Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Beware the Christmas present menace

MEDICAL staff are doing a brisk business in dealing with Christmas present injuries.

These are not paper cuts or muscles torn from trying to open the presents but injuries sustained by people trying to keep out of the way of presents which have already been unwrapped.

Early New Year on Weymouth Esplanade was a classic illustration of this.

Hundreds of people were out enjoying sunshine or at least rare conditions when it was wasn’t raining and they brought with them hoardes of enthusiastic children.

These excited youngsters all seemed to have brought a favourite Christmas present with them which you’d have needed a crow bar to prise them away from and they lost no time in showing off their star gift.

That attitude had the rest of us leaping about to avoid in-line and roller skaters, tricyclists, skateboarders and any amount of shrieking toddlers whirling round with a spaceship-truck-car-plane clutched in their hot little hand, all complete with required sound effects.

Add to this the fact that those with wheels still appeared to be waiting for their first tentative lesson in how to use and control them and it all got rather fraught.

Nowhere was safe and it was commonplace for a child gaily going in one direction to suddenly swerve, wobble or stagger off in another.

Feet were run over, shins crashed into and people barged as others tried to take evasive action.

Men with faces screwed up in pain hopped about clutching shattered ankles, shocked pensioners huddled together in defensive circles and there was more than one child bawling its eyes out either because they’d come off their wheels or because their beloved present had been dropped or, worse, broken.

Only one child I saw had even the semblance of a true understanding of what was going on all around her and she was wearing a nice new little nurse’s uniform complete with Red Cross hat. Never had passers by needed her potential help more.

So remember to keep a wary eye out for Christmas presents, at least for a few more weeks until the novelty has worn off.

Bagged my bargain...  ready to roll again next year!

BEEN to any of those civilised and polite New Year sales recently? I have and I’ve got the bruises to show for it.

There may be a recession on but people are still prepared to use physical force in pursuit of those bargains that every store claims to offer at this time of year.

To look through the front windows at 8.59am you’d think the immaculate store interior was a candidate for the Ideal Home Exhibition. Then 9am struck and the doors opened.

The stampede that followed had to be seen to be believed.

Clothing racks were rifled, coathangers were grabbed and then carelessly rehung when the garment proved the wrong size and within ten minutes the whole place looked like it had hosted a riot.

One classic stand-off showcased two women, each with their hands on one leg of a pair of beige slacks.

Each claimed to have grabbed it first, but there was no arguing only a polite exchange of views delivered in icy tones.

I hurriedly bypassed the dispute and took myself off to the gent’s section where I tried to find out if any cord trousers were in the sale. There were but they were only of use if you happened to be Ronnie Corbett or  the Cerne Abbas Giant!

Disappointed, I was on my way out when I swooped to snap up a couple of bargains, three rolls of wrapping paper and a couple of boxes of good Christmas cards at 66 per cent off.... ready for when we all have to do the whole jolly seasonal thing again in a year’s time!

Pensioners know how to keep warm, they just can’t afford it

PEOPLE may feel this is obvious already but there has been recent evidence in Weymouth that the Government needs to take a serious check on reality.

A pensioner told me that he had received a call from an officer in connection with central heating.

The officer told the pensioner that the call was being made because the Government wanted to ensure that pensioners switched their heating on so they stayed warm.

After one incredulous moment the pensioner told the officer: “I can’t afford to switch our heating on.

“I’m stood here talking to you wearing three pullovers and two thick pairs of trousers and I’m still freezing cold! Do you think I’d be doing that if I could afford the heating on?!”

He then slammed the phone down, adding later to me that they could only afford to put their heating on around the time they got up and a few hours in the evening.

Yes, checks have to be made on such things but surely the issue here is not about encouraging pensioners to switch their heating on to stay warm but about giving them enough of a decent pension to enable them to afford to do so.

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