Tag Archives: kent

Do you have a spare 5 million? If so, I have a bargain for you

And I’m not joking. This really is a bargain (for those who have around £5M). For that, you could bag yourself Bleak House – the former summer home of Charles Dickens, and the very place where he wrote David Copperfield.

Bleak House

Imagine what a wonderful and inspirational place this would be to live in and run writers’ retreats at. I know this sounds like something that is going to lead to a punchline, but it isn’t. Plus it’s in a great location, right by the sea, so has wonderful sea views, and the icing on the cake is that it’s only about 20 minutes away from where I live, so I can come and visit you, (Yay! Right?).

Inside of Bleak House

I spotted the article about it in our local online newspaper (KM’s KentOnline) this week…

Article about sale of Bleak House

I would certainly dispute the last line on that snippet though – one of the most renowned, yes, but one of the most expensive, certainly not! There are plenty upon plenty of more expensive properties in the country. Take this example, a fourth floor apartment in one of London’s most prestigious areas, £25m, nearly five times as much as Bleak House…

London flat for sale

A very nice apartment, yes, a very nice location, sure, but does it come close to living in somewhere like Bleak House in Broadstairs? With its history? As I say, Bleak House is quite a bargain by comparison. Direct trains from Broadstairs into central London only take 1hr 20mins too, so it’s really quite perfect in every way.

And look at these other excerpts from the news article…

Excerpt from news article

See the bit in bold? A mere 3 years ago it was only £2m, and now it is £5m, wow! How much could it be worth in the future?

I genuinely can’t understand why millionaires aren’t racing to snap it up; it’s been on the market since October. And I’m also really surprised that it is just available for general sale for anybody to buy like that.

And look at this bit…

Excerpt from newspaper

It’s already operating as a business, geared up for bed and breakfast, so perfect for running those writers’ retreats, right? So who wants to come in on it with me? And when I say “Come in on it with me”, you need to put in all the money and I’ll…erm…help run the writers’ retreats. Ooh and I can make cakes too; writers need cakes.

Long term followers of this blog may just remember that I did a short video about this very house a few years ago when I was part of Limebird Writers. Here it is again… (sorry that it’s really hard to hear me during part of it because of the wind.)

So I did a video about it, and now it’s up for sale, that means it’s destined to be mine, right?

Would you buy this house if you had the money? Can I visit?


What the Dickens is going on?

This is a little spoofy video report I made about Charles Dickens with my friend, Stacey Morgan from Morganic Films, for the Limebird Writers site where I also blog. I thought I would share it here too. Apologies that my voice is at times hard to hear over the sound of wind and the sea! We had a few microphone issues…

If the embedded version doesn’t work, you can go to it here http://youtu.be/i2Qizp3QNZw

Hope you all have a good weekend!

There’s a baby alien growing in my outhouse

Alien Nest

Whenever somebody comes to our house, we always ask them if they would like to see the huge spider’s web in our old outhouse. We have to refer to it as a spider’s web at first because they wouldn’t believe us if we told them what it really was. “Sure” they say, and follow us to the outhouse with a jolly smile on their face. We open the door to the outhouse, and they step in. As soon as they see it they stop dead in their tracks. The smile freezes on their face and they utter the words, “What the (expletive) is that?!”. They get a little closer, but not too close, nobody dares get TOO close to it. They ponder, they ruminate, they discuss possibilities – a giant mutant spider perhaps? Eventually however they come to the same conclusion as us. The inevitable conclusion. The only conclusion. This is no spider’s web, but is in fact a nest in which is growing a baby alien.

Now if you’re still thinking that this is just a rather large spider’s web, let me ask you this, how many spider’s webs have you seen that hang there like a hammock, weighed down in the middle by a large dark area? I don’t think the photo properly does justice to how large and imposing this thing is. Let’s take a closer look at the dark area…

Alien nest close up

I had to shoot that with a zoom lens if you’re worried about how close up this photo is. See how the weight of…something…is making it sag? What kind of shape is in there? I imagine it must be some kind of spider-based alien because of the similarities the material has to a spider’s web. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just some kind of cocooning material that aliens use. Does anyone know what the average gestation period is for an alien? This thing has been growing here for about a year; I have no idea whether that’s long for an alien or not. We dare not touch it or attempt to take it down of course, but it would be good to know at what stage we might expect something to emerge.

Who’d have thought it eh? Science-fiction becomes science-fact, right here in Kent! Maybe I should notify the press, or NASA or something? I’m completely clueless about the protocol for alien discoveries. Any pointers appreciated.

Homeless doesn’t mean hopeless

My next ‘Day in the life of…’ article has now been published in the Canterbury Index magazine. This time it is Mike Barrett, the Chief Executive of the charity Porchlight which supports homeless and vulnerable people in Kent. Mike was very interesting to speak with, and I could have written 10 times the permitted 250 words! Either click on the picture of the article below to make it bigger, or go to page 39 of the online version here:


December cover page of Canterbury Index magazineArticle about a day in the life of Mike Barrett