Monday, 11 April 2011

The Love Of A Small Town

It's hard for me to believe that it's almost four whole years since I left London's West End & moved down here to the South Coast. Three months was the plan. Just to clear my head, inhale fresh air & decide what "I really want to do with my life" and so forth.

But with property prices being so low, a 10 month lease on a town house here was the equivalent of just 2 months in Ol' London Town. There were other draws to it also, being able to ride my '62 Vespa on long winding roads, not stopping for half hour or so due to the lack of traffic. And no more risky filtering between cabs & white vans. Less than 5 minutes walk are over 20 miles of sandy beaches and picteresque cosatlines as opposed to 20 mile traffic jams & picturesque transvestites.

I still professed, "I'll be going home soon", and I did mean it, I missed the smoke, the noise & the annonymity  Londinium offers. Though it was only up to six months ago that I am seemingly becoming so grateful for the sense of community that lies here in little old Bournemouth Town.

Last Sunday at a  car boot I found "The Official Guide for Bournemouth 1938-39" & I once again marvelled at the surrounding beauty of  this place, only now,  I'm fairly comftable in saying, is my home.

I was born on the Fulham Road in Chelsea, grew up within a stones throw of London's Victoria Station. I adore every one of London's 33 boroughs, worked & lived in the West End most of my adult life, where my folks still live.  So coming to sense I am fairly settled elsewhere surprises them still, as well as myself.

Though settled I am. And unresevedly, falling in love helped! Meeting Miss Zozo Gabor of Love From Hetty & Dave has undoubtedly been the the high point of my 32 years. Falling in love in an English seaside resort was the last thing I ever thought would happen to a guy like me.

Years of debauchery in London hadn't equipped me for falling head of heels!

So whilst residing in this little town it's afforded me the luxury of entertaining my love of all things Vintage & has been my vessel  that I still sail on today towards my Albion. Predominanyly in the 1950's & '60's being well known as a retirement town, toady there is absolutely lorry loads of Vintage clothing hoarded in many thousands of elderly persons bungalows! For which, I for one am truly grateful!

The sense of community here is alive & strong. On our road where the HQ of Love From Hetty & Dave is,  there are four other Vintage boutiques & a number of Antique shops. Everybody knows eachother, what the other stocks, specialises in & often send customers eachother's way.

Then there are friends where, on Sundays we pop round for "High Tea". Yesterday was splendid at Lord Jason The Barber's & Tammy Dixie Doll Bailey's! I'm not sure it could have any more English, pipe smoking, Earl Gray, croquet in the garden!

Also keeping entertained & viewing the Barber's collection of Pipes, books, gramaphones & his safe,

And a few items purchased from yours truly!

Badmington as well as croquet!

I could make a few quid with this on the Circle Line Tube on my next trip back.

Gramaphone & safe, both in full working order of course.

And not short of a cup of Rosy.

And how lovely it is to be given gifts which will add to my smoking collection. A '40's pipe rack & empty chromed badge for engraving!

Life for this Londoner, is almost too lovely by the Sea & probably now time for another cuppa . . . . . . .