Heard this before?

What follows below is fictitious, but it was born out of a group of holidaymakers I overheard in a supermarket and I swear it is very close to what they said.

 

Nah, nah, nah! We got two dozen Fosters. If we buy three cases of Stongbow it’s cheaper than two cases of that other stuff. What d’ya mean, what about Kimberley? She likes Fosters don’t she and we got half a dozen boxes of that wine stuff so she and Charlene are well in. It’s us you’ve got to worry about.

What’s that love? No, no idea where the nappies are. Ask one of the check-outs.

Yeah, we need a bit more variety. What’s that John Smiffs stuff like? Well let’s get a couple of cases of that. Darren says he likes it. He’ll drink anything.

What’s that love? No, no idea where the burgers are. Ask one of the check-outs.

Speaking of burgers, you reckon four of these barbecue in a tin things is enough? Better get another couple. Don’t want to run out. Always hungry on holiday and it’s a bit of fun as well innit.

What’s that love? No, no idea where the sliced white is. Ask one of the check-outs.

Good thinking, good thinking! Forgot about the shorts. What d’you fancy, bit of vodka? Charlene likes vodka. Then there’s Jack the Black for me. What d’you mean, what’s that? It’s Jack Daniels innit. Don’t you know nuffink.

What’s that love? No, no idea where the strawberries are. Ask one of the check-outs.

OK, OK! A bottle of Teachers for you. What about mixers? Got to have a few bubbles. Better get a couple of boxes of tonic and a couple of Dry Ginger. Lovely jubbly. Now were getting there. Anything else?

What’s that love? No, no idea where the cornflakes are. Ask one of the check-outs.

Blimey! I need me ed testing! Nearly forgot the fags din we! We’ll need a coupla hunnerd each for sure. Kimberley smokes them Slims don’t she? Best get some of them, some of your French crap. What they called? Oh yes, Gallwise, my Marlboro and Charlene’s Bensons and we’re there.

We all done? What’s that love? Ruby-May wants a tub of ice-cream does she? She think money grows on trees? Get ‘er a lolly. If she’s good she can ‘ave ice-cream in McDonalds termorra!

This shoppin’ lark’s easy innit! Where’s the check-out? Cummon! Cummon! We’re wasting valuable drinking time!

 

Thief! Thief! Thief!

SO some Oxford professor feels thieves and fraudsters should be spared jail, does he?

What a load of limp twaddle and all the more worrying as the post he holds at this country’s top university is…….in English Law!

If he’s an expert in this field then what must the also-rans be like?

Unfortunately I have many memories of the damage that a thief can cause, some of the incidents actually involving me.

In many of them the wounds they cause are not through the loss of some television, cash, bike, car, or credit cards. It is the effective “dirtying” of personal space and belongings.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a £15,000 saloon or a £15 rucksack. Memories of it will never be as comfortable again even if you get the item back.

It has been sullied, the damage being even greater if the item has personal importance for the victim.

Just from me personally, thieves have stolen my cash, my camera, my backpack and my pen while one incredible incident on the tube in London saw me alerted by people on my down escalator after some scumbag on the up escalator stole half a bottle of water from a side pocket of my backpack.

The value involved was just a few pence, but the crime marred what up to then and had been a really good day out.

Now if Professor Ashworth ever gets his way then many thieves could be spared jail for “pure property offences” and given the equivalent of a slapped wrist and a stiff talking to.

Fortunately the good professor may have to wait a long while for this to happen because the Government came out and did the most incredible thing. It produced a reaction I was 100 percent in agreement with!

There was no political shilly-shallying and no threats to form a sub-committee next year to look into Ashworth’s comments. It was just “BANG”…we reject this.

What’s more, Justice Minister Damian Green said it would send the wrong signal to criminals, victims and the public and he is absolutely right.

Never mind the professor believes that the focus should be thieves making amends and compensating victims.

We have insurance of our own to get compensation and I’m sure the sort of amends most members of the public have in mind for a thief facing prison is not to hand him a Get Out Of Jail Free card but to make sure he gets a taste of something a little less to his liking than other people’s belongings.

One incident from some years ago springs to mind when I disturbed two people breaking into our neighbours’ home.

They were away up north at the time, so when we heard noises from their property we knew it could only be thieves and not a relative making sure all was well while they away because what relative would do that while the house was in complete darkness?

So I went out the back, heard scuffling by a hedge and promptly challenged whoever it was to show themselves.

Of course they didn’t, but they did run away down the garden when I began to shine a big torch about. Then there was a big crashing sound. What a pity the burglar missed seeing the low gate at the bottom!

Unfortunately my gate was high and bolted so, by the time I unbolted it, the burglar was long gone.

What I didn’t know was that a second burglar had quietly hopped over my neighbour’s other hedge and had been laying low while his partner in crime legged it. He then made good his escape, but the real cost was still waiting to be found.

The two of them had been so intent on getting at my neighbour’s new computer equipment that they had forced a hopper window right back on its hinges, climbed through and had virtually forced open a second interior door when they were disturbed.

The police had been called before I went outside, so they banged out some notes while I banged in some six inch nails to secure the window.

All these years later I can still remember most of the incident quite clearly, not the happiest of memories and I wasn’t the victim.

So, my vote is firmly against sparing thieves where prison is the usual offence.

As for the misguided professor? Well he gets sentenced to: “D Minus. See me after class.”

 

Condor: A Gridlock production coming to a seafront road near you

IT’S that Condor moment. No! Not the old tobacco advert but the new life – or resumption – of Condor Ferries’ operation in Weymouth.

Well, it may be a new look, a fresh start and a new hope but it would appear that old problems die hard.

Condor made it pretty plain to Weymouth and Portland council that one of the main complaints from passengers was gridlock conditions as they tried to drive away from the ferry along Weymouth Esplanade or quayside.

Even a council which had ignored harbour wall maintenance for decades until part of its ferry port threatened to fall into the sea could spot that Condor had the whip hand.

So there was much mumbling about new road measures, assurances that “matters were being taken in hand” and a great deal of talk about how much everyone was looking forward to welcoming back Condor whose presence in the town was greatly valued.

Yes, but what work was carried out to solve the gridlock conditions facing motorists as they tried to drive away from the ferry? What was actually done?

Precious little it would seem or, to be fair, precious little that had any worthwhile effect.

Politicians are the greatest mutants on the planet because they are animal, vegetable and mineral, having the hide of a rhinocerous, the brain of a pea and hearts of stone.

So it is hardly surprising that they said whatever they felt needed saying just to get Condor back in Weymouth. After all, now Condor is back it is unlikely they will suddenly up-sticks again soon which gives the council a bit of breathing space.

They are going to need it according to seafront stallholders who have seen it all before many times because traffic goes right past the front of their businesses.

They say that, whatever political measures were rushed in to placate Condor they have, like a flashy Bonfire Night firework, not worked very well.

But even the unsatisfactory situation on the Esplanade paled into insignificance the other night when quayside crowds were treated to a spectacle involving the irresistible force of Condor traffic meeting the immovable object of Weymouth Bike Night.

The bikers had right on their side because they were there by permission of the council, but it didn’t cut a lot of ice with fuming ferry motorists held up while classic cars eased into position to join their two-wheel associates.

It let to an interesting exchange of views, at least I think it was views.

Organisers stoicly completed their marshalling as quickly as they could and tried to ignore increasingly blunt comments which started with four-letter words involving one irate motorist with a screaming “baby” and descended into the use of other words of the same length which are not for an erudite blog like this to relate.

Suffice to say the motorists weren’t impressed, the bike night organisers weren’t impressed and I’ve no doubt Condor bosses won’t be too impressed if they ever see a video of the evening.

Since that clash there have been numerous gridlock incidents to show that Weymouth’s much vaunted new traffic system is about as much use as a plastic traffic light toy found in a cornflake packet.

The scenario doesn’t get any better when you sketch in the worrying news provided by ex-South Dorset MP Ian Bruce that he has just photographed another harbour wall crack.

Mr Bruce, now a Weymouth and Portland councillor, says his photos of the split on the landward side of Condor’s existing berth have been handed to council officers to investigate if there is now a second “collapse” problem beginning to loom for the embattled authority to tackle.

This “Is it, isn’t it?” timebomb doesn’t do much to calm nerves, so if you want a piece of worthwhile advice then try and stay clear of the seafront-harbour battleground around ferry times because, sooner or later, it is all going to end in tears.