By Peter Jurzynski (Folkestone’s ‘American Cousin’)

Maybe I am a bit hopeful, since we are still in the pandemic but I believe we have seen the worst.

I have been back in the UK for only 2 weeks yet I can sense something that is happening which only an absence since December 2019 makes apparent.

Hawkinge village

Real thriving areas from my perspective are Cheriton High Street and Hawkinge… shops, customers and pedestrians flood Cheriton everyday that I have  been there. Something is obviously working in Cheriton.

As I drove through Hawkinge too, I could not help but notice that Hawkinge is no longer a small village yet it retains the small village charm. It strikes me as a modern, beautiful suburb with early spring flowers and nicely laid out streets but manages to keep its village intrigue overlooking Folkestone and Canterbury.

Economic damage to Folkestone and Canterbury

The pandemic has recently done its economic damage in Folkestone, Canterbury and throughout the world. Long established shops closed and smaller one follow. The issue here, as elsewhere, is whether costumers will put down the phone wand computer and actually shop in person? I hope they do.

Cultural differences

Back to a little bit of the cultural differences for an American who has been in Folkestone and in England  too many times to mention.

It was said by someone …a spy was caught in the UK in WW2 because he did not know how to cross the street!

Well after all these years I still don’t instantly know which way to look when I cross the the street – right or left?

Tea Cakes

Here’s a rather silly question. Can one eat tea cakes while drinking coffee?

As a regular swimmer I swim at the Folkestone Sports Centre pool.

The pool is 25 metres but most recreational pools in U.S. are 25 yards so when I reach 25 yards I am ready to turn but the wall can’t be found!

In this age of technology my phone can give me the Folkestone temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius which is good because I know water temp in C. from my channel swimming days yet I still get mixed up is good if its 50f instead of 10c or 60f instead of 15c.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

The word Bank Holiday may confuse Americans. Bank holiday in America was when President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed the banks for a few days during the depression of the 1930s in order to make immediate reforms.

My friend is a local newsagent in Folkestone in but people in America might think he is publicity agent for some celebrity, sports figure or politician. As I mentioned Cheriton earlier in this article, I walked by a tyre shop. What in the world is a tyre shop an American may ask? It is a tire shop.

Full of beans

Some folks who read my column from time to time may think I am full of beans.

The truth is I am! I eat more beans, particularly beans on toast while in Folkestone than anyone I know. Non scientists thought that tins (Americans call cans) of beans bought in UK supermarkets have more sodium chloride (salt) than beans in US!

Here is an interesting point .. baked beans did not originate in England but rather in my old city of residence Boston, Massachusetts during the colonial days.

The popularity of the food was brought back to England where now beans rule supreme!

Finally a question

I read a lot of novels and are currently reading Colin Dexter’s last Inspector Morse novel.

Are UK police detectives really like Morse?


Peter Jurzynski
(Former American Channel swimming record holder and regular summer and winter visitor to Folkestone ***except during pandemics)

Peter Jurzynski is currently visiting Folkestone 31 March 2022 

By Ed

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