Sunday 31 May 2015

The Canterbury drawing that went wrong, some books for my bookshop and a ramble, Manston etc.

Lunch in Brunch and I tried to draw the view towards some large shop, Nasons I think, the widows upstairs in Brunch have something like banister rails in front of them to stop people falling out. My excuse is that they got in the way and made the roof in the middle bent.

The view you actually get (from memory which lies) through the window, looks a bit like this, moving your head from side to side while sketching means that you can see all of the view, or I suppose you could be a, realist, purist. What is the word; idiot? And draw the banister rails in too, I think you would have to shut one eye to do this.

On the Manston Airport front, there is no pwc report apparently due out by today, there is a new facebook group called Manston CPO see sma are increasing their Twitter activity, see

I guess the problem with social media and using it to get a point of view over is something along the lines of the old quote about quantum physics. If you think you understand social media, you don’t understand social media.

The nub of this is whether social media can be used to change anyone’s opinion, and I am not sure it can. For people who already have the same opinion and want to reinforce their opinion by reading stuff written by people with the same opinion, it’s OK and for arguing it’s OK but on the whole social media is a form of communication and as soon as you step away from that the problems start.

I bought a few books for my bookshop

Including some politically corrected Noddies, no golliwogs or phrases like. “Bigears went out on his bicycle and felt a little queer.”    
Useful for the young person with less than £1 to spend though

Saturday 30 May 2015

Pen and watercolour sketching in Broadstairs today

I pulled a skive today and went off sketching in Broadstairs.

The main objective was to colour in the pen sketch I did at the beginning of this month, a view looking down Albion Street from Costa.

Here is a photo for art critics.

Of course when I turned up the seat was taken so I did this one

A sketch looking up Broadstairs High Street form Costa

Photo for art critics, whoops sorry not very good is it.

I then went off to The Old Bake House for lunch where I had an excellent bread and cheese job, 3 types of cheese and loads of bread for £5, I will be going there again.

As you see the angle of the view is really too acute to sketch

All I can say about the result is that it was good practice although I will probably go back and finish it off.

Oh and this strange one of the bandstand

Friday 29 May 2015

A painting of Tesco Extra from Sainsbury’s at Westwood Cross Thanet and some thoughts.

Here is the painting of Tesco’s

and here the photo for any budding art critics.

An ocean of coloured gravel seems to be developing between Sainsbury’s and WC, with my children shopping in the one and me painting in the other I wondered if they would ever make it back.

Anyway in the end they were guided back by the Belisha Beacons.

Strangely there has been no sign on the pwc report on Manston due by the end of the month; perhaps they are working on it over the weekend.

Mamas and Papas are the latest shop to announce they are leaving the increasingly Titanic WC, perhaps given a little more time I may get a better view while the members of the fairer sex in my family engage in shopping. 

A new site has appeared which is endeavouring to get some idea of the proportion of people for and against the airport, vote at and results at  I should point out there that having voted you get an email that you have to click on to confirm your vote. In some cases this email takes several hours to appear of winds up in your spam folder.  
From a blogging point of view it's pretty much a case of no nes is good news today, I will endeavor to ramble on here if i think of anything else to say 

Margate SAA at The York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

The current Exhibition  is an Exhibition by Margate SAA. A varied collection of styles and media by one of Thanet's popular local Art groups. The exhibition runs - 27th May - 3rd June Exhibitions change weekly on Wednesdays.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Watercolour Painting of Deal Timeball from Dunkerleys Hotel and a bit of a retail reflection.

Here is the painting of Deal Timeball and some fairly typical Deal buildings

And here the photo for art critics

Cheese sarni and pot of tea about £7

Shopping in Deal today, a town that is still hanging in there with numerous independent shops, the other side of this coin is more shops closing at Westwood Cross H&M are the latest and will be closing on 6th June.

I guess the difference I notice most with WC is that the closed shops have a striking resemblance to the closed shops in “The Centre” in Margate. I guess this partly down to modern building that aren’t that well maintained looking pretty tacky when closed and partly due to newish shopping centres just not aging well. 

From my point of view as a retailer it is still fairly difficult to see where retail is going, sales in my bookshop started going up around the middle of last year after decreasing year on year for years. I have to admit to not really having any idea why, I would doubt that people are reading more physical books, or that my shop represents significant competition to Amazon, although I do try to make sure that my book prices are less than online book prices.

I do wonder just what the future is for fairly small out of town shopping centres like WC, I only have a reasonable understanding of the bookselling side of retail and everything I know about the book trade suggests that the W H Smith and Waterstones there shouldn’t really work. By this I mean that they replaced the two Albion Bookshops in Cliftonville and Broadstairs and I can’t see how book sales in Thanet would have increased by that sort of proportion.        

Here are a few Deal photos

A few books for my bookshop 

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Watercolour sketch from Topps Hot & Cold Food Bar in Ramsgate, some thoughts on Manston, Pleasurama, the Pav and the blog and the ramble and the bit at the end.

This Ramsgate watercolour sketch falls into the preliminary go at a view category, I will have another go at this one as, possibly with a bigger sheet of paper.

Here is the photo for art critics, the A4 sketch took about an hour and I guess that an A3 one would take about twice as long.

Topps Hot & Cold Food Bar in Ramsgate

£3 all day breakfast including drink and view, good quality cafe fare, probably the best value in town. 

A bit of Manston news which is that Chris Wells addressed the SuMA meeting and said that he hoped that he would have all the information for the next stage of starting the cpo for the TDC cabinet meeting on 18th June.

Translating this from councilspik, I get; There will be no extrodinary cabinet meeting, we are hoping that pwc will have finished their report by then and or RiverOak will have either put sufficient funds in a UK bank account or the will have refused to do this by then. The pwc report should be out any day now, see

The message that I am not getting from our new council yet is that they will hold a public consultation on the Manston site, and I figure that this was the big mistake that Labour made, I guess the penny will drop eventually.

What the council lack is any sort of public mandate to start a cpo for an airfreight hub although there is a mandate of sorts linked to the election for saving the airport. I don’t really know what the new UKIP group are hoping for, perhaps it really is to build an airfreight hub at Manson using a cpo, perhaps they are hoping that RiverOak will just not come up with the funds and it will all go away.

On to the Pav as I guess most people know Weatherspoon put in plans on 15th January and now it is nearly flaming June and nothing seems to have happened, the rumour is they have pulled out.

Pleasurama although there have been rumours recently that the development is not going to happen, despite promises by the last administration that work would be underway by the election, Cardy still seem to be saying that they are waiting for the work on the cliff repairs before starting on site. I am not really sure who is supposed to be paying for the cliff repairs so not really sure who is waiting for who.

I guess if the council could do anything useful at this stage a flood risk assessment for the whole area would be top of the list, particularly as the sea defences in front of The Pav and Pleasurama are the responsibility of the council and not like the rest of the Thanet sea defences owned and maintained by the EA.

This blog, not perhaps that interesting subject to most readers, is getting much more manageable since I stopped anonymous comments, less than 10 spam comments this week.  

A few pictures round Ramsgate seafront today. 

Having watched the BBC local news and heard Ian Driver on contacting the police over the previous chief executive I guess I should draw people’s attention to this document  
as the link opens so slowly I have pasted the document below


Note of a meeting to consider next steps regarding the Eurokent Planning Application.

Wednesday 23rd October 2013, County Hall, Maidstone

Paul Carter
Clive Hart
Theresa Bruton
Sue McGonigal

Following the TDC Planning Committee’s refusal to grant planning approval to the Eurokent mixed use application last week the meeting was called for the two members of EKO (KCC and TDC) to consider options for moving forward.

Having discussed the brief background and potential options the following was agreed.

A Decision Notice relating to the refusal at 16th October will be issued by TDC today, 23rd October.
EKO/Rosefarm application to be ‘resubmitted’ for the December meeting (if November definitely confirmed as not feasible)
The original submission will remain unchanged from EKO’s perspective.  No additional public consultation will be required.  No additional charges/fees will be made
A different planning officer will be assigned at TDC
The planning officer’s report will be changed to highlight a change in circumstances i.e. no SE Plan, a recasting of local housing figures that demonstrate a ‘slight shortage’, emerging local plan designating the site as mixed use.
To progress this, TDC is seeking legal advice regarding the housing number issue and will be speaking with ward members and the planning committee to fully appraise them of the new circumstances and implications of their actions.

In the meantime: 

Both parties will take independent advice about the next steps should the advice received by TDC not support the resubmission proposal or if the resubmission is unsuccessful in December and TDC then still not supportive of progressing urgently to appeal.  This to be in light of the conditions set out for dispute resolution in the Members Agreement for EKO.
Sue and Theresa will advise Matt regarding discussions with Rosefarm with the aim of taking him with us in the current proposal emphasising the legal and appropriate nature of the proposed actions.
Sue to consider Theresa’s suggestion that KCC planning team could offer support to TDC team on revising the planning report if required.

Theresa Bruton                     Sue McGonigal

23rd October 2013"

Monday 25 May 2015

Margate Meltdown Pictures

A few photographs of Margate Meltdown today. When it comes to pictures of individual motorcycles I have mostly concentrated on British motorcycles of the 1950s and early 60s as these were the ones I owned in the 1970s and 80s when they were cheap to buy.