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Bonkers Blog April 2010

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11 April - A foretaste of summer

The last few days have provided some welcome sunshine while the children are still off school bringing many of them to the Lesnes Abbey park and playground. Nice as it is to see them enjoying themselves, the number congregating on the pavements of Abbey Road is frightening as vehicles speed through the obstacles installed by Bexley council acting on the advice of the incompetent Andrew Bashford. He promised his political masters that making the road more dangerous would cause traffic to slow down. A few minutes spent by the speed indicator sign will show that few drivers observe the speed limit, around a quarter are exceeding 40 m.p.h. and 50+ is not all that uncommon. There is no more than a couple of feet margin to spare as vehicles pass pedestrian refuges some of which have been engineered to be mid-way between two changes of direction. We will be fortunate indeed to get through the summer without the addition of someone’s tiny mistake to Bexley’s huge one resulting in disaster.

Before 8 a.m. this morning the police were out in force on Abbey Road, four vehicles and twice as many coppers. It looked like a speed trap but they told me it wasn’t. They were simply pulling people in at random, checking their paperwork and breathalysing them. A policeman explained that too many people have too much to drink on a Saturday night and are still over the limit in the morning. It was all very low-tech. I thought that these days a number plate recognition camera linked to the D.V.L.A. database signalled which vehicles should be pulled over but there was none of that. It’s been a long time since I saw any police activity in local roads; maybe they should come back and bring a radar gun with them next time.

Lesnes Abbey park provides a wonderful opportunity for some well-needed exercise so I went for a stroll this afternoon among the picnickers, dog exercisers and children’s game playing. As I climbed the hill and the abbey ruins came into view I slowed down so that I could read the tattoos that despoiled the body of the young woman in front of me. By her side was a lad of about six years who enquired about the ruins. “It’s an old castle; it got bombed”. “When was that?” said the boy. “I think around the 1700s or 1800s” came the reply. “Was it bombed by a jet?” “I dunno what sort of plane it was”; replied mother. Should I be shocked? They don’t teach pre-Victorian history in schools any more do they?

It transpired later that the pair were climbing the hill in search of the public toilets having followed the sign at the park entrance. Needless to say the toilets were shut.


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