So it won’t surprise you to know that that’s where I’ve been for the past 5 days. Not strolling ‘along the prom, prom, prom,’ because there isn’t one at Whitstable but ambling round the harbour and eating one delicious fish dish after another until it’s a wonder I haven’t grown gills. I had a good excuse for all this self-indulgent behaviour. When I haven’t been eating and meeting up with friends and being pampered rotten at the Continental Hotel, I’ve been researching for book 29, part of which, I’m setting in the town. This is cheating because I like the place very much and researching it means I’ve just got to go back several times during the next year!
So what have I been doing and what have I been seeing? Well for a start I spent a morning in an excellent primary school. The key words in the place are written over the entrance in splendid technicolour ‘Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control’ and even if the words hadn’t been written down, you know almost at once that this is a school where staff and children are loving and encouraging to one another. Apart from taking notes, I joined in during one of the English lessons and answered questions that came thick, fast and intelligently from all quarters of the room. Great fun.
I visited the library (naturally), tried to visit a museum but it was closed – better luck next time – and had a great time in the Playhouse theatre, which is exactly what anyone could want in a local theatre, warm, welcoming and decorated in red and gold, like all the best Edwardian theatres. The young man who showed me round was much enamoured of it. And who could blame him. The frontage was splendidly Edwardian too, decorated in white, with one eye catching red poster right in the middle, advertising the next show. My bolshie heroine will simply have to go and work there. It’s too good to miss.
So now I’m home too full of fish to move and with my pen in my hand. The things we authors do for our art!