So out with the old and in with the new. I kept trying to write up the days gone by to catch me up to now but several weeks went by for every day I caught up so to hell with that plan. I’ll just splurge right here…
So goodbye to sunny Ramsgate. Sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy, frequently odd and very Ramsgate-ish. Nice beach, pants town centre. Beer and inexplicable food at the Belgian Bar, oh how we loved it and its nasty cakes. Pea fritters, bolshy seagulls, marina at night, strings of lights over the sea and swimming club will all be missed, some more than others.
I liked the lights in the town centre, marking Ramsgate’s Picadilly Circus where the market was held and young women stepped out in their small, lycra finery and men with tattooed necks displayed their Staffs. And Neil’s eldest daughter wanted some photographic evidence of her stay down in Rammers so I took a few for her. I like them – like a giant jellyfish landing at night.
Ramsgate was a bizarre interlude.
Seriously adored by some people and despised by others, the Isle of Thanet (supposedly the Isle of Thanetos, God of the Dead) will retain a special place in my heart. A place of contradictions and inevitability. No squash courts and many bridal shops.
I am particularly sad to leave the allotment – where we grew beetroot (4), peas (3) and pumpkins (9!)
Here are our tomatoes!
Goodbye Ramsgate, we’ll see you soon for an ice cream and a punch up x x
And now, for something completely different…
Having plied my trade with the Soil Association for a year and a half, with tears and happy times in almost equal measure, I got the boot. It hadn’t been my ideal job by a long stretch but somehow, even in the depths of cycling 50kg of books through the rain for a paltry wage I felt I was a part of something on the right lines. Back with the NHS, taking small pots of wee over the counter and being shouted at all hours of the day, I somehow felt I had fallen off the path to righteousness and was floundering in the undergrowth of desperate measures. I lived in Clapton, which was cool, but not really me, I wasn’t learning anything interesting, wasn’t making any money and certainly wasn’t enjoying myself or doing anything I could call constructive. So I signed up to WWOOF, and plumped for Scotland. Why? I’d had a fantastic time every other time I’d been so I thought, hell, I’ll go there. After that I just picked randomly and ended up on a coach overnight, waking up twisted and bleary eyed with the sun creeping over the hills in the borders, destination Ullapool. That was it really. I had a great time. I made a lot of bread, some good friends. I stayed for a month and then went back for another month to look after the farm while Simon went on holiday. I met Neil and things developed (in the biblical sense). He came to stay with me, I went to stay with him, the kids came down to Ramsgate for 3 weeks, I nearly walked out more than once but we got through it and when the flat in Ramsgate went on the market we made a rapid exit in a carefully packed hire van and drove pell mell back up over the border, via his granny’s house and back to just outside Ullapool. Here we are now.
Ullapool is on the Western coast of the Scottish Highlands – it’s very beautiful with more scenery than anyone could possibly know what to do with.
Nobody was more surprised than me when Neil and I came back from a weekend in London to find the flat in Ramsgate all in disarray, our things in boxes and the furniture pushed away from the walls with my mum, pink of cheek, wielding a paintbrush behind the wardrobe. Yes, she had said that we needed to move out but we didn’t realise she meant now. Happily, we’d organised a place to move to, a place I had never seen but Neil assured me it had been a lovely coal shed and now had furniture too. I trusted him. He was right!
The all important hub of the home, complete with chainsaw, an essential for any household. Note below, the fireplace, without fire. Despite our best campaigning efforts, the landlady stands firm on not allowing us to fit a woodburning stove. We can have a flickering electric fire if we’d like. Bah.
Looking back at what I’ve written I think I’ve tried to hard to come across as a generally pleasant person. Thusly, it reads as the drivel of a dull woman who doesn’t get out much – however true it may be, I’d like to disguise that fact so I’ll abandon Ms Nicey Nicey (or stab her in the eye and push her into the chest freezer until further notice) so I won’t include the rest of it but will start afresh tomorrow. Start afresh in 2011 (how so soon?!) and leave the retrogressive tendencies for the time being.