Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Roadworks based on what evidence?

SPEEDING motorists have been cited as one of the reasons for improvement works being needed out at Preston.

A recent county council exhibition about the Preston Road proposals had plenty of suits, ties and smiles ready to answer residents’ questions.

But it appears that householders were a bit sharper than the experts and one Preston resident related a few examples to me.

Much was made by the experts about drivers speeding, evidence being gathered by roadside machines set up last summer recording some of the culprits, particularly at night.

Apparently the expert, who admitted he didn’t live locally, was ruffled when the resident pointed out that there were a lot of night time ambulances using the route which undoubtedly contributed to the figures.

But things got worse for the expert and he could only lapse into a stunned silence when the resident told him that many of the speeding vehicles recorded belonged to scores of Olympic duty police officers staying at a nearby caravan park!

There was a bit of spluttering and then the expert got back on track and talked about the need to get people out of the car and doing more walking and cycling, but the resident then asked if the expert knew that many elderly people lived in the area.

The expert didn’t but assured the resident that the road improvement scheme was really needed. It seems that the resident – and many others like him – weren’t convinced that experts talking to them were living in the real world... but the scheme is still a reality.

Smile quickly, before we all get frostbite!

LIFE has a way of poking fun at humanity when it least expects it.

Take recent recognition which saw Weymouth Beach voted the seventh most popular sands in the UK according to the world’s largest travel site TripAdvisor.

Nothing wrong with that. In fact it’s a useful accolade for the resort - but having to celebrate it in February is not!

To describe conditions as bitter would be a bit of an understatement as events staff on the brink of hypothermia managed to summon up a smile and a wave as they posed for pictures near a windswept Pavilion with Weymouth and Portland Tourism spokesman Councillor Ian Bruce.

It could easily have doubled as a scene with Sir David Attenborough from his Life in the Freezer epic because believe you me it was pretty bleak out there.

Teeth chattered, Mr Bruce’s cap was blown away on an icy gust and everyone being photographed instantly became very close friends as they huddled together for warmth.

Interestingly the photographers found themselves a tad cold as well and it was noticeable that there was no interminable wait while an arty picture was set up. Instead it was: “Smile!” click, click, click and away before frostbite set in.

The biggest glare of the day from those shivering souls being photographed came with an idle comment that it had been much warmer last summer and perhaps a nice sunny picture from then should be used as well. That didn’t cut much ice with the beach belles who by now were turning blue with cold!

It works better if you put the batteries in!

CAN you hear what I’m saying? I said, can you hear what I’m saying?

Neither could anyone else when an important council meeting struggled to catch arguments and comments being put forward by various residents from the gallery during public half hour.

Acoustics were not at their best and the hand held microphone didn’t seem to be improving matters because there were several calls for those using it to speak up.

What no one knew at the time was that each microphone holder could have shouted at the top of their voice until they were hoarse without anyone being able to better hear what they were saying.

Well, perhaps users hadn’t switched the microphone on, I hear you say, but you’d be wrong.
Sources tell me that the root of the problem was down to the fact... that someone had forgotten to put batteries into the hand held microphone!

Sign of spring to lift the spirits

A WREN has decided that a bush in my garden is a perfect hunting ground for food.

The tiny bird is barely as big as one of the leaves it is foraging among, but its perky movements bring life to an environment stilled by winter.

Just how weightless this bird is was brought home when it climbed a dead stalk of lavender which barely bent at all.

Then the wren spotted some morsel of food, flew down and pounced on it in triumph before flying up into honeysuckle to begin foraging all over again. A real lift to the spirits just to watch it.


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