Wednesday, 5 May 2010
A Grand Day Out
Today I went fishing the easy way, by going to the fish shop and asking the fishmonger to do the necessary. As old fashioned fishmongers have gone from almost all our shopping centres you now have to travel some miles. Our nearest is on the coast a forty minute belt down the motorway. We like to eat fish to promote our “green” credentials” The trouble is that fish stocks are now getting low and the price is going up and all sorts of other things so it is no longer “green”.
We took a walk along the seafront. To the south we could see Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, now mostly mothballed, and there is a debate about its renewal. If it is not renewed it will add to the energy problem, if it is it will be the source of other problems. Close to it we could just pick out the huge Romney Marsh Wind Farm, built to provide us with “clean” power. We could see them easily because the sails were not turning as there was no wind.
Adjacent to the power station and wind farms is Lydd Airport. Its owners want to expand it to allow bigger planes and a more extensive air service. This will entail other works. At the moment it offers a world class service to Le Touquet where the French Elite once used to keep their mistresses. Now it has some attractive casinos. Just the kind of thing to support our GDP in peril.
Up to the north the P&O Ferries are working hard out of Dover. They need to in order to keep up with the traffic created by all the strikes in France. There are two large new ferries on order. They hoped to name them “Olympic Spirit” and “Olympic Pride” to celebrate the coming of the Olympic Games to England.
They are not able to. It seems that the use of the word “Olympic” now contravenes legal rules that protect the commercial rights of the organisers of the Olympic Games. As the UK government whose idea this is has not consulted Zeus or his staff I suspect that something unexpected and nasty could happen in 2012.
Despite it being a beautiful day there are not many people around and it is all sad and more than tired. The British seaside does not attract many these days. People have been instructed that they must fly off across the world to be stranded in far away places and sit on beaches and in bars indistinguishable from any others to enjoy themselves.
However, there were two chaps enjoying themselves with their tins and jolly banter echoing around the promenade. It did not take long for me to deduce that they were Glaswegians from the nature and verbal texture of the exchanges as we greeted each other. A short distance away there is a road named after a Glaswegian of great fame, Sir John Moore, and the whole township celebrates his name and memory. Behind us was the great Shorncliffe Redoubt that he built two hundred years ago.
The Glaswegians, old soldiers, it appeared were not in work and homeless, so I invited them to join me in invading France, whose coast was just possible to see. They demurred, they had already tried it and had been thrown out by the French in a sad betrayal of European solidarity.
Sadly, my new friends would not be voting, like many of their ilk. But in their old homes their votes would not be missed being replaced by new postal votes as in so many places. It is one of the wonders of New Labour that the number of fake votes provided by ineligible non European Afghans and Iraqi men will far exceed the number of British troops prevented from voting by administrative difficulties. Sir John Moore would not have understood.
Having advised the two about the location of a decent fish and chip shop and how easy it is to slip out through the back door of the local Waitrose store, it was time to come home. On the way back we were suddenly overtaken by a stream of large expensive limousines doing the ton in the fast lane.
One of my obsessive traits is to work out the meaning of number plates. This lot were off the train from Brussels and headed for London. Does this mean that come Friday there will be a posse of Eurocrats and others on hand to take part in any discussions about power broking or personalities in any new regime?
The only thing that made sense today was the conversation with the Glaswegians.