Sunday, 25 July 2010

Short But Sweet

Well, our quick jaunt around the near South West was very refreshing.

Surprisingly, we stayed in a hotel which not only entertained the idea of smoking rooms, but also actually provided one in line with my online request. Sadly, although when staying on the continent you can be pretty certain your wishes will be met, I can't remember the last time I managed to get one in the UK. It doesn't matter too much, as I'm buggered if I'm going to jump in the lift in my jim-jams, and trot down to stand at the front of the building, if I fancy a smoke with the in-room tea-making facilities ... unless they ban windows or install CCTV in the guest bedrooms, of course.

I'm not remotely alone either, so if you're a nutty anti-smoker I'm sorry to bust your bubble ... your pristine room will have seen some smoking activity before your precious body entered it.

It's also interesting to note that the chambermaids were able to clean our room without dropping dead, while it's apparently too dangerous (according to deranged anti-tobacco loons) for pub staff to do the same for separate smoking rooms in pubs even if well ventilated.

It's been a bastard of a drive back - the M3 was being particularly spiteful - but a couple of stories led me to the keyboard.

Firstly, it was very sad to hear of true legend Alex Higgins's passing, but also quite encouraging that those who knew him are sending him off in the correct manner.

Despite squandering his snooker winnings in a life blighted by drink and gambling, friends were adamant that Higgins would be given a proper send off. Some £10,000 raised to help Higgins receive medical treatment prior to his death will go towards his funeral, it was revealed.
The more usual response, of course, for the estate of those who succumb to cancer, is to give money to an organisation which increased its income by 5% to £498m last year. Considering that, in its 108 years of existence, there has been an increase in cancer deaths from 10% to over 40% (page 10), and that any such money not only starves local charities of funds but also doesn't make much of a dent in the salaries of the 23 employees who earn from £100k to £260k (up from 20 last year - page 37), such donations are pretty useless.

So good on Alex's folks for using that money to treat those who loved and cared for him instead.

Secondly, via Iain Dale, I understand that Somerset apparently has speed cameras.

The camera networks in Devon and Cornwall, Somerset and Northamptonshire are also under review after the government’s decision to claw back £38m from English local authorities’ 2010-11 road safety budget of £95m, and to remove funding for new speed cameras.
I can't say I encountered even one! In fact, the SatNav beeped on my way out on Friday somewhere near Bracknell and didn't mither me again till returning on the A303 in Wiltshire ... after which it barely stopped.

Great that the bloody things are being restricted to roads that are proper blackspots, though, as the only consequence of them on dual carriageways and the like is to cause drivers to over-compensate to unnecessarily slow speeds which can sometimes be a danger in itself. And I'm allowed to comment as, unlike Dale, I haven't had points on my licence for 15 years.

Finally, if you live in the South West, you don't half have some cheek charging so much for the cheese and fudge that Mrs P just had to buy. Bastards.


subrosa said...

I wouldn't eat the fudge and cheese. It'll be more than your life's worth believe me!

Anyway on a serious note. I agree with you Dick about the national cancer research institutions. When my father died I smoke to someone at his funeral who told me it was madness to contribute to these places. He was a senior cancer consultant and the one who had cared for him when Dad lived in the west country. They became friends through golf.

He suggested the best cancer 'charity' was right on my doorstep. No advertising expenditure, no shops, admin costs - nothing and yet they've discovered more than all these national setups together.

It's the Ninewells Cancer Trust. Every money given goes into research and the head of the unit is very willing to donate his spare time to talking to anyone and everyone. That's a real charity.

Holl said...

Make a cheese 'n' fudge sandwich, Dick. Go on, I dare you.

I think you should be happy to have got out alive, the natives are revolting. I'm close to Bath although not a native. I might be revolting though.

Subrosa, a Freudian slip perchance?

Leg-iron said...

Many years ago I passed a place in the land of Scrumpy that was named 'Livarot'. I wonder if it's still there, or if it's now called 'Cirrhosis'?

The Mail had two stories on speed cameras today. One was all about 'Speed cameras are going to be scrapped. Hooray!'. The other was 'Speed cameras are going to be scrapped. Every car will crash. Millions will die'.

The hysteria isn't even consistent any more.

Captain Haddock said...

Fudge ? ....

You never mentioned you were visiting the LimpDums DP ... ;)