Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Midweek ramble blogs, folk week, buying and selling books, well wherever it leads really.

I have been very tied up with the sale in my bookshop, taking about 25,000 books, the contents of over 100 bookcases and checking their prices and condition against those for sale online, is no small task, but I am getting near to the end of it.

One interesting factor that works both ways for me is that a great many books are now available online at a price including postage that is less that the cost of posting them.

I would say that for the average person with an average collection of books to sell, putting it on Ebay wouldn’t cover the postage, packing and listing fees, let alone the time involved.

From my point of view this means that while the prices of the books in my bookshop have dropped considerably, I am being offered a lot more books than I was and peoples expectations in terms of payment for them is much more realistic than it was.

We – wife children and myself that is – have been going over to Folk Week in Broadstairs most evenings since it has been on, so not much time for blogging, life has been, work, folk and bed, with the odd break to eat.

From what I have seen there has been a good and sympathetic police presence and very little in the way of trouble this year. Fortunately I haven’t been persuaded to participate and so am not languishing in the cells charged with “aggravated morrisment”

There are more pictures going back on The Great Wall of Ramsgate, although the number of people on Ramsgate Sands this year seems to much less than I would have expected, given the fine weather.

I find it odd that Ramsgate town centre has become the best place in the area to do food shopping, while most of the food shops in Margate seem to have closed and yet there is a noticeable improvement in both Margate Old Town and the lower High Street this year.

It is almost as though in some areas what one town has the other hasn’t. A noticeable exception here is visual art with both towns having plenty of art exhibitions that are worth visiting .

If anything there is probably a greater turnover in new visual art to see in Ramsgate than there is Margate and I am beginning to think that we need some sort of mapped guide for people who have come to the area mostly to look at visual art.

I have two new local history books coming out this Friday, one on Ramsgate Cemetery and the other a second one on The Granville here in Ramsgate, so I am expecting to have my work cut out in the shop for Friday and Saturday.   

I am still reluctant to post on this blog as often as I used to, the mixture of spamming and cyber bullying in the comments frankly puts me off , the cyber bullies seemed to have move to institutions like folk week and the coastguard, all rather sad really.

The non commercial spam has moved into the realms of the almost comical where posting about newfoundlands leads to a link about training terrorists in Wales and ads for car hire and buying online businesses, once again a bit sad.  

I will ramble on here and add some more pictures if i get a chance. 

It's 9pm and we have just got back from Broadstairs I took some videos with my mobile phone, they take a while to upload, but here is the first one; well that didn't work, auto upload a video with Google play and then it won't embed in Google Blogger. 

this may work in a shred Google album, here is the link 


  1. Michael, I think your comment regarding Ramsgate / Margate proves the fact that the future of our town centres isn't going to be food shopping (although it will still be a small part of it). This is why I don't see Arlington Tesco making a huge difference to Margate High Street, and zero negative difference to the Old Town.

    I still think a far bigger outcry (which the public, press and politicians all largely ignore) is the death of shops in small villages. Somewhere like Acol had a general store and post office well into the 90s, and now it doesn't even have a pub, and there's dozens of similar places in East Kent.

    1. Peter if I have a gripe over Arlington it is that it wasn’t listed and that the Tesco Therefore isn’t going to be in the a similar style. My take being that it is a really major lump of 60s iconic architecture.

      My concern is that it will get painted magnolia have plastic windows installed and filled with DFLDHHS hopefully I will be wrong about this.

      Here in Ramsgate our Tesco experience, which was pretty roughly, they build an ugly building, damaged a lot of traditional shops, promised not to move out of Ramsgate when they asked for the Manston Tesco planning permission, then they moved out.

      I think the situation in Margate is that there are hardly any food shops to damage, although whether there will parking and traffic issues, I just don’t know.

  2. Agree with you, Michael, about Folk Week which has really been a pleasure to attend this year. Good to see so many people having fun.

    On the food shopping, of course, Broadstairs is not too bad either with three butchers, one fresh fish, decent greengrocer, a deli, two bakers, Tesco, Iceland and several convenience stores. Agree with Peter though that the demise of village stores, perhaps Minster excluded, is to be regretted.

    On the local spam, well you do of course realise that the two main culprits for the conspiracy theories and outright spoiling respectively are Rick Card (under his numerous aliases) and old 0%. Rick is heavily promoting fracking as a cover for a massive land grab whilst 0% is currently targeting Folk Week and the Coastguard. The latter is, of course, just a wind up merchant who will contradict what anyone else says simply for the sake of it.

    Ignoring them both would be the best bet, but it is not always easy as they write the kind of rubbish one sometimes feels obliged to correct.

    1. William we have tried to do the food shopping in Broadstairs and it winds up less good and more expensive than doing our usual.

      Which is car to Aldi, Asda and Waitrose and the town on foot with the street cred enhancing wheelie trolley.

      With children and an extended family living locally it is us that mostly does the entertaining so quality food on a budget is a real issue, it isn’t unusual for us to cook for twenty or thirty. Spag bol tonight Aldi spaghetti and mince, garlic bread the remains to the French sticks bought on Ramsgate market, perhaps 30p per head. yesterday pizza for 8 mozzarella and tined toms from Aldi my guess is less than 50p per pizza.

    2. I thought you were the spoiling-merchant Cllr Epps. Whenever asked a straightforward question on TDC corruption or your role at BTC you go silent. Then pop up later with a few insults. At least Michael confines his passive-aggressive cyber-whinge to Pleasurama and tidal waves.

      As a councillor why are the police cars parked right on the bandstand for Folk Week?

      I'd for one hope you'd be more polite about Rick and 0% - you certainly haven't done much about Thor pollution rolling down the hill into Broadstairs or fake TDC salaries. No doubt the Thanet gun range could also occupy your retirement more usefully?

    3. Yes, Minster seems to have survived, unlike nearby Monkton and Manston. With so many village pubs also going out of business, I'm wondering if there needs to be some sort of multi-use building in the villages (maybe a combined pub / store / newsagent?). Having to get travel a couple of miles to the nearest shop must be especially tough on pensioners who don't drive.

    4. Peter the only experience I have of village life in this area was when my mother bought a cottage - Wyborns Charity Deerson Lane Preston – where I lived for a short time. Frankly the car ruled, you couldn’t safely get to the village shop or pub safely any other way because of the traffic on the narrow lanes.

      Having got into the car we did our best to support the village shops, but frankly economy and range meant we had to do the main shop elsewhere. I guess where Minster succeeds is that a fair amount of it has pavements and you can safely walk about.

    5. Anon 5:13, you will no doubt be delighted to know I really could not give a stuff what you think and I am not going silent. I simply am not interested in your fool questions.

      Michael, I bow to your superior knowledge on Ramsgate food shopping and must admit to the odd trip to Aldi myself. I was simply making the point that for us Broadstairs residents we can get most food items in the High Street still without always having to trek to the out of town supermarkets.

    6. William, I learnt some food poverty tips years ago, acute skintitus is a prevalent disease down graduate lane or wherever we us spend our youf, so I have exhumed the Aldi receipt 750g of minced beef £2.69 3 tins of chopped toms at 31p each, a tube of tom puree, I think about 30p 3 onions (I don’t know them) any left over alcoholic drinks and make the rest of the fluid up to about two pints, herbs to suit mustard salt to taste, edible after about an hour of boiling but improved simmering up to about all day, feeds about 20, freeze what you don’t use for another day, Aldi spaghetti 19p for 500g enough for about 8 portions.

    7. It sounds like silence Cllr Epps for fairly reasonable questions of a councillor. You made a great show of how you're hardworking, open you are etc etc.

      Tell us what you've done and advise on Thor near Broadstairs.

      I can assure you your spag bol with egg recipes or jaunts around Aldi are of little interest. Random insults sound like misdirection for doing nothing.

      Tell us what you've done.

    8. He's done what they all do; used the blogs for self-promotion.

    9. Unfortunately it's backfired as Cllr Epps hasn't done anything to self-promote. The usual bickering and tribal grunting politics.

      We've far too any councillors relying on this empty ceremonial nonsense of ribbon-cutting and chauffeurs etc.

    10. The best bit is on the Thanet press release site where Epps says the Tory party hasn't declined then he says it has - exactly as was stated. And so have all the others too in case there were votes in it.

      Then he argues with Laura that fracking is wonderful then he's not sure about the contamination and tremors, then it's watch and wait for sometime never if it is viable.

      Utter circular tripe. Then throws in a few insults. Typical councillor.

    11. Anon 11:02, I am going to tell you for the last time that if you have a problem with anything at TDC you should approach your own local district councillor. Failing that, if you email me with your name and address I will pass on your query to the appropriate councillor responsible for your ward. Anyone in my own ward is welcome to contact me, but, strangely enough, none have ever raised the issues you go on about.

    12. You haven't specified what you do though Cllr Epps. You are a Tory councillor and presumably BTC liaises with TDC - that would be the point of it. Why so reluctant to investigate FOI of everybody's tax or corruption etc?

      But do tell us what you do - forwarding an email doesn't sound much. Maybe that's why Tory party membership is falling so much.

    13. No reluctance at all, simply not obliged to do so for you. You have your own councillor.

      As to what I do, well you have already told everyone that. I have tea and biscuits, travel around in a chauffeur drive limousine and collect up brown envelopes.

      Also, every major party's membership is falling so much like about 65% over the last decade. Can't really claim the credit for all of that.

  3. Just got back from Boredstairs. A distinct lack of atmosphere and little going on outside the paid venues. It didn't even look that busy. Just my impressions of course.

    1. So did we, although it may have been a different place to the one you went to, perhaps the other leg of the trousers of time, link to the picts and vids a bottom of post above.

    2. Michael, thanks for the recipe and will give it a try. For a real treat, try a poached egg on top of your spag bog.

      Pleased to hear your findings on Broadstairs are different to old misery guts at 8:15. He really is an unhappy shoul who, perhaps, should be more pitied than pilloried.

  4. Having moved to Minster from Ramsgate a couple of years ago, I was surprised at just how much the local businesses are supported within the village. There really is a huge community spirit here. Perhaps it's due to having a more elderly population who have traditionally shopped locally, perhaps it's due to having fewer "DFLs". I'm sure most people go to Tesco for their weekly shop but do all of their top-up and daily purchases locally. I can't put my finger on it - I suppose it's mainly down to the pride that people have in their environment.

    1. It's the same in Birchington, my favourite High Street in Thanet.


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.