Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bright smiles and heavy hearts

IT happens to many parents but knowing that still didn’t make it any easier. There were a few tears shed when we said goodbye to our daughter, Nicole, as she started a three year degree in Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham University.

As goodbyes go, this was about as quick and carefree as a party political broadcast because it was a very long drive where I couldn’t afford to let my mind wander as dual carriageways and motorways seem to breed their own special species of psychopath.

Once there we put on smiles and bright faces as, with heavy hearts, we did our best to keep busy with carrying in her belongings and doing small jobs about her new halls of residence room which gave her glorious views over fields just a few yards from her window.

A quick trip to go grocery shopping in persistent rain and all too soon it was time for hugs as we wished her well and tore ourselves away before emotions took over and we made it even harder for her to say goodbye.

Everything was for the best, it was a golden first step on a path which could give her a career for life and it was a just reward for all the hard work she had put in at Budmouth Technology College, so why did it feel as if we were somehow hurting her?

Of course we weren’t, but that isn’t how it felt and how I was able to drive nearly 20 miles into Nottingham for us to stay with friends feeling as miserable as I did is beyond me. I felt that bad.

But tomorrow is another day and fortunately it was a much better one.

It turned out that, of her five flatmates, two were actually on the same course with her which was a fantastic stroke of luck because they’d already made friends and starting chatting about what they faced.

Add to that a glorious sunny start to a day where she was woken up by cows mooing nearby and it helped to chase away the dismal feelings we’d had the previous day.

So it is with some pride that we say, go well daughter and good luck. I’m sure you’ll make your own and have a wonderful time.

Take our lights and send us your roundabouts

WHAT a glorious opportunity has been presented to every driver in Weymouth.

Bitter motorists have been filled with something less than joy by Weymouth’s new traffic light system, but an opportunity has emerged to get rid of it.

Preston is being groomed for road improvements by Dorset County Council and we are just the people to help them.

I suggest stripping all the traffic lights out from the town centre and sprinkling them liberally around Preston with three at the junction with Littlemoor Road and perhaps a few more judiciously sited to cause the maximum amount of inconvenience to road users at Overcombe Corner, Coombe Valley Road and Seven Acres Road.

Part of the deal would naturally include us getting a Preston roundabout to use at Boot Hill while I’m sure we can borrow a couple of combine harvesters from farmers out that way to park at either end of the Swannery Bridge where they can form moveable roundabouts.

It seems a real winner for Weymouth which can only be scuppered by one fact... the presence of a number of current or former senior county and borough council officers living at Preston.

They were very quick to be involved in inflicting traffic lights on the rest of us but, for some strange reason, there don’t seem to be too many traffic lights in the system they are proposing for Preston’s new road scheme. There’s even a new roundabout being suggested for Overcombe Corner.

Perhaps no traffic lights at Preston is just an oversight on their part... perhaps.

Weymouth is so bracing!

YOU can tell autumn is here in all its blustery glory by the number of hats being chased along Weymouth Esplanade by late arriving tourists.

This hardy breed, which snaps up shoulder season breaks, has to take the rough with the very rough at this time of year. There is no smooth.

That rough includes forcing a smile while being photographed eating a seafront sandwich which is more “sand” than “wich” and being able to say with conviction what a wonderful time you are having despite being huddled in a seafront shelter waiting for the paramedics to come with hypothermia equipment.

Everything is shared, so when shivering visitors enjoy a cup of coffee they drink half and share the other half with those at neighbouring tables who get it blown in their faces.

Yes, you can’t beat a bracing autumn getaway to the English seaside, all the while thanking your lucky stars that you didn’t book the same holiday during the summer when it was really bad!

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