APOLOGIES: Sorry that my column didn’t appear in last week’s paper but it arrived in the post too late for publication. This situation will be resolved very soon.
PARKING: I heard on the radio several times, the expression Clarkson Parking. My ears pricked up, what was this to do with? It appears it’s the expression given to people who take up two parking areas with one car. Now why do they do this? Evidently it’s so people don’t mark their cars, scratch their paintwork, break their wing mirrors etc. You may feel it’s valid but think, if we all did it, there would be chaos in car parks. I have a very old Skoda, I could afford a very expensive car, but do I want to join the ranks of those who consider their block of metal (for that is what a car is) one of the most precious possessions they own, that has to be cleaned constantly and nurtured like a precious child. It’s a car for goodness sake, something you may have saved up for, enjoyed showing off, but the nitty gritty is, it’s a vehicle for getting from A to B and the better we drive and park the better life will be for us all. It may help if car parking bays were made larger. I find the underground parking in a car park in Seaford extremely cramped and several times I’ve had to climb in from the passenger side. Quite a feat for someone in their 70’s.
THE WEATHER: If the sun shines this weekend I may clean my car and removed the bottles of water that I use in my B&B that have been stored in there since November. I may also be able to deliver the bags of goodies for Raystede and charity shops that have sat in there for some time. The algae which is also growing along the window ridges may need to go as well. My car is my work horse but at least it doesn’t carry goats around now.
SO SAD: To read that yet another dog has gone over the cliffs and died at Beachy Head. I can’t keep track of how many times I have warned people via parish Pump or told people that I see walking their dogs off the lead in such places, that it is putting their precious pets in danger. I almost lost one of our beagles years ago and we were walking a good half mile from the cliffs when he decided to chase a rabbit, which ran towards the cliffs. Fortunately some kind people stopped him. It really isn’t worth taking such a risk anywhere near the cliffs. I really feel for the person whose dog it was it must be so upsetting. The same thing goes for those that let their dogs run free where there are sheep. Dogs have an inborn hunting instinct and get excited when sheep take off. I have seen people ignore notices in places like Ditchling Beacon etc asking them to keep dogs on leads and at times have pointed it out to them. The usual reply is, ‘my dog is well behaved and doesn’t chase sheep’, there’s always a first time. Remember farmers have the right to shoot the dog if caught in the act and yet another much loved pet is lost. Is it worth it?
BIRDS: The birds are very hungry at the moment but they also need water. The wood pigeons that use our bird bath every day look very put out to find it frozen.
FOXES: So many people are being kept awake by the mating calls of foxes at the moment. They are very loud and somewhat blood curdling.
NEWHAVEN: Is anything going to be done about the Bridge Pub at Newhaven? It looks very neglected and was at one time a beautiful historic building. It would be lovely to see it as a pub/hotel again. The Ark has really done well and is now a very popular pub, as is The Hope. With all the troubles abroad it seems more people are thinking of staying on home territory, so let’s promote pubs/hotels like this more and try to make the surrounding areas a little more up-market.
B&B: I hear from people booking up to walk the South Downs Way, that so many B&B’s on route are giving up and it’s getting more and more difficult for walkers to find accommodation. It is a good idea to book early to avoid difficulties and don’t expect the lovely Youth Hostel to have paces if you leave it late. They are very popular and get booked quickly. One company that I deal with for B&B rang me recently and asked if I could be advertised with them as a retreat from technology, as so many people want to get completely away from it. It amused me and I said they certainly could, as I have none and it is impossible at times for walkers to get a signal on their phones here. Also broadband and wifi are not always simple to get. Are people learning to get a life again?
COFFEE CLUB: Don’t forget to come to our Rodmell Coffee Club on February 22. It’s a nice social morning open to all, young and old. The cakes and coffee/tea are lovely and it gives people a chance to meet each other and catch up on news.
WI: The talk by Ann Chance at Rodmell and Southease WI meeting on Tuesday January 17 was quite well attended considering how cold it was. Ann gave us a highly amusing talk on how, at the age of 64 years, she decided to ride cowboy style, taking a herd of cattle across Montana, hence the talk was given the title Saddle Sore in Montana. This lady is remarkable as she only looks about 50, has had her knees replaced with titanium fixings and taking her first riding lesson for 37 years at 64, in I believe December, and then riding across Montana in August was a great feat. She has done it five times since and is now into her 70’s. She has also learnt to fly and has other ambitions on the horizon.
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