Beach Buddies

Whenever we’re walking along the beach in Cape Agulhas admiring the otter, we take a bag along with us to collect any plastic waste we find on the shoreline. Suiderstrand lies behind something of an offshore reef, so it doesn’t get as much flotsam and jetsam as some of the beaches in the area, but it does have a great number of fishermen (did I just assume their gender?) who leave behind miles (or more) of fishing line.

We never come back empty handed.

Further north, the problem with plastic is equally bad. And people are also doing something about it.

Yes, this preamble was merely opening for a link to a Grauniad article about Bill Dale’s Beach Buddies on the Isle of Man, with whom I have parental involvement.

Here is that link to that article.

Bit of hyperbole in the title; otherwise, it’s a nice positive piece about an important and praiseworthy volunteer organisation. And there’s a picture of Port Erin at the top.

Lovely.

As one of 52 Unesco island and coastal biosphere areas, the Isle of Man is focusing now with partners in Menorca, the Maldives, the Philippines and other islands on eliminating single-use plastic from their shores.

If that eventually puts Bill Dale out of a job, he could not be happier.

Indeed. I’d much rather have my hands free for… well… most anything else than picking up rubbish really, as I walk the beagle along our favourite bit of local coastline.

Manx SciFi news

When you see the line:

The Dalek was built by Robin Burchill, 18, from Bride, and was being operated by his girlfriend Nina.

in a news story, you just have to delve deeper.

And not do any obvious women driver jokes.

Basically, it’s the story of a bloke who builds Daleks in his spare time, whose most recent Dalek:

 

broke when it hit a pothole on (FTTH-free zone) Ramsey Promenade in the Isle of Man.

[sad trombone]

This isn’t “news”. I’m pretty sure this sort of thing happens worldwide on a daily basis.

Says Robin:

Upon completing my Dalek, I decided to take it for a test run on Ramsey Promenade. We decided to take it from the promenade over to Mooragh Park as there were a few more people over there, when crossing the road towards the park’s car park driveway, the Dalek fell into a pothole.

A test run for what? Are you planning some sort of invasion, Robin? Why go towards the people, Robin? People are scared of Daleks. I’ve seen Doctor Who – those wheelie bins with laser guns are dangerous. Were you putting some sort of evil plan into practice here?

Unfortunately, when the Dalek hit the hole, it caused significant damage, its head came off, its eye was smashed and the dome suffered a nasty gouge. Robin said both of these were quite large and fairly costly repair jobs.

Both three of them? Right.
But wait for it, folks…

He said that he had contacted Ramsey Commissioners to inquire about compensation, as the road had remained in a state of disrepair for a while.

Worth a try, I suppose. I wonder if they took the claim seriously?

Robin said: “I have to this day received no response. I imagine they did not take my claims seriously.”

Ah. Right.
But:

Ramsey Commissioners told the Manx Independent that they had not heard about an incident involving a Dalek.

And it’s really the sort of thing you’d probably remember, isn’t it?

Robin says that he is more concerned about the possibility of an elderly resident crossing the road on a mobility scooter and fears they could be injured.

Of course you are, mate.
And you were going to put your compo towards that, weren’t you? Not towards building another bloody Dalek or anything.

Ain’t no compassion like faux compassion.

Sweary tourist guide fined

Incoming from the Isle of Man…

[The TT being the annual motorcycle races there and Senior Race being (arguably) the biggest race for the week.] [Hoorah for context.]

Indeed.

I was a little confused by this story. Shouting at people isn’t a nice thing to do, and shouting at TT visitors is both rude and foolish, especially when the tourist trade on the island relies so heavily on their attendance at the Races. But despite her shouting and swearing at the visitors, she did seem to be attempting to assist them with enriching their stay:

Shelley Eileen Wardally, of Demesne Road, in Douglas, was seen by plain-clothed police officers shouting and swearing at visitors calling them ‘come-overs’ and telling them where to go.

The Isle of Man is a truly beautiful place. My spiritual home.
There are many wonderful places to visit there, many of them sequestered away from the prying eyes of the tourists. Some locals might prefer it kept that way, but Shelley is clearly all about sharing the wealth with her useful advice in “telling them where to go”.

I’m obviously not party to exactly where she suggested, but Colby Glen is an underrated hidden gem in the south of the island. Bluebells, wild garlic, a little brook running through it. I’ll bet that was included.
But then it all gets a bit weird:

…officers approached and spoke to her about her behaviour.

She then turned her abuse to the police as she swore at them telling them where to go.

Er… Shelley. These guys are from the Isle of Man. It’s likely that they are aware of all the incredible experiences it has to offer. You’re wasting your time in telling them where to go. They already know where to go.

They are fully cognisant of the local attractions, Shelley.

Why would Shelley be telling police officers where to go, then?

Wardally was said to be holding a can of Strongbow as officers approached

Ah. The Strongbow “defence”. It’s basically more of an admission of guilt.

Defence advocate Paul Glover said: “Ms Wardally informs me she had too much to drink that day and emotions got the better of her.”

I do understand, Shelley. Sometimes the sheer beauty of the Gem of God’s Earth gets to us all, and we simply can’t hold back. It’s completely overwhelming and you need to get it out of your system before you just… explode and start drunkenly shouting at tourists in Douglas.

“But for Senior Race Day this offence wouldn’t have taken place.”

As The Jacksons infamously told us: Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good time, blame it on… er… Senior Race Day.

Which happens every year.

No, Shelley – I think we need to blame it on the Strongbow.

The 46-year-old has been fined £275 after admitting being drunk and disorderly. She was also ordered to pay £125 prosecution costs.

Ja. See? The offence was ‘drunk and disorderly’, not ‘simply existing on Senior Race Day’.

This is clearly a message to anyone blurting out he location of secret sites to tourists. It seems that the Manx justice system will do anything to stop their private spots from being revealed.

Keep it to yourself next year, Shelley.

Last times…

Last time we were on the Isle of Man, it rained. It rained a lot.
It very rarely stopped raining. And then we went to Sheffield in it rained some more.

Now I know that the UK (of which the Isle of Man isn’t part), has a bit of a reputation for this kind of thing, but the summer of 2012 was unprecedented in its raininess. There were literally a couple of nice days during our entire three week stay. The Flickr collection I made is testament to this.

We deserve better this time.

Of course, I not forgetting that we did get better back in 2009. The holiday where I regularly ended up taking our toddler son out (not in an assassination kind of way) at 6am before he woke up the whole household because he’d forgotten how to sleep:

This one was taken at the Calf Sound, where there was only us, some rabbits, some seals and a small yacht.

He’s twelve now, and does sleep occasionally. I’m hoping that this holiday is one of those times.

London

Google Trips tells me that I am spending the day in London today.

Yes, the train from Paris arrived here yesterday evening, but then it was all about the dash to get down to our hosts’ place after a day of travel.

Today, we get to explore.

Last time we were in The Big Smoke was just 10 months ago on a day trip down from Sheffield. [pics]

The light was awful that day. But perfect if you wanted to get a menacing shot of a Tower of London raven.

It’s also Tynwald Day in the Isle of Man. According to Google Trips, we’ll be popping over there on Saturday morning.