Georgie-boy wrote this little tune for the opera Porgy and Bess based on Dubose Heyward’s novel Porgy
Catch this tune at The Chapel, Broadstairs on monday evening (probably)
Catch the Groover there (definitely)…(Groovin’, The Young Rascals, 1967)
Life on the Costa del Kent…..
There is another new micro pub that has opened near here
The Tankerton Arms comes fully equipped with real ales,
a mobile phone ban and a merry crew…..
…..a place where like-minded folk go to make conversation
The Groover was travelling incognito and supping quietly…..
…..I would like to say in a corner…
…..but there are no corners…
…..and that’s the POINT
You engage, are engaged, one joins in the fun
As it happened a jolly lady turned up and parallel-
parked next to the G.-man
It turns out she was a lady-lawyer until she enjoyed
her own private epiphany and went native…..
…..a fine art degree later and J. emerged as a ‘naive’
…..besides the seaside in Kent
Change of location and a change of vocation !
…..and life just got better (check it out: http://www.harvattworks.co.uk)
The G.-man soaked up all this interesting info about folk art
and ‘costa’ life …..
“You’re very quiet, but what about you, what’s your story?”…
…”What do you do?”
I thought about this for a second and then coughed up…
…Honesty being the best policy
“I’m done with doing”
He wasn’t going to get away that easily
“I used to be a banker”
It was out…..
…..Like a splat of sick on the pavement
…..”No wonder you kept that quiet,’ she replied ! ! !”
You can take the boy out of the City…..
…..but it takes a lot to shake off the smell of unfettered greed
A spot of reinvention seems to be called for…
…just like the ex lady-lawyer
I don’t want to be born again as a Jewish bather…..
On the pebble beach in Herney yesterday…
…in the blistering heat I saw the frolicking families
All fully dressed…
…not an inch of exposed flesh
Look, if my religion dictated that I had to wear a pair of trunks
in the NORTH POLE ! …..
…..I would give the north pole a MISS
At least the men’s skull caps kept the ultra violet rays of their sun roofs
‘I’ll be back’ (The Terminator, 1984, Arnie S.)
Just like J. the folk artist
Better smelling too !
Faversham ho ! ! ! ! !
Well, not exactly on the farm…
…at least to it
…and that’s if you can find it
If you can it would be worth the effort
Seymour is the farmer’s name and he claims to know every
animal by name…..(porkers, bleaters and heifers)
…..he must have an incredible memory !
Luddenham Court, where it all happens is like a grown-up
version of Pop Larkin’s farm in ‘The Darling Buds of May’…
…H.E. Bates 1958 novel or the TV series from 1991-93
…and if you ever wondered what you would grow like / into
on a diet of only red meat from day one…..
…..Farmer Seymour will provide the answer
The real key is that the animals are ONLY fed on feed sourced
on the farm
Planet Organic / Farm Organic whatever you want to call it…
…it’s farming Enid Blyton-style…..established 1898
For everything else you need to go to Macknades Farm shop…
…..in the same family’s safe hands for 150 years
This is exactly like those wonderful American farm shops that
you often find…..err…..in the US
…..they have the longest cheese counter in England !
…..they have a range of Scandie crisp breads (The G.-man has
some Nordic form)
Look, they have pretty much anything you could
Guaranteed to get your taste buds dancing
There’s also a great Italian restaurant / cafe if overwhelmed
by a lust to eat you can’t wait till you get home
The real deal too (The Macknade’s have Cuomo blood bubbling
round their veins)
As part of the ‘farm complex’ there is also…..
‘Herman’s Plaice’ ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
The best fish shop in Kent !
Apparently Herman is Dutch and the name is actually an
…..he meant ‘Place’
Serendipity rules, OK ?
Plus an antique / bric-a-brac centre (check out Sister Act)
Plus an up-market wine merchant
Everything except fresh MEAT
But with old Seymour just down the road in the sticks
You’re done !
Now where’s Mariette Larkin ? (The TV version, Catherine Zeta Jones, please)
I could use a little help ! ! !
Not Herne Bay
Not even a village…
A hamlet…..technically small and insignificant
How many ‘not even a village’ can boast…..?
Their very own Vicar of Dibley
Well, Herne has its very own vicar-ette
The lucky Elaine Richardson presides over a largely 14th century
church (the main building campaign began in 1301)
…..but Herne is lucky to have her
It gets better…..
Herne also boasts its very own brewer-ette
Step up Karen Goody…..
Now there’s a very special girl…..
How many girls can claim to keep thousands of men satisfied ?
Karen can ! ! !
…..with her special brews from the Braggs Lane brewery
Let’s big up Goody’s Ales (www.goodyales.co.uk)
Not bad, two special ladies with the fast track to temporal
and eternal pleasure
Just get them in the right order and you’ll be fine !
There’s more !
There can’t be ! !
Well there is
A funky windmill built in 1781 to grind corn
An Italianate mansion (now Strode Park) built in 1862
An Arts and Craft masterpiece built in 1905 (now Casa Groover)
…..and the smallest pub in Britain
The Butchers Arms
The first micropub in britain (www.micropub.co.uk)
…..often imitated, never equalled
…..all 168 square feet of her…..
…..maximum of 32 revellers as long as you don’t mind
risking intimacy while you sup ! ! !
A temple of kitsch
…..and proud of it
…..more rubber chickens than imbibers
…..a bastion of cliche
…..there really is a sign that says…..
‘Beer ! Helping ugly people have sex since 1762’
The more awful the better, I suppose
Nonetheless, this is the best small pub in the world
…..and it’s the Groover’s local…..
…..where he masquerades under the pub-given alias of…..
…..as in Nick Leeson
…..Well why not ?
…..The Groover played his part in destroying the world’s economy
as a small cog in a bank
So there it is
‘Small is Beautiful’ (E.F. Schumacher, 1973)
If you get to the real heaven when you finally shuffle
off the mortal coil…..
…..you can reasonably expect to find the Holy Trinity
GOD, JESUS CHRIST and the HOLY SPIRIT
Meanwhile back on planet earth…..
Planet Thanet to be precise…..
you can find another kind of Holy Grail
The perfect nightspot with…..
The earthly holy trinity of BEER, BOOKS and JAZZ
Welcome to the world of The Chapel, Broadstairs
A gothic-windowed affair that has long since been
deconsecrated as a holy liminal and rechristened as a
temple of temporal good things
Second hand books in bookcases that stretch up to the
Spread over two levels and set out as an atrium (church-style )
Coffee, home-made pies, lots of local cheeses AND
A full and proper and properly kept selection of REAL ALE
Drawn not pulled ! ! ! (technical beer talk but an important
point to any aficionado)
And beer with amusingly clever names……
PUMP FICTION !
No, it’s not a typo
RED, WHITE AND BREW !
It’s still beer coloured
This is also still a beer and not a Nancy Mitford character
The music was a revelation…….
Just eased into a selection of well known songs but
…..Look, if you could describe jazz adequately you wouldn’t
need to listen to it
‘Play Misty for me’ (Erroll Garner, 1954) was a real treat
The fresh-faced teenager with the funky bass was a star
slapping out ‘I Keep Forgettin’ (Michael McDonald, 1982)
In the midst of so many earthly delights the G.-man was in
Even the little beer-puller-ette took a turn on the drums and
stroked the skins skilfully
Lulled and warmed by good company and the holy trio
It was eventually time for bed………..
Giulietta purred along the A299 homeward bound……
There was something lying across the fast lane
A BODY ?
The Groover saw it too late to do anything ! ! !
At motorway speed it wasn’t possible to take evasive action
But he knew exactly what to do to best straddle the red and white
object as if it were a sleeping policeman in London then…..
…..Closed his eyes and let Giulietta take over
(Moral: when it gets really tricky get a lady involved)
Heaven Can Wait (Warren Beatty, 1978)
If you ever get lost on the south-east coast on a Monday evening this
is the answer to all your prayers !
Britain is great again…
Great Britain !
Our conquering athletes are defeating all before them
The Froome Dog is just about to carry off of the Tour
Our cricketers are making the Aussies tremble in the Tests
The Lions humbled the Wallabies in the tour down-under
Mo Farah just broke a 28 year old 1500 metre British record
Andy Murray tamed Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon
Suddenly from being a 7th / 8th / 10th string country…..
…..we are now knocking at the door of the top table
GREAT again ! ! !
So basking in this reflected glory the Groover set off along the
river for the morning pant
Along the Albert Embankment he passed the clubbers that were
wending their way home from the legion of clubs under the
…..they all talk really loudly
…..because for the past many hours that’s just what they had to
do to communicate over the excesses of the clubs
…..they also look like hell
…..staying up all night doing drugs and alcohol is not conducive to
a healthy glow…..
…..or any kind of glow at all
Next stop Lambeth Bridge
But, No !
It can’t be…..
…..it’s all cordoned off
……blue and white security tape and emergency vehicles everywhere
…..cars and vans all over the bridge
This was BIG
I really like running over Lambeth Bridge…..
…..running the gauntlet of the massive york stone paving stones
It’s wasn’t happening today
I hove over
Went up to security and asked what’s happened
SHOOTING, came the reply
Without hesitating it came straight out…..
Good guy or bad guy ?, I enquired
There was a brief pause…..
A momentary panic set in…..
What if someone’s granny had just been gunned down ?
What if a teenage tourist had just been brutally slain ?
Then a grin spread out over the man’s face…..
‘You are a funny guy, mate’
‘They’re shooting a film, the bridge will reopen at 2pm’
So we can safely say, since no one actually died…..
‘He shoots, he scores’
If our footballers could do that in the World Cup in Brazil
We would be truly GREAT again
Don’t hold you breath ! ! !