Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Music vandalism brings tears to my eyes!

WHEN I heard this yarn it almost brought a tear to my eye at the tragic music loss involved.

I was certainly prompted to check my own store of old 78 records almost for reassurance that they were still there because this is a tale of playfulness and the cost involved for a few seconds of fun.

The scene is Littlemoor in Weymouth some years ago and a bunch of feisty kids out in the countryside.

There were no such things as Frisbees in those days but similar inventiveness was richly available and the youngsters had simply grabbed a few handfuls of old 78s and gone out to skim them across the fields with the inevitable smashing results.

SMASH! went one of Glen Miller’s finest, CRASH! went Elvis and BASH! went Frank Sinatra, recordings which now must be worth considerable sums of money.

So you might think the youngsters committing this music vandalism had no sense of value, no appreciation for music… but you’d be wrong.

One of those children - now a 56-year-old - said they did keep a single 78 “because we were kids and we didn’t want anything to happen to it”. The recording in question was Sparky’s Magic Piano. Well, they were kids!

Islanders furious at precept proposal… and so they should be

IF Portlanders needed something to stir them up then suggesting their council tax precept should go up by 1,000 per cent was bound to provoke a strong reaction.

Already firmly convinced that Portland doesn’t get the same crack of the whip that Weymouth does, islanders are furious at the precept proposals to boost coffers even if the money is destined for island use.

When all is said and done I can understand their feelings because paying £32 for a pint of beer, £70 for a taxi in to town or £60 for a simple haircut is only the same style increase as that being proposed for the precept, up from £14 to £150.

A town council meeting tonight must sort this one out, but islanders are seething and a few hangings in effigy can be expected not to mention some very vocal offerings at the meeting.

Not for the first time, the way this concept has been carried out has seen councillors come in for heavy criticism and surely those in power have to wake up sooner or later to the fact that the way they sometimes carry things out is flawed and needs changing.

Lack of communication has been at the root of many past complaints and it has reared its head again over the precept. Something has to be done to rectify so simple a failing but I’m not holding my breath.

I think tonight’s people power may drive the point home and it seems likely that proposals for just a two per cent precept increase may win the day.

Anyone for nuts?

ANYONE for peanuts? Surely someone out there must want some?

Well, to be honest, someone out there doesn’t want peanuts because they’re throwing them out to feed squirrels who need no second invitation to boost their winter food stores.

Unfortunately squirrels are also notorious for burying their snacks ready to be retrieved when winter times get hard.

We watched in disbelief as one squirrel came into our garden and right up to the window, bold as brass, where it inspected our pots of flower displays before selecting one to bury its peanut in.

A couple of indignant bangs on the glass sent it hastily packing, but this is just one squirrel we happened to spot. How many more of them are there out there that we’ve missed seeing burying peanuts in our garden?

I know it happens because last summer, busily weeding the vegetable patch, I pulled up a plant I hadn’t seen before to discover it had sprouted from a squirrel’s buried peanut. 

Thank God they don’t have sequoia seeds at their disposal!

Marmalade or chutney?

PREGNANT women have been known to crave weird dishes such as fish cakes and custard and finicky children can sometimes be coaxed into having something to eat using unusual ingredients.

But I’ve never come close myself to being served one of these concoctions… until now.

I’m currently recovering at home from a cancer operation and one of my diet requirements is to eat small and varied portions for my meals so surgical wounds in my stomach are not strained by too large amounts of food.

All had been going well until a breakfast incident made me openly laugh, not a good idea as it provokes certain bodily reactions we won’t go in to here.

The reason for my laughter was that my wife, heroically caring for me and fighting life on all fronts practically on her own, is well known for not being at her best in the early morning.

So this morning in question she had brought me my toast and marmalade….but she had to turn round, take it back and produce another lot for me.

Why? Well she’d been on bleary auto pilot and it was only as she brought the toast in to me that she realised that the jar of marmalade she’d used had actually been a jar of pungent chutney!

If I’d consumed that I’d have had no problem going to the loo for a while!

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