I like to give the impression that the sun perpetually shines on Broadstairs. By and large, it does. However, when the wind and rain blow in from the north or east the little pimple of undistiguished land that is the Isle of Thanet takes a battering. The orientation of our garden means that it’s well protected from the north, and reasonably well from the east. It’s the southerlies that do all the harm, turning the elegant bay tree into a billowing green spinnaker sail. 

Today, as the storms roll down from the Arctic, all is reasonably calm in the garden. The only clue that it’s blowing a gale outside is the the incessant draft coming down the chimneys. (A house with six fireplaces, soon to be eight, is never going to be poorly ventilated.) Unlike London we experienced nothing more frightful than some very cold rain, although I fear tonight may bring frost.

Like the lightweight I am, I postponed all gardening and this afternoon Him Indoors and I treated ourselves to a rare pleasure, a trip to Broadstairs’ tiny cinema, The Palace, to see The Lady in the Van. I had seen Maggie Smith promoting the story of the cantakerous woman that parked her decrepit van on Alan Bennett’s drive for 15 years, but didn’t appreciate that sections of the film were made in Broadstairs. Being a big fan of both Maggie Smith and Broadstairs you could claim I am slightly biased, but The Lady in the Van is a wonderful, brilliantly acted film. Our little town played itself very well, and Weston-Super-Mare slightly less convincingly, but looked wintry and windswept ….. and the sun wasn’t shining.