The More Things Change…

1 December 2022

I was just now inspecting two photos I took with my iPhone 14 in The Clifton Hotel’s only suite — bedroom 112 with attached private lounge 113. The latest iPhone captures the most professional photos yet with an iPhone. This is especially notable by comparison to the same room photos I took with the original iPhone in 2007. 

The lounge of suite 112 during our visit to Folkestone Book Festival.

Quite possibly these will be the last images I’ll snap of this room as the hotel is undergoing renovations. The hotel manager informs me these rooms will be throughly altered. While it will be interesting to see what they come up with, from a nostalgia point-of-view I’ll miss these now grubby rooms. The lounge in 113 is a beautiful space and one which comes with notable memories. What I find comforting is how little changed in thirteen years. I didn’t have time this year to miss this place as Daiana and I were visiting with Tom in August. The curtains, the sofa, the end tables and lamps. The mirror above the fireplace mantle and even the prints hanging on the walls — all the same since 2007. When I arrived this last week I plunked down on the sofa and looked up at the gorgeous cornices, remembering how I never tire of admiring them. Out the gracious bay windows, over a garden unchanged, I look towards what is now The View Hotel on the far side of the green, sunshine pouring through the windows. 

112 during my first stay in 2007. Before the walls came down.

The Clifton very much feels like a second home. 

I think back to September 2007 — when Folkestone was the epicentre of the military modelling world — and I delivered my first diorama to compete at Euro Militaire. I managed a gold medal that year, leaving behind quite a few bean bag peas used in packaging the diorama for transport and a bottle of opened Zap-a-Gap glue which I found, much to my amusement in 2008, where I hid it in the closet the previous year. That was the year when the world was on the verge of  toppling down, and I was just in from a corker of a R&R fashion week party at the Haymarket Hotel in London. 

Soon after, the world imploded into a financial crisis. It effected me as well, and I didn’t totally recover from it for ten years. 

It would be five years before I would stay in room 112 again. But never mind, nothing changed with the exception of a flat panel tv.

And so the years churn by. I’m not sure where the world will take us in the future, or when we’ll visit Folkestone again. I hope we can, if only for Daiana and I to walk our dream-hike and leave our years scratched into the bricks of the observation bunker along the cliffs of Dover.

Folkestone. The Clifton. And Room 112 lives on in my memory. 

As always, look after one another and may the road rise with you.


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