And my diet has suffered
I first met Viv (Vivian) playing an online war game, I can’t remember if it was War Commander or Tropic Storm.
We discovered we didn’t live too far from each other, about 40 miles, which in itself was unusual because mostly the people you played with in these games were usually 100’s or 1000’s of miles away.
We discovered we had a lot in common and got on really well.
Viv by trade was a plumber and I really needed some urgent plumbing done in my bathroom so I hired him to to do it.
That’s how we first met in person, Me standing next to Viv on his knees in my toilet.
Say what? “Gooey Delights” Viv decided to start a new business venture and was opening a shop selling doughnuts, churro’s and other Gooey delights.
Viv invited me to his first day of trading in his new shop and how could I resist so for the first time in quite a while I went out, out.
Viv’s place is in Sheerness which is on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
The Isle of Sheppey
I hadn’t been down to Sheppey for years and years, Sheppey was a place of my youth when as a teenager during the Summers me and my mates used to jump on our Fizzies ( Yamaha FS1-E Moped) and cruise down to Leysdown on Sheppey for a bit of a beach break.
One of my mates parents had a caravan on a site on Sheppey so we would often spend our weekends there and sometimes if it wasn’t being hired out or used by his parents several weeks.
We’d explore all over the island including Sheerness, that said I wasn’t a fan of Sheerness as a place of adventure it struck me as a bit commercial.
Then I grew up and started to travel the world for holidays and so Sheppey paled in comparison the islands of the Med, the Balearics and the Canaries.
I remember taking a day trip down there about 20 years ago just to see if it was the place of my youth that I remembered, we went to Leysdown and it wasn’t quite as I remembered it. On this day though I did something a bit silly and got a tattoo done in a tattoo parlour there, why I did it to this day I still don’t know, and that was it for me, Sheppey held no mysteries and had nothing on it that I needed to go visit and as for holidays there, let me think about that for a nanosecond, a week on Tenerife or a week on Sheppey. Yup, the Canary Islands win every time.
Back to Sheppey
To visit Viv’s shop meant going back to Sheppey, in my youth there wasn’t a motorway that took you most of the way, this time there is, the M20 runs from Swanley by me to Canterbury but we were only going as far as the Detling Junction where we turn off onto the A249 for Sheppey.
As soon as we turned off memories came flooding back, up and over passed the Kent County showground on Detling hill then on towards Sheppey, the road really hadn’t changed much in 40 years.
As we approached Sheppey I saw something new, they had a new road bridge, it looked a lot taller and much nicer than the old one but it was high and as you drove across it you could feel the wind tugging at you.
Then we were on Sheppey and it looked about the same as I remembered and we followed the signs into Sheerness.
Sheerness was in my youth a holiday destination, maybe not as much as Leysdown but it was somewhere people holidayed.
When we got to Sheerness it was like many other traditional English resorts, run down and shabby, you could see it was once a popular place but it now looked quite a bit past it’s prime.
We parked up and went off to get a coffee before going to see Viv and this meant wandering down the High St.
The High St was different to most as it had retained it’s choice of shops however there were signs that once again the place was past it’s peak just like so many other seaside resorts in this country.
I plead guilty to be partly responsible for the demise of the English resort as a destination, I am guilty because I would much rather spend a week in Majorca than in the U.K. ( I did try a UK holiday a couple of months back on the Isle-Of Wight, but all that did was reinforce my desire to got to Spain for my holidays in future) Sorry England but Spain has the sun, the glamour, the nightlife and the low prices, English resorts now just feel shabby and a rip off.
coffee in hand I wander round to Viv’s shop, the first thing that struck me was just how bright the place was both inside and out, very colourful indeed.
Inside was a hive of activity with people dashing backwards and forwards and doing all sorts of things, I shouted out for Viv and from somewhere behind something a disembodied voice shouted back at me “I’ll be with you in a minute”
Then up he popped and came to say hello
We chatted for a little while about the games we played and about his shop and his stock, all the time this was happening there was activity all around us, Viv had roped his family in to help run things and it was all quite busy.
Viv then threw doughnuts at me and my other half, well he didn’t actually throw them, one of his staff got them for us.
And very nice they were too, I had a strawberry one and it really was very strawberry and very nice. but that’s my diet out of the window for today, I dread to think how many calories just one doughnut has and I really wasn’t going to ask, in this case I felt ignorance really was bliss.
Viv’s shop sells Doughnuts, Cookies, Churros, Dutch pancakes, freshly cooked Doughnuts and Milkshakes.
I really wanted to try some fresh doughnuts but sadly the machine was still in the process of being set up, I really love fresh doughnuts, lovely and hot and dipped in castor sugar, whenever I went to the coast there would always be a place making fresh doughnuts and I would always buy a bag.
This idea came to Viv one day while he was sitting in his van, I think it’s great if you have a dream and the will to follow it through.
Seaside resorts and doughnuts seem to go hand in hand so I really wish Viv and his family the very best and I hope their little business succeeds beyond their wildest dreams.
If you are ever on Sheppey or in Sheerness, visit Gooey Delights, 29b the Broadway, it’s a little spot of brightness in an otherwise drab town.
Viv now does Breakfasts from 7 am till noon
Bacon or sausage rolls
Bacon or Sausage baguettes
Pain au chocolate
All butter croissants
Freshly brewed coffee