A weekend away. Travelled down on the train to see my sister in Ramsgate; not convenient for me, but extremely convenient for her, as that’s where she lives. Or Dumpton Park, to be more accurate. The station consists of two platforms overgrown with grass; no buildings, no electronic display, nothing. It looks for all the world like one of those abandoned stations.
We walked along the seaside to Ramsgate. Never having been there, my mental image was that it would be identical to Margate; full of cockneys and Essex people doing the bandy-leg Lambeth walk in Kiss Me Quick hats eating jellied seafood and chips with an accompaniment by Chas’n’Dave. And with Roger Lloyd-Pack wandering around carrying an inflatable dolphin.
Instead, Ramsgate’s actually a bit posh, not really catering for the handkerchief-on-head and rolled-up-trousers brigade. It’s more for tourists who like to go out to sea in a boat for the weekend. Because, as shown in the film Jaws, there’s nothing quite so relaxing as a nice sea voyage.
It’s a very pretty place, largely because it’s architecturally eclectic; it’s a bit Georgian, a bit Victorian, a bit 1920’s art deco, all muddled-up together. I was particularly impressed with the Victorian lifts down the beach.
In the evening, we walked the other way along the seaside to Broadstairs, for a lovely meal at the Osteria Posillipo Pizzeria, not far from Bleak House where Dickens wrote Harry Potterfield, staring out to sea, trying to think of pseudo-autobiographical adventures for the young Daniel Radcliffe. Bleak House, of course, later gave its name to one of Dicken’s novels – Barnaby Rudge. Broadstairs was pleasant enough, with a nice smuggly, nooky, Cornish sort of atmosphere. Wikipedia tells me that Broadstairs was also the location of the original 39 Steps. They’re not there now.