Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Well, blow me down!

SO much for what balmy weather we’ve been having!

The huge storm that hit Weymouth a few days ago caused widespread minor damage, but it was the wind gusts which were impressive.

Blasts of 84mph-90mph at Portland Bill and other exposed neighbouring areas were among the strongest recorded in England and it was probably one of those which completely wrecked the entire fence at the bottom of my garden.

So what, you might say, but this was a fence held up by several three-inch by three-inch posts which were quite simply sheered off level with the ground.

Bearing in mind we’ve lived in this house for 20 years and never experienced damage like this before it was pretty impressive and it certainly took me totally by surprise.

I’d gone down the garden just to pick up a few items which had been blown about and I could see the elderly people’s bungalows appeared to have escaped unscathed... except I shouldn’t have been able to see them because they are normally obscured by my fence.

When I got down to see what had happened I was treated to a scene of smashed posts, fence panels torn apart by the ferocity of the wind with some main section actually torn in two and drifts of wood debris from the shattered fence.

I had to pay for someone with power equipment to come in, dig out the old fence post foundations, dig new ones and then concrete in new fence posts which were more than half as big again than the old ones.

The result means that my garden may blow away but not the new fence!

Take your rubbish home - I don’t want it in my garden!

YES, the New Year has started and already I’m being given some unwanted gifts from the last flickerings of the festering season.

Deposited in my front garden has been the remains of fun hats, several beer cans and one of those nice little party trumpets presumably discarded as the person staggered home from some booze-up and tired of blowing it to wake up sleeping householders.

There seems to be no end to the variety of rubbish that exhausted passers by dump when they feel they can no longer be bothered to carry it.

Hot off the litter presses came the latest arrival in my garden this morning which actually required a bit of thought to work out what it was.

The object turned out to be a piece of sealed inflatable packing, used to safeguard something valuable and which quite clearly belonged anywhere but in my flower border.

Perhaps an award should be set aside for the most annoying piece of rubbish to emerge during 2012 which can hopefully be presented by council enforcement staff along with an invitation to the local fines court.

Worrying times for High Street shops

EXPERTS say that Europe faces a grim descent into recession this year and you only need to stroll round Weymouth and Portland to see the economic gurus might be right.

There are now more than a dozen empty shops in Weymouth town centre with several more in key shopping areas on Portland.

The problem is that, if people are being increasingly careful about how they spend their money, then the incentive isn’t there for new businesses to open.

They have to make a profit to survive and if the customers aren’t there or are spending less then the attraction of a High Street slot doesn’t outweigh the risk of starting up.

Quite how this worrying trend can be reversed is one for the business boys, but it won’t do the town any good if it continues.

Olympic recuperation

IT is with deep sadness that I reveal there are less than 200 days before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

For those of you locked in a silent monastery for the last three years, this event will include Weymouth and Portland staging the sailing events.

Much has been made of Olympic legacy but, as we enter the home straight for the event, the only true legacy I can see is the 1,000-bed care home being planned for the Nothe Gardens.

Once the Games are over this will be built to house and care for the many local officials reduced to sobbing uncontrollably at the demise of the only thing which gave their lives meaning.

There will be a special trauma unit for local ambassadors no longer able to say “Huan Ying!” or “welcome” to bemused local Chinese takeaway staff.

More senior staff bereft at losing daily summit meetings to discuss where they can park their Olympic bicycles will be eased back into real life in a special role play therapy area manned by local actors who will give them fixed penalty tickets for riding in a prohibited area along the seafront.

No expense has been spared in the battle to care for Olympic victims and I can only hope people realise the expense is well worthwhile when the council presents us with our post-Olympic council tax bills in 2013. Thank God we can’t be awarded the 2016 Olympics.

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