Seb Reilly: A Very Busy Summer

A busy Summer Photo Adam Dark

Is anyone else really tired? Perhaps it’s August’s fault; this summer has been undoubtedly packed with more events than I remember from past years. It seems that as the warmth slowly wanes, and autumn prepares to slowly creep into view over the crest of the next few months, I am yet to relax.

I shouldn’t complain about this, however. For years people have moaned that “there is nothing to do” in Thanet, and perhaps in times gone by they were right. Fortunately that is no longer the case. From literary festivals to water galas, music events of all different genres to art installations and exhibitions, there has been so much to engage with this summer, and a lot of it has been free, or at least partially.

Photo Benjamin Bowles

Admittedly, I have managed to blag a few free tickets along the way. It’s easier than you might think; just by pointing out that I am a writer seems to work for me. I have noticed that I am not the only one target employing this tactic either. That being said, there is a level of responsibility to then write about said events which I, like others in similar positions, always try to uphold.

The Margate Bookie, for example, was excellent. As well as spending time with other local authors, I was able to attend several events and listen to some fantastic writers talk about the things that inspire them. My personal highlights included Alison Weir’s fascinating talk on the truth about Anne Boleyn; Felicia Yap’s literary festival debut; meeting and spending time in conversation with Nigel West, discussing spies, MI6 and the Cold War; and being interviewed and reading a story for the Bookie podcast.

Photo Adam Dark

Folk Week was also a joy, as always. Along with some great bands and street performers, there was plenty of poetry going on throughout the week. I wasn’t able to get to as much as I’d have liked, but I did ensure I soaked up the atmosphere as much as I could and observed a fair amount of Morris Dancing.

Photo Adam Dark

Along with these, I have been to more festivals and events than it is possible to list in this column, all within the boundaries of Thanet. I have seen art and culture, been to exhibits, heard some great bands, met a wide selection of thoroughly interesting people, and that is not even mentioning the beaches, the countryside, and all the regular local attractions and activities that one can participate in.

Photo David Townsend

This summer has been packed with things to get involved with, which has made me realise how fortunate I am to live in what is rapidly becoming a true cultural hub. Thanet has always had its fair share of things going on, but this year it has outdone itself. Much praise is due to those who have worked so hard to bring these events to life, and long may that ethos of community engagement continue.

Photo Maria Silva

Now, hopefully, it is time to slow down. Those who have children can revel in the new term beginning (or not, perhaps, in their now-quiet homes) and we can all go back to the regular routine of doing whatever it is that we all do.

Finally, with the summer out of the way, there might be the chance of some relaxation.