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Hurricane Season

I think I should point out that I won’t be applying for the role of Director General of the BBC. It’s disappointing news, I know but I suspect the odds are stacked against me, in that I’m in favour of abolishing the license fee and cutting the corporation down to a size which doesn’t attract threatening letters from the TV Licensing Authority to my London house, which has no television.

I’m tempted to add my name to the candidates list for the constituency of Thanet South. Again, very little chance of success but then I’m a local boy and here, I think I could make a small difference to the future of North Kent, which needs all the help it can get from central Government, if the size of my poll tax bill is any measure.

Ironically and after last week’s news of the tragic deaths of the Chinese cockle harvesters in Morecambe Bay, I can throw my mind back to last summer when I spotted a group of Chinese ‘harvesting’ shellfish from the beach in front of my house.

“I wouldn’t risk eating those if I were you”, I told one of them or anything from this beach, alluding to the fact that the sewage slick from Margate, frequently hits the edge of our bay when the wind is blowing in the right direction. The Chinese woman looked blank, possibly because she spoke no English and both she and her friends carried on prising cockles from the rocks regardless of my warning.

Outside, there’s a small hurricane blowing and threatening structural damage. A little imagination could have turned my small dog into a kite on its walk this morning. I’ve noticed over the last year that the winds are becoming fiercer in the winter, a consequence of global warming perhaps as different fronts collide over the country. Yesterday, I was outside in a t-shirt, tonight the forecast temperature is minus four and tomorrow, plus six Celsius, the weather is all wrong for the time of year.


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It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.

I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

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