‘the fanatics, the fixated and the foolish’ BBC news…

Which do you consider yourself to be…?  Fanatic, fixated, foolish or none of the above.

Just happened to be passing by Bucklebury, home to Kate Middleton on the way back from my easter ‘break’…  The paparazzi got their buck / shot as Kate and a police protection officer left the family pad in the hamlet of Chapel Row.

The village has morris dancing, plasma screen,  champagne tent and more.  David Cameron will indeed be in tails, Fergie is out of the country, Tony Blair will not be in attendance, the ‘living avenue’ of 20 foot maple trees is installed in Westminster Abbey and the world’s media is poised for history in the making…  The Daily Mail leads with ‘Kate wears jeans for the dress rehearsal…’
Goose egg from Kate’s family butcher, the Bladebone Butchery.    Sue Fidler, wife of butcher,  Martin who has known Kate for over 30 years will be wearing a ‘fascinator’.  They are both thrilled to have been invited to the event.
It was worth the wait for the photographers at the end of the Middleton’s drive…
Rodolph de Salis paying pilgrimage to the village of Bucklebury, home of our future queen,  Kate Middleton.
Rodolph de Salis at home with the paparazzi at the end of the Middleton drive.
Several thousands of pounds of equipment ready for the ‘big shot’…

Monarchy Matters

Long Live the Queen!

A most interesting book by Peter Whittle entitled ‘Monarchy Matters’ was launched this week at the offices of the New Culture Forum http://www.newcultureforum.org.uk/home/.

The book can be purchased from Amazon http://amazon.co.uk/Monarchy-Matters-Peter-Whittle/dp/1904863590

Painting by 92 Beaufort Street (Vinny Reunov and U.K.R. in 2000) of HM The Queen reading the 1999 Gracious Speech, being delivered by Rodolph de Salis and Shige Furutami for the launch party.

Turner Contemporary, Margate

Last week saw the grand opening of Margate’s long awaited art gallery TURNER CONTEMPORARY.

On Saturday 16th April, artist historian Rodolph de Salis and Ruby Slippers joined the crowds to catch a glimpse of local artist Tracey Emin and musician Jools Holland opening the doors of the gallery to an expectant public for the first time.

Crowds queue for the 10am opening.
Rodolph de Salis wearing his Tracey Emin hat from the 2007 Venice Biennale.


Tracey and Judy

‘The Victorians built a lot of Margate… much of the amazing architecture has not been preserved.  Grade II buildings have burned down – desolate car parks stand in their place.  What has happened to the beautiful England we once knew?’  Tracey Emin, The Sun

Margate was once the most popular holiday resort in Britain and while there are certainly traces of its glorious past visible between boarded up shops,  discarded empty bottles of vodka and run down Edwardian, Victorian, Georgian and even Tudor buildings it’s a long way from ‘shabby chic’…  There are great hopes that the £17.5 million investment in the gallery will give a healthy boost to the town which has indeed seen better days.  The beach is fantastic, the light and the sky as inspiring as Turner found it to be and while the eccentric mad hatters tea shop found it acceptable to serve canned fish in the crab salad, we had a very fine fish and chips on the beach at sundown.
The gallery was interesting if a little bemusing.  Brian Sewell stated in his rather scathing review in The Evening Standard it ‘might be unnoticeable on the fringe of Heathrow or the outskirts of Slough’ and one of the locals likened it to a fish processing factory.  As for what the building houses, there are 11 major pieces by six contemporary artists in a show which centres around Turner’s  painting ‘The Eruption of The Souffrier Mountains, in the Island of St Vincent’.  Daniel Buren’s black and yellow stripes  ‘Borrowing and Multiplying the Landscape’ framed the beauty of the bay magnificently drawing attention to the wonder of nature.

To have an excuse to visit the seaside and marvel in the art that is nature is for me justification enough for a visit to Margate.   It will be interesting to see how the gallery develops.  Let’s hope it’s not the white elephant that Brian Sewell fears.  Have hope Britain!

Daniel Buren’s ‘Borrowing and Multiplying the Landscape’
Jools Holland at the opening with photograph of himself in Margate as a child.
Gallery goers marvel at Turner’s painting which was the basis for the works of the commissioned artists.
Conrad Shawcross’ works

Daniel Buren’s window
‘Margate’ by James Webb
Work by astrologer/artist Russell Crotty
‘ The most contemptible scribbler I have ever encountered masquerading as an artist’
Brian Sewell,  Evening Standard.
Rodolph’s ancestress Mary (1711-1785) lived in Margate 1767-1770.

The gallery is built on the site of Mrs Booth’s guesthouse where Turner stayed.
artist unknown, Margate
‘Bodies in Urban Spaces’ in Love Lane where Turner went to school.

‘Bodies in Urban Spaces’ by Willi Dormer as performed in Austria in 2007

We seem to becoming increasingly a nation of litter louts… ref. recent report on Countryfile.
artist unknown, Margate
 Tudor house
 “willow” crockery at the Mad Hatter’s Cafe, shame about the tinned fish.

Rare Woolworths shop front over two years since trading ceased.
1896 house 

New and old brickwork
‘Elegy in Salt’.  Unfortunately a dog had got to it before we did.

‘No to Nuclear, Yes to Mother Earth’.
Rodolph with Bumper the bowling rabbit.
Fishing on the end of the pier.
Another bumper outing to Primark.  Amazing what you can get for the price…
One of the few shops on the seafront that remains open.
One of the many art galleries opening in Margate.
Beautiful sculpted ironwork on the seafront.  Metal detector prospector in the background.
Perhaps Catherine and William may come to Margate as the Royals have done in the past.
Rodolph in the Arlington Arcade.
Sign outside the virtually deserted Arlington Arcade advertising the Joke Shop
 ‘Still here, open every day, this is no joke!’
Blaze Kebab has a Facebook page Facebook@blazekebab blaze .

Plenty of opportunity for budding publicans and entrepreneurs.
As Turner said, the skies over Margate are the best in Europe, although being on the east tip of the country it faces west.

As we struggled with the vending machine on departure from the station we were given a tip about how to get two packets of crisps for the price of one from a friendly local chap and boarded the train back to London.

ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT FIONA CAMPBELL, Please do not use without permission.