Take a Tour of The Secret Garden – Sandwich Kent

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Hot tempers, Cooling Towers – Richborough Towers – should they stay or should they go!

I remember my first walk on the West Cliff of Ramsgate, gazing across Pegwell and, shock, horror, seeing three ugly cooling towers looming like squat ogres in the distance. But, it wasn’t long before I came to regard them with great affection.  True, they won’t win any beauty contests – they are what they are – 1960s industrial architecture. Nevertheless, there is a pleasing symmetry to them. They have grown into their surroundings and give scale to an otherwise flat and featureless landscape. I love to watch the play of light as the sky changes above them or see them gently enshrouded in early morning mist. They are affectionately known in our family as The Three Fat Sisters (the chimney is the anorexic!). When returning from our travels somewhere, there is a contest to see who can spot the towers first, and a sigh of contentment goes up that we are almost home.

Now, of course, this is all sentiment and progress isn’t built on sentiment. If, as has been suggested the towers are unsafe then, of course, there is an argument for tearing them down. If they can be replaced by an industry that will bring employment into the area, then I can see the logic in that too.  However, I wonder if the full potential of the towers has been explored, if, for example they could be turned into a museum, art gallery or restaurant, the land roundabout landscaped into a pleasant park or designated an official nature reserve. There are, I believe, some plans to build a recycling plant, including an incinerator which, presumably, will require chimneys with ensuing blasts of pollution. Is this likely to be any less a blot on the landscape than the towers?  Surely not.

My position is plain. I like them and, ideally, I’d like them to be given a new lease of life, long to reign over us.  On the other hand, the devil on my shoulder tells me that I am not an engineer, I have no knowledge of what is entailed in such a venture, the feasibility or the expense. I just hope that whatever decision is made, it will be the right one for the area and that we will all be happy. But, what are the chances of that?

Have your say. Write to Thanet District council on planningservices@thanet.gov.uk

PS.  A page on Facebook has been also been set up, Save the Richborough Towers,

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Richborough-Towers/233694336688325?sk=wall&filter=1

RSVP by Tara Moore

The Granville Midsummer Ball is always an affair to remember. The who’s who of Irish society gather at Carrickross House – the rural family estate – for a night of revelry. But this year’s soiree is extra-special: matriarch Honoria is announcing her grandson Rossa’s engagement to Ashling Morrison. Ashling has been swept off her feet. Tall, dark and handsome, Rossa’s the perfect catch, but is he too good to be true? Why is Honoria so keen to make Ashling – stepdaughter of her life-long enemy Coppelia – part of the Granville clan? Can Rossa’s brother Carrick hold on to his position as rightful heir? And will ruthless Coppelia have her way? With the promise of distinguished company, drinking, dancing and murder…who could possibly refuse this invitation? Repondez s’il vous plait.

THE AUTHOR

One of six children, Tara Moore was born in Kildare but spent her formative years in the Middle East. Tara always harboured a passion for writing but that was initially eclipsed by her passion for music, dancing and unsuitable boyfriends. She now lives in the beautiful harbour town of Ramsgate with her husband and two sons.

Contact her on: http://www.taramoore.com

Read an interview on: http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/independent-woman/celebrity-news-gossip/calm-after-the-storm-2124745.html

Fitness – It’s a mug’s game – How I gave it the finger!

It’s that time of the year again when the sight of the sun shining through a dusty window brings on a panic  attack. Not because the window is dusty (who cares), but because it is a reminder that sooner, rather than later, one’s pasty white limbs are going to have to emerge from their cocoon of thick tights, long sleeves and longer hemlines and put themselves on public display.  This year, I vowed things would be different. This year, I would be prepared. This year I would not need hypnotherapy to confront my fear of sh . . . sho . . . shor . . . shorts!  In a nutshell, I was going to get fit! I was pleased with this intention and things got off to a good start with a trip out to St Margaret’s Bay (a rather beautiful part of Kent).  The intention was to go for a brisk walk along the cliff tops, whilst keeping a weather eye out over the English Channel for signs of a Napoleonic  invasion. Actually that phobia belongs to my husband who, in a past life, might even have been Nelson.  I wouldn’t tell everyone this, but as we were going to sleep last night, he leaned across and whispered lovingly in my ear ‘Kiss me, Hardy.’  I digress.  The intention, as I say was to kick off my get-fit campaign by going for a nice walk and, indeed, we reached our destination with no trouble. That came just as we got out of the car and I managed to catch my finger in the door, which my other half promptly locked, thereby ensuring no means of escape.  By the time my screams penetrated his brain, the damage had been well and truly done and, upon its release, my finger looked like the leavings of a sausage after a Rottweiler has had a go. Our walk, therefore, turned out to be no more than a step – two, actually – one out of the car and one back in.

Was I defeated? No! Bloodied and bowed? Hell, yes, but being made of stern stuff, I vowed not to let  a semi-amputated finger scupper (Napoleon/Nelson again!) my plans and so, two days later, I set off for my local gym and an appointment with Biceps Brian. I looked the part – I really did. New trackie bottoms, ample tee-shirt, brand new trainers (all singing, all dancing with interchangeable soles that promise to make your calves look like Linford Christie’s in only five minutes a week).  Alas, all the machines required pulling or pushing , a big no-no with a bloodied, broken, lacerated finger.  And so BB (we were on intimate terms in a very short space of time – parting with hard cash facilitates these matters) advised me to stick with the treadmill.  I did, for fifteen minutes, till the skin of my heel stuck to my brand new trainer.  I peg-legged home – in my stocking feet. Fitness? Pah, it’s a mug’s game! Now, does anyone know who stocks opaque tights throughout the summer?