Blog 17.9,09

My school friend Viv Cooper died last week. He had been ill with cancer. A throughly decent man.

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The below are obviously catch ups.

Thursday 17th

I called into the Betjemin Arms today, where the ever charming Yvette told me she had heard me on the radio! It must have been BCB, but she was really busy and could not remember details, but did say she thought it was really amusing; so probably the show with Joe Ogden, rather than the last one in an afternoon, which I do not think I even mentioned on this blog.

I am at my brother’s again, mostly to see Basil but also to find out if there is anything behind the Ramsgate 2010 Arts Festival. I have independently sorted out two possible venues and shows, but need at least somebody here to be promoting them to make them worth trying for. Both would fit an arts festival like a good sock. After a fair bit of detectve work and phone calls I have an invitation to meet one or more of the organizers,, but no at a set a meeting; leastways I have no definite time offered.

The train from Leeds was enjoyable. OI got talking to two American ladies and a couple from Wimbledon who had been visiting Skipton.

Walking from the station a couple of lads I would guess to be 14, came up to me on bikes. I thought one of them was asking me if I wanted a wee. I had gone down a side street to look at a building I had note noticed before, so it made some sense as a question; but not from boys on bikes. After I asked him to say it again 3 times it turned out he was asking Have you got any weed! They did not look stupid and desperate,, but obviously were.

Friday 18th

Basil seems very well.

The driving force behind the Ramsgate Arts Festival seems to be Harriet, one of the family involved in a swish and very well received restaurant called Age & Sons. She knew Basil because he had sold them a quince and cranberry crop, tey being very keen on locally sourced produce. When I talked to her on the phone a few days ago she declred my brother to be lovely, which surprised and pleased him.

The trouble is that they are so busy that getting to talked to her was a real trial. Also only one person in Ramsgate, the woman the tourist office rang, knew anything about it; and she provided useful telephone numbers.

I finally met Harriet and her chef brother Toby at the second attempt in the afternoon, very briefly, but I got what I needed to know. The festival is next August, they are already a limited company, should be a registered charity soon, and already have backing.

I want to do a show at the Sailor’s Church, and went into a yacht dealers next door, where the lovely Karen gave me a card and an introduction to the Royal Ramsgate Yacht Club; where I talked to the lady who obviously, but not officially, runs the place; and who promised to pass any show proposals on to people who could actually help.

I popped into the Artillery Arms, where Liza the landlady was having a nightmare time with BT. It was so bad I offered to pull beer for her, which she accepted. In the 50 minutes before she slammed the phone down I only served twice, but it nice to be able to help.

Later in the Churchill I got talking to young, pretty and very pieced barmaid Amy, mostly about her bad feet and, to me, obvious issue with a lack of pain receptors, especially in her feet. It turned out one of the regulars has been nagging her to go to the doctor for months, so I urged the other blokes at the bar to tell him, and remind her, she really has to go to the doctors.

20th

In the afternoon me and Basil got a bus to Margate and walked back to Broadstairs, mostly along the cliff top. Not a long walk but it was the hottest sun I have felt, possibly this year, and there was a need to get back for Vespers on time. We had a pint at a pub called the Captain Digby halfway along, but I was getting dehydrated and ratty soon after.

We were walking along a cycleway. A long haired, wild eyed, dark asian was walking towards us on our side of the path. A pair of cyclists came up behind us. One of them rang his bell.The asian looked at them and deliberately stepped in front of them. It was a pyschotic act. The bikers had to break abruptly but did not crash. I told them the man had done it deliberately. I turned around and the nutter had stopped and was staring as hard as he could. I needed liquid so while I did think about stopping to call him a dangerous nutter who needed to see his looney doctor more often, base instinct drove me on.

It turned out really well as a walk in the end. In Broadstairs I had walked passed the Neptunes Hall when Basil called if I wanted a pint. Within 4 minutes we where both outside a lovely pint of Shepherd Neame, and I was feeling human. Basil gave the opinion that so many many were declared unfit to serve in WWI because so many of them drank tea with sugar rather than beer. The thing is, until very recently in Britain, poor diets were poor in calories (still true in any famine). Beer did form a major proportion of working class calorie intake, and provided traces of other important things; none of which are present in sugary tea.