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Tony Grist

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Margate [Jun. 8th, 2014|09:54 am]
Tony Grist
      “On Margate Sands.
        I can connect
        Nothing with nothing.
        The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
        My people humble people who expect
                      La la.”

Margate sands are beautiful, and no longer- as in Eliot's day- covered by crowds of triste, post-coital Cockneys.  The sky is huge. Turner- who lived in Margate- said the light was better than anywhere in the world. I wouldn't demur.

Anyway I now know where I want to spend my declining years.

It seems we could afford it. Move behind the seafront and Margate's a poor town- there are boarded-up shop fronts and a whole arcade that's no longer in use.   The rent on a two bed-room flat is £500 per month. People  have stopped wanting to retire to the English seaside; I can't think why; I've never seen an English seaside town I didn't love.

Margate has a kiss me quick shop- where you can buy phallic lollipops and postcards of fat ladies- and a new, prestigious Art Gallery (The Turner- what else?) The Gallery is currently exhibiting Mondrian, who- after Picasso and Warhol- is my favourite 20th century painter. Mondrian was a theosophist- and  trying to paint whatever it is that lies behind appearance.  At first he's trying to get at it through landscape, then through grids and rectangles.  At every stage he's one of the great colourists. What you don't get from seeing him  in reproduction is how hand-made even the grid paintings are; you can make out the individual brushstokes, the paint has cracked like cooling lava, and the roughness of the wood shows through.

[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2014-06-08 08:55 am (UTC)
Plus they have that Turner Gallery
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-06-08 09:15 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2014-06-08 09:05 am (UTC)
Wow, that is very appealing. I could commute from Margate. Maybe.

I love Mondrian too, ever since I visited his house in Holland.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-06-08 09:17 am (UTC)
It'd be a longish commute, but I'm told there's a good train service.
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[User Picture]From: glitzfrau
2014-06-08 09:45 am (UTC)
Ooh how cool! Are you going to go for it, then?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-06-08 11:22 am (UTC)
I think so- but not immediately. We have to sell the house in Oldham first- and we're not going to be in a position to move on that for a couple of months at least.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2014-06-08 11:43 am (UTC)
You make it sound wonderful...

And yes, there's a unique character to seaside towns. Especially in winter. Part bracing and part melancholy.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-06-08 11:49 am (UTC)
We're good at seaside towns, I think. Didn't we more or less invent the genre?

They're all different. Margate is wide open to sea and sky whereas Broadstairs- right next door- is enclosed and cosy.
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[User Picture]From: nineweaving
2014-06-08 06:28 pm (UTC)
How wonderful to have found your 'scape!

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-06-08 08:30 pm (UTC)
Now we have to work out how to get there....
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2014-06-09 03:03 am (UTC)
People have stopped wanting to retire to the English seaside; I can't think why; I've never seen an English seaside town I didn't love.

I hope you can!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-06-09 02:33 pm (UTC)
First we have to sell the place in Oldham...
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