Sunday 31 December 2017

New Years Eve, Thinks?

Well that’s about it for 2017 folks, considering at the moment that we are a very long time dead, I am pausing to consider what I have got to show here for a whole year of life.

I think comparing recent years a question that more realistically answers this is how did your public mark on 2015 compare to your 2016 one, I don’t keep a diary written on paper – I never have and never will. When I was a child I had a disability that made my hands shake, years of people trying to force me to write on paper during my childhood means just the thought of keeping a written diary makes me feel pretty awful.

I do have the blogs for 2015 and 2016 and I can work through these by using the older and newer posts links at the bottom of the pages.

The main thing I can relate to is the pictures that I painted, to expand on this

Looking at this picture I painted in December 2016 is the closest I can get to reliving the memory of the time.

Looking at the photos I took is not so good for retrieving life from the past and reading what I wrote on the blog variable at best.

Most of the time the posts on this blog related to the history of Thanet and in a way I am a bit uncomfortable moving out on to the limb of the past that remains inside us and what we get from memory.

I have a terrible memory for people, names and faces, I first noticed this when I was about 20, in the sense that you have some important interaction with someone and afterwards – when they have gone, you realise that you wouldn’t recognise them if you saw them again. It is something to do with brain circuitry or something, as I can take a machine to pieces and put it back together again – no trouble.

But memory is very important and so are people and in a way that machines aren’t, and considering the end of the year, memory is what it is mostly about.

In a general sense it’s not a very good time for memory with a steady increase in memory loss diseases that just weren’t prevalent in the past. I think, am not certain, that this is due to increases in particulate air pollution.

In the last year I have become increasingly concerned about the air pollution issue here in Thanet, partly because Thanet has about the most road and population upwind of it in the uk, and partly because of efforts towards trying to generate transport hubs here, Port Ramsgate upwind of Ramsgate and Manston upwind of Broadstairs.

I guess the most significant thing to happen in Ramsgate was the new Wetherspoons opening in The Royal Victoria Pavilion, strange in one of the few towns that McDonalds has closed as in a way it’s got aspects of the same package. Paying upfront with a good idea of what it’s going to cost and what you are going to get, is what I mean here. Or to put it another way, I was painting for a while early mornings in Wetherspoons – coffee toast and marmalade, always the same and the same price.

With Margate I suppose it was the revamped Dreamland and Broadstairs I think the very fact that it hardly changes from year to year is one of its attractions.    

Most popular posts during the year have been:-

My bookshop has done fairly well during the last year. Book wise, on the one hand we have continued to have falling prices for most individual book titles, but on the other the book is one of the few ways for one person on their own to get some form of entertainment that is isolated from intrusive advertising. Shop wise I think there is very little left in the non food and clothes retail world, that could be said to function in a useful way, so we get busier by default. 

Canterbury Cathedral today, I turned up at 9.30 and went to said matins, which was held in the choir, this proved to be a congregation of about ten and a priest armed with a powerful pa system designed to address hundreds of people, in this huge space the result is indescribable.

Painting in Canterbury Cathedral today, for this I essentially sit in the bottom of what would be a six story building if it had any floors and try to work out some sort of perspective that represents this.

Painting afterwards in Chocolate Café. I tried a bit of pencil, which I haven't done for a while.

A few Wellington Crescent Ramsgate photos next 

Some Margate pictures too

Apologies for a bit of an odd post, we have relations who have come here for the fireworks that have been cancelled.

I may well add to this post as the fireworks have been cancelled 

Saturday 30 December 2017

Margate and Ramsgate old pictures minor ramble

The complicated business of how to use the internet is drifting around again, I think New Year looming has something to do with this. During 2017 I tended to concentrate much more on old local pictures than anything else.

Text wise I don’t think that many people read what I write, but then as I can touch-type fairly fast and the content is much more random thoughts than carefully researched news items, I guess I am just another person who doesn’t read my posts very carefully.    

I am still sticking with posting on the blog and linking the post to what look to be suitable local Facebook groups, mainly because the pictures work better that way.

There are two aspects to the picture publishing thing that are either difficult or impossible on Facebook, one is the size and the other is related text being next to the picture.

The other reason for using the blog is that at the moment I can keep it advertising free, of course there is often a link to the books going out in the bookshop in Ramsgate and art exhibitions in local galleries, whether you see this as advertising in the conventional sense is probably related to how much you understand about the financial profitability of the arts and literature.

On the news front, this is mostly being covered by of course whether anyone can make enough to live on out of writing local news is another matter.

But the ever changing world seems more and more focused on money, online and off.

Charity is an interesting one and there is a sense in which that is big business too, the following is a list of charity’s CEO’s salaries that is doing the internet rounds, I haven checked it for accuracy.

I did a bit of painting in Canterbury Cathedral today and tried to get some reasonable pictures out of the camera on my new mobile phone.

Friday 29 December 2017

It’s fireworks for the council.

 As far as I can see the only New Year public firework display in East Kent this year is in Ramsgate. We have one every year unless the weather makes it impossible.

The fireworks can be seen from the seafront, cliff tops, beaches, harbour area and associated café culture.

This is not a domestic firework display like you would have in someone’s back garden, so you don’t need to be in the garden to see it.

Probably the best indoor vantage point will be The Royal Harbour Brasserie, (café on the end of the pier) I would think Wetherspoon’s and all of the bars facing the harbour seafront area will be ok too, although as a painter of pictures I can assure you seats in a window with a view are always at a premium.

In Thanet the main internet forum used to be blogs, but frankly what started as local people chatting freely in a local internet forum became unmanageable for the individual blogger. 
 Well now the main local internet forums are on Facebook and most of the comment about the firework display is like another type of fireworks display, with interesting features like:-

Why isn’t the money being spent on:-

The homeless?

Rough sleepers?

Sweeping the streets?

Emptying the rubbish?

Mending the potholes?
 This fireworks display, the one in the sky over Ramsgate Harbour, is being put on (funded) by the council, you understand.

Having a few pints down the local and blaming it all on the council is one thing and for the most part everyone will agree with you.

On the internet there is a different issue, you either write stuff no one wants to read, nonsense, advertising, spam and of course no one will read it, or you write stuff that interests people – here in Thanet, local news, history, politics and people will read it and expect it to be roughly right. 
 Facebook, and the internet however is about attaching the incredible to the credible, isn’t it?

Anyway three councils and the fireworks are being paid for by one. In this case Ramsgate Town Council that is not responsible for the homeless, rough sleepers, sweeping the streets, emptying the rubbish or mending the potholes.

 The money that Ramsgate council spends comes from:-

The people living in Ramsgate, petitioning for and subsequently voting for paying extra on their council tax bill.

Grant funding.


The other councils Kent County Council and Thanet District Council are responsible for the homeless, rough sleepers, sweeping the streets, emptying the rubbish, mending the potholes and probably a lot more. 
 The pictures are of last year's display
 here is the link to the pictures of the books we have just put out 

Thursday 28 December 2017

Some old postcards of Ramsgate and Margate and I fess up over the phone

I think all of the pictures in this post will expand if clicked on in the blog and then the expanded image should expand again when clicked on.

Looking at the back of this postcard, does it date from 1914 and say "No signs of war here."?

It loos to me like a man to man card

 this one "Havent forgotten ... so long" was Margate providing a happy oblivion? Is this a woman to woman card?
 Oh well one decoding is another encoding, particularly where local history is concerned. The point wosisname here is to try and learn how to use the new phone for copying pictures. All I have done is to open an album in the window and take a few of the pictures in it in natural light.

 I am still not sure with my emergency replacement phone whether I have bought betamax, but I think it should have been the one that said "Plus" on the end of the name and not "Play"
 but as you can see the the pictures are not coming out too bad, these are all the only and first shots, no deletions and retakes.
 an interesting bit of photo colouration here from 1905 resulting in a fairly good depition of a night shot.
 On the back and back in 1905, Ern seems to be saying I like you these moonlight cards

 nothing on the back of this one
 nor this one

 This is a hand coloured steel engraving from around 1860 I think.
 done this one before, from 1906 so the euphemisms are probably lost on us.
 Does, “Not seen many Jonnies to suit yet” mean not seen many fit blokes?

interesting to find this one with tomorrow's date in 1903 on it, there is a sense where the people of 100 years ago were good at saying something when there wasn't really anything to say. I do a lot of this here on the blog and take my word for it. it ain't easy.

Out and about in Ramsgate this afternoon
 Camera Canon S3 IS and not the phone
 Always different down the seafront
 The cafe culture seems reasonably busy considering the new Wetherspoons
 about what I would expect for bright weekday afternoon in midwinter
 I think there may be a tipping point where we go from the other cafe and bars being quieter than before the new Wetherspoons, to where they are busier than they would have been before it, becase of it.
A bit of an ongoing post this one, so I may have added more if you come back later.
 as you see not a huge amount of people wandering about

 Wetherspoons looked fairly busy from outside though

We are back to work in the bookshop tomorrow so here it the link to the books newly in

 I am still concerned about falling sand levels which i think may give overtopping issues both for the Pav and the Pleasurama site

Here is the moon over Ramsgate this evening