Wednesday, 19 September 2012

One way - the wrong way

EXPERIENCED local drivers are starting to relax a bit now that the Olympics, Paralympics and the main tourist season are over.

It has been a tense few months because a sharp increase in visitors – well, most of the time – brought with it a rise in visiting drivers.

Weymouth’s new transport system has actually attracted tourists in its own right and I spoke with one couple from Leicester who had specifically driven down to see this traffic light passport to permanent delay and nervous breakdown, but the new system is not what has been foxing visiting drivers. That honour goes to something which has been around for decades namely our one-way system.

There are a number of fingernail gouges in my steering wheel caused by meeting drivers where none should be met.

Two particularly fraught encounters saw me swing left down by the Crown Hotel only to meet one of our EU cousins accelerating at speed up to Town Bridge against the one way system while gesticulating forcefully to his front seat female passenger. He was only startled into realising I was there when I blew my horn at him!

The other occasion was slower but far worse as I turned right just past the Ship up from Custom House Quay only to meet another “visitor” coming down towards the quay. That snarled things up beautifully.

I couldn’t go back because of traffic behind me and it took a while to convey that he needed to reverse and slowly inch back outside the Golden Lion. After that I felt like going into the Golden Lion for a quick one to sooth jangling nerves.

My experiences are by no means the only ones and people have told me of meeting a sailing team minibus coming down from St Thomas Street towards the multi-storey car park!

There was one poor individual who approached King Street over the Swannery Bridge only to slam on his brakes as an Audi with foreign plates swerved across four lanes in front of him and finally there was that most dangerous of drivers – a battered Fiat flying a small Italian flag!

This flamboyant man cheerily drove the wrong way down Park Street and then turned right at the bottom – also the wrong way – before exiting on to Commercial Road. The only reason he didn’t hit anything coming the other way was that everyone was so stunned at his actions that they’d pulled up to watch!

So do keep a wary eye out next year for more of the same when all those legacy tourists we have been promised pour into Weymouth and Portland.

The nightmare in the bath!

AS welcome starts to the day went, this was a nightmare... because there in our bath was the largest single spider I have ever seen in our home.

You’ve all got coffee coasters in your house, well this spider was at least as big as that.
Having recovered from the shock there remained the problem of how to remove it without falling into its clutches and being dragged screaming down the plughole.

Luckily an old ice-cream tub under the bath was being used to hold cleaning materials, so I emptied it out and then realised that if I captured the spider it wouldn’t have to escape very far before it was running up my bare arm.

Stiffening my upper lip, I made a lunge and scooped up this web whopper which contracted on itself just long enough at first contact for me to hurriedly open the window and give it a free skydiving lesson.

That was unnerving enough but the first newspaper article I read that day informed me that poor weather had made this year a bumper one for spiders. Tell me something I don’t know!

It’s nice to see the family but . . .

FAMILY reunions can be wonderful occasions especially if members live some distance apart and don’t see each other for long periods.

One Weymouth man really looked forward to his family’s annual reunion....but it came at a spectacular cost.

He and several leading relatives have been taking it turn to foot the accommodation bill in a different country each year because family members have spread all over the world.

This year it was his turn and the family decided they would all fly in to France and meet at the Disneyland Paris attraction for a ten-day break together.

So he made the booking inquiries and arranged accommodation... for 48 family members at a personal cost to him of more than £18,000!

Apparently he has also had words with other senior family members and said that next year it is definitely someone else’s turn to foot the accommodation bill.

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