Thursday, 27 September 2012

Get the tills ringing . . .  it’s only 13 weeks to Christmas!

BUSINESSES claim that they are rushed off their feet now the trading vagaries of an Olympic and Paralympic summer are over.

Seafront businesses went from despair to joy in a few days once organisers changed signage and sent messages out encouraging people to visit during the Five Rings period, but further into town there remained a lot of grim-faced businessmen and women.

There may still be a few of those left, but traders away from the seafront tell me their tills are now ringing as well or even better than this time last year now that the Greatest Show on Earth has left town.

I suppose it just goes to show that you can be a victim of your own success.

There can be little doubt that the massive visitor response for most of the Olympics was a feather in Weymouth and Portland’s cap, but the bulk of attractions were seafront orientated.

People were actually drawn out of the town centre and on to the Esplanade by everything from big television screens showing sports to a hugely successful arena where they could actually try a few of them out.

That left a sort of vacuum in the main shopping area and many was the time I had my ear bent by worried traders pointing to near deserted pedestrian areas.

All that has now gone and businesses are having to cope with an autumn rush of visitors perhaps keen to snap up a few stocking fillers with less than 13 weeks to go until Christmas!

So, whose beach is it anyway?

MUCH has been written down the years about dogs on Weymouth beach.

Fouling, the threat to children’s health, the injustice of banning dog owners from certain sections at certain times of the year and the risk posed by dangerous dogs are just some of the topics which have cropped up.

To that canine catalogue you can now add this rather unsavoury tale about dog owners apparently abusing organisers setting up the Paralympic beach sports arena.

Believe it or not, those dog owners adopting this belligerent stance did so because they felt their rights were being infringed because a small section of beach was being cordoned off.

I understand this was done to prevent members of the public wandering through areas being used for sailing, canoeing and windsurfing where the safety of users, particularly the disabled, had to be considered.

Yes, the dog owners do actually have a case. Their rights were infringed by this minor restriction, but it was so small, so necessary and for such a good cause that you wonder how much sticking up for their rights has cost them in good will.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes come the next council debate on exercising dogs in public places before someone claims their rights are being infringed by dog owners letting their animals roam at will on the place in question. 

What price rights being infringed then?

Right on target

BARNES Wallis has become a legend for his ingenuity in devising a bouncing bomb to destroy several dams in World War II Germany which was the last word in pinpoint bombing.... until now.

He was eclipsed the other day by a seagull which, according to its victim, made Barnes Wallis look like an amateur.

Wallis’s task was to deliver a large bomb in such a fashion that it could hit a dam hundreds of metres wide before sinking to a set depth at which point it exploded. The seagull’s mission was much harder.

It had to let go its stinking “payload” of dung while on the wing in such a fashion that it could somehow synchronise with a 4x4 car moving at 30mph and drop that payload through its sunroof no bigger than a suitcase before splattering about inside to devastating effect.

It succeeded so well that a grim-faced neighbour of mine needed a bucket of water and a large sponge to deal with the results which would have delighted Bomber Harris but which left my neighbour with something less than a smile on his face!

HUMOUR knows no boundaries which is especially true when it comes to passing wind. Children get convulsed with laughter by it, many people smile at such sounds while trying to pretend they haven’t happened and a number of others openly laugh when someone lets rip.

Leaving aside the human race’s preoccupation with bodily functions, it was perhaps inevitable that manufacturers would come up with a joke shop-style device to mimic farts.

One boy in St Alban Street was delighted that this must-have toy was finally in his clutches and he lost no time giving several prolonged and very loud trial runs. It captured attention for yards around him.

Teenagers grimaced in disgust, families looked around to try and find a culprit and pensioners stoicly proceeded along in an orderly manner as if nothing had happened.

The boy was delighted at public response to his efforts and could be heard for some time sharing his new skill with all and sundry.

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