Monday, 4 August 2014

War breaks out in Ramsgate, we don’t get a bank holiday and I don’t bother god in a canyon.

Here is the entry from Cockburn's Diary Ramsgate Life in the First Word War, for today 100 years ago:

“Tuesday August 4th 1914

This mornings papers were more reassuring. That is to say the Government, although still striving for peace, were resolutely determined to uphold the honour of the country and to fulfil its obligations to its friends. Sir Edward Grey's fine speech on the situation was reported fully, and gave great satisfaction to everyone. Few developments occurred during the day, until the evening it was reported that England had given Germany notice that unless she gave a satisfactory reply before midnight tonight to our request for the withdrawal of the German troops from Belgium, England would declare War on Germany. As we learned the next day England did declare war on Germany at 11 pm on Tuesday 4th August 1914, a truly memorable day in the history of the world, how memorable, the future alone can tell.”

We went to Sandwich yesterday to look at some books, and then on to have a picnic lunch by the river there.

As I said in Thursday’s post I am teaching my youngest children to play piano, guitar, tap their feet and sing all at the same time at the moment.

We have just started on the song "Oh My Darling, Clementine" and I suggested that they sang it in the car, on the way to Deal. Obviously this is a song that appealed to the younger of the two sisters, so she sang all the way while the older sister only sang sporadically between consulting her mobile phone.

On arrival in Sandwich the older sister had gone a bit green, so we determined that as motion sickness is caused by the fluid sloshing about in the inner ear, in time to the motion of the car. And while one sister’s fluids were doing this the other sister’s fluids were sloshing about in time with Clementine, which apparently doesn’t cause motion sickness; something that would be unpleasant for the audience if it did.

So having made this important scientific breakthrough we investigated deeper Sandwich. With Clementine and the Isle of Thanet – being flattish – there are no canyons and hence no echo.

However Sandwich is a town that now has too many churches and some of them have been. What? I don’t really know. Deconsecrated? I think, anyway they are open to the public and one of them apart from having medieval people who looked at the gorgon, sphinx, well something like that, and turned into stone, one of them has a whacking great echo.  

Anyway as there was no one else about we all tried out Clementine at the top of our voices, in my case out of tune, and appreciated the echo.       

As some of you probably know at one time I was in the god bothering business, so I have some specialist input about it, my conclusion here was, what with it being Sunday god was a bit sick of hymns. Just after this we found some fairly good books at a very reasonable price, so thank you god.

Still on the Clementine theme, I wanted to hear The Black and White Minstrels rendition. This is a bit tricky as our collection of classical records and our collection of rock music records is in alphabetical order, but the great pile of records that fall into some peculiar bracket, which I loosely think of as music to be ashamed of is in a terrible muddle.

I guess this is mostly the music that we were mostly listening to in the 60s when I think it best to pretend that we mostly listened to. What? The really cool – now there’s a word that says cool – you know, Doors, Stones, Velvet Underground, Hendrix.

Anyway I have made a start on alphabeticlising the heap.      

Oh yes the bank holiday, any one know why we didn’t get one to celebrate the outbreak of WW1? Pertinent here as we got an extended on 100 years ago.  


  1. Why is yours the only Thanet blog? Where have ECR and Simon gone?
    Please don't give up for you are an interesting read and a welcome voice of calm amidst the rabid rants of others.
    Thanks Michael
    You are providing a useful service

    1. Joe I think the problem is managing the comments, we are on holiday at the moment which as we are booksellers means that we are still doing what we usually do, running our bookshop, however slightly different rules apply when I am holiday. Normally I am very restrained in the way I deal with the comments, however I am on holiday now...


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