Christmas on Canvey

Believe it or not – I am.. in fact.. originally.. from Essex.

An Essex Boy in fact.

I like to think I hide this little known (well – not any more) very well.

What with the accent only creeping out on occasion and only slipping back into my native tongue whenever I cross the border…

Not many people seem to pick up on it.

All this aside – it is actually nice to get home every now and then.

As much as I could never live back in Essex ever again – (or to be more precise; back on Canvey Island in Essex), I do have a few, very dear friends who still live there.. and along with some of my family – they always give me an excuse to head home.

I moan and bitch about the place but secretly, I actually love it.

There’s no train station, (you have to get a train to Benfleet then get a bus/cab/lift onto the Island itself), there’s one cinema, one McDonalds, three schools and a lake…
It’s in the Thames Estuary (just before Southend) so therefore people speak with the ‘Estuary English’ twang – aka ‘The Essex Accent’ – the place has it’s ups and downs and it ain’t perfect but I guess it’ll always be home.

One thing I tend to do whenever I go home is take a walk along the sea wall – if the tide is in I’ll walk out into the sea along the old sea wall and stand in the middle of it. It’s one of the most calming things in the world a is one of my ‘secret places’. The place where, when things are stressing me out and the world is feeling heavy on my shoulders, I can just go and be.

Stand. Breathe. Take it all in. Y’know? Let everything go out into the big blue.. (or grey/brown).

Christmas has been good so far. Caught up with my best friend.. I call him my best friend.. he’s more like my Brother to be honest. My brother from another Mother if you will… But yeah – saw him, his family. Saw my family too. Still at my Mum’s at the time of typing – heading back tomorrow. Drunken Boxing Day Karaoke to tackle first!


Cannae wait to get back to sunny Teddington… I don’t have many friends back here at ‘home’.

I’m reminded, as I write, that it may well have been a contributing factor as to why I moved away in the first place… Which is fine – I know who my friends are and I love them very much.

There just isn’t a large collection of them on Canvey.

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x