A premature autumnal coolness and unexpected (and unwelcome) rain showers made today's trip to Whitstable very different to the warm golden sunsets and ice creams of previous September trips here. On the plus side the chips were, once again, amazing. Soggy with onion vinegar and gritty from numerous zealous shakes of the salt jar-just how I like them. Post-chips and in need of sugar, we zigzagged, via eaves and other makeshift rain shelters, to the coffee and donut stand and I ate a hot donut.
There was a melacholic air to Whitstable today. Perhaps it was the oppressive cloud cover and 'end of tourist season' weariness which hung over the town. The yacht masts whistled and jingled eerily in the gusts of wind and the sea looked murky and uninviting. The hand towel I brought to dry my feet should the urge to paddle take me stayed in my bag. We whiled away most of the time in the quirky shops which populate the main street and found some interesting things. I got some lovely fabric and cheap thread in a haberdashery opposite the chip shop.
There is a plan for this fabric which will come up on the blog at a later date.
My hunt for a secondhand teapot continues but the secondhand shops in Whitstable proved fruitless. As a consolation I did found a little glass bottle to keep my rosewater in. There are few things I like more than beautiful glass and it is only my lack of funds this month that prevented me from buying every glass vase, dish, decanter and bowl I found today. You can't beat secondhand shops for glass items. (unless you like things to match of course-secondhand shops are not for those who like matching sets!)
When the showers ended we headed to the beach (via the old fashioned sweet shop where we stocked up on fudge, sarsaparilla and aniseed boiled sticks and fizzy strawberry tubes) and walked up to the Old Neptune for a lemon and lime. The pub was warm and spellt of damp people who'd got caught in the rain too. I envisaged sitting in there in the winter and felt cheered. The rain considerately started (again) while we drank her drinks and stopped for an interlude when we left. We went shell seeking on the way back and found a nice selection of shells which I have plans for once I've found some waterproof glue (the end results will doubtless be blogged about here). The hunt culminated in 'stealing' two of Whitstable's famous oyster shells from the little mountain of them ("please do not take") near the yachts. They're quite pretty and could be made into something useful I think with a little imagination (and some strong, waterproof glue. I really must buy this glue).
The sky looked beautiful as we left. Some rays escaped through the clouds and the sea shimmered. I bet we missed a lovely Whitstable sunset.