…and not a whiff of the Olympics

I once read a newspaper column where the columnist, clearly having woken with a hangover and a deadline upon him, simply listed all his favourite things. If I were to do this (and believe me, I keep it up my sleeve …) my own catalogue might not include raindrops and mittens but would certainly embrace books and wine.

Hurrah then, for Julian Newick of The Lifeboat fame (I refer of course to the quaint hostelry in Margate’s Old Town not a pluckily-manned vessel for those in peril at sea) who has converted the one-time Albion Second-hand Bookshop into The Chapel – a purveyor of real ales plus wine.

And before the hate mail rolls in, yes of course it is a shame that a second-hand bookshop that’s been there decades can’t remain a second-hand bookshop for a few more, and it’s true that Broadstairs does have quite a few bars already and I know some of you are crabby enough, thank you, about the shouts from young people, dare-I-say-it, enjoying themselves when you just want to hunker down to your slippers and cocoa, but let us look on the bright side.  Better a second-hand bookshop that sells beer than no bookshop at all; I have suggestions for more pressing things to be cross about, and, a clincher for me, this is a bar – the only one in town to my knowledge –  that sells Macon Blanc Villages by the glass.

And, if that’s not enough, personally I find there is something utterly, deliciously delightful about sitting with a drink in one hand and the choice of a thousand books to peruse in the other. So you killjoys that protested, go take a look – you might be pleasantly surprised. Or more usefully, leave a few free seats for me and turn your attentions instead up the High Street to Pierremont Park where once again there are rumblings afoot about that dratted community centre. I thought our new Labour administration had squashed that one, once and for all – I even seem to remember congratulating them! – how have they caved in so soon? We don’t need a new building there, we can’t afford it – I believed that the council were having to SAVE millions not borrow many more – and I don’t understand the U turn. But then I’m beginning to wonder about my grasp of things in general.

A further press release from our own dear TDC announces “excellent news for the district and its residents.” (Suitably excited so far?)  The council, we are told, has approved the release of monies from the sale of council homes so it can fund extra social housing. And since  the cap on “Right to Buy” discounts has been lifted by central government, they predict far more sales this year than last. Er – excuse me for being dense here, powers-that-be, but could we just run through that again?  So you’re going to flog off council houses – ie social housing, in order to build more social housing? Councillor David Green, the Cabinet Member for Housing, appears to give this the thumbs up, stating:  “The scheme ensures that at least one new affordable home is created for every one sold under right to buy.”   Am I the only one who can see a simpler solution?

Please join in the chorus…

Nonsense and wastage

And running in rings

These are a few of my least favourite things…..

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