Postcard from Margate, Kent
Hi friends, I hope that Summer has been treating you well. Where are you staying these days?
Here in London it’s been a little schizophrenic, with days as heavy and humid as tropical weather and others gusty and grey, the skies hanging low and groaning with the threat of thunderstorms. From the upper deck of the bus, I feel mischievous watching the City workers hurrying to safety like clumsy ballerinas skidding on the slippery sidewalks, their satchels or the Evening Standard held high above their heads in an attempt to protect themselves from the outpour. I am a typical Southerner and I romanticise the rain – can you tell?
Of course I love it too when it’s gloriously sunny. When I last wrote for instance, we were on our way to Margate with exceptional temperatures. I never thought swimming in the sea would actually be on the cards that weekend and it was as close to a summer holiday as you can get when you only have a couple days off. We loved it there. Loved it so much in fact that Rob and I half-seriously joked about moving there in the future.
Have you been to Margate before? All of it appealed to me: the charm of the Old Town, the golden beauty of the Sands, the luscious Winter Gardens, the arty vibe of the Harbour Arm. I have to say the liveliness of it really surprised me, I don’t know what I was expecting, some sort of faded grandeur perhaps, but there really was so much to see and do. There is a strong cafe culture, retro bars with musicians playing every night, and lovely antique and independent shops – if you’re interested in the latter you can take a peek at Cat’s guide which is a lovely read.
Really, Margate stuck me as a very buoyant community where people are enjoying themselves, taking it slow, going out. And the Turner – what to say? Majestic inside and out. I loved learning more about the subversive, playful work of British artist Grayson Perry and his tapestries in particular I found fascinating. On display for the exhibition were some of his ceramics, sketchbooks, and super-8 films too. There was also an installation by Mexican artist Carlos Amorales with suspended cymbals hung up on a mobile in the foyer that people played at various times of the day. An arresting piece, both peaceful and cacophonic.
July is galloping ahead because I know I am going home to Provence at the end of the month. Since childhood I have had that internal clock of the Summer holidays being June to August anyway, so even though I have been at the office these last few weeks, my evenings and weekends currently consist of Mint Juleps, terrace picnics and a whole lot of reading.
On my bookshelf lately I have been burning through the whole Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths (seven books!), started a new series with “A Share in Death” by Deborah Crombie, and I’m just finishing “My Salinger Year” by Joanna Rakoff. I’m also watching the delightful Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix and not feeling an inch guilty about it.
I’m not obsessed with crime fiction but it’s a Summer tradition for me, dating back to those long scorching days spent at Mediterranean camping sites growing up, with Mary Higgins Clark as companion, while the more extravert kids played tag and volleyball in the burning sand.
What about you: what have you been doing this Summer, when are you going on holidays? What are you reading, watching, loving at the moment? I would love some recommendations so please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment section below.
Enjoyed this post? Why not keep in touch with Hecticophilia: never miss new blog posts by following via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or by subscribing on Bloglovin or Feedly. If any of your friends would enjoy this content, then please don’t hesitate to share!