Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Anybody want to rent my shed?

AVAILABLE for Rent: Bijou shed with door and two windows, own electricity and spiders, suitable for social advancement project. Rent: £3,000 per annum.

Well, I thought it was worth a try to test the market and see what I could hire my garden shed out for after the council placed the same rental rating on a former public toilet at Wyke Regis which they’d just approved for converting into a youth club.

Naturally my little garden building is in a much more pleasing landscape, so social reformers looking to branch out in Westham should find it irresistible.

Of course there may be a few noses out of joint with neighbours but it is for a good cause (me) and who knows, maybe I can gazump the council and encourage the youth club to forsake the odorous delights of an ex-toilet in favour of letting their hair down at my place.

That plus proposals to relax planning laws so householders no longer have to get permission for trivial schemes such as 21-bed extensions to their chalet bungalow or a nightclub to create a bit of extra income and everything seems to be looking good for homeowners.

Just one thing though. If you do wish to apply for renting my shed then it’s cash only, no fancy cheques or cards please. You can’t be too careful with funding for these social projects. You never know just how short of cash the council may be.

The delights of Fuggle-De-Dum

ALL the world’s in a name, so what can you deduce from Smokey Bastard, Silent Slasher, Fuggle-De-Dum and Rectors Revenge?

Quite a bit if you are a beer drinker, so you probably know all about Bucket of Blood, Monkey, Anastasias’s Exile Stout and the delicious delights of Mary's Ruby Mild.

Being a teetotaller I can only relate these wonders through a tasting I was forced to endure for this column... twice.

Ciders, too, were on offer – Blakeney Red Perry was a particular delight, not least because some burke had been chopping the trees down. What a surprise that orchard owners are starting to realise that they’re junking a goldmine and are now hastily replanting.

Those of us lucky enough to sample what bar manager Rich Gabe had organised at the Pavilion Ocean Room were more than happy to pay his surprisingly reasonable surcharge on paracetamol.

The experience left our lives the merrier for Lamplight porter, Smugglers Vintage Ale, Gadds Dogbolter and Bleary Eye, the last not being a beer but the state I found myself in the next day when trying to pour a cup of tea!

Much ado about nothing?

A TEMPEST could be brewing in Weymouth and Portland after a national survey revealed that 30 per cent of children under 13 didn’t know who Shakespeare was.

The much ado about something may not be as you like it for scholars but, measure for measure, it perhaps hints that schools may be facing a comedy of errors in the way they try to make sure that the Great Bard makes a memorable impression with pupils.

Shakespeare appears to be a bit of a midsummer night’s dream for some youngsters and the figures seem to show that teachers have a lot of ground to reclaim before they can say that all’s well that ends well.

And all you adults shouldn’t be getting too cocky either since more than a quarter of us said we’d never read one of his plays while an incredible 12 per cent didn’t know Shakespeare was British... and it gets worse.

Apparently five per cent of people aged 18-34 thought that Shakespeare’s most famous play was Cinderella while two per cent actually thought he was fictional!

I’m sure that Weymouth and Portland’s teachers have done a good job and our youngsters are not representative of the survey, but it is still a bit of a winter’s tale for education.

The town that never sleeps

HALF the town seemed to be awake the other night when a gale struck.

I had to get up and go outside at 3.40am to rescue our bins when they blew over and I was struck by how many homes had lights on at such an ungodly hour of the night.

So without going too far – it was pretty wild conditions – I had a brief look at the neighbourhood and saw scores more homes lit up with many more showing lights towards Wyke.

Perhaps some were just nervous or elderly people who had left their lights on overnight, but they couldn’t all have been doing that so a good few must be people either up late or just getting up to go to work.

It is only on rare occasions like the gale that I’m ever outside that early and it brought home that Weymouth is a town that never sleeps.

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