Is anybody listening?

Within the last month the Chichester Observer has carried two front page stories reporting on two serious accidents on the B2178. The first involved a serious injury and the second involved serious injuries and a fatality.

Chichester Observer 8th June 2011

Chichester Observer 13th May 2011

Since arriving in 2004 we have seen many accidents on this road. Everyone who uses the road regularly knows how dangerous it can be. Local residents have made constant representations to West Sussex Highways.

Yet the only response is there have not been enough fatalities to move the issue up the priority list. Once at the top of this list speed restriction measures etc will be considered.

To be fair some action was taken about a year ago – they took away the anti-skid red surface across the Hunters Race and Salthill Road junctions. Apparently this was a safety measure.

The real concern is the number of near misses that take place on a weekly basis. People overtaking cars turning right, cars pulling out in front of other cars, and emergency braking maneuvers are all part of every day life on this junction.

A simple bit of observation is all the Highways team need to adopt to make a judgement on how to prevent this road rising to the top of the fatalities list. Better still they could run the gauntlet in their own cars a few times.

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No rain to speak of for a month – or was that two?

Now, today listening to the pitter, patter outside feels weirdly refreshing. It makes you want to go and paddle.

Extraordinary weather patterns.

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Don’t try this at home

Every year I look at the daffodils, once they have gone over, and think we must be able to do better than we are. The flattened mess seems to hang around for ever.

So what do you do when you have a wedding reception when the daffodils are at their worst?


Mini haystacks.

But after nearly four hours I’m not sure I can recommend it. We’ll have one more go next year, tying them before they collapse, and see if it is any easier then.

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Only human

Joshy walking on the roof“We are a developed nation, yet when we have snowfall, it all falls apart.” Someone quoted by the BBC in response to the roads being blocked by the snow and cold temperatures.

Why do some people appear so threatened by our civilised life being disprupted by the elements and yet for others it makes them feel alive?

Surely being defeated by the elements reminds us we are only human and not gods.

So why then do we often feel far more alive knowing our humanity and often so lifeless playing god?

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Majestically bowing out

Every now and then a loud groaning, creaking noise can be heard at Sennicotts. It often happens in the middle of the night and is followed immediately by silence.

To start with we struggled to identify this noise but over the last few years we have managed to work it out. It is the sound of a grand old Horse Chestnut loosing a limb, out in the park.

There is no crashing or smashing noise, just a graceful easing to the ground of some fully laden bows.

Today saw us wake to find the largest, oldest remaining trunk had been laid down, hardly breaking a twig. The new shape remains majestic and we’ll probably wait as long as we can before the chainsaw screams into life hopefully allowing us to keep the remaining glory of this tree going for years to come.

The sheep love being able to feast on the once out of reach leaves.

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The Red Arrows

For someone who grew up under the flight path of the Red Arrows when they were stationed at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire there is always something magical about watching this world class display team. The heart beats a little faster and metaphorically I am back in shorts dreaming that one day when I am grown up I might be a Red Arrows pilot.

So one seriously good spin off of living near to Goodwood is coming under the flight path of the Red Arrows Festival of Speed display. On Friday the ‘Arrows proved too much of a distraction at the school sports day, causing the boys race to stop in its tracks as eyes turned skywards. On Saturday we had the perfect sky and I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs of the Red Arrows doing what for me was as good as a private display over our house.

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Fatal road accident outside our gate

We were very saddened to see a bunch of flowers laid outside our entrance on the main road.

We knew there had been an accident at the weekend but that is not really newsworthy on this dangerous stretch of road with multiple junctions.

Although we know nothing about the accident or those involved, this trajedy affects us more personally being so close to home.

What the bereaved might not want to hear is that we have been asking for the safety of this stretch of road to be taken more seriously by West Sussex Highways for years. However, our warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

The response has always been that reducing speed limits is not considered until the level of fatalities hits a trigger level. This rediculous policy completely fails to take into account that this is both a dangerous junction with regular accidents and it is difficult for drivers to negotiate safely.

In other words, it is a fatal accident waiting to happen which no statistics will show but which is plain to see if you use the road.

Our thoughts are with the families and friends affected by this accident.

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Parenting tip

I’m don’t know if this works for everyone but I have found however badly you are getting on with your children taking a moment to polish their shoes for them makes everything right in their world.

Am I the only one who has found this?

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