I have launched a blog with the name Whitstababble, it’s supposed to suggest chat and prattle about life in Whitstable. But I want to make it clear that I am not in favour of the term Whitstabubble to describe the town. It’s too cute and a town’s name should be a serious thing.
I wonder if Whitstable people are divided into those who use the term, ‘the bubble’ to describe the town, and those who don’t? I sometimes wish a local historian would research it’s first use. I expect it would be some writer who’d moved here from Essex in 1973.
Catman, the grafitti artist is clearly doing his best to popularise the word. It doesn’t surprise me. It’s a quirky Whitstable world, and we quirky folk of Whitstable are willing to accept art on the walls without any kind of legal consent. I admit to liking his penguins, but every time I see the Mona Lisa I want to buy a can of paint and get rid of it. I think it’s naff.
It seems most people in Whitstable like his art, or at least think it has more merit than the usual grafitti. I’m ok with it on the whole, but it’s all over the place. If some respected painter put his picture in my living room, I might think ‘not quite my thing but thanks for your efforts.’ If he put his pictures in my bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room I might think, ‘Hang on a minute, can you leave my walls alone?’
I’m not too keen to have someone else’s taste foisted on me by someone with a paint brush and an ego. But just like I accept the word Whitstabubble without enjoying its use, I also accept that life in the town features an artist who can paint wherever he wants when he fancies it.
And if he painted those penguins on my garden fence I’d be fine with it. Us Whitstabubblers are contrary folk, famed for the inconsistency of our opinions. We get out the banners and protest if a coffee shop opens perfectly legally and with full openness, but make no complaint when an illegal picture is foisted upon us in the night .