This week’s note comes to you from Margate, where I find myself for reasons unknown, beyond the yearning for a change of scenery and a stiff sea breeze to clear the mind.
Margate lacks many of the features most seaside towns offer, its pier destroyed in 1978, its beaches facing out onto rocky outcrops and spoilt by dilapidated concrete intrusions. The Turner Contemporary is neither an interesting building nor, at this moment in time, exhibiting anything of interest. A few amusement arcades churn out the familiar cacophony of electro-mechanical whirls, dings and dongs against the din of unidentifiable pop music, but not as many as you might think. The high street is like a scene from The Living Dead; shuttered shops, loudly coughing pedestrians and the faint whiff of sewage. But amidst all this gloom and despair lies Dreamland, an oasis of brightly coloured fairground rides, restaurants and bars. Entertaining for sure, but likely to leave you feeling dizzy, disorientated and sick to the pit of your stomach if all consumed too quickly.
Which, dear reader, is a laboured metaphor for the past week. On a rollercoaster of the faintly ridiculous, an intoxicated high was followed by derailment borne of a single look. Dispatched to the backside of England, objective reality hones itself back into view.
Margate is fucking bleak, mate.