An afternoon with Charles Dickens – Letters from England by Mittaphone Sichampa with photos by Isabel Martin

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On Sunday afternoon, 30th July 2017 I have an appointment to have lunch at Chinese Restaurant with Professor Isabel Martin, who came from Karlsruhe to visit us and Hilderstone College for a week, and Lao teachers team. She cycled around Thanet in the morning and back to Broadstairs by bike. The place we met to each other was tourist information near the beach. Everybody went on time except one teacher not go on time he is missing that day. After we met, then we went to the Chinese Restaurant but it’s closed. So, we looking for best fish-and-chips-shop-Restaurant around there. Finally we found it and we went inside the restaurant and look at menu. And we order best fish (cod) and chips to takeaway. We waiting about 5-6 minutes then we got it. After that we went back to the place on the beach where we met and ate fish and chip on the bench near the beach it was yummy because I’m hungry. It was over time to had lunch.

Charles Dickens” is everywhere in Broadstairs because the great writer lived many summers there in different houses and wrote some of his novels there, always at a desk overlooking the sea.

Some pubs and hotels are named after him or his novels.

After finish had lunch we went to visit Charles Dickens House Museum. This lovely house close by the sea has been adapted as a museum to celebrate Charles Dickens association with Broadstairs. It was once the home of Charles Dickens’ friend Miss Mary Pearson Strong on whom he based much of the character of Miss Betsey Trotwood, David Copperfield’s great aunt in his novel David Copperfield. She was the kindly lady who took David in when he fled from his horrible life in London. Dickens visited Miss Mary Strong’s house regularly for afternoon tea.

And this house had two floor. first floor was for his work and second floor was bed room. Inside the house had many thing interesting we spend time to look around this house about two hours.

Professor Martin and a guide explained about his work, the “Victorian Age“, and about the many interesting household things in the house.

After that professor Martin took us to black Bleak House for “cream tea“.

Bleak House is also a Dickens novel, but he wrote David Copperfield here, his most famous and favourite novel. We had tea, scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. One didn’t like the cream and one didn’t like the jam so the others took it, also the waiter was grumpy and got the bill wrong so Prof Martin was really amused and said we were “in (“Dickensian”) character”.

Then we went home and met each other again at theater at 6:30pm. It was very nice and great day. I had ever had before. I’m very happy to spend time with Professor Isabel Martin on thats day.

Text by Mittaphone Sichampa

Photos by Isabel Martin, Mittaphone Sichampa, Donekeo Keositthivong

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