Today KC had a drama rehearsal for next week's 'extravaganza' on the Isle of Sheppey... To be precise in a little tourist spot known as... Erm... for the sake of the many nice people who I am sure live there and my own safety from the more dodgy characters we met, let's call it 'Seatown'.... We dropped him off at the village hall with the overly enthusiastic drama teacher telling us to 'go explore... Have fun... It's a holiday!'
I don't know if you have ever been to this small (and obviously 'fictitious') English resort on the north Kent coast, I'm sure some people love it and return yearly... These are the same people whose idea of fun is root canal surgery or flying Ryan Air. This place defies belief... I seriously thought we had were back in 1973, which is probably when Seatown was in its heyday!
Don't get me wrong I am from the north west of England and grew up in Blackpool, Lytham-St Anne's and Morecambe so I do appreciate that seaside resorts are struggling. But this one had lost the will to live many years ago and was simply on life support. 'I am not getting out of the car.' Papa said, 'I don't know if you've noticed but there is not a single chinese or black person here, just lots of people who are big and bald with lots of tattoos.... And that's just the women!'
'Don't be silly' I replied, 'we can just stop and have a coffee while Lea does her class'.
We looked for a place to park.... I wasn't leaving the car there, or there, or there. We drove up to the end of the 'strip' saw the sea and turned around. I pulled over at a little 'cafe'... Full English breakfast served all day... Includes a can of Stella! I kid you not! We didn't stop for long. It started to bucket it down and TJ piped up from the back (where he had been surprisingly silent) and in a little voice said, 'Daddy can we go now? I don't like it here.' 'why not?' I asked, foolishly assuming that all 6 year olds would be in awe of the sea front. 'I've seen the sea before and i don't need to see it here... It's boring' 'boring' is TJs default word that he uses when he is uncomfortable about anything.
'Ok' I said, 'lets go'. My attempt to introduce both papa and TJ to the joys of 1970's seaside England was obviously not going down well. So we went to nearby Sheerness (a real place which has many fine qualitites) and a lovely Tesco by the sea.
We returned to pick KC up from rehearsal a couple of hours later. As I collected heimthe teacher said in an impossibly cheery tone, 'don't forget next week we begin at 9am!'
'That's early' I said.
'Well' she replied ' next week is Seatown carnival and they will close the road off at 12. Besides we don't want anyone to miss out on the carnival fun!'