Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Is there anybody there?
A SPECTRAL reaction has hit Weymouth and Portland council’s decision to sell off its own offices on North Quay to save money.
A recent meeting in Number One committee room came in for some ghostly comment which bore a striking relation to some of the debates that room has seen in recent decades.
The first anyone knew anything was wrong came when the pneumatic doors opened... and no-one came in to the room.
Gaping doors matched gaping jaws, nothing clear cut emerging from either, and a short while later the doors closed by themselves.
When later in the meeting the doors again opened by themselves there were a few nervous titters with darting glances to ensure others had seen the phenomena and that it wasn’t the first indication that some member was going off their rocker.
Attempts to force them closed didn’t achieve much, again like some council debates, and it finally appeared that a glitch which had dogged the door mechanism before might be back.
Whatever the reason, it was nice to see a civic version of an old pub from the village where I used to live as a child.
Some centuries ago a weary traveller stopped at the pub seeking food and shelter but, despite much knocking and shouting, he couldn’t find anybody there. Ever since then the pub has been called the Nobody Inn.
The grim reality of having no money
BELT tightening has become a grim fact of modern economic times, but just recently even that is being taken to extremes.
Being around town a lot I have increasingly noticed a very strange set of circumstances over the last two months that started out as a single incident but, as I write, has now happened three times in the last week alone.
It seems that poor smokers are now so desperate that they are almost patrolling the streets in search of large dogends.
I watched one man pick up three separate discards in quick succession, earlier I saw a young man also pick up a dogend while women are not excluded because I’ve seen them do the same thing as well.
Many years ago I used to be a smoker but prices have vastly increased since those days, so I took a glance at Tesco’s website to update myself and I was stunned to be shown that a modern 20-pack of Benson & Hedges Gold costs £7.97. No wonder people are going round picking up dogends!
Each cigarette costs 40 pence, so I suppose half a dozen decent sized discards and you’ve got to have picked up £1 worth of tobacco.
Another sign of the times is money dropped in the street. It doesn’t stay there long.
I’ve seen pensioners pounce on a coin they’ve spotted on the pavement while the smiles on children’s faces when they’ve found a coin could have lit the street up.
Maybe I’ve come to this scenario late because I haven’t really been aware of either type of incident until recent months. Brings home to you just how hard lives are becoming.
GARDENERS everywhere are in the throws of planting seeds and visiting garden centres to buy what flowers and vegetable seedlings they may want for the coming summer months.
Going to an expert site is sometimes handy because you can see the plants you want in an advanced state of growth without having to wonder if your own efforts will prove good enough for purpose, but years ago there was another way of doing this for one particular fruit.
Several tomato seeds on my kitchen windowsill have produced some nice seedlings, but you didn’t have to bother doing that when tons of Channel Island tomatoes used to be landed on Weymouth Quay.
There were inevitably a few squashed ones and a recent conversation I had with a man who remembered such cargoes revealed that sturdy tomato seeds used to spring up into seedlings along the quay railway lines, providing an easy source of plants for people’s gardens.
Such major tomato cargo deliveries are long gone but the railway lines are still there while an area which was the tomato cargo stage used to have its own little railway line to carry boxes of tomatoes.
A COMEDY of errors recently occurred on Weymouth seafront when a resident couldn’t believe who was walking along towards him.
The familiar face struck a chord and he immediately realised it was “that comic off the TV” as he struggled to put a name to a face.
The comic realised his celebrity status had been spotted and with a smile he gave the resident a firm handshake.
The starstruck resident finally recovered and said: “Les Dennis. Love your work. Nice to meet you.”
Not to be outdone, the comic replied that it was nice to meet the resident, too, before continuing hurriedly with his walk.
In the resident’s own words: “Just a tad too late to correct myself, I belatedly realised that the person I had just met was actually Bobby Davro! Oh well, I expect they get used to that sort of thing.”