Storm Gertrude

Oh dear another storm – Gertrude this time. Severe weather warning again with strong winds and heavy rain. Yet more rain …..

Well we can’t do much about the weather but I just hope the Council is prepared for whatever Gertrude brings.

 

Lottery winner found

Ha the second winner of the £66 million lottery win has been found! Hundreds of people had sent in claims hoping to get £33 million but now the genuine ticket holder has been found.

It’s quite amazing how these occasions bring out the cheats in society – and perhaps some of them are just desperate or even genuinely deluded. But I suspect the majority are greedy oportunists who think they can fool Camelot into paying them a very large fortune.

The real winners have declined publicity – and I don’t blame them. No way would I notify the world and open myself and my family to begging letters and abuse. It’s strange how people can change when they think you have more luck than them.

But everyone in the Worcester area will be watching their neighbours to see who buys a new car or makes a sudden move to the country.

We’ve all dreamed about that elusive win, but I don’t often buy a ticket – figure the odds are just ridiculous so I might as well save my money.

Ridiculous shortage of large stretchers

Doesn’t it defy belief that there are only 2 extra-large stretchers in the whole of Dorset?

These days when people are so much heavier and unfortunately there are loads of obese people, surely there should be more facilities available. So the health service is partly to blame for the death of a young lady from Wareham because they were unable to get her to hospital quickly. She had a blood clot on her lung.

That wasn’t the only problem according to the inquest in Bournemouth. There were also failures by the ambulance service. So there’s going to be an enquiry.

I feel so sorry for the poor lass and her friends and family, so I hope they’ll be putting in place systems to stop anything like this happening again.

But I’m also exasperated about the whole health system and refer to my comments yesterday about the cost of such investigations. Guess who’ll foot the bill again!

They’re going to develop land around Bournemouth Airport – funded by government grants, which is a rare piece of good news for the area, I hope. It’s expected that 10,000 new jobs will be created and they’re going to do something about the infrastructure and transport.

They’re also going to build 350 houses, half of them “affordable”. Well that will be debatable. With the average price of a terraced house in Bournemouth being around £200,000 and new houses usually going for more, what’s affordable? They’re not going to be selling them for half price are they?

I just don’t know how most youngsters can buy a house these days. They need £30k or so just for the deposit, plus stamp duty, solicitors’ costs and incidentals. I well know this because my daughter and her partner bought a house last year. They saved for ages and both have well-paid jobs so they’re in a better place than most I think. But even they had a hard job getting it all sorted and we had to loan them some money to pay all the costs. I wish I could just hand them a lump sum but unfortunately we’re not in a position to do that.

So when they say “affordable housing” it’s subjective.

Well at least it’s sunny today, though there’s still some flooding around Dorset and water has stopped trains running through parts of the New Forest – probably the wrong sort of flood. But today is a good day for a walk ….

Councils to be fined

National news today is that local councils are going to be fined if they don’t work 7 days a week to finish roadworks. Apparently the fine could be £5,000 a day when roadworks on major roads are unmanned.

Now on the surface this looks like a good idea. Some roadworks go on for months and it’s more than annoying when there’s nothing going on so you’re held up for no reason.

But there will always be unavoidable delays or even (dare I say it) beaurocratic incompetency! So who’s going to pay the fines? Are our worthy councillors going to be putting their hands in their pockets?  Of course not – we, the ratepayers will pay as always! So that’s not going to be good is it?

There’s similar cause for concern when schools get penalised or hospitals – anything run by national or local government. It’s the man in the street who pays fines or forks out for damages claims. Not that I blame someone who’s been seriously affected suing a hospital, for example, but it’s the rest of us who pay isn’t it?

That’s my rant for today – the pure injustice of having to pay for the mistakes of others when you try to take responsibility for your own actions. Why should we all be obliged to pay for everyone else’s mistakes or negligence?

So I sincerely hope that Bournemouth and Dorset councils are going to ensure that they don’t get fined for not getting on with roadworks.

Better news is that there will be a Super Puma Cougar and a Hornet at the Bournemouth Air Show this year, courtesy of the Swiss Air Force. I know little about aircraft but discovered that the Hornet is a supersonic jet and the Cougar is a helicopter. We love the air show so that’s something to look forward to. Sadly the Shoreham Air Show isn’t being held this year after the terrible accident in 2015 when a Hawker Hunter ploughed into the road, killing a number of people. Miraculously the pilot survived but I don’t think they’ve had the enquiry yet.

There has been some local flooding in Dorset following the rain over the last 24 hours, but I haven’t heard of any major problems, so perhaps it hasn’t been quite as bad as expected – though there may be more to come.

 

More Rain

More rain is heading our way and it’s all the fault of the Yanks. At least we’re getting their storm though thank goodness they tell us we won’t get the snow that has been so bad in the East of the US.

But flood warnings are in place for Dorset – yet again. I don’t remember a winter when we’ve had so much rain by January. And yet it has been warm. Right now it’s about 11 degrees but it’s expected to bucket down in Bournemouth this afternoon. And what’s the advice on the council’s website? “Keep warm and well in cold weather” – very helpful I’m sure. Their winter advice page promises top tips for keeping warm – but there aren’t any. That council needs whipping into shape!

Already 2 lorries have been blown over on a motorway in Scotland so we’re hoping the severe wind doesn’t head our way too.

Bournemouth Uni has announced that it will spend £100million on new faculties and student accommodation. It’s a staggering amount isn’t it? I hope their students appreciate the amount of tax payers’ money they’re getting.

That’s the thing about “government spending”. It isn’t actually the government that is spending money – it’s tax payers. The government doesn’t have any money – they just spend ours. And we don’t get much say in that do we? Don’t get me started or that rant could go on and on.

Apart from the above it’s a quiet news day in Dorset, although a charity box in the shape of a retriever has been stolen from outside a shop. Pretty low-handed but hardly the sort of stuff that deserves to take up room on the BBC website is it?

Hunkering down now with a bowl of soup for lunch. Luckily we’re not in an area that’s prone to flooding but I hope the rest of the country stays dry – it’s been terrible for many this winter and they can’t be looking forward to more rain this afternoon

 

Vandalism in Bournemouth

Just read in the Daily Echo that vandals have broken some of the trees newly planted at the Poole skate park. Now that really angers me because frankly we need all the trees we can get.

But who knew that Bournemouth Borough Council have an Arboricultural Manager – one Nick Colledge? I’m sure councils used to have someone in charge of parks and gardens, but I suppose that job has been divided up into arboriculture, seedlings, grass management, worm control and the like! Probably just to add another layer of bureaucracy.

But I do think it’s a shame that youngsters don’t appreciate trees that have been planted to give them a more pleasant future – sign of the times I suppose. Though to be fair I don’t think we appreciated what we had as youngsters either.

The other big Bournemouth news of the day was that 10 drivers were caught deliberately not stopping at lollipop crossings. Actually this is pretty bad because those patrols are there to protect our kids – including my grandchildren. All part of the No Excuse campaign being waged on motorists by the local police. I’m not a fan!

But the thing that did amuse me about the story was the photo they published – which showed cars that had stopped for a lollipop lady – a bit like reporting a road accident and showing a photo of a piece of road where there was no accident.

Bournemouth Lollipop patrol

Still it’s obviously been a slow news day and it must be difficult to fill a daily local newspaper with interesting stuff.

On a national level I see that Addidas has pulled out of funding world athletics. About time with all the doping scandals going on at the moment. I’m hoping that Seb Coe can sort out the British side of it anyway – not sure about the rest of the world.

And only yesterday I was hearing about the tennis betting scams that have been going on – even at Wimbledon! Apparently Jovic was offered £150,000 to lose a match. That must have been some time ago because he earns millions for winning major titles so I’m sure he’s not going to be tempted by a piffling £150k.

It’s all a bit of a sad reflection of the capitalist world we live in. Maybe I should go back to being an anarchist after all!

Draw for the Cherries

Disappointed that the Cherries could only manage a draw in their match against Sunderland, finishing 1-1. They started so well and at one point looked like scoring a second goal.

We’re keeping out of the relegation zone for the moment but a win would have been so much better.

I’m not the world’s greatest football fan but can’t help cheering on good old Bournemouth. Some of my friends are their greatest supporters 🙂

Come on Eddie Howe let’s get a few more points – please!

And here’s a post script – pretty good news hereBournemouth Cherries

My new blog

So this is my new blog.

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while, but sometimes you just can’t get started.

I live in Bournemouth, having been born in Poole some 65 years ago. So I haven’t moved far, though I have been as far afield as Brighton and even Alicante over the years.

My wife says I’ve turned into a grumpy old man, whereas I consider myself a bit of an anarchist – or at least I certainly did in my youth. So I’m using my blog to comment on all things local to Bournemouth and Poole.

You’ll notice I’ve chosen a lovely calming picture at the top of the blog – hopefully the buddah will keep my blood pressure under control!

But watch out politicians and local bureaucrats, I have my eye on you.

And as a postscript, I’m a great support of Brexit and all it should bring to make our country great again.