Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Puzzle Corner

From where I'm typing this, I can see a Tesco Extra, a B&Q and a Vue cinema. But I'm not at Westwood Cross. Where on earth am I?

Posted from Romford via iPhone oh tits

Monday, March 30, 2009

We're All Agadoomed!

As if the Home Secretary's hubbie, er, splashing out on porn at home alone (thus leaving poor Jacqui with nothing more interesting than egg on her face) wasn't enough of an indicator of the downfall of western civilisation. No, the re-release of the worst song of all time (as voted by Q readers in 2003) must surely put the tin hat on it!

Agadoo by Black Lace, which is being re-released 25 years after it reached, rather fittingly in my opinion, the number two slot, is said by band member Dene Michael to be 'just what we need' with all the doom and gloom around at the moment.

Yes, I'm sure it is Dene. I'm sure that all we need is your song, a mullet and rolled up jacket sleeves, and a couple of gallons of Bacardi and Coke and the whole world will seem a much better place! Why don't we pull the stake out of Thatcher's heart and re-animate Ronnie Reagan while we're at it?! Then we could really party like it's 1984! Dunno though. That could well be a vote winner round here!

More Agadoo-doo on BBC News website

Trucking Hell

Pootling around the port here in the Cannes of Kent yesterday, I was confronted with the above vista. A gazillion foreign lorries illegally parked up on the Western Undercliff. Unfortunately my Box Brownie couldn't quite capture the rivulets of something or other that were dribbling across the road, but you get the picture.

What the millions of car and coach passengers that will be arriving to take advantage of our putative fast ferry service will make of this introduction to Ramsgate, lord knows. I seem to recall our beloved council was 'monitoring' the situation. For 'monitoring' read: 'sweeping under one of Sandy's numerous carpets'.

Last week my millionaire mate Roger had his Bentley bumped from behind by a Bulgarian bloke on the A256. He called the rozzers. Not interested, talk to your insurance company. A few days later the insurance Johnnies call, the trucker concerned was uninsured for the UK. Nothing they can do. Surely in a constituency that used to boast the Minister of Transport as its MP (before he retired to the back benches viz: consultancy work), something could be done about these rogue truckers? The excuse that they're foreign, and therefore somehow above and beyond our road traffic laws, is beginning to wear extremely thin. A bit like the grass down on the Western Undercliff!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Yikes! It's amazing the twits you can find on Twitter, the minimalist social networking site that's all the rage with, er, the lovely Stephen Fry among others. Having trawled around this afternoon looking for people I might know, I stumbled upon our beloved council's glorious leader! So far, he's only managed three 'tweets', viz:

Attendin Carpex 2009 at Olimpia catchin up wiv wots new in carpit tyles.

Nice bit of stake for tea. Luvverly! and

Shoppin in the Edinburrer Wool Mills for tartan trews. Hope I dont bump into Iris!

So far I'm the only person following his stream of consciousness, but if you want to be there yourself when the cogs whirr do sign up for Twotter and pop him on your list. Please do. It'll make me feel less like a stalker.

Speaking of which, I appear to have attracted my very own celebrity stalker on Twatter. Tracey Slag-Mingah tweets as 'Eastcliff Tracy' and seems to be following my every move. Describing herself as 'millionaire's playmate and soxkitten', her more printable contributions have so far included:

Great - I see my soulmate and millionaire has got his old Throbber out, I want a ride on that RIGHT NOW!

Measured his 'thing' this morning. One and a quarter inches. Perhaps he should be called Justin? But he does try with it! The best he can and

Oh no, ECR is bashing away at me fanni innit! Still it will all be over in 2 mins IF he can last that long! Just time for a bag of crisps.

Crumbs! I'd better get my security consultant Fat Kev on the case toute de suite!

A Pound For Your Thoughts

It's not often I grace the teeny-tiny streets of Boredstares with my presence, dear reader, and then it's usually under the cover of darkness. After all, I wouldn't want to be mobbed by the paps!

So forgive the gloominess of the above sepiatone, but it's there to illustrate that the Range Rover-loving Boredstarians now have their very own [trumpet fanfare] - pound shop! I must say it's furnished me with a delightful feeling of schadenfreude to know that the Dickensoned Dickensians can now step out of their tanning shops and binge on 3kg of sticky crap for a oncer, or cop a handy four gross of clothes pegs for a sov. When Iceland opens up in the former Woollies this autumn, it'll complete the town's transformation from picturesque, Devon style quaintness to all-out Isle of Sheppey chaverama!

But wait! Perchance I spoke too soon! This is 'PoundPlus'! And a quick call to my spies on the east side has confirmed that everything in the shop costs a pound or more! Kuh, typical! I suspect it won't be long before the canny traders of Cliftonville latch onto the scam and start opening PennyPlus stores!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hell's Grannies

News that a 107 year old woman from Tunbridge Wells has done the ton around Brands Hatch in a Beemer won't surprise us Thanetians. The number of superannuated old nannas you see whizzing around like decapitated daleks in these parts beggars belief. And that's just in the aisles at Waitrose!

It reminds me of a story my Ramsgate optician told me the other day when I went to get the old glass eye checked out. Apparently he'd recently attended to a wizened crone who'd never had an eye test before. Gobsmacked that she could even see her way into the shop, let alone pilot a vehicle on Her Majesty's highways, he tentatively asked her if she drove. 'Oh yes, I have done for years,' came the response. 'Well, how on earth can you see the other vehicles and pedestrians?' asked the eye quack, jaw by now on terra firma. 'Oh, I can't,' said the old gipper. 'The Lord Jesus Christ is my guide.'

I can tell you that if it had been me, I would have reached for the wooden stake and mallet there and then!


That ruddy-faced man who runs Kent County Council's physog is already pucer than a boiled beetroot, but it'll surely be glowing purpler than a porn star's knob-end when he reads today's report by the Audit Commission!

According to the government's spending watchdog, KCC is one of seven councils they regard as 'negligent' due to their touching trust in the Icelandic banking system, long after everyone said the entire kit and kaboodle was about to go nipples skyward. We already know the Tory duffers lost 50m of your taxpayers' spondulics when they sent their mum to Iceland to with a shopping trolley full of fivers last year, but what has really got the commission's goat is the £8.3m KCC deposited on 1 and 2 October, after the banks' credit ratings had been downgraded to 'adequate' (several notches below 'fill your boots').

Following a quick calculation on the back of his Rothmans packet, my accountant Cyril reckons £8.3m could have got you half a Turnip Centre, or an entire 'offshore' Turnip Centre, up to the point where the test pylon blows over and everyone goes 'We told you so'. Time for old Boil-in-the-Bag to resign, methinks!

KCC's boneless moneybox

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thar She Blows!

Reader Dave from Tonbridge writes:

ECR - While you have been doing your bit for charity the Euroferries web site has been updated. I have my passport ready in anticipation.

Hurrah! Er, no, wait a minute. A quick check reveals that not a lot's changed. However, we are now told that the catamaran service 'commences imminently' and that: 'Presently minor engineering works are taking place at the Ports to ensure the fastest turn around time to its customers.'

Oh, and instead of promising that bookings can be made 'week commencing 16 March', we now get 'Fares, online ticket reservations and further information will appear shortly.'

I'm beginning to wonder if I stand a cat in a rough sea's chance of enjoying spaghetti Boulognaise and a nice glass of shardy this side of Christmas!

Euroferries not cat-atonic

From Smear To Eternity

As part of my rehabilitation following the awful balls I made of that Jade Goody thing earlier in the week, I've undertaken this morning to provide my services free, gratis and for nothing to one of those local cancer charities. I trust this will now draw a line under the whole affair.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Be Infrastill My Beating Heart!

Riffling through the FT to see just how little I'm worth these days, I came across an item headlined: 'MPs Seek Help For Struggling Airports'. Wondering if our very own Chas 'n' Dave International was mentioned, I scanned through the item to find... it wasn't. Not even big enough to be 'struggling' it seems. There was a guernsey for C'n'DIA's owners, though:

In Scotland, Prestwick is suffering most. Infrastil (sic) of New Zealand, its owner, said it will cut up to 120 of 500 jobs as low-cost carriers made economies.

I presume by that they mean Infartil. Or is that Infratil?

Pink faces at the FT

Luke Box Jury

Phew! Thank heavens all that unpleasantness about Jade Goody is behind us!

Now, moving swiftly on (in true Thanet Life style), here's a young chap that's come to my attention who really does seem to have captured the spirit of the Arsonists' Playground. Musically speaking that is. Luke Edwards lists his influences as Pete Doherty, Arctic Monkeys, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Lily Allen, the Thanet Loop and Sandy Ezekiel, among others. His latest outing, Dreamland Ode To Margate, includes such pricelessly observed lyrics as 'over time this dreamland became a nightmare' and 'we idolise Pussycat Dolls and WAGS, binge drinkers and thugs and dirty slags'.

Do pin back your lugholes and take a listen. And Luke old bean, you really need to add Thanet's premier blog down there as one of your influences!

Luke Edwards on mySpace

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jade Goody - An Apology

It's been pointed out to me by Fannit's peerless arbiter of good taste, Tony Flaig of Bignews Margate fame, that I may have overstepped the mark today with some of my remarks about Jade Goody (see below).

I would therefore like to take this opportunity to apologise to, er, Mr Flaig for offending his rather sensitive nature. Night all!

2030 Vision

As I sit here twiddling my proverbials, racking the old ECR cerebellum for a way to kick off my latest Thanet revelation for Private Eye (watch this space), my thoughts stray to our beloved council's vision for the island.

Quite what will be left to have a 'vision' about by 2030, once they've flogged everything off and concreted over the rest, lord knows. According to the Uranians, the Millionaires' Playground will by then be 'a premier sailing destination, with an expanded marina and additional ferry operators'. I'm not sure how that sits with flogging huge great lumps of it off (Maritime Museum, land on the port) while ensuring the place has no watery entertainment for the masses this year and simultaneously flying 5,000 knackered old jumbo jets over the place every day. And as for 'additional ferry operators', the much-trumpeted Euroferries fast service is still only a twinkle in some shipping magnate's glass eye, it seems.

You could pretty much conclude that 'vision' and 'Thanet Council' are oxymoronic. But no! As the picture above illustrates, by failing to dredge the harbour, the council is at least creating more assets, which, by 2030 they'll be able to flog off to the usual suspects for luxury apartments!

New look Thanet Tatters out this week!

Goody Goody Gone Gone

In Memoriam
Jade Goody
Celebrity from Big Brother

So farewell
Then, Jade Goody.

'East Angular'
That was
Your catchphrase.
'Shilpa Poppadom'
That was another.

My dad says
You lived
And died
In the public eye.
And is sorry
For saying
You looked like
A pig.

Just like Princess Di
You were our
Queen of Tarts.
Er, Hearts.

E.C. Richard (29)

G20 To Fly In To Manston?

Crikey! The island rumour mill appears to have been working overtime this weekend! Planespotters report a Saudi 747 offloading pallets at Chas 'n' Dave International yesterday, presumably packed with boiled sheep goolies for the Arab delegation. Now the theory is that the world's leaders will be following suit for the London summit next week.

Let's hope Our Glorious Thanetian Leader, who will no doubt be there to greet the great and good with traditional island gifts of Kestrel Super, gold sovereign rings and Primark tracksuit pants, keeps his Tourettes under control and doesn't spark an international diplomatic incident!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Westwood Chaos As Shops Blacked Out

Speaking of fires, it seems that an electricity substation burnt out this afternoon and left Westwood Angry, the ile's 'town centre', in darkness. Apart from Tescos, that is, who presumably have a back-up gennie. Oh no! I've mentioned back-up generators! Cue Rick!!!

Scenic For Sale - One Careful Owner

Smokin' rollercoasters! Here's something that should set the world of knackered old amusement parks alight, if you'll forgive the expression! According to the BBC News website, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is auctioning off its original, 1930s rollercoaster rolling stock.

Clearly them oop noorth have looked after their heritage rides (as we must now call them) a bit better than us darn sarf, as the above photo of Dreamland's listed Scenic Railway going up in smoke in the Arsonists' Playground last April amply demonstrates. Presumably Prince Jug-Ears will now be doing the honours and dipping into his wallaby skin wallet, given the recent news that he's backing the plan to build a 'heritage theme park' on the Dreamland site, and saving the carriages for the Thanetian nation.

Not that he'd have to dig very deep. After eight bids on eBay, they're currently going for the, er, princely sum of 23 quid.

Click here to read full story on BBC News website
Click here to go to the auction on eBay

Update: The auction's over now, the carriages went for 155 smackers. Just goes to show these 'heritage rides' are hardly worth their weight in gold!

Ferry Interesting

Hurrah! Today must surely be the day when I finally get to book my trip to Boulogne-sur-Mer on the new Euroferries service! Their website promises that: 'Fares, online ticket reservations and further information will appear' on the site from the week commencing 16 March. And as nought has appeared so far this week, today must be the day of the big launch of the big cat!

I'm sure the Mayor of Boulogne will be putting out the bunting and chilling down the Krug, ready to welcome the foremost resident of the Millionaires' Playground to Le Playground des Millionaires!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bucket And Spade Is Bread And Butter

Talking of decaying seaside towns getting a Sugar coating, I've received this email from former councillor and town crier Paul Conyers-Silverthorn:

Open Letter re Tourism in Thanet

The national press is full of stories of the re-growth of domestic holidays and the windfall increase in inbound tourism due to the weakness of sterling. When I was a councillor I was unable to generate interest in an overall strategy for the develop­ment of tourism. I cannot remain silent when I see what appears to be a failure in tactical response right now.

I urge councillors and everyone involved in tourism and the provision of tourist and leisure facilities not just to promote their own business interests but to get together to create a joined-up response. In Thanet we have a wonderful tourism product base: superb beaches and a far more clement climate than anywhere in mainland Britain save Torbay. There is a pressing need either to grasp these advantages and enhance them or to sideline them in favour of other 'maybe' developments and watch them decline. If we enhance our resource we will also be in a better position to attract business investment.

One main forum exists through which action might be coordinated: Thanet District Council.

Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Margate each has its own small promotional organisation and 'fan club'. Each means well but has meagre resources. Together, and in cooperation with various other organisations such as the LVA, KCC, museum trustees etc., a concerted effort could be made both to market Thanet for business and leisure and to ensure sustainable improvement to the product base.

Yes, we are in the middle of a financial crisis. But this has thrown up a raft of opportunities, of which we need to take advantage urgently - that is to say, before other groups of mutual interest coalesce elsewhere in the UK with the same inten­tion.

I would welcome comments on the above.

Paul Conyers-Silverthorn
Tel: 01843 861993
E-mail: paul.conyers-silverthorn@virgin.net

Well Paul, I presume this is the same Thanet District Council which has singularly failed to provide any feature event for the island's premier town this year, after losing our excellent Powerboat Weekend to Gravesend!

You're Torched!

Click here for full story on The Mirror website

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

RAF Cleared For Take-Off On Runway 2010

My spies at last night's well-attended kick-off meeting for the proposed Ramsgate Arts Festival tell me the decision was taken to postpone the inuagural shindig until next year, rather than attempt a crash landing this August.

Well, as it's going to be the bestest, loveliest arts fest in Thanet's bestest, loveliest town there's no point going off half cock, is there?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Cuppa - And A Hippo In Your Toilet

Yikes! Is it any wonder our councillors are so foul-mouthed and ill-mannered? According to a report on the Gazunder website, kettles have been banned at TDC and now there are 'plans to put Hippos into councillors’ toilets'. Quite how they're meant to pass the steaming great lumps they regard as 'policy' with a two tonne artiodactyl occupying their privy seat, lord only knows!

Click here to read more on Gazunder website

Councillor In Need Of A Counsellor?

Like me, you must have wondered why Margate's putative arts emporium changed its name from the Turner Centre to 'Turner Contemporary' a while back. Go on, of course you did!

Well if you Google-ise Turner Centre the top spot is held by The Turner Centre... for Counselling and Psychotherapy! According to their website, the Colchester centre 'occupies a grade II listed building and is beautifully furnished to a high standard'. Among the therapeutic services they offer are counselling for anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. I presume Margate's Turnip people decided on the name change to avoid any confusion, given that the sponds wasted on the gallery had already caused 'anxiety, depression and panic attacks' among the general, taxpaying public of Thanet.

The Turner Centre (Colchester) also offers help for 'anger and rage'. It strikes me that, given our Sandy's recent, er, carpeting by the Standards Comittee for his outburst at the Edinburgh Woollen Mills, and his previous for calling the Mayor of Margate a 'f*cking tosser', he might well be advised to check himself in for a session or two!

Click here to go to Turner Centre website

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Song For Thanet

With apologies to The Crystals

Ezekiel and Latchford coming down the street
They do run run run, they do run run
They've heard there's a petition that they gotta beat
They do run run run, they do run run
Yeah, it's in the Woollen Shop
Yeah, they gotta make it drop
And when they get inside
They do run run run, they do run run

Iris and the manager are having words
They don't run run run, they don't run run
They think the council's policy is for the birds
They don't run run run, they don't run run
Yeah, Sand and Rodge barge in
Yeah, they make a right old din
And when the petition drops
They do run run run, they do run run

Thom and Nick the hacks are looking quite aghast
They don't run run run, they don't run run
Sandy's misbehaviour isn't in the past
They don't run run run, they don't run run
Yeah, the standards chaps step in
Yeah, the Gruesome Twins can't win
And when it came to the crunch
They did run run run, they did run run

Sunday, March 15, 2009

RAF Ready For Take-Off In Thanet!

Before all you planespotters out there start getting over-excited and fiddling with your joysticks, I'm talking about the first ever Ramsgate Arts Festival.

The delightful Harriet Jump-Jet (Now that's just silly - Ed.), co-proprietor of the island's premier restaurant here in the island's premier town, is planning the shindig for the end of August and has asked the island's premier blog to rally the troops. Or is that ground crew? Er, ahem, well anyway if you're interested in getting involved and demonstrating that Ramsgate still has a thriving arts scene, despite cynical attempts to syphon off all the money and resources to the seedy north side of the island, then get along to Age & Sons for 6.30pm this Tuesday 17 March. The meeting will be upstairs in the restaurant.

Click here for Age & Sons website

Nasty Complaints Procedure

I'm indebted to regular contributor Walter Mitty for highlighting an interesting snippet from last week's cabinet meeting at our beloved Thanet Council.

In between congratulating themselves on what a splendid job they're doing and scoffing all the buns, the Duffers debated a new policy on 'unreasonably persistent and/or vexatious complaints'. Now, of course, that all sounds incredibly worthy and dull, so let me paraphrase it for you. Basically it's an Anti-Whingers Charter. The upshot is, if you happen to get the hump about your street looking like the Gaza Strip and complain every week that it hasn't been swept, or if you think funds are being misappropriated and pop in a Freedom of Information request every other fortnight, you could now be put on a list and legitimately be ignored, or worse, deemed mentally ill.

Not, of course, that there's anything to complain about in the first place, I hasten to add! No, according to the latest Audit Commission report on TDC, which will be presented to the Uranians next week, they've been classified 'fair'. Which is, er, one up from 'weak' and two down from 'excellent'. The Audit Commission seemed particularly impressed by the claimed user satisfaction with Margate Gateway ('Library' in old money), which goes to prove the old adage that if you do the same survey in an infinite number of ways you're almost bound to end up with the results you want in the end.

The chaps from the commission also found 'improved satisfaction with street cleaning'. Really? Well here's something I found on Victoria Parade this afternoon which made me, and presumably the two coachloads of tourists who were parked up nearby, feel less than 'satisfied':


Having only recently made the Dickensians' teeny-tiny streets even teenier and tinier, from tomorrow Kent Highways will again be narrowing the arteries of Broadstairs, presumably in an attempt to ensure that nothing wider than Victoria Beckham can get through the town.

A year ago they put two proposals forward for public consultation, both of which were rejected. My spies with the curly moustaches and Victorian bathing costumes tell me that Kent County Council feel there were 'elements' of both proposals which 'some' people wanted, so that's what they're going to get. Even though the majority didn't particularly want any of it. Ah... Kentish democracy in action!

By tilting the old Eastcliff cranium 90 degrees, I was able to establish that the roadworks will be ongoing for xx 4 weeks. Just in time to bugger up Easter then! And if the time it took to improve Margate's Lower High Street is anything to go by, I should imagine it'll be buggering up Easter 2010 too!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sandy's Thanet Diary

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Each week top Thanet politician Sandy Beach gives us his insight into the island!!!

Bloody 'ell! The fuckin' Standards Committee 'as got me by the short an' bleedin' curlies!!!??? Fuckin' tossers!! An' there's me wiv a fuckin' yot an' five 'arses to support!!! Evvrywun's fucked off wiv me. All 'cos ov some fuckin' pertishun!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's all the fault ov them flamin' reporters. Tossers. Wankers. Fuckin' tossers!!!! I woz gonna giv 'em a job but they can stick it up their arses!!! In my face, yer friggin', whinin' bar stewards! In my chuffin' face!!!!

I say 'shut yer fuckin' pie holes yer leftie twats'. We owe it to the island's carpet shops to maxermise oppertunities an' 'elp acheeve our electers dreams an' asperations by 'andin' over their 'ard earned fer a luvvly bit of shagpile!!!!!??????!!!!!

That's enough diary - Ed.

Comically Relieved Of Sixty Quid

Eurgh! Just getting over last night's after party. Still, 'twas a memorable evening. Indeed the memory of accidentally walking in on Dawn French while she was changing will almost certainly haunt me for the rest of my life.

Thanks to everyone who commented for my very own Green Nose Day. We had a record 52 comments which, with regular reader Walter Mitty promising to bung me a fiver next week, makes a grand total of £57. I've rounded that up to £60 out of the goodness of my very own comedy heart. And with Gift Aid, that'll make £75, so well done everyone.

Well done too to reader Richard of Boredstares who claimed he'll be donating 150% of whatever I raised. All in all, not a bad night for the kiddies and starving millions. It makes you feel glad to be a celebrity!

Click here to donate to Comic Relief

Friday, March 13, 2009

Prince Charles To Back Dreamland Plans By Stiltwalking Across Car Park

More on page 5.

Other news:

Page 3 - some councillors are a bit naughty

Page 4 - Sandy declares historic zoo cages 'open for monkey business'

Page 7 - 130 year old Doris takes up pole dancing

Page 12 - youngsters hide hedgehogs for charity

Page 21 - fat birds get their kit off, plus all the other entertainment news around the island!

Green Nose Day

Recession? What recession? As I sit here awash with Canadian export dollars from my recent trip, my mind has naturally turned to what every good meedja type thinks of when they've got a bob or two - cocaine. No, no, er, no, that's not right, er I meant - chariddy.

Long term readers of this drivel will recall that I held a Green Nose Day back in 2007 to raise money for the last Red Nose Day. So before I'm whisked off in the stretched limo to slave my petooty off and hobknob with the fromage de la fromage of British comedy at TV Centre, I'm giving you an opportunity to lend your support.

Here's how it works. For every comment appended to this post today, I'll donate a gleaming new oncer to Comic Relief. So whaddya waiting for? Get commenting! And let's see if we can beat the 2007 total of 40 smackers!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ferry Story

Holy hulls! BBC South East's Glenn Campbell has been investigating the ferry industry! The roving, rhinestone-clad reporter appears to have drawn a blank whilst trying to track down Euroferries, the new fast service that purports to be running from Ramsgate to Boulogne at the end of the month.

By the time he got to the Millionaires' Playground he'd certainly lost that loving feeling for the company, and the whole situation was far from gentle on his mind, given that there's no sign down at our lovely port of any new buildings or infrastructure. He then decamped to a sheltered accommodation flat in Kingston upon Thames which is apparently the registered office of Euroferries, before reminding us that they'd tried to set up once before in 2006 from Dover. That particular nautical venture came to nought.

Funniest of all was GC's interview with deputy duffer Rodge down at the port. Blustering his way past our intrepid's questions, his last word on the subject was that he didn't think Euroferries would be starting in March after all!

Click here to watch Inside Out on BBC iPlayer
Click here for Euroferries website
Click here for Euroferries story in Kent Messenger

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No Happy Landings For BA At Manston

I'm afraid the jet lag got me there for a bit... and I was having a lovely dream that British Airways World Cargo had decided against flying their crappy 747s over my lovely cliff top mansion all day and night!

Must have been the flight from Canada... but no, hang on, what's this headline in Thanet Extra? 'Blow for Chas 'n' Dave International as BA Cargo stays at Stansted'? Surely it can't be? I must still be dreaming!

Now regular readers will know that I'm not one to crow every time I'm proved right, which is nonetheless frequent and often. But I did say months ago that Manston was just being used by BA to get a better deal at Stansted, end of. I know these airline Johnnies quite well, and they'll try any shonky manoeuvre to rinse the last red cent out of their existing suppliers.

What this whole sorry episode does demonstrate, however, is the willingness of our supine council to lick any squillionaire's, er, rusty sherriff's badge until it's white as a soda cracker. When one of the island's top restaurants wanted planning permission to set up here it took them three months. Now it attracts hundreds of visitors to the island every week. Contrast that with the fact that TDC were rimming BA's ringpiece in less time than it takes to say 'KY or Vaseline, Sir?' And cargo 747s? Well, you might get a few planespotters parked up in their P reg Peugeots over at the airport of a Sunday, but they'd almost certainly bring their own soggy egg sarnies in a Tupperware box!

Click here to read full story in Thanet Extra

From Newfoundland To Poundland

I'm indebted to my regular correspondent Mr Dickens of Broadstairs for suggesting the headline for this item. Yes indeed, dear reader, I have drunk Canada dry and have now staggered back onto Thanetian soil!

I must say, I was expecting to see bunting and the massed bands of the 1st Thanetian Sea Scouts. But it appears my return has gone unremarked and uncelebrated. However, I've turned comments back on so you can send your messages of goodwill and congratulations. Along, no doubt, with the occasional 'prick', 'c*nt' and 'paedo'!

Posted from Ramsgate via Royal Mail

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dreamland? Dream On!

I can't tell you how much I'm dreading this flight back to Blighty later. Not that I'm a bad flyer, you understand. No. It's because our Production Manager has booked us on the awful British Airways. Economy.

It may just be me, but I generally find BA high-handed, patronising and mumsy. And that's just the senior management I've worked with! OK, OK, the check-in chicks and trolley dollies try their best most of the time, and first class is usually acceptable. But if ever there was an airline that needed to buy into the dictum that the customer is always right (apart from during emergencies, granted - of which they seem to have a few) it's our national flag carrier.

Any-old-how, I've been using these last couple of hours to catch up on Thanet news, and I see there have been further developments in the plan to place knackered old heritage rides on the Dreamland site over in the Arsonists' Playground. According to the BBC News website, plans for the 'thrilling theme park from the past' will go on show on Sunday. I don't know about you, but there's something about the phrase 'thrilling theme park from the past' that doesn't quite get my pulse racing, or my boat floating, if you catch my drift.

Ah well, I expect things will look a lot different once I've touched back down on Duffer Island tomorrow. No, really, things will look different, won't they? Please God, tell me they will!

Posted from Montreal via iPhone

Monday, March 09, 2009

Tories To Turn The Lights Out

Vive la difference! The team and I have now washed up in Quebec City... and I must say it's a place I could learn to like if I wasn't being accompanied by a knob of a director, a neurotic production co-ordinator, a dyslexic presenter and a camera crew whose brains appear to be primarily located in the trouser area. Hey-ho.

Still, a big, ECR 'mwah!' to everyone back on the Ile de Thanet for keeping me in touch via email. This latest missive from reader Carol seems to prove once again that the Ruddy-Faced Man in charge of Kent County Council has a limited knowledge of geography east of the Medway:


Hope you are enjoying your trip around Canada. I was watching the local BBC News at lunchtime when your favourite Tory politician Paul Carter was on talking about his plan to turn out the street lights at night around the county to save money.

As an example of where this ridiculous plan might be implemented he mentioned the Thanet Way which he said went from 'Whitstable to the airport at Manston'. Talk about a one track mind. Does he not realise there are 130,000 people living in Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs and only about 100 people connected to his hobby-horse airport?

I often have to come back from town at night and personally think this crackpot idea would be exceedingly dangerous.

Well Carol, I think I'd have to agree with you there. But after January's serious accident on the A299, which appeared to have been caused by KCC failing to grit the road, do you honestly imagine the Tories in Maidstone give a tuppenny stuff about anyone in the tip of Kent?

Posted from Quebec via iPhone

Friday, March 06, 2009

Cold Wind And Hot Air

Holy cajones! They didn't stint on the old whatsits when they erected this magnificent statue here in Moose Jaw, did they?

I've just popped in to say a cheery 'What ho!' after a gruelling day's filming in the wilds of the Canadian north yesterday. We're on a day off, and blimey it's cold! I've also had time to do a spot of poo-jabbing around the Thanet blog scene and oh dear oh dear oh dear... things really have gone pear-shaped without the rapier wit of yours truly, haven't they?

First off, I see that Councillor Unemployed from Newington has me down as 'working the clapperboard on some obscure travel show for an even more obscure cable TV company'. Hmm. Well if you must know, CU, I'm producing this epic under the auspices of my own production company, and earning some much-needed export dollars off the Canadian Tourist Board to boot! What are you doing to haul the UK economy off its arse, eh? Gone on, tell me, I'm all ears... go on... toddling back and forth to the Jobcentre is it?

And secondly it seems as if BigNews Margate has found a new boyfriend in the Kiwi boss of Chas 'n' Dave International Airport, Matt Clarke. The simpering tone of his report on Clarke's lecture last night at Canterbury Christ Church Uni had me reaching for the sick bag, in much the same way as the footage of Our Gordon Master cosying up to Prez O'Bama did earlier in the week. I can just imagine Tony sitting there with that same, sycophantic gaze of admiration. Only it would be twice as nauseating, given that Tony would presumably have had two doe eyes, whereas Gordon can only manage the one. Our Tone used to be an opponent of unfettered, unmonitored, unregulated foreign conglomerates riding roughshod over UK citizens, but one look at Matt's baby blues appears to have turned him weak at the knees.

Still, it's not all bad news. I see the new fast ferry service to Boulougne will be starting at the end of the month, once again cementing Ramsgate as the island's premier town. And presumably it'll be generating real jobs for Thanetians, not the pie-in-the-sky ones Matt Clarke's so fond of promising!

Posted from Moose Jaw via iPhone

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ant-Sized Dick

The director I'm working with out here in Cana-da-da-da appears to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He'd been hoping to pitch a new game show to ITV, but feels that today's announcement of £3,000,000,000,000,000 losses and squillions of redundancies has put the tin hat on it. Consequently he's tailspinned into a terminal decline.

Personally I have to agree with my fellow Thanetian Adem. I can't remember the last time I tuned in to ITV. The news is shite, Corrie's crap, and the entertainment programmes appear to consist mostly of Z list celebrities falling on their arses. And then there's Ant and Dec (shudder). I should imagine ITV's audience profile goes something like this:

50% - Old gippers staring aimlessly at the 21 inch Bush in the corner of the day room at their residential home
49% - Crack addicts who've lost the remote down the back of their Argos sofa
1% - Quadriplegics whose mouthpieces have fallen out.

The only glimmer of hope for Michael Grade and his cohorts is my old showbiz chum Harry Hill. I shall be emailing Mike forthwith to suggest that Harry presents News at Ten and plays all the parts in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, starting first thing Monday.

Posted from Vancouver via iPhone

Monday, March 02, 2009

You Can't Get Rid Of Me That Easily!

Even out here in the rugged Canadian wilderness (Vancouver), word has reached me that the professional propaganda peddlers who work for Chas 'n' Dave International Airport are rejoicing at my absence.

Maxim PR are apparently cock-a-hoop that yours truly has exited the building/island/county/country. The Tunbridge Wells firm (no chance of being buzzed by a knackered old jumbo there) will presumably now be inviting Cllr/Dr Biggles, BigBoy Margate and all the other drooling planespotters who think an airport the size of Stansted in Ramsgate's back yard is a bright idea to one of those slap-up PR lunches in celebration! Judging by their client list, though, Biggles, BigBoy et al will have already paid for the lunch in spades, given the amount of public tit-sucking Maxim indulge in.

Still, if they think I've disappeared for good, they don't know me very well, do they!?!??!

Posted from Vancouver via iPhone