Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Get your BOGOFS while you can

SHOPPERS seem mystified over why Weymouth is approaching a scenario where a short stretch of Dorchester Road will soon have three supermarkets off it.

Morrisons and Lidl already hold sway there but it won’t be too long before Sainsbury’s becomes the meat in their sandwich.

All have different things to recommend them, but I’m bound to point out that there is still only one customer cake.

You can slice it any way you like but the overall pool of customer money remains roughly the same. It’s merely a question of how large a wedge each supermarket will get.

The wider picture should also not be forgotten with the new Tesco doing very nicely thank-you on Portland, Asda’s in-town store carving out its share as well and Which? Best Supermarket 2013 winner Aldi commanding its share of customers on the Jubilee retail park. There is also the big Co-op store out at Littlemoor.

Clearly the New Look Gateway development would not have brought in Sainsbury’s without careful thought, but it will be the seventh major supermarket in the area and that doesn’t take into account a forrest of Tesco Metro and Express, Co-op, M&S and Iceland outlets plus numerous small grocery outlets scattered across the borough.

Some might argue that all this is good news for shoppers since increased competition is bound to see a war of offers to attract customers, but wars have losers.

How long before one of the big supermarkets decides enough is enough and its margins just aren’t enough to be worth continuing? And how long after that closure before the first major housing scheme drops with a thud through planners’ letterboxes? Not too long I venture to suggest. Get your BOGOFs while you can.

Keep an eye on the road to avoid further gull casualties

LOCALS are struggling to cope with a shocking toll of 15 deaths on a small area of Weymouth roads in less than a week.

Fortunately the bodies belong to gulls not human beings but, even so, the figures are pretty startling and these are just the dead birds that I have counted.

Abbotsbury Road, Wyke Road, Portland Beach Road, Weymouth Way, Swannery Bridge, Town Bridge and the Esplanade all have their flattened clumps of feathers, so how many more are there out there that I haven’t spotted?

Each year gulls fall victim to the summer holiday traffic, but always before I’d registered that, what dead birds I’d seen were juveniles, untutored in the ways of dodging cars. Not this year. Nearly three-quarters of all the bodies I have seen have been in full adult plumage, so I’ve no idea what’s happening with that.

Maybe they’re too confident, too hungry or too desperate this year. Whatever the reason, motorists should keep just a bit sharper eye out for gulls in the road to avoid adding to the carnage.

The powerful force of nature

ANYONE in doubt about the power of nature should have been out and about in Weymouth during a recent storm.

So much rain teemed down that the sheer force of water blasted out a chunky solid metal manhole cover, ripped off path coverings to create drifts of pebbles, flattened flower beds and left many streets and part of the Esplanade flooded.

Of course no one should really be too surprised at the deluge. It is, after all, the height of an English summer, but I don’t have much time to dwell on general misfortune as I have some more specific problems of my own.

At the height of the storm a communal drainpipe became blocked and hundreds of gallons of water cascaded down the front of our home and our neighbour’s. Just off out to try and unblock it before the next storm. Oh the joys of a relaxing evening after work.

Keep your cool

EXPERTS say that climate change could be responsible for an increase in violence, their comments appearing to be backed up by the crush of people in Weymouth town centre.

Grandparents had to intervene and part one couple who were rowing face to face, and spats between parents and their children were commonplace.

Life’s too short for this pettiness because in the same period there were other people visible in wheelchairs, more on crutches because they’d lost a limb and several tapping their way along because they were blind.

It’s all too easy to blame a flare-up on the weather but the bottom line is that people have a choice whether they lose their temper or not.

I’m no saint, but I’d like to think that I can behave better in public than some of these people did without claiming warm weather as an excuse.

At least if people start swapping punches in the winter it will do less damage because they’ll be wearing gloves!

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