It was called The Beast from the East Mark II but more formally Storm Darcy and we knew it was on it’s way bringing heavy snow and freezing temperatures to our corner of North East Kent. As usual, fate had played it’s hand in our choice of where to spend a month of lockdown and I don’t mean in a bad way.
Home and Haven
The little apartment we had booked in Birchington on sea to “stay home” transformed itself from the cheapest decent place we could find into a little haven to spend time absorbing the news of the tragic loss of Jon’s Mum, Rose, and remembering happy times with her and the family.
Our seafront walks have become walks down memory lane. We have spent hours and hours reflecting with laughter and tears on all things Mum, Nanny and Rose (or was it Pearl or Rene?) – Losing Mum. Inadvertently we had booked the perfect place to do this, especially as our youngest son, Ryan, who lives alone and is in our support bubble could join us for a lot of the reminiscing.
A few harmless snowflakes?
Despite the arrival of heavy snow, arctic temperatures and thick ice Ryan managed to get to us a few times. It was on one of these visits that we bundled ourselves up in as many layers as we could and headed out the door for a walk.
From the forecasts we thought the deluge of snow was over but 15 minutes later we found ourselves in a blizzard. It started fairly slowly to start with but the flakes got bigger and it felt like a white out. Perfect timing – and I mean that. It was lovely to be out in the heavy snow and a few snow balls were even launched but luckily not down the back of anyone’s neck.
After braving the seafront we headed back inland and Ryan noticed that the church looked particularly pretty in the snow so we headed over to take a look at All Saints Church in Birchington. It was stunning in the snow and looked like something straight out of a Dickens novel.
It’s Raining Chalk
It seemed as soon as the hazardous snow and, particularly, ice started to melt we had to encounter has another hazard. Most days we head along the sea front promenade. The promenade has the sea one side and butts up to the chalk cliffs which are around 20 to 25 feet high. The promenade is accessed by intermittent steep sided gullies, steps and ramps.
As we strolled along, keeping our eyes fixed on the ground to avoid the remaining ice, we felt and heard sounds of something falling – a bit like someone was throwing handfuls of gravel off the top of the cliff. It was fairly constant and louder in certain areas than others. It didn’t take us long to figure out that it was chalk and flint falling from the cliff face. We felt like we needed tin helmets. Luckily we didn’t get hit by anything substantial and can only assume that water droplets had seeped through the chalk then frozen and expanded.
As it thawed it was prizing pieces of chalk and flint away. The next day a large section of the promenade was roped off and no access was allowed. I hope no one ended up with more than the light chalk shower that we had.
Fish and Chips – why not?
It has taken all our willpower not to over indulge on the delights of the 5* Award winning chip shop opposite our apartment. The blue neon light beckons us in but we have managed to resist apart from one evening when we had a “treat“. As our time in Birchington draws to a close, we have decided to do the decent thing and support local business as best we can. Once again Rose pops into our minds as she liked nothing more than a McDonalds Filet-o-Fish. It’s will be a little more traditional for us though, so it’s fish and chips tonight with lashings of tartare sauce – let’s hope the seagulls have gone to bed by then.
09/02 – 12/02/2021