Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A summer that never was

REGRETFULLY I’m beginning to wonder if 2015 is going to turn into one of those summers that never was.

Oh we’ve had a few nice sunny periods but we’ve also had a lot of cloud and some truly miserable days being battered to the ground by torrential rain.

Traders have confirmed to me that this year has definitely been a bit hit and miss, one day taking thousands and so rushed off their feet that they didn’t know where to turn and the next day deserted as an occasional hardy soul hurried by huddled into their coat.

We are told that one recent downpour delivered a month’s worth of rain in a single day which could actually have been an advantage against having the misery spread out over a longer period. It is all because the jet stream is over us instead of north of us, bringing in an endless procession of cloud and rain.

Elsewhere unusually strong winds and waves at the end of July and the beginning of August created banks of seaweed out at Bowleaze where channels were cut in the beach.

At the same time I have also never seen so many people wearing coats, fleeces, anoraks and pullovers on Weymouth seafront where the dress code is usually shorts, T-shirts and sunglasses.

It can’t all be climate change. Maybe we’ve just had bad luck this year. 

Whatever the reason, I’d welcome the chance to have enough sunshine to actually sit out and use my garden bench and picnic table for two days in a row.

Westham to finally get 20mph speed limit

AND so we could be getting a 20mph speed limit for most of the Westham area of Weymouth could we? About time too!

Ever since the Olympic sailing events were held in 2012 we have had a “legacy” of a sort somewhat different from that trumpeted by the Five Ring Brigade.

This legacy is very unwelcome, namely changed driving habits in certain parts of Westham including my own road.

That now gets used as a speedy rat run, a legacy from those nightmare roadworks claimed to give us 20 years of transport system improvements in a single year but which have proved about as helpful as a boil on the backside.

Drivers were forced into using our road while said roadworks were going on but – what a surprise – when the works were over they didn’t go back to their old route but stayed on their new one, rocketing past my home at speeds of up to 60mph.

The go faster stripes brigade with the tasteful dangling dice and love legend sunshades displaying “Wayne and Sharon” could previously be relied on to show off their driving prowess late at night or in the early hours.

But the works brought mainstream Weymouth and Portland past my door, from those driving a bit faster because they were late for work to careless clods who just put their foot down.

My street has a number of young children in it and doesn’t need any more hazards than it already has, so hopefully 20mph limits in the area will restore a bit of order.

Just one problem. The new limit – if approved – must be policed, either by the now very thin blue line or by the council which has become so impoverished it would struggle to sell tickets for fund free beer.

That leaves the ominous possibility of involving the community and that really will need careful thought. Watch this space.

Making friends

THIS week’s Growing Old Disgracefully spot looks at the social media outlet, Facebook, through the eyes of a pensioner.

He wrote to me – tongue in cheek – so he could explain to fellow elderly people who don’t understand Facebook that he felt it was a way of sharing your life with thousands of people and making new friends.

He added that he was now trying to make friends outside Facebook while applying the same principles.

He added: “So every day I go down on the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before and what I will do tomorrow night. Then I give them pictures of my family, my dog and me gardening and spending time in my pool. I also listen to their conversations and I tell them I love them.

“And it works. I already have three persons following me.......two police officers and a psychiatrist!”

Seeing carnival from a different perspective

CARNIVAL struggled through a miserable rainy day and I felt very sorry for all the volunteers who had put so much effort and time into staging the event.

The main procession of floats at night struggled on gamely through drizzle and heavier bursts of rain, but the weather proved too much for some events with the showcase appearance of the world famous Red Arrows being scrapped as was a display by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight while many wet and bedraggled beach events saw poor attendance.

It was new ground for me. The first time I have been able to enjoy a full carnival since I came to Weymouth in 1980.

I suppose it was inevitable that I had to wear an anorak rather than suntan lotion, but it was great to see the town’s biggest day of the year from a different perspective, that of a spectator.

Let’s all hope that we get sunnier weather for Weymouth Carnival 2016. Oh by the way. I didn’t win the car!


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