We have some brilliant authors coming to this event so please save the date in your diaries and spread the word.

This will be our first event and I am sure a learning curve but we are a great group and I am sure this will be the start of many great things for Write By The Sea and Karen’s World.


When you take hours to get pics and the simplest of things just do not go right!

Yes, I am trying to get some sort of poster done for our event, what do you think? There are some more books to go on here so it will change as we get closer to the event.

If we could print off some small postcard size or A3 and put them out around the town that would be a great help! Thank you x





I think Karen’s World should go on here! lol

I cannot wait to get hold of this and have a big Folkestone games night. I can think of so many places that could go on here so what a task that is going to be for them. We even beat Cornwall to get this board, how good is that? I am going to show you my list so please let me know what you think, or have I missed something out? I do of course think I should go on there lol

Karen’s World


The Harbour Arm
The Warren
The Old High Street
Martello Tower
Write by the sea (Folkestone’s writing group)
Chummies fish stall
Party Bar
St Eanswythe church
Burstin Hotel
Sunny sands
The Leas

I wonder if they will put places on from the past as then it would have to be:

The Parisian and The Rotunda!

I am just so excited, it’s going to be great. I never realised how many places actually have their own Monopoly until I started to write this blog post. I wonder if I can get them to send me the first one, then maybe I could play it with my favourite Folkestone people in one of the places they pick!



The word was MONOPOLY and this is what some of the group members came up with.


Bored Games

I returned home as Hungry as a Hippo,

Wondering what to eat that night.

Guess Who Was cooking again?

Battling over these choices as we

Move like ships in the night.

Battleships some might say.


When we met it was like a connection.

‘Connect for life,’ He said.

He had a monopoly on my time.

My heart.

Ripped out

Cut it out in an Operation.


Sometimes we Scrabble for words.

Sometimes I wonder if he has a Clue.

All I know is that this love is not a trivial pursuit.

Samantha Stevens


I remember rainy weekends when as a child,  I would play Monopoly with my mum.  To start the game,  we had to throw a double six. Sometimes this would take ages, this would infuriate us both. Finally, we began to play. My favourite counter was the car,  although sometimes I used the ship.  Mum usually had the boot. Round and round the board we went.  My car was like those on formula one tracks,  each go round the board was like going around a track circuit.  I enjoyed being the banker and deciding which properties to buy. I usually bought the green,  blue and dark blue properties and left mum the rest.  When I played I was usually unlucky and spent lots of time going to and in jail,  (what for I really don’t know).  I had to throw a double to get out and sometimes it took ages.  Mum, however,  seemed to sail around the board.  Sometimes she’d land on my properties but didn’t have to pay rent as I was in jail once again.  Eventually, I threw a double and was released from jail.  This concerned me,  I’d spent most of my money and had less than £500 left. I threw a double,  then another,  but on my next go I landed on the pay income tax £200 square. With bated breath,  I apprehensively made my way around the board.  Unfortunately,  I landed on a couple of mum’s properties and had to pay rent.  By this time mum had bought houses on her properties.  Mum had an uncanny knack of avoiding mine,  (she definitely had luck on her side).  I landed on the take a chance square and read the card,  it said ‘Advance too  Trafalgar Square, do not pass Go and do not collect £200’. Mum grinned, she had a house on Trafalgar Square.  I screamed in frustration,  my eight-year-old self indignant at this. Grudgingly I paid out the money. Now I was flat broke, the game was over, mum had beat me at Monopoly yet again.

Suzannah Gisby



Manasseh had timed his arrival at the Strand Bridge to perfection. He prided himself on punctuality; always had done. He was a proud man. His agent (the phrase still gave him a thrill) would be along soon.  A chill wind was blowing – autumn was on its way.  Something about it, and the choppiness and greyness of the river, reminded him of his youth, when he and his brother would ride into those little towns on the Baltic with a cart so full of bearskins from the Carpathians that they could hardly drive it.  He smiled at the memory but it felt like a lifetime ago. He had come a long way since then.

Along the river, to the east, lay his home, between the Jolly Jack Tar and the shop that sold chronometers and sextants.  A little cramped with seven children, but, he would like to think, a happy home and it would do for now. More appropriate accommodation might be in the offing, if things continued with this plan, so audacious that nobody else would ever dare put it into action and yet so simple.   His “competition” – if one could describe it thus – was right now on a prison hulk in Portsmouth, awaiting the boat that would take them to Van Diemens Land.  He had seen to that; had made sure his name was not associated with theirs, had learnt never to put all his eggs in one basket, if that was the right English phrase.

A woman leading a black cow brushed past him roughly and disappeared into the crowd. He rubbed his coat fastidiously with a large handkerchief and slipped his hand into his capacious pocket.  All present and correct; two hundred Prussian banknote; notes that he had had printed himself, but who would ever know the difference – ready to be exchanged for coins of the British realm, of the same value. His attention was caught momentarily by a black carriage parked in the street nearby, its windows closed.

Halfway across the bridge – just as arranged – was his man, a hand raised in greeting.  He walked slowly over to him – he never rushed anywhere, not his style.  Out of nowhere, a bony hand grasped him by his shoulder and a voice hissed “Gotcha,” accompanied by a strong smell of onions and beer.  Worse odours were to assail him when, after a struggle, he was pushed unceremoniously and headfirst into the black carriage.

With as much dignity as he could muster, he asked the officious, grinning oaf sitting opposite where they were going.

“Newgate, mate. “

“Not for long,” thought Manasseh. “Not if I can help it.”

Debby Jones



Monopoly: US or UK?

A Piece of Nonsense

St Charles Place or posh Pall Mall,

Vermont Avenue or Euston Road?

Pancakes and waffles or Eggs Royale?

Depends I guess on your own postcode.

Kentucky Avenue or The Strand,

Park Place apartments or Park Lane?

Theatre on Broadway or West End?

Luxury living or fancy hotel chain?

Reading Road or Kings Cross Station,

Ventnor Avenue or Coventry Street?

Which is the pride of their home nation?

I’d wager they both smell just as sweet.

Atlantic Avenue or Leicester Square,

Marvin Gardens or Piccadilly?

Would you wish to shop here or there?

Or am I being just plain silly?

The game’s the same either side of the pond

Full of guile and cunning, and just plain greed,

Which is why I am hopeless and cannot respond,

I much prefer Scrabble I have to concede.

Tony Quarrington



Jane very kindly has let us know about this free course that she has completed so I am sharing it with you all.



Derek Neale

A novelist and short-story writer – his latest novel is The Book of Guardians – Derek has recorded many interviews with novelists, playwrights and biographers about their approach to writing.

Please let us know how you get on and what you think.



I know I must accept that you are gone,
But I will look for you in rain and snow,
Where pilgrims trod through Black Boy Alley,
Up Castle Hill and Minor Canon Row.

I still sense your warm breath upon my cheek
In College Yard, The Vines and Blue Boar Lane;
Each whispered female voice renders me weak,
And shock of dark brown hair inflames the pain.

Thick Medway mud mocks my unavailing search
And careless castle pigeons torment me,
But La Providence provides brief release
And no shortage of shops for books and tea.

I pass where Estella taunted poor Pip,
As bat and ball collide on King’s School field,
Reminder of what I loved most till you
Bowled me over and my devotion sealed.

I turn up Boley Hill by Northgate arch
For sanctuary under cool Catalpa tree,
Spreading its graceful arms on holy ground,
I sit down and let my mind roam free.

For one perfect moment I see your face,
Hear your voice, smell your hair and taste your mouth,
But it’s all a foolish afternoon dream
In cathedral doorway in Keats’ warm South.

When I wake, to adjoining gardens I go
Where sun shines bright and birds sing oh so sweet;
Yellow roses wave in warm, gentle breeze,
But there’s no one beside me on “our” seat.

I know I must accept that you are gone,
But I will look for you in rain and snow,
Where pilgrims trod through Black Boy Alley,
Up Boley Hill and Minor Canon Row.

By Tony Quarrington on WordPress



This was one of our author talks we held last week, they are fast becoming a well-known event in Folkestone. Mark Stay is a fantasy writer with a background in publishing so we all picked his brains with loads of questions. I really think we could have carried on all night.

We had new people turning up again so the word is getting around about our new group. I have lots lined up for next year and will be giving you the dates of the events at our group meeting.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Mark for coming and giving a brilliant, insightful talk.



Our Lady of the Harbour


No fey fairy tale figure this Folkestone maid

But mature, full-bodied, strong and wise

Rooted firmly on the East Cliff rocks

Staring intently out on Channel skies.

Some try to clothe her in pity, some in fun

Hats, bikinis, scarves, have all adorned her form

But she is perfect as she is – broad, naked, deep

Impervious to pounding waves and winter storm.

Her hair forever drenched from tidal spray

Slicked back and sweeping down along her spine

Her lusty feet replace the mermaid’s tail

Resist and spurn the bitter lapping brine.

To the dogs released from summer servitude

On Sunny Sands, she’s just another stone

Their ball might bounce upon from owner’s throw

Or where they can relieve themselves alone.

A bare six summers has she settled there

Yet it seems to have been so many more

As if she’d witnessed history’s changing tides

Declining fish trade and the road to war.

When packet steam trains trundled down the hill

Into the harbour station and France bound ships

When English Tommy first tasted foreign food

Snails, mussels, garlic, frites instead of chips.

I trudge across still slippery lower rocks

To reach the stone she’s made her coastal home

And sit at her feet to see what she might see

While thwarting tourists with their camera phones.

Could she be looking to France or Belgium’s shore?

But rather her gaze looks upwards to the sky

As if in thanks this piece of Heaven should be

Where Cornelia Parker chose that she should lie.

Oblivious to the sights and sounds around

The squawk of seagulls or wave smashed shores

Mindless of games that gleeful children play

Upon the drying beach when tide withdraws.

Unheeding of the dirt and noise of building sites

Coronation Parade and Harbour Arm are now

She sits serene, majestic ‘midst the rush

A friend and confidant to all that vow.

Margate may have its Turner,  Blackpool its Tower

Brighton its i360, St Ive’s its Tate

But none sing of the sea like our Folkestone girl

Stately and brave at England’s coastal gate.

I rise from the rocks with wave washed, creaking knees

While hers are as fresh and smooth as first she came

Two hours have passed since I joined her on that rock

A better use of time I could never dare to claim.

Two ferries cross each other in Dover’s strait

As the sun slides down over a silvery sea

Over her shoulder through darkening clouds

The coast of France gleams and bids bonne nuit.


The Four Umbrella Sketch (with thanks /apologies to Monty Python)

Behind the clean, efficient counter of the lost property department at Euston Station lurks a dense jungle of paraphernalia left by passengers, including mobile phones, sunglasses and purses.

And a vast and assorted collection of umbrellas.

The office has been closed for hours, and the last train has long left the station.

All is quiet – until four of the department’s, hopefully temporary, residents break away to the furthest corner and engage in earnest conversation.

The first umbrella, a Liberty print ladies version, opened the debate by stating that “you won’t believe how I ended up here. My owner brought me from North Wales on a shopping trip. By early afternoon she had accumulated designer bags from Harrod’s, John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and many other high-end stores. She turned down the offer of a bag to put me in, as it was raining steadily outside at the time, and I was called into immediate action.

I had a premonition even then that, in the panic and confusion that was bound to accompany the train’s arrival at Crewe for her connection, I might be left behind. And so I was, though I did get an extra trip back to London.

I suspect the half bottle of Prosecco she drank on the journey didn’t help”.

A foldable child’s Peppa Pig design replied “mine was a young mother with two kids, both with their own umbrellas. I “belonged” to her five-year-old daughter, and the six-year old boy carried one in the shape of a particularly ugly frog. Their mum had brought them to London for the day from Hemel Hempstead to visit the Natural History and Science Museums.

The day was going well until it was time to catch the train home. As they gathered their belongings for the return journey, mum discovered that one of the umbrellas was missing and harangued her daughter for leaving it somewhere, the precise location and timing being a total mystery at the time.

Well, I can exclusively reveal now that I was left in the ladies’ loo opposite Platforms 1 and 2.

Oh, and by the way, that blasted frog survived the ordeal”.

At that point, a multi-coloured beach brolly interrupted, insisting that “they’re both conventional ways of being left behind. My abandonment was much more interesting. They brought me, along with their two teenage boys, from Watford Junction on a day trip to the seaside. I spent five hours on Viking Bay Beach at Broadstairs, shielding them from the whistling wind and intermittent drizzle, I blew inside out at least twenty times (fortunately my spokes are strong and I didn’t suffer any lasting damage), and how did they repay me?

Left me to go round the entire Circle Line three times, being pushed from seat to seat (I nearly gone thrown onto the platform at Shepherd’s Bush Market), before a kind commuter picked me up and brought me here”.

A large, black, Ministry of Defence affair with hand-carved ash handle had been listening to these laments with increasing irritation. He could not restrain himself any longer and haughtily exclaimed “that’s all very interesting but incredibly boring. My owner is a senior civil servant currently employed on top-secret government business. It is as highly stressful as it is well remunerated and requires high intelligence and discretion. He needs to relieve himself – literally – on occasions or it would all become too much.

So, his Tuesday afternoons are set aside for visits to a professional lady along the road from here at King’s Cross. To cover his tracks he always walks from his office in Whitehall and, due to today’s inclement weather, I was recruited to join him. We arrived at the appointed time and he promptly disappeared to carry out his business. At least he had the good grace to prop me by the door to the flat rather than condemn me to witness the proceedings from the inner sanctum.

At the customary time of four in the afternoon, the door opened and, as immaculately attired as he had been when he arrived, he took his leave. However, with the sun strenuously trying to penetrate the tattered curtain in the lady’s bedroom, thus restricting his vision, he omitted to collect me on his way out.

So how did I get here, I hear you ask?

It transpired that, rather than, as I would have expected, she resided in the hovel that hosted the afternoon’s divertissement, the lady in question actually commuted to her place of work on a daily basis, just like the office workers and retail staff that frequent the concourse here from the early morning until midnight.

After attending to three more gentleman callers, she duly took the 18:57 to Birmingham New Street, but not without making a short detour to this establishment to place me in its safe custody.

I must say I was surprised but equally gratified, to learn that the entertainment industry is as subject to gentrification as any other these days.

It makes one proud to be British”.

By Tony Quarrington


Waiting for the Tide (A Gull’s Life)

A fearless chick loiters with intent
By Bob’s whitewashed seafood stall,
Affecting to ignore the cartons of
Whelks and cockles and lobster tails
Dispensed a few short steps away,
But pouncing on any edible debris
Unwittingly or deliberately dropped
By thoughtless human passers-by.

By Pent’s red brick sluice gate
They luxuriate in a bracing shower
In muddy, minute puddles left behind
Bygone, at least for now, high water;
With half an eye in the direction
Of Chummy’s charitable staff who
Discard empty shells on stony ground.

Teetering on bare, oarless rowing boats,
Or perched on piles of greying wood
Wedged deep into the hardening mud,
They pass the interminable time
Till the small crafts stir and sway again
And the sun glints on the windblown water.

A fretful throng starts to assemble
At the end of sloping Rocksalt jetty,
Squabbling over the best viewing spot
To wait in line for the painfully slow
Incoming tide to reappear;
In the meantime, scavenging for scraps
On the Stade’s concrete harbour floor,
Disdainfully dropping bottle tops,
Dog ends and paper coffee cups.

Shrieks and cries rise in intensity
As the prodigal, once truant waves
Flood through Folkestone’s golden gate,
Between the now closed off East Head
And war-ravaged remnants of South Quay.

A frantic chick chases after its mother,
Letting out a constant stream of whistles,
Pleading for a morsel of fresh fish
Now washing over its grateful feet;
But the peevish parent pecks its bobbing head
And bids it bide its time a little longer.

By Tony Quarrington




Warning some mild nudity

If I climb to the very top of my house and look at an angle through the attic box room window I can see into my neighbour’s garden.  Well, I could when old Mrs Rogers lived there but not so well now that the new people have moved in.  They are a couple, well I think they are a couple but I don’t know if they are married.  Who can tell these days?   People just move in together and everyone just accepts it, not like when I was a young woman.  I know that they both go to work because I have watched them going off in the mornings. He doesn’t wear a business suit. He wears one of those polo shirts with a logo on it.  I don’t think he is a builder though because he is quite clean when he comes home. Maybe he works in a shop or is a waiter or a barista (whatever they are?)  She usually wears smartish clothes, sometimes a skirt but more often trousers.  She has one of those name tag things around her neck with the council logo on. Perhaps she is a social worker or a librarian.  I suppose she must be quite respectable to work for the council but they take all sorts now.

Anyway, I can’t see into their garden so well since they have put up the new fence.  A dirty great six-foot thing, all I can see now is a bit right next to the house. I dug out Reg’s old binoculars but even with them, I can’t see much more.  What do they want to do in their garden that they have to keep so private?

Last weekend they were laying a patio.  Well, I think that is what they were doing because I can’t actually see that far but I watched him carrying in a whole lot of slabs and they have been out there all day working.  I know the weather is warm but does he realise how awful he looks with no shirt on.  He has a beer belly and tattoos.  It looks disgusting.  He was wearing shorts too with socks and boots.  What is that all about?  I saw that when he was taking things in from the car.  I can’t see his bottom half in the garden now because of that wretched fence. She was out there with him in a little strappy sun top that showed off her bingo wings.  I couldn’t see what else she was wearing but I expect it was those cycling shorts.  Does she realise what she looks like? She really doesn’t have the figure for things like that.

On Wednesday they had a delivery.  They haven’t asked me to take in parcels yet but I expect they will soon as they are both working but he seemed to be at home on Wednesday.  It was a very large box with the name EzySpa on the side.  I quickly looked it up on Google and it would seem to be an inflatable hot tub.  Well, that will really bring down the tone of the neighbourhood.  They are the sort of things that people on ITVB have – not that I ever watch it but I have seen the trailers.


It is warm again this weekend so I expect they will be out in the garden again, probably in their new hot tub doing whatever it is they do.  You can’t swim in them and apparently, they are full of germs like Legionnaires disease.  You wouldn’t catch me in one.  I can’t see it but I can hear them because now they have put up an enormous sun umbrella that completely blocks my view.  Whichever way I stand I can’t see into their garden at all.

They have got friends round because I have seen them arriving and they have parked their cars outside my house.  She was out in the front garden hugging them and doing those ridiculous air-kisses and wearing one of those full-length floaty dresses that people wear as cover-ups on the beach.  Not really suitable for a dinner party I think.

I took my little doggy out for a walk past their house this evening.  There is a tree just by their garden where he likes to do his business so I have to stand there for some time.  I can hear them in there bold as you like, laughing and talking.  I can’t quite hear the words because there is music playing. I can hear the clink of glass though and the sound of splashing water.  I expect the women are drinking Prosecco and the men are being very macho and drinking beer straight from the bottles, a disgusting and unhygienic habit. Why can’t they use glasses?  Maybe can’t be bothered with the washing up.

They are still at it and it is past 10 o clock at night.  They have fairy lights in the garden and I can see them shining from my attic window but I can’t see what is going on because of that blessed umbrella.  It is all very decadent.  I expect they are all frolicking around in the nude.  An alfresco orgy in a quiet residential street in Folkestone.  What is the world coming to?  I could call the police and have them arrested for indecent exposure except for the fact that I can’t actually see them.  Anyway, the police don’t bother with social disturbances now.  They would probably just dismiss me as a prudish old woman.  I won’t be able to go to bed until it has finished otherwise I might have disturbing dreams.  Reg and I never even entertained the idea of things like that.

By Jane Cottle