The Long Road East

Any hope that my family and friends may have had that I would be staying away from controversial destinations with the purchase of a retirement home in Broadstairs, East Kent is going to be overturned in the run up to next May’s elections. For this is Thanet South, target seat of the UK Independence Party. The best description that I can give of UKIP is the British equivalent to the American Tea Party: a bunch of crackpots with muddled ideologies and more skeletons in their cupboards than the Natural History Museum.

The leader’s ruddy faced and slightly slurred pronouncements may have some appeal to the “man in the street” but only if that man is staggering home from the pub. How could a party founded on thinly veiled racism and the promise to remove Britain from the European Union manage such knotty problems as the economy, education, health and transport? Well, of course they couldn’t but, like the American far right, they have the potential to seriously impede the efforts of anyone else.

So, here I am in the thick of things, trying to feel some satisfaction at having managed both my property sale and purchase before the end of 2014 and looking forward to settling down to complete the write-up and photographs from last year’s travels and plan some new adventures for the year to come. Well, I would be if I wasn’t so exhausted. Something, or perhaps more accurately “everything”, has taken a serious toll on my health over the last couple of months and my joints are complaining bitterly.

As well as attempting to coordinate decorators, electricians, roofers and gardeners, I’ve also been doing a lot of school runs and babysitting while my son plies the Southern Oceans. Yes: I’ve sent him on the Sea Spirit of visit Antarctica for his thirtieth birthday. I hope he understands that this means he will be putting up bookshelves and cleaning out the fish pond at the new house for some years to come.

Grahame refers to Thanet as “The Far East” which I suppose it is to a Cornishman but at least his home is now no further West than Worcestershire. It’s still a long way but the fact that we have grandchildren in locations spread out from the English Channel to the Welsh borders means that we will have to retain our mobility and flexibility for some time to come. And on that note I am pleased to announce that we’ll be off to the warmth of Southern India in a couple of weeks. For health reasons, you understand.

Categories: Britain, East of England


  • Chris says:

    Ahh, Stone Bay in the winter sunshine, I bet you and Molly are enjoying it. What do the local tradespeople think of “Our Nigel” then?

  • Nicola says:

    It may look pretty but it is is bloody cold. Molly the dog only gets to the top of the steps and has a quick check that the sea is still there before turning for home.

    As for what people down here think of UKIP leader Nigel Farage: it’s pretty mixed, honestly, and I’d no more try to discuss politics with someone wiring my kitchen appliances than I would with a London cabby. There IS a satirical magazine published locally with some pretty unflattering cartoons, though. Since no one is spraying bullets around I guess we have some things to be grateful for.

    By the way: it’s a good old Saxon name pronounced “Farridge” not the effete, continental version “Faraage”.

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