Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Nature always wins in the end

IT is amazing how topography can mock human efforts.

It matters not how developers lay out their schemes and build their roads because nature will always find a way to do what it wants.

Two roads in question — Dorchester Road and Quibo Lane – reveal this perfectly since both have been around for a long time….and so have the leaks seeping through their surfaces.

The first is - or was - the major route in to Weymouth, yet you only have to drive down it to see water pushing its way up through pavements and road surfaces to pour away down the gutter.

There is a similar problem in Quibo Lane where its lower end is constantly wet from leaks pushing through the road surface, both roads posing quite a hazard when sub-zero temperatures turn water in to ice.

It begs the question, why build roads over areas where springs are known or there is the likelihood of problems with water drainage?

Well the answer has probably gone to the grave with those who first build these roads more than 75 years ago, but the situation is not confined to being an ancient problem, particularly with the modern pressures to build more and more homes.

It will be interesting to see what happens on areas such as Markham and Little Francis in Weymouth if developers win permission to build hundreds of new homes there because such sites are known watercourse and spring areas.

I’m sure any planning permission will include drainage conditions. It is merely whether the land will play the game the way humans want it to.

Bureaucracy is alive and well and not just in Weymouth 

THIS gem has been sent to me by a friend keen to sound a warning that official lunacy and petty-fogging bureaucracy is alive and well not just in Weymouth and Portland but on a national scale.

The incident in question involved a simple trip to a local post office where an attempt was made to send off various parcels for the festive season.

The poster in question was a bit taken aback to be faced by a steely-eyed employee who had no intention of touching the parcels, far less sending them on their way with a stamp of approval.

Oh no! He wanted to ask some serious and pertinent questions first under new rules which apparently ban certain substances such as nail varnish from parcels because they might explode in the hold of an aircraft!

So he refused to accept the parcels without knowing the contents… which was a bit of a problem for our poster as his wife had packed them and he had missed what went inside.

What to do, but the post office magnanimously allowed him to ring home and ask, much to the consternation of his wife who wanted to know if the post office thought he was a terrorist.

Fortunately few terrorists send parcels filled with soap and toiletries – which turned out to be the contents of the parcels – and after a mind numbing period of time while these mail items were checked, measured and stamped, they were allowed to go on their way.

The sender, too, went on his way, muttering about an “over bureaucratic Post Office which makes such silly rules”. 

Oh yes, Happy New Year!

We’re lucky it’s only raining!

ONE of the most staggering recent statistics has to be that 30,000 people died from the cold in this country last winter.

Weymouth and Portland has a very mild climate and so perhaps fares better than most areas of the country during winter, but the risk factor is still high enough for the authorities to pepper the populace with warnings about insulation, advice for pensioners on how to stay warm and encouragement for neighbours to keep an eye on vulnerable people living near them.

But it is difficult to maintain the illusion of winter in a place where I have only seen snow deeper than a couple if inches twice in the last 33 years.

Oh we’ve had some cold snaps but nothing like Eastern USA and Canada had to cope with less than three weeks ago when they were paralysed by two feet of snow and severe sub-zero temperatures.

Our speciality is rain and Weymouthians are more likely to get trenchfoot rather than frostbite. So as we moan about yet more rain, be grateful that winter rarely sinks its true fangs into us.

Scrap metal prices are sky high

NEW laws brought in locally are being hailed as a tighter control of scrap metal dealings.

Prices are sky high and thieves have apparently been stealing almost anything metal because of the high returns they get.

In our area this has included everything from copper piping to manhole covers, posing stunningly obvious dangers to any motorist unlucky enough to come driving along shortly after these criminals have struck.

By contrast, it brings into focus all those offers to haul your old banger away free of charge. 

No wife and mother-in-law jokes please!

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