Thursday, December 23, 2010

Raining and Cold

Time to write something I suppose!

I'm trying to find the courage to leave the house and venture into the teeth of the howling gale and freezing rain outside for some last minute supplies from the village. I'm finding that people I have been calling on business today are very sensibly somewhere else, Spain and Hawaii to name but two! There is of course nothing to beat the beach at St Mildred's Bay at Christmas, I tell them but they remain understandably unconvinced and I can't blame them, having been gazing at a sea view from my room at the Officer's club in Abu Dhabi only two weeks ago!
I see that the flu is starting to spread again and its hardly surprising at this time of year as the population presses together during the frantic shopping period, inadvertently giving the virus the critical mass it needs to explode. Much like putting a grain or rice on the first square of a chessboard and doubling the number with every subsequent square. Before you reach the last square the earth will have been completely buried by rice grains a mile high!

The Thanet Gazette has discovered or perhaps will 'reveal', that I dropped a marriage proposal banner in a garden in Brighton in June, a bizarre accident, caused by a failed steel attachment cable, in which nobody was harmed. The unmarried owner of the house was somewhat surprised to have a  proposal flutter down from the blue, much like a parachute and hang from her roof. The woman who the proposal was for, standing on the end of Brighton pier actually said "Yes" and the local Brighton Argus paper covered it then as a 'happy ending' story but much like the sinking of the Titanic and the outbreak of the Second World War, it's taken the Thanet Gazette a little time to catch-up. An entry for 'Smudger' on Friday I suppose and hardly headline news!

Quite possibly and like me, readers may know people who have had the Christmas holidays ruined by the weather and are still waiting for flights from Heathrow or Gatwick. I've heard some real horror stories over the last week and for many, the experience has been deeply distressing, particularly where small children were involved in the fiasco. Good reasons in the eyes of many to have a thriving local airport here at Manston to save on that lottery of a trip to the London airports and the extortionate costs of parking when one arrives!

I'm waiting for Skype to make a recovery after its big network outage yesterday. Like many readers I've a number of international Christmas calls to make and Skype's the preferred option at this time of year!

Finally, I've been asked to draw your attention to the council's budget consultation for 2011-12 'Make it count'. This year the council is facing a large cut in central government funding. We now have to decide how to allocate our funds to ensure that our limited resources are targeted towards the areas that are most important to local people.

To take part in the consultation please go to www.thanet.gov.uk/budget to complete the online survey. Alternatively you can collect a hard copy survey from your local Thanet library council office or can request a copy by e-mailing consultation@thanet.gov.uk or calling 01843 577120.

The consultation is open until Friday 21st January.

Footnote: Having just read the fabulous 'soar-away' Thanet Gazette, it's reported I was carrying two passengers on the flight referred to above. If that's true, I would certainly like to know who 'they' were! 

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