ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Whitstable night out: the Shobab

Updated on September 15, 2016
Whitstable Views profile image

CJ Stone is a writer and a postal worker. He has lived in Whitstable for over thirty years.



I used to write for Prediction magazine.

It’s a sort of girlie mag with astrology. It runs features with titles like: “A Psychic Dolphin Saved My Marriage” and “How To Find Your Guardian Angel.”

For some reason they didn’t seem to mind my particular brand of humour and mild scepticism and I continued to write a column for them until 2008.

I’m only telling you this as it has some bearing on this story later.

It was my birthday. I was at the Shobab restaurant in Whitstable with my family: my Mum, my Dad, my two sisters and my brother-in-law, plus my niece Beatrix, who was two and a half years old at the time, and was (and is) one of the brightest little creatures on this planet.

Maybe that’s just me. She’s my niece after all. I guess she reminds me of my son when he was small. So there’s a degree of nostalgia in my relationship to her: a little touch of me re-living a particularly happy time in my own life.

What I like most about kids at this age is their insatiable curiosity, and their boundless, wide-eyed enthusiasm. Everything is full of magic and excitement, even Whitstable High Street on a slightly dull evening.

I’d got into a ritual with her. Whenever I saw she was feeling restive I would take her for a walk. So we'd stroll up and down the High Street looking in all the shop windows, while I asked her questions and she answered them for me.

“What’s that?"

“It’s a rabbit…”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a cow….”

"What's that?"

"It's a frying pan..."

Guardian Angel

So on this particular day we were tottering up and down the High Street, holding hands. We’d done one side of the road and were about to cross over and go back up the other way. We were standing at the crossing, when someone called out.

“Does your child like toys?”

And we turned around and there was someone from a nearby hair salon, which had only just opened at the time.

The woman had a large sack with her, which was full of wrapped up presents. It was obviously part of a promotional exercise for opening-day.

“What do you mean, ‘does she like toys?’ Of course she likes toys.”

So that was it. Beatrix was handed a bundle of presents, and we went back to the restaurant to open them.

It was my birthday, but it was Beatrix getting the presents. Which is only right and proper, me having failed to get her a present on her birthday. She got two headbands, a soft toy and a book. One of the headbands is still her favourite.

I said, because it was my birthday, “I am blessed by luck.” I might as well have said, “I have found my Guardian Angel.”

My sister said, “what’s the name of that magazine you write for again?”

Prediction,” I said. “Why?”

“I think it’s starting to get to you,” she said.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Whitstable Views profile imageAUTHOR

      Whitstable Views 

      11 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      Thanks for that link Steve.

      I enjoyed my tenure at Prediction, JamaGenee, and wrote for them for about 6 years in the end, on a monthly basis. It was a historic magazine, in it's original form very open minded and much prized by working astrologers. It was only latterly that the proprietors turned it into a mystical version of OK magazine.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      11 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Chris, it turns out that my good friend Adele Cosgrove-Bray who used to run a fanzine called Smokin Dragon I was in on several occassions has written for Prediction too: You will see Fred Frantic's name on her page too.

      I enjoyed your story btw!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      11 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      You had me at "girlie mag with astrology". The thought of *you* writing for such a publication made me chuckle. But the story that followed about Beatrix will make me smile whenever I think of it. Yes, you are truly blessed.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)