Friday, August 2, 2019


I took another day trip yesterday, out to Margate on the Kent coast. An art museum there called the Turner Contemporary is exhibiting seaside photography by a range of artists over the years, and I wanted to check out the show -- as well as do a little seaside photography of my own.

Margate is an interesting town for photos. Like many British seaside resorts, it's suffered in recent decades as airline prices have dropped and more English people take their holidays abroad. But it was still quite busy, with plenty of sunbathers on the beaches and gamers in this Vegas look-alike arcade.

This high-rise housing block caught my eye, for obvious reasons. If you go to the website, you'll find a little Pong-like game where you can use a paddle to hit a ball and dismantle portraits of Brexit leaders like David Cameron and Nigel Farage. Click the question mark on the home page for the back story.

Anyway, I walked around Margate for a while, had lunch and went to the photo exhibit, which I really enjoyed. There were Victorian photos of people lounging on the beach in absurd layers of heavy clothing, bright funny postcards, images of seaside shopfronts and decaying beach hotels, mid-century color photos of enthusiastic beachgoers. Two male photographers took photos of young, handsome men and then hid them away at home -- the images were only found after the photographers died. Hmmmm...

Then I hoofed it out to Botany Bay, where we took Olga a couple of years ago. We were there in February and practically had the place to ourselves. It's much busier in summer!

I had a pint at the local hotel and watched this seagull brazenly raid dishes left on the outdoor tables.

Then I walked back into Margate, on an inland route this time, past tidy houses and gardens and some interesting shopfronts.

An opportunity for a reflective self-portrait!

I got to the station just in time to catch my 4:30 train home, and witnessed a bizarre situation. As I waited on the platform a young woman came and sat next to me, and within a few minutes she was approached by two men, one middle-aged and one older. "How did you find me?" she kept asking them. They persistently tried to persuade her to come with them for "a drink," and offered to drive her back to London, but she said no, she was fine, no, no, no. The older man told a bystander he was her father, and indeed she called him Dad. I silently stayed where I was to keep the men from getting any closer to her, while simultaneously trying to figure out how to call over a station employee -- but then the men left. She immediately called a friend and said she "panicked" when they found her and she didn't want to have to move again. I'm not sure what was going on there, but it wasn't good.


  1. The last time I went to Margate was when we were looking at property for Tom Grandson but the place seemed to be a bit run down compared to year ago when we visited.
    Maybe its perked up a bit. Try coming down to Brighton Steve, there's always something quirky here, lol

  2. Oh my that encounter really doesn't sound to good. I am glad that you stayed close to her until they left. I wonder what her story is, but it is one of those things that we will probably never know. Still I wish her well.

    You have such wonderful opportunities to be able to explore with your little day trips. How wonderful for you. It makes the time until Dave returns a bit easier I suppose. To bad that you will be returning to work soon but I know that every blog post will be a great adventure of some kind.

    I think that your self portrait is grand. I love how inventive you are with your photos and wow, that sea gull raiding the left overs should win some kind of prize if you enter it into a contest here or there.

    One last thing before I close. That store front just "killed" me... I love how people can come up with the cutest things. I would have loved to visit Margate. Have a great day/evening. Beth Reed

  3. The main thing to note is that your seaside outfit lacked fashion credibility. Have you ever thought about employing a dresser or costume adviser?

  4. We must take a walk around Margate when we visit cousins in Cliftonville.

    Just a thought...if you move to the right somewhat, from a more acute angle the letters in the windows would read block Exit, not Brexit..

  5. that is a great shot of the seagull and I wonder what was behind those mirrored panes in the KillMeNow shop front. that poor woman. I'm glad you stayed put. I wonder what the story was, who the other man was. 'a drink' my ass.

  6. Interesting place to go for a day trip. It looks like it's a "has been area".

  7. I'm so glad that you went to the coast. How beautiful it is there. Such an interesting town too. I love your self-portrait in that particular shop window. That really was quite an experience at the station. Uncomfortable human encounters are no fun at all.

  8. Oh gosh, that train station story is quiet frightening. I can imagine all kinds of bad things going on.
    Another great little get-away.

  9. I found your blog from my friend Beth Reed. Wow, I'm having such a wonderful time reading and looking at all your photos. My blog started out as one thing and turned into a daily journal too. I love taking photos and sharing them. I absolutely love love k.d. Lang. I could listen to her all day. How wonderful that you got to see her in concert. I'll be back to catch up on a few more of your posts. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  10. The encounter on the train platform sounds really bad. I guess the implication is that they now know where she lives. It pisses me off a lot that women can't be free to live their lives without men interfering.
    Margate looks really cool. Most of the UK is so much more interesting than the US.

  11. I can see it now, a true crime story by up-and-coming author Steve Reed: "Murder in Margate". Bloodshed on the beach, florid felons at the Flamingo. Will Monsieur Maigret be called in? Perhaps assisted by Adrian Monk, Barney Miller, Travis McGee, Joe Mannix, Philip Marlowe, Perry Mason and Thomas Magnum. Or will Inspector Morse solve the case? Read on.

  12. How strange....I spent many times at Botany Bay with husband ( he's from Broadstairs )
    And I'm in Margate on Sunday for my father in law's funeral on Monday
    Wish u were there

  13. Sorry your last comment was deleted...the cat walked across as I was reading and everything got messed up on the screen and I had to call support. I guess felines and laptops don't mix!

  14. I hope that young woman will be okay...Nice photos.

  15. Briony: I have been to Brighton, though it was several years ago. Before they built the big tower thing. Time to go back!

    Beth: I'm lucky to live in a place with excellent public transportation. The fact that I can get all the way to Ely or Margate, door-to-door, without ever using a car is amazing to this American!

    YP: You think?! I thought I looked quite beachy!

    GZ: When I first saw the building, that's what I thought it said! But then I walked a bit further and saw the rest. I guess "Block Exit" sends more or less the same message!

    Ellen: They're not actually mirrored -- it's just a bright reflection in normal glass because the sun was bright on my side of the street and the windows were dark. If that makes sense.

    Red: It is a bit past its prime, but ripe for gentrification!

    Robin: It definitely have me a "summery" feeling to have one day at the beach!

    Sharon: Yeah, something was not right there.

    Edna: Thanks for stopping by! It's funny how a blog can morph from one thing to another over time.

    Allison: I KNOW!!!! I agree 100 percent. It was very obvious that this woman didn't want to be bothered by these guys, and yet they were so persistent. Things in the U.S. are pretty interesting too, but much more spread out than here, so it's hard to see multiple sights in a single day. (Unless you're in NYC!)

    Catalyst: LOL! What about Ironside?

    John: I remember you visiting Broadstairs before! Yeah, our timing was off, but maybe one of these days I'll make my way to Trelawnyd. :)

    E: Cats! I hope so too. The whole exchange gave me the willies.

  16. Such a scary exchange. I'm glad the men left quietly.