The end of summer, school starts, we leave Ramsgate. What a summer it’s been! Good for the parakeets, which appeared more common than house sparrows, as well as our tortoise, who found an earthily earthly paradise in the compost heap. I can hardly remember a day without sunshine. There’s hope for the British seaside after all. Ramsgate isn’t among the coastal towns on which fashion has yet descended. But change may be under way. You notice it in the growing number of people dressed in Boden clothes. An art gallery has opened.

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The festival known as the Summer Squall was carried off with élan-we were treated to an openair production of The Barber of Seville, somewhat truncated, due to the small cast, but it was free and could be enjoyed with a glass of local Gadds’ bitter in one’s hand. After the failure of the sound system, the singers had to compete with a nearby amusement arcade, someone’s chair collapsed, and Figaro’s breeches fell down. Everyone loved it.

Next day, a big model boat was dragged to the beach and set alight, with a blaze of fireworks. Thanet District Council had, in a killjoy spirit, attempted to charge the organisers to close the roads. Officialdom was ignored. But that’s the glory of Ramsgate-it often is.

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