Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Dog Days of August

The Bank Holiday weekend almost upon us and spare a thought for the five thousand French families huddled on the beach at Margate enjoying our fine English summer!

I don't know if they actually got here against the gale - perhaps they took the channel tunnel or even luckier still, the rough seas might have have stopped the ferry across 'La Manche', avoiding further disappointment.

Skegness was where I was supposed to be over the next two days with a flying job for Butlins. The best they can offer now, I suspect, is a ground-based position as a 'Red Coat'.

It's been a tough summer for the children on their school holidays. Other than the occasional days of fine weather, it's reminscent of 1975, when I recall it snowed on the beach at Cliftonville one June afternoon when I was working in the deck chair concession. Of course, we don't have deck chairs on the beaches anymore, I assume because we can't guarantee they'll be returned in one piece or at all?

I'm wondering if I should fill up a thousand thermos flasks of hot coffee and head for Margate sands but the dog is firmly against leaving the house in this weather, as you can see from the photo and it's probably right!


Anonymous said...

Looking at a cold, rain and windswept beach with a NNW wind blowing in at 20mph gusts and a windchill of 13.7C, I am concerned that 5,000 French visitors will have a disastrous visit to Margate.

The funfair where the TC should be is worse than a village fete; Dreamland is a bare space of tarmac and will they find Caves, Grotto or Tudor House? The main attraction we have is the beach and as today graphically illustrates, we need, DESPERATELY, all weather, all year round attraction(s) on the Dreamland site when the weather is foul. I wonder if the organisers believed the signs on the A299 indicating the way to TC and Dreamland? What use is the 'cafe culture' insuch weather and a High Street that resembles shops in the 'Gorbals'of the 60s?; closed; boarded up and tatty. I feel so sorry for the optimistic businesses that have opened in the past 18 months; have no doubt that this summer will kill many of them off!

As for our 5000 French youngsters; a bad day ahead and a return to France withe the impression that Margate is 'm**de'. We cannot rely on a blazing hot day to make Margate a wonderful place to visit; it is that simple.

sue said...

I dunno if i'm weird, but I love this weather!

Anonymous said...

Commiserations on the lost flights, Simon.

It’s the Broadstairs Water Gala today. We’ve certainly got the water, unfortunately it’s the vertical kind, accompanied by around a 30 knot wind from the North.

We have the Aerostars display team booked for this afternoon, but I can’t see it happening. Quite apart from the wind, the cloudbase above my office at the top end of Broadstairs looks about 200 feet.

You have to feel so sorry for the people who put such tremendous effort into these events.

Cllr Ewen Cameron

Anonymous said...

Having just come back from Margate and seen the hundreds of lost and miserables souls dressed in white tops wandering about the seafront, I can only feel sorry for them and wonder what sort of impression they will take back with them to France. I totally agree with anon 9:20 that it is time the council and developers stopped prevaricating and provided more indoor entertainment for what is still supposed to be a holiday area.
I too love this weather, but in winter, and when after a brisk walk, I can get back to a warm house and a hot drink. I also loved the long, sunny days of summer, but where are they now? Jammy Dodger - Birchington

Tony Beachcomber said...

During the first part of the 20th century the Pettman Bathing company used to serve hot bovril on the beach at margate for bathers in the morning, and throughout the day when the weather was bad. I suppose now is the time to get out the kettle.

Anonymous said...

THREE POINTS: 1) Our best attraction are the sandy beaches, a resource to expand on with various sports that go with it, Dare I suggest Jet Ski-ing? Water Ski-ing, Speedboating, you get the idea?. 2) We should also seek custom from the Alternative Health Industry, after all Margate was a health resort before a bucket and spade destination and the Alternative Health industry is massive, it is BIG, ages on tomb stones in Thanet proove how good the salt air is. 3) We also need an indoor attraction, Aquarium, since we are by the sea or mega big Sports Arena (would go with point 2 perhaps). What we don't need is the Tudor House, come to Margate and walk around a load of empty rooms, yeah great, thats 20 minutes spent if that now what?