WELL, how’s yours been so far? My New Year greetings come late, after spending the opening hours of 2015 horizontal and groaning, in the clutches of the norovirus, barely able to sit up let alone write this column.
Since then, life has moved on dramatically and I feel I should begin by pausing for a moment to remember the recent hideous events in France before attempting to finish what I started two weeks ago. Traditionally, my first January offering has been a roundup of favourite shops, eateries and venues on the isle but since 2014 was more than usually fraught and manic and I hardly made it past the corner shop (Victory News – one useful little outlet worth a mention), I’m doing instead, key events and memorable moments. And hoping the coming 12 months may be a little less bumpy than their predecessors. Here, in no particular order, are my lows and lows of 2014…
Disappointment of the Year
Manston closing (don’t get me started); the NHS still being clogged up by people with nothing wrong with them except a desire to be seen TODAY about their possibly -infected middle toe instead of waiting till Wednesday.
Worst economy measure
Margarine instead of butter. A worrying number of breakfast venues on the isle have taken to using “spread” on their toast instead of the real thing.
Not so the Dalby café in Cliftonville – still a reassuring constant in a changing world. They also know how to fry an egg. Another prerequisite.
Ridiculous news story of the year
The scary tidings that landmark Pierremont Hall may be closed because it will cost in the region of £130,000 to rewire it and fit a new boiler. 130 grand? Is the trunking to be gold-plated? The boiler to be hand-carved and bejewelled and daubed with the blood of virgins? Come, electricians and plumbers of Thanet – unite! I’m sure one of you somewhere can do it for less than that. AND the revelation that sexist language – as used by men to describe women – is on the decline. All well and good until you see the words that have apparently dropped out of the language. “Sexy” and “blonde” have allegedly almost vanished along with “stupid” and “daft”. Well excuse me for being both of the latter but am I the only one who thought “sexy” was equally valid as a description of both genders (Martin Shaw and Liam Neeson immediately spring to mind) and what is one supposed to say then about a female who is fair of head? Please save us from the sort of politically -correct nonsense that would render them “non-brunette”….
Funeral of the Year
November saw the sad passing of Harry Lagan, local character and stalwart supporter of all things Thanet. Described by his wife Carol as “irreplaceable”, Harry’s sad but uplifting funeral, featuring the Archers theme tune, oration by Geoffrey Boycott and a rendition of Internationale showed the same wit and irreverence that were the hallmarks of the man himself. RIP Harry. Broadstairs is a duller place without you.
Best new bar of the year
Not a low obviously, but it can’t be all doom. Again two nominees – and both in Ramsgate. The Town Bar at the new Albion House Hotel is looking rather fab and Miles is doing a sterling job at The Arch in the Arches. My son brings good reports of the Ravensgate Arms in King Street – I’ve not got there yet.
Worst prediction for 2015
Dyed armpit hair. Yes I am serious. Foretellers of the next hot trends inform us that this year will see women sporting luxurious underarm growth, coloured in a variety of fetching hues. As an early pioneer of multi-coloured tresses, you might think I’d approve. Not so. There’s only one place female hair looks good on display and that’s her head. Note to my male readers – you can add chests but not noses and ears.
Top lessons learned in 2014
Seven items on a list are more effective than ten (handy that!) I was reliably informed by a fellow scribe. And, it’s not as neurotic as I thought it was, to carry anti-bacterial hand gel. Stay well, use lots of soap and hot water, and I hope your new year is turning out to be a happy one.
Je suis Charlie
Je suis Ahmed
Je suis Juif
See the original post at http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Jane-Wenham-Jones-look-2014/story-25881506-detail/story.html.