We all treasure different things…. from people to possessions, to memories and experiences.
About three summers ago whilst camping at Bolberry House Farm in South Devon with friends, my youngest daughter made friends with Georgia and Anna two tents along and one afternoon after a hot day on the beach we created an art gallery and all the young people there that day (with the help of Grace – Thom’s big sister) wrote the beginnings of a story entitled the Lost Treasure. I took all the bits of paper and drawings home with me, meaning to scan them and email round a pdf of their work later on. Sadly the drawings all got a little damp and soggy. This summer, whilst sorting out my desk in preparation for our annual camping trip, I re-discovered ‘The Lost Treasure’ and idled away a few days shaping them into a book via adobe photoshop and ‘book write’ a tool found on blurb.com. I had to re-imagine the various parts of the story that survived and anyone who reads it will need to write their own ending but it was great fun and I’m glad the story now has a second life.
England is at its eccentric best on May Day, all the quirky ancient traditions such as ‘Pat-a-Lamb’ and the Cuckoo Fairs, Heritage Re-enactments and Morris Dance Parades emerge in colourful, frolicsome joy to prance gleefully about and remind us of our connection to the land, the woods, the trees, the fields. So it was perhaps no surprise that on a fleeting visit to @escapetocreate ‘s pad in Whitstable on May Day this year that we should succumb to her inherent creative promoter’s charm and take a walk along Whitstable Beach to the busy, bustling harbour. There we stumbled upon a procession of Morris Dancers parading along to Dead Mans Corner and delighting young and old with their sunny ‘merry olde England’ goodwill amidst the jingle of bells and the fiddling of fiddles. A large ivy clad tree ambled alongside fair maidens and a big brown bear dispensed hugs and photo opportunities.
Arriving by the decking stage at Dead Mans Corner I examined some of the beautiful clay pebbles made as part of a community project and housed in a barrier of Gabion cages – ‘Here Now’ read one. I certainly am, I thought.
Whitstable retains its old coastal town charm and character, clap-board cottages and the curvy Horsebridge Arts Centre mingle comfortably with Oyster bars, the Sailing Club, Cafe’s and the working fishing fleets to-ing and fro-ing in the Harbour. The Coffee stall exudes a siren song to passers-by, the heady mix of coffee and salty air, exhorting you to stop and buy ‘coffee with your ice-cream Sir? Madam?’. Queues for the Crab and Winkle meandered down the South Quay and the West Whelks Oyster stall was doing a roaring trade by the old smoke huts. Whitstable Harbour, remains relatively unscathed by the surge of concrete monstrosities that sprung up in all the wrong places throughout the sixties and seventies, which is another good reason to go there. We carried on up to the Castle where everyone was in party mode and then back along the beach and through the town, past all those little lanes and nooks and crannys that make the seafront so endearing. It was a wrench to go home!