Margate and Me by Nicole Rossetti le Strange
July 4th 2018
I first came to Margate during the 1960s: my grandparents, early DFLs that they were, loved coming here before the War, and so as a child, they brought me, that I too could experience the magic they felt.
Granddad would build all kinds of impressive edifices on the beach; from magnificent castles to racing cars to spaceships – all large enough for my small self to sit inside while Gran took photos. A master bookbinder, my grandfather proved to be a master sand sculptor too!
From early childhood, I have led a nomadic existence. The product of a Venetian father and British mother, I have called so many places home; I have no roots and no ties, and yet some places repeatedly call to me, reaching out and drawing me back. Castelo, Ljubljana, Chiang Mai…
I love the creativity of here; the sense of community; the kindness; the friendliness; the multiculturalism.
I love being so close to the sea; when we swam together here, my grandfather would tell me I was half mermaid, and that’s why I would never drown!
It may sound corny but I feel the sea in my blood; my maternal ancestors after all, braved the seas to seek out new lands, and my paternal family have, for the most part, lived on a lagoon. Salt water, it seems, is in my blood!
Today is my 55th birthday, I’ve had 54 homes around the world, and have now been back in Britain a mere seven months. I could have chosen to live anywhere in Blighty but Margate holds some of my fondest memories and a special place in my heart. This is where I have decided to finally – at over half a century old – put down some roots.
I am now a grandparent, and am looking forward to building magnificent sand sculptures with my granddaughter, taking her rockpooling, swimming together, and making new magical Margate memories!