a dainty morning moment at The Marguerite and other #whitstable seaside delights

darlings

we returned to Whitstable (rather) Late last night, courtesy of British Airways, Southern Railways and a nice East End cabbie called Mr. Macbeef (who was not flummoxed at All by the marathon shutting down the road to Victoria and did a swift detour to Kings Cross St Pancras), all the way from Ibiza (via Deia) and will be leaving for Los Angeles tomorrow.

good lord.

Quite a travel Schedule and no mistake.

but we took the time this morning to Drop in on Sophie at The Marguerite and it was a delicious visit indeed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Marguerite is a delightful spot to linger and dream while sitting at the wooden table, gazing out to sea (or down at one’s manuscript which is slowly shaping up to be a rather interesting novel), the sky-blue kettle almost at the boil, cups ready for tea, ice cold milk in a jug and perhaps one of Sophie’s handmade Hampers waiting to be delved into when the next page is written and spell-checked and set aside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sophie (much like who-we-are-in-RL) had a big fancy job (in Fashion) and decided to step off the ladder at the top and Do Something Else with her life. Part of this is The Marguerite – the rest we shall tell you about when we are given permission.

Yes.

That’s Sophie in the picture above.

What’s that?

Ah.

Yes.

An excellent question.

That’s Dave.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dave has his own Instagram account (shared with elder sibling-of-choice Dominic)

*listens*

another excellent question.

The Marguerite (beach hut) got its name because Sophie found this portrait (see below) in a local vintage shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we did a little searching (you knew we would) and found that Miss Marguerite Ismay, *might* well have been the same young thing who appeared On Stage as a dancer – even as far afield as Australia in 1911 (can you imagine the journey in those days? who-we-are-in-RL and her Travels pale in comparison).

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 2.16.45 PM

after a lovely tramp across the pebbles and the brisk air filling our lungs, we took a turn around the Town once more to top up our Britishness (required at six month intervals to keep the Vocab up to scratch) and generally engender a sense of well-being in the soul.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAisn’t it pretty here?

so glad that William decided to move out of London and settle down in the Kentish Coast.

it’s delicious to have friends-we-have-known-for-years with seaside houses.

and new-friends-with-beach-huts, of course.

that really is extra special and no mistake.

 

reading poetry in cafes, sea breezes and spirits lifted in #whitstable

darlings

due to some last minute Decisions regarding not-feeling-well-at-all we Took a Train from Victoria Station last night (bought a refreshing cup of tea from the man on the trolley who made his way from First Class to the front carriage: milk-no-sugar-please-gosh-no-no-biscuit-thanks-ever-so-much) and some hours later………..arrived at the Coast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the seaside air cures all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and after a blissful full night’s sleep for the first time in *sighs* Five Days (not fun), we are slowly feeling better. a few sniffles. the tiny bit of dispirited-ness is Lifting, at last.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAas dusk fell on the town of Whitstable we walked with lovely William (he lives not far off the beach road and just a short walk from the Railway Station – long enough to have a proper conversation while the Samsonite was wheeled ahead and the bags of groceries fitted nearly in the crook of one’s arm) – and everything started to fall into place again.

especially when – as you can see – the First thing we saw as we took a Stroll Down the High Street this morning – was a BOOKSHOP.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as befitting a british bookshop – Brian – one of the owners – who was there on the till (cash register for our American friends – and we did have a lovely chat) – there was a Large Selection (well-curated) of vintage finds, local authors and a whole shelf full of Mr. Maugham. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the Trouble with Mr. Maugham is that his famous book “Cakes & Ale” is actually a Satire (which the British do very well – but it is usually prefaced by the word Biting and it most certainly would be Here) – of, well, Whitstable.

our friend Karyn from A Penguin A Week has the full exposition of the controversy here.  

but that does not deter the good folks of Whitstable for re-claiming its prodigal son in the upcoming Literary Festival (oh dear, we would LOVED to have stayed for this but we are needed – hopefully – back in the USA by then to start a new “gig”).

Especially sad to miss this as we’d be Thrilled to see Miss Selina Hastings do her talk on Mr. Maugham and his somewhat turbulent love life and literary leanings.

gosh! Ms. Lynn Barber is Also speaking at the Literary Festival – about her new book (*makes_note_with_pencil* of new book title)

now back to Oxford Books (so named because tis on Oxford Street, Whitstable, you see)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAalways so splendid to see a shelf of Mr. H. E. Bates

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and some very teamgloria style Books for (be-bobbed and brave and british) Girls.

what did we Buy?

Something we have bought too many times to count in secondhand bookshops before – as we like to read it in cafes and then give to friends (often young people who are in need of poetry as it happens).  
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfor more about the Mersey Sound and the poets Mr. McGough, Henri and Patten – there’s a lovely piece here from G. Cordon who knows his stuff. 

Then – after lunch (a simple yet nourishing meal at the Whitstable Coffee Company where we shamelessly eavesdropped on two friends of an uncertain age having a gossip because it was fascinating and useful for future novels) – we took a blustery turn by the seafront to blow the cobwebs from the brain and tousle the freshly washed hair. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand a turn down the high street.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

now – don’t you find small towns always have such interesting Libraries?

*looktocamera4*

Whitstable’s is a tiny bit disappointingly modern (but re-worked for the community so we shan’t complain – but we had hoped for Mullioned Windows and there were none – hence no photographs). 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

but this gave us Pause.

thanks to mr. google(.co.uk) – we are able to share with you some details about Joan’s life – as it was glorious and she deserves remembrance.

Joan Cavender, who has died aged 93, was known to her many friends in Whitstable, Kent, as an ardent socialist and a person of endless optimism about the possibility of creating a just and more equal world. For many years, Joan ran the Whitstable bookshop, Pirie and Cavender, a career she took up in 1949 after the sudden death of her husband. Her strong views about literature were not always sympathetic to all the tastes of her customers.
A very important part of Joan’s generous social and political vision was an interest in worldwide politics, and it was this that drew her, after her retirement, to go and work as a volunteer teacher in the Gambia. At an age when many people might have been pleased to turn away from the responsibilities of full-time work, Joan entered with enthusiasm into the teaching of office skills to Gambian women. She described these years as among the happiest in her life. In this setting, Joan’s politics of limitless concern for every individual expressed itself in her commitment to her students.
When Joan returned to Britain, she refused, with characteristic determination, to accept more conventional meanings of retirement. A passionate supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, she went to work at the movement’s London office as an assistant to Bruce Kent. In this context she found another focus for her political convictions, in particular the idea that ordinary human beings could, by their determined actions, correct injustice and prejudice. To turn one’s back on the possibilities of the political was, for Joan, never an option, and until her final illness she maintained that constant interest in politics which she had acquired in the 1930s.
Mary Evans/The Guardian/Monday 10 April 2006
moment of silence for Joan. thank you.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and here we are again.

with a view from the Herne Bay Suite overlooking the Essex Street Pleasure Gardens (and next door’s washing/laundry on the line).

time to sip some tea and catch up with Correspondence from Abroad.

there’s a fish supper this evening and another early night after some diverting television program(mes) on the BBC and tomorrow a fresh start with more photographs of morning coffee cups in the garden as the dew melts into the newly laid down turf.

the seaside is good for the soul.

especially when one was rather Under the Weather and Confused about the Future.

*cheery_wave_from_the_Coast*

seaside and salt air.

darlings

oh dear.

best-laid-plans and all that.

you see we’ve come down with something unmentionable in the sickness of body and soul department (not terminal but not suitable for Town either).

and so the meetings in london must be carefully but gently eased out of and we are heading back to the seaside (a different one this time – we were there today – at the seaside – but brighton – and now – tomorrow – we’ll be heading to Whitstable where William has said the Herne Bay Suite is available for a healing rest before we go to do the Speech in Deia)

one Never knows what will happen you see.

but one thing that you can be sure of – if emotions are left unchecked and sniffles not Attended to – it can only get worse

but before we retire, a few pictures from the past two days to share with you if you’d be so kind as to hang around and scroll down and imagine the sea-salty-air and the shouts of the marathon supporters and quiet cups of coffee in a just-dawn-broken morning with good friends and late night suppers after Trips to the Supermarket and CD playlists burned and walks through a park – actually three parks – blossom heavy on the bough – a metaphor as well, we’ll admit – but not ours to tell – either of them – a walk – actually two by the seaside railings and a deep conversation or more – exploring – remembering – sometimes catching one’s breath – did That happen There? how did we ever recover from those days? and now? where to now?

Whitstable.

where one can think and sleep and prepare to head to the other two islands on our trip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then, when one thinks all might be sort of on the wrong Path – there’s always a sign – not necessarily one that says “Turn left teamgloria” but when it’s a plaque on a building that one didn’t Search out for but there it Was – well – that’s magical – and helpful – and very much smile-inducing all over again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

see you back at the beach tuesday morning for a catch-up (in a virtual sense – unless you’re planning on being in Whitstable too, of course, but we might not be able to come and hang out – much Rest Cure to be allayed you see).