||Chidham resident mounts Polar Expedition to Waitrose, Chichester .
In any high powered polar expedition, the key to success is in the preparation, the equipment, and the timing. Being the first is nice but not essential. It's the taking part….
For our expedition, preparation had included digging away the snow and ice to get the dog sled out, and equipment included a very useful spade. I would have taken sufficient rations to allow us to survive stuck in a snow drift until spring, but unfortunately we were short on rations….. On the plus side this supplied the motivation for the expedition.
Timing was a complex assessment of the conditions on the ground, the weather forecast, and sticking a wet finger in the air – our judgement was totally vindicated as we approached the area of the planned camp for the final assault, as the place was packed with competing expeditions. There was hardly anywhere to park the dogsled, let alone pitch camp.
With our goal in sight, we set off across the ice field, and made excellent progress despite the freezing conditions. But as other polar expeditions have found, the real challenge was the return journey, although reversing the normal situation, we had extra supplies on our return journey.
Perhaps I was just a little overconfident as I stepped out on to the ice field. With hindsight we should have been roped together. Without warning I fell down a crevasse. Fortunately I was brought up short after falling about six feet, when I hit the bottom.
With no great damage done apart from some severe bruising to my pride, I was able to continue without calling for an international rescue attempt. We polar adventurers learn to take this sort of thing in our stride.
Have I learnt my lesson? Well I might try the Co-op or the Farm shop next time.
|New Captain for local Football team?
||David Cameron to captain combined Chidham and Hambrook football team?
You may have read the report of the football match between Chidham FC and Hambrook Hammers. There is now a suggestion that a combined team should be fielded to compete with established teams like Bosham.
However this would present a selection problem. Who would captain the team? Would it be David Cecil of Chidham, or Cameron Bradshaw of Hambrook. After some discussion in the pub, it was suggested that the sensible compromise was to invite David Cameron to captain the team on the grounds that he had a suitable sort of name, might be available, and would probably relish the prospect of this sort of power. An alternative name suggested was Cecil Bradshaw, who may be better known to some people, and, it was argued, might well be a better player.
But then how to choose between these two compromise candidates? The answer could well be an election. It is rumoured that there were plans to give every one a chance to have their say, with a votein the near future. However, it seems Cameron has bottled out, probably concerned about the responsibility involved, and preferring to criticise team performance from the touchline.
In case you were wondering, just like proper, that is paid, journalists, we will reject all calls to reveal our sources for this special news item. Just as well in the circumstances.
|Celebrities support 'Save a Cow' Book sale
|Parish Council warns of the dangers of sunbathing at this time of year.
||The sun is very strong at this time of year, and a recent case of a visitor to Cobnor who took the practice of sunbathing to extremes (see picture below) has spurred the Parish Council into issuing a Health Warning.
A spokesperson said that one of the consequences of global warming was that our delicate skins were at risk from the harsh rays of the sun. Like the unfortunate visitor to Cobnor, we could get burnt, even though global warning had not yet resulted in the predicted rise in sea temperatures, melting of the polar ice caps and subsequent inundation of low lying coastal areas.
|The Picture shows the Cobnor sunbather as unsuccessful attempts were made to move the casualty without the use of a stretcher.
On reflection he conceded that once areas like Cobnor had been inundated by rising sea levels there were likely to be fewer people sunbathing there, so that the problem could, to some extent, be self compensating.
As a side issue, trying to swallow apples whole was also not recommended by the Parish Council.
However not all people agree with the Council initiative. A leading local naturist argued that sunbathing was a crackling good activity, and the council should be roasted for their pig-ignorant attempt to hog the publicity limelight.
When asked about the Council spokesperson’s ‘apple’ comments a core member of the local association of fruit and veg growers remarked “What sauce! He doesn’t know his artichokes from his eggplants! Apples are a healthy part of the diet, and in blaming an apple for the demise of the Cobnor sunbather the Council spokesperson has made himself look a complete turnip.”
|Balloon Race Winner Declared after Stewards Enquiry.
||One of the attractions at the Nutbourne Centenary Community Fun Day organised by the Chidham and Hambrook Website Association, was the Grand Balloon Race. Large numbers of balloons were released in a generally easterly direction, some rising spectacularly, others just clearing the trees, powered by a strong westerly wind. Since it was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine and a strong wind, we can say that they soon disappeared into the wide blue yonder.
On the Sunday after the event and the release of the balloons, Parish Councillor Steve Clark, the Fun Day organiser, went on a well earned holiday with his family to Holland .
Imagine his surprise and excitement when, on his return, he found waiting for him in the post on his doormat, an envelope from Holland with one of the balloons. Surprise turned to disappointment and disbelief when the balloon winner was identified as Stephen Johnson, Chidham and Hambrook website webmaster.
Steve Clark says he is gutted. The reason he went on holiday to Holland was because he thought he had a good chance of winning the balloon race, and that when he came home and found that the race had in fact been won by Stephen Johnson he realised that there must have been some terrible mix up.
Stephen Johnson is reported to have said that he was delighted to win the race, and only slightly surprised. He admitted that of the other entries, Steve Clark’s balloon was very heavily fancied, and he also thought that balloon race organiser Mike Smith, who attracted a lot of late backing, had to be in with a good chance.
Cryptically he added “In this sort of race, you have got to know the form.”
When asked how he was going to spend his winnings, he said “Well first of all I have got to pay off my overheads and then I am going to take a nice long holiday in the sun. “
Travelling by balloon, presumably.
| Parish Council and WI mobilize against Russian billionaire bid attempt
||Parish Council and WI mobilize against Russian billionaire bid attempt
Clearly the possibility of a Russian billionaire acquiring the Chidham and Hambrook website would be of concern to the Parish Council, (see Spoof news -Mystery bidder stalks website) and it is thought that plans for a counter-bid from the Council could be forthcoming. However the Council would have to have substantial funds available to win a bidding war against the likes of Roman Abramovitch. To raise these sorts of sums the Council would have to increase the Parish Precept – part of the Council tax by in the region of £1000 per household.
Asked if the electorate would back such a bid if it meant a £1000 increase in Council tax for households in the Parish, a source claiming to understand Council policy in this area said “The Council can’t afford to hang around while people make up their minds. Councillors are all elected representatives, and if the electorate don’t like it they will be voted out of office. Fortunately the electorate won’t be able to do this before the website has been saved for the village.”
The WI is also considering its position. It is thought that a bid by the WI on its own is unlikely, but it may form a consortium with the Parish Council. Links between the two organizations in Chidham are close. The WI has the capability of raising substantial funds at short notice by way of a sale of cakes and other home baked items. But even if the WI plans to be a 50:50 partner with the Parish Council, they will clearly have to sell a lot of cakes. This could be as many as 250 per village household as a rough and ready estimate. Whether or not the WI is able to bake that number of cakes would be a real test of their legendary capabilities.
When challenged on whether or not the WI would be able to sell 250 cakes to every household in the village, a spokesperson said they were exploring to see if such purchases could be offset against Council Tax, which would make the scheme much more attractive, and if all else failed, they would sell the left over cakes to people in Nutbourne. A further difficulty could be that baking this number of cakes requires considerable oven capacity and would be a significant drain on strained gas and electricity supplies. However the WI already has a contingency plan for this. They have a scheme, code named “Half baked” whereby the cakes will be half baked, thus saving on both energy and oven capacity. An added bonus is that the scheme allows the purchaser to complete the baking for that ‘fresh baked’ taste.
| Mystery bidder stalks website
||The news that the Friends Reunited website has been bought by ITV for £120m has sent shockwaves through the chidhamandhambrook website team. Rumours that a similar bid was on the cards for the Chidham and Hambrook website have run like wildfire around the tightly knit internet community in the village.
When challenged on the question, and about the sort of sums that could be involved, a member of the website team, who asked not to be identified, said “If the mystery company came forward with even 1% of this sort of sum, it would keep us in beer and girlfriends for as long as ……..” He seems to have been struck speechless at this point and was clearly actively considering the possibility.
The discovery of the website translated into a language believed to be Spanish fuelled rumours that a foreign bidder could be involved.
A spokesman for the website denied that this was evidence that the team planned to launch a Spanish language edition of the website. He claimed there were no plans for any European language editions yet, but did not rule out a Russian Language version if a Russian billionaire showed sufficient interest.
Clearly the situation is developing fast. Watch this space for further developments
|Tower casts a shadow over Chidham and Hambrook
||Alerted by the story on the front page of www.chidhamandhambrook.info a group of residents has become alarmed by the proximity of the170m Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower . This centres around the fact that the tower will have a very good view of what is going on in Chidham and Hambrook, and residents are concerned that they will be spied on by the estimated 460,000 visitors per annum, all probably armed with high powered binoculars.
The residents are considering taking legal advice with a view to mounting a challenge to the planning authority about the legal validity of the planning permission obtained for the tower, if indeed planning permission was ever sought. If the challenge is successful, the local authority could be required to reduce the height of the tower to a level consistent with other buildings in that part of Portsmouth, and it is thought that this would somewhat diminish the attraction of the tower to tourists, although it might well solve the technical problems associated with the panoramic lift once and for all.
Of course, one possibility would be for the authority to insist that the glass windows of the viewing area be replaced with obscure glass, a floral pattern, or something suitably nautical. We think this would be entirely unsatisfactory because obscure glass is never as obscure as you think it should be, and you can’t be too careful. “A resident who preferred not to be named said “It’s all very well trying to boost tourism in Portsmouth , but I don’t want 460,000 people staring into my back garden, and I know Mrs X next door would not want it either. There is no telling what they might see going on.”
|| A spokesperson for the group said
“We are optimistic about the prospects for legal action. This is not like putting a new dormer window in the roof, or building on top of a garage. This thing is 170 metres high and structures with windows that overlook otherwise private areas are definitely not allowed. If I wanted to put up a 170 metre tower in my back garden, the chances of getting planning permission would be pretty slim, I can tell you, never mind how many friends I had on the planning committee. "
|The Spinnaker Tower, photo from Cot Lane, Chidham
(or should that be just 'Stop' )
|It is reported that a local nursery man poisoned himself by accidentally eating a daffodil bulb instead of an onion. Fortunately he is recovering. Doctors at St Richard's, said "it's a slow process, but he should be out in the spring."
|The end of the A27 as we know it?
|Brought back by huge popular demand, the Highways Agency is going to have another go at silencing the monster that roars between Havant and Chichester . You may wonder why they did not do the whole job in one go. After all, assembling all the men and machinery in one place, only to leave a few kilometres in the middle to be done at a later date, might seem a hugely wasteful and profligate approach. Of course, it could be there wasn’t enough money to do the job, or it could be that the one had something to do with the other. And then again, the good people who manage this project surely needed the best part of the summer as holiday, and the road wasn’t going to go anywhere, so to speak.
Do we really want to consign it to history, or should it be preserved as a testament to the magnificent myopia of the road builders of yesteryear?
Frankly, I will miss the friendly roar of the old concrete surface. It was one of the wonders of this part of the world, a road with its own capacity to warn you of its presence when you are still a couple of miles off.
And what about the vibration associated with those concrete ridges when driving over it? You could pay a fortune for that kind of all over body massage in an alternative therapy centre.
Then there are the navigational benefits. You could be driving along the A27 with your eyes shut, (please don’t try this at home) and as soon as you hit the concrete surface, and the car starts vibrating, the windscreen wipers fall off etc, you would say to yourself, "No need to bother with this newfangled GPS, I know exactly where I am."
Perhaps on reflection, we should settle for the occasional trips back down memory lane, when they close the A27 (accidents, flooding, resurfacing, just for the hell of it, and ‘because we can’!) and divert traffic through the A259 once again – just like the old days.
|Parish Plan published
|If you haven't already, you are likely to be confronted with a uninvited visitor knocking on your front door and trying to press a copy of the Parish Plan into your hand. This plan has been put together by a small band of highly motivated fanatics. There is no need to be alarmed. Your visitor is probably completely harmless.
The best approach is to speak in a firm and reasonable voice and ask the visitor to get off your property. Don't let him leave you with anything you don't want, and if he doesn't go willingly, a fit of hysterical screaming will probably do the trick. If you are trying the reasonable approach, you could ask why he (or she) did not just drop the Parish Plan through the letter box, rather than interrupting your Sunday snooze. This may cause the visitor to have a fit of stammering or other responses such as purple face, snorts of rage, apoplexy etc. If you feel the situation warrants setting your pet German Shepherd loose on the visitor, give him a ten second start. That would be a fair and reasonable approach. You may be surprised how far a middle aged man can travel in 10 seconds when he is truly motivated..
Reports that three Hovercraft will be surveying Chichester Harbour for mud have caused quite a stir. It is thought that the chances of finding mud in significant quanties are good. What the consequences for the local economy are, is not clear at this point, but there are (probably) concerns about the effect on house prices and possible planning blight, but these concerns are balanced by the boost to local employment that the discovery of mud in economic quantities could (possibly) bring.
Some say we have to make up our minds where we stand on this complex issue. Official reports are likely to be filled with a mass of scientific detail, and others say it is best not to stand on it because with issues like this, it is easy to get sucked in and bogged down.
|Organ recital at Chidham Church
||Twinkle Twinkle Rod Starr to play recital
Rod Starr will be at it again on his organ on Sept 2nd. Although when asked, Rod said he would be playing some of the best known organ voluntaries, it is thought that he will also play requests. This is your chance to hear Rod interpret you favourite music on St Mary's historic, even antique, organ. Please send in your requests as soon as possible. Rod is adept at playing all styles of music, so if Glenn Miller or Lonnie Donegan is your thing, get your request in now. Or perhaps you go for Madonna or Joss Stone - all grist to the mill of our 'Starr' of the keyboards. If you are in to Garage or House, this may have to wait for the installation of a new multi megawatt sound system that will be installed soon. Rod has high hopes of the new sound system and says he expects that once it is installed, he will be able to blow your mind, the windows and the audience clean away. Get your requests in to Rod straight away - I am sure he will want to have plenty of time to practice.