate until 11.30pm.

Click here to read on
Click here for follow-up story on Thanet Extra

Batman Goes Bats

Like most showbiz luvvies, I have to admit to having had the odd hissy fit on set. But this four minute outburst by Batman actor Christian Bale takes the biscuit! Bale was filming as John Connor in the latest Terminator movie, Terminator Salvation, when the director of photography crossed his eyeline during an emotive scene, darling.

Warner Bros sent this audio tape to their insurers, just in case Bale, er, bailed out. Listen out for the not-so-winsome Welshman's LA drawl reverting to something more akin to Tom Jones as he gets increasingly wound up! (WARNING: contains very strong language):

One In The Eye For KCC

Cripes! I see my old chum Lord Gnome has published a piece about Kent TV's rather ham-fisted attempts at silencing Tony Flaig of Bignews Margate fame! The article, in the 'Rotten Boroughs' section of this week's Private Eye, begins:


KENT county council’s bold experiment in being the first local authority to run its own internet TV station has not been universally welcomed in the Garden of England. Or universally watched, for that matter.

One man of Kent who thought he had a democratic right to criticise the use to which his council tax was put got a shock when he did so. Bob Geldof’s production company Ten Alps, which makes Kent TV, threatened him with m’learned friends for having the temerity to say he didn’t think it was up to much.

Margate blogger Tony Flaig had been a regular critic of KTV. Not only did he describe the £1.6m spent on the channel - launched in September 2007 by Nigel Dacre, brother of the Daily Mail’s Paul - as 'Kent’s most contentious waste of money' but he also claimed that it devoted too much time to interviews with members of the ruling Tory party.

Although Mr Flaig wasn’t glued to KTV, they were paying close attention to his blog. He received a pompous letter from Jo Phillips, 'director of communications' for Ten Alps, claiming he had made 'inappropriate, unlawful and damaging defamatory allegations about Kent TV and the people who work there'. Ms Phillips, who has since left the company, concluded: 'Please therefore ensure that your blog does not publish any further defamatory statements about Kent TV. I trust you will not do so, but if you do, you should note that Ten Alps reserves the right, if appropriate to protect the reputations of our staff, to initiate legal proceedings without further reference to you.'

The letter had the desired effect. Since receiving it last year Mr Flaig, a railway tracklayer, has desisted from criticising KTV for fear of a writ. 'What next?' he asks the Eye. 'Will Tarmac sue me if I say Kent’s roads are crap?' He has been unable to establish whether council leader Paul Carter endorsed Ten Alps’s threatening letter. Last week he received an opaque missive from Geoff Wild, Kent CC’s director of law & governance, containing the line: 'If you continue to choose to exercise your right to free speech in the manner that you do - as is your right - you must expect to take whatever consequences the law provides…' Very reassuring.

Kent resident Geldof - he lives in a modest priory near Faversham - countered criticisms of KTV by appearing on it before Christmas. With his customary exactitude, Saint Bob explained: 'It’s the old establishment versus the new kids on the block. This spurious beating up of Kent TV on the notion that it’s political is rubbish, it’s a commercial attack. It’s a great service - it’s precisely what should happen with this amazing thing.'

Oh, do fock off, Bob!

Oops, silly me. I seem to have reprinted the entire article there. I'd better scarper before Lord Gnome's m'learneds come after me for copyright infringement!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Art Attack

No, that really is a brand of kitchen roll. Click here if you don't believe me.

Any old hoo, that's not the point. My spies over in mARgaTe™ report some dischord in the rarified world of arts regen. Apparently, just like Mr Brawny there, the Turnip is sucking up all the good funding juices, leaving very little behind for the minnows. I've already reported the trouble at t'IOTA gallery, who are rumoured to be exiting the new super-duperised harbour arm due to a contretemps with the developer and a grant drought. Now I hear that the Substation space off the Lower High Street is finding it difficult to come by the folding. Not only that, but they were also apparently approached by the Turnip to use their space for three months - gratis! What a diabolical liberty!

No wonder the Margate wags have renamed the Turnip's latest exhibition Superabundant Funding!

Click here to go to Superabundant exhibition on Turnip website
Click here to read review of Superabundant on Independent website
Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Plankenstein's Monster

Holy, er, ligneous substances! I see the lovely Receiver of Wreck, Alison Kentuck, has made a huge pile down at the port here in the Cannes of Kent!

Although quite how secure it is from local white van men is questioned by an email I received yesterday:

I was doing my bit for the local economy earlier today (Sunday) by frequenting Churchills Public House. From the window you can see down into the harbour and you can see the piles of wood that have been recovered from the beaches.

Having been told by one of the contractors that the wood was utterly worthless and no good for anything, I was surprised to see some ant-like figures in yellow vests crawling all over the pile. Who would be paying them to crawl all over piles of trash? But next to the piles were two ******* lorries and one of them was piled up with wood. As I watched it became clear that the figures in yellow were sorting the useless wood out.

It wood appear that it may not all be useless after all. Now, I can't say that the yellow-jackets worked for *******, nor can I say that the timber being loaded onto the back of their lorries is destined for use in the building trade. But I wood like to know what they were doing with it. Presumably, they will be telling the Receiver of Wrecks which bits they took and giving them back to the Receiver if he/she so wishes?

I've ****ed the identity of the local building supplies company there, as I, er, woodn't want to get anyone into any kind of trouble.

Still, it's heartwarming to know that Timberland continues to attract visitors to this beautiful part of the world. And it's not the only attraction we have down at the port. Here's a shot of The Big Wheel(ie Bin Maze):

No Snow Business

With the rest of the UK grinding to a halt under 30 metre snow drifts, and our capital shut (apart from the Chinese takeaways), how lucky we are here in the Millionaires' Playground to enjoy such a Mediterranean microclimate!

As you can see from the photo I took this morning of the dates growing in the back yard at the old cliff top mansion, we've been barely troubled by the white stuff. Indeed, as I toddled down to the Costcutter earlier for my copy of Gra*ia, happy, tanned Thanetians were promenading in the balmy breeze, clad only in their traditional Primark T shirts and shorts, needing only a tin or two of Kronenburg 1664 to warm their cockles!

Surely we should be publicising our unique climate a bit more? After all, why build pebbly snowmen in Brighton when you could live here and sunbathe topless, making sandcastles on our lovely, sandy beach!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Wen Will We See You Again?

With Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao spending three days in Blighty this week, I was rather expecting him to pay a ceremonial visit to Kent's Ramsgate Peninsula. After all, he's here to promote trade with China, and here we are - 'The Home of Chinese Globalisation'.

But no. Alas, Thanet has been snubbed. Perhaps the TDC cufflinks, glass paperweights with Thanet scene at bottom and Turner picture enlarged as a scroll of Margate seafront weren't enough to tempt him after all!

Click here to read about warm welcome for Wen on BBC News website