OUT IN THE FIELD: No good story starts with a salad

SUS-180918-090335001
SUS-180918-090335001

I’ll wager some parking wardens have not been happy bunnies these last few weeks as double yellow lines, road markings and even zebra crossings weren’t repainted after resurfacing work in Seaside, Seaside Road, Trinity Trees and the seafront. It meant they couldn’t issue penalty charge notices. Chuckling aside however, the result was a dangerous free-for-all with people parking willy nilly and on dangerous corners for days on end. Traffic cones laid out and signs warning motorists not to park there, so lines and markings could be reinstated, were tossed aside. The parking shenanigans finally came to an end this week and the majority of markings redone. So, it’s back to looking out for the wardens lurking on street corners. As they will no doubt be looking to make up the recent shortfall in the cash cow that is Eastbourne’s parking scheme.

It’s years since I covered a parish council meeting. As a cub reporter we’d often be sent out to a back of beyond village hall where an assortment of normally retired folk would bicker about overgrown hedges and the like before decanting to the local pub. So, with something of a vested interest as I live in the village, I went to Westham Parish Council’s meeting on Monday as the hot topic up for debate was the appalling condition of the village pond. Regular readers will know that, despite the parish council’s protestations, little has been done in recent years to stop the pond falling into such a state and the “monitoring of the pond” was no more than a quick daily glance at it by one councillor who, and I quote, refused to back a management plan as it implies “we have mismanaged the pond”. Well, if the council, as the guardian of said pond, hasn’t mismanaged it, who has? The Easter Bunny? I thought in this day and age such silly petty squabbling at such meetings had stopped. We should all be singing from the same hymn sheet to get the best for our village and the “we shall not be moved” attitude from certain members of the council is just not helping the chorus.

There’s lots of folk in the birthday line-up this week – Chris Gape, Rory O’Niell, Yvette Cowderoy, Steve Crowe, Peter Finnis, Di Tucker, Darianna Galli, Zoe Laughton, Rachel Anderson, Simon Hunt and John Little. Yours Truly is also celebrating with so many candles on the birthday cake the fire service has been put on standby. As I head towards the big Five-O on Friday, take stock of all the sensible stuff – retirement planning, joining a funeral payment plan, National Trust membership – and plan a few soirees, I have been merrily ticking things off my 50 things to do list, things I wanted to do for ages but never got round to. I’ve seen an opera at Glyndebourne, been inside Beachy Head Lighthouse, flown over New York in a helicopter and drunk Sauvignon Blanc inside 10 Downing Street. Having lost some good people this year, it’s also made me realise you have to live life while you can, because nobody ever looks back and remembers the night they got plenty of sleep. And no good story ever started with a bottle of mineral water and a salad. Carpe Diem.