Sunday, 24 August 2008

Wansum Jazz

OK so the Wansum Jazz Festival is in full swing! Already there's people commenting on blogs saying it's a waste of time.

Well from where I am it's sounding very nice. People have braved the naff Bank Holiday weather and there's some really nice music going on.

Personally I admire the people who have braved the weather and I also admire the performers.

For once on the Bandstand at the Eastcliff there is something going on which doesn't sound like a strangled cat!

All too often events that appear on the bandstand end up mostly being panned out with awful Karaoke singing so this is a nice change.

The only thing that I think is a shame is that very little seems to happen on the bandstand during the good weather. In other words, very little appears on there during June & July.

Now I know that it's Bank Holiday weekend but what's wrong with a normal weekend?

What else can we have go on at the bandstand? There's plenty of room down there and I'd hate the council to think that as it's not used much, it's a waste so they might as well get rid of it. Lets face it, anything's possible when in comes to Councils and Spare Land.

So........... Any suggestions?

Plain Jane & Other bits of the Gazebo

Well we've obviously hit a bit of a nerve when it comes to Plain Jane and her "Column" in the Isle of Margate Gazebo!

Apparently, after more than FIVE years of doing her column, she says "I am no better at predicting which columns will get the letter flooding in- and which will bring forth a resounding Silence" - perhaps that's telling you something Jane!

According to her blog - sorry, newspaper column, she didn't expect the response that she got regarding her column in last weeks Gazebo regarding Thanet Blogging.

Had she not read any of the said blogs? If she had, maybe she'd have been more prepared for the response she recieved both on and offline!

I also see that she decided to take a swipe at Ken Gregory because of his "rude" comments about using her page to line the cat's litter tray. And her excuse for the vast amount of incorrect information in her original comments? Well they were due to writing in in the hours before going off to a wedding!!! Frankly I thought Ken's comment about the litter tray was funnier than the said article!!!! And all this from someone who's hair is several different colours!

So not only was there no care or attention to detail made to her column, from her comments this week, it would seem that she can't take what she tries to dish out!

So while we're on the subject of local newspapers, let stick with the Gazebo.................

Well the letter's page is still much the same including Eurobaiting this week from Roger Arnold from UKIP! Yes as per usual according to Roger the EU is taking TWO MILLION POUNDS "Every hour, every night and avery day" which if believed equates to £48 Million per day! Can anyone verify this?

Of course, the usual letters from Councillors verbally pulling a silly face and sticking their tongue out at other councillors continues

But "Daktari's Favourite Letter of the Week" has to be the last one that was sent by Mr. E. Brownlee which read...............

"May I send a message to the low-life postworker who stole my grandson's birthday money between Margate Genereal Post office and Broadstairs. I hope you enjoyed spending it and I wish you nothing but ill will fot the future"

Why was this my letter of the week? Well mainly to prove my point that the editor of these newspapers seriously need to look at some of the things they publish. What kind of a world are we living in when a newpaper is publishing a letter telling someone (in slightly different words) "I hope you choke on it" - well that's a really nice and sensible thing to read!

My advice to the editor? Don't publish letters like that! Pass them on to your "Reporters" who would probably be able to turn it into a bit of news. You never know, they might just enjoy doing the work!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

To Pay? Or Not To Pay?.... That, is the Prescription

Firstly my apologies for the lack of ramblings over the past few days. Yours truly has been a little on the busy side work wise but a number of people are healthier for it!

So what am I on about here? Well, although I've not had chance to ramble, I have been able to peruse other blogs and one thing that came up in one was to do with the fact that Scotland will be recieving free prescriptions from 2011.

Wales already have free prescriptions but here in good old blighty people are still having to pay £7.10 for each item on a prescription whereas in Scotland they are only £5 (work that one out!) and they are reducing it each year to eventually Zero!

Personally I think this is a bit unfair. The last time I looked, we were all still part of the UK. Is it time that we all had free prescriptions?

A number of years ago, one man went to the European Court as he thought it unfair that if you were a woman over 60 you didn't pay but if you were a man, you didn't get them free until you were 65. They deemed the practice unlawful and now anyone over 60 gets free prescriptions.

Will there be someone brave enough to do this regarding charges? Surely the variation or price or even a lack of one cannot continue.

Should we just let Scotland and Wales get on with it? Perhaps they really should go their separate ways and maybe set up passport control on the borders - I really don't know.

Not only is this grossly unfair to the people of England, but it's unfair to anyone who's income in not particularly great but doesn't fall into any of the exempt catagories

Maybe we should dig out the Wansum Channel and declare independence.

I'm thinking we could then have a new political party on the scene called the Thanet Independence Party (AKA - T.I.P.)

It's time us Englanders got something for a change!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Blogs or Newspaper Columns?

Your choice! Which one's more entertaining?

OK lets put it another way................. Thanet Blogs or Jane Wenham-Jones' (now referred to as JWJ) Column in the Isle of Margate Gazebo?

Well frankly there's no choice is there? No I'm not "Bigging up" my blog! My ramblings are just my opinion and if you wish to comment, well you're always welcome.

The reason why I say there is no choice is that the world of blogging offers us everything (well almost!). Whether you just want to find out what's been happening in your area, read someone elses opinion on a particular topic, just want a laugh. or just want to read a "verbal spat" between two people! - You can get it all on these Blogs! And in the local Gazebo? Well you can read childish comments, probably more spats (usually from councillor's in the letters section!) and some often not very well reseached "Journalism" - I use that word VERY loosely!

What's JWJ done to upset me? - Nothing, but after having read her latest blog...oops sorry, "column" about blogging, bloggers etc, I just did not find it very constructive.

Her column contained a number of inaccuracies be they either the wrong name of someone or a wrong blog address - admittedly, that was mainly Eastcliff Richard and I'm sure he's not losing any sleep over it! But for someone to suggest to it's reader to have a look at someone's blog if you've nothing better to do or there's nowt on telly, they clearly haven't done their research very well have they?

Anyway, these are the bits that tickled me when I read her column............

1. Her sarcasm regarding Tony Bignews' grammar - so what if the grammar's incorrect? At least he's having a go and frankly having read a couple of his blogs, I've discovered already that they're more informative and entertaining that JWJ!

2. JWJ used half a newspaper page on her column only to tell us "I like my rants short and sweet" - could've fooled me (and many others I'm sure)

........actually (like her columns) I could go on forever but you get the idea! If you'd like to read her article, trawl though some of the blogs on here for the link and read someone's blog along the way, I promise it'll be more entertaining!

In short, where she was trying to be funny, she wasn't. The jokes about Ken Gregory's change on party politics are so old that the mold growing on them have formed their own Folk Trio and have just had a cracking week in Broadstairs! - now if she'd said Ken was like Litmus Paper and changed colour to suit the situation (sorry Ken!) I may have laughed out loud.

I've never read any of her books and I've no desire to either - incidentally if you "want to be a writer", get yourself a pen and paper, if you put the two together, you might just be amazed at the results.

All I'll ask of JWJ...... next time, please try to get your research right, oh and keep reading Councillor Green's Blog! ;)

Nurse! - The Screens!

Friday, 15 August 2008

The main sands toilets! - and other "Rambles"

Well if you read Michael's Thanetonline blog, you'll discover that apparently the council want to install turnstiles in the toilets on the sands and make the public pay!

Now I don't know if this is the council's sneaky way of encouraging the public to buy their own toilet in the form of a Royal Sands Wendy House but to charge to go to the loo?????????

This just makes my blood boil! Just because the council's budget is not looking too healthy, they seem to want to try every money making scheme possible.

As Michael said (sad as it is), it will encourage people to use the main sands as a toilet. Sad but true, there will be people that will (not just consider!) doing just that.

Whilst we're on the subject of the seafront - and what a beautiful one we have, why oh why is the old pavillion still sitting there empty? Now before you start pointing out the obvious and saying such thing as "Well what do you suggest should be done with it?" i'm afraid my answer is "I don't know!" but then there are people around here who get paid for coming up with ideas!

It's a beautiful old building. Let's hope it doesn't rot!

Are we being watched?

Where do I start? Well I guess Eastcliff Richards Blog on the notion that we're all being watched. Frankly that doesn't surprise me.

Freedom of speech is important and we get a lot more of it here than in some countries! As old people have often told me "Two World Wars were fought for our freedom" so lets hope it stays that way.

Let's face it, in this world of technology it's inevitable that "snoops" are around. Emails can be easily read, phones easily tapped etc etc.

Mobile phones are a great example. The vast majority have them and we've all seen those cop shows where they can find out an area where that person is by triangulating the signal. With the advent of GPS I wouldn't be at all surprised if they could pinpoint each and every one of us.

There's a little paranoia in all of us. But that can be a good thing and keep us on our toes. Although I'm not into this "Nanny State" that we seem to be being pushed toward. I could go on forever about it with such examples as the Smoking Ban. We all know the "for" arguement is geared towards health but on the against side, people are being told what to do and a publican can't even be allowed to decide for themselves how to do things in their business.

So are we living in a Big Brother state? I'd say yes but that's just my opinion. I don't believe you can blame the government for the whole thing. Us consumers do make demands on a technical scale (i.e. Mobile phones with more gadgets etc) and because we want to "upgrade" all the time, we actually make it easier for them to "Snoop".

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

NHS Equitable Access Centres - The Darzi Report

For those of you not in the know, Lord Darzi's Report into the NHS recommended the introduction of Equitable Access Centres (know to us in the trade as "Darzi Centres")

To put this simply, Lord Darzi basically said that G.P.'s had had it their way for too long and as they don't seem to want to be more accessable than Monday to Friday, he's recommended that Access Treatment Centres be created. Now this is not a replacement for A & E departments at hospitals and it's not a replacement for the out of hours Doctors Service.

The idea is that one of these centres can be accessed by anyone, 7 days a week from 8am til 8pm. The centres will give you access to a G.P. Nurse or other health practitioner - depending on your query.

Now Thanet will get one of these - although the debate is on where it will go! You've got Margate councillors (sorry - "Residents") who insist that it should be in the Centre of Margate and you've got various others saying it should be around the Newington Area of Ramsgate - Although a couple of people did suggest Westwood Cross!

Regardless of where it will end up, there's been over the past few weeks, comments in the local press about this project. Mainly from Doctor Rob Sadler - a G.P. at the Eastcliff Medical Practice.

He's not happy about the idea of these centres and says it will degrade what he and his colleagues do as these centres will be accessible by everyone (even if you already have a G.P.!)

Now he can grumble all he likes about these centres but they are going to happen all over the country. If Doctor Sadler feels that strongly about it, why doesn't he open his surgery for longer for his patients? He wont because like all G.P.'s, they're on a nice little earner working Monday to Friday. Why would he want to work on a Saturday or Sunday?

So you can see where these centres would come in handy. Not only that, there are still a lot of people in Thanet who have no G.P. and this will give them the opportunity to recieve the correct level of medical care.

There's a long way to go before this project is completed. But I'm quite miffed that G.P.'s are moaning but don't want to actually make their own surgeries more accessable for their patients.

As it is, The Eastcliff Medical Practice is an amalgamation of the old Mildmay Surgery in Bellevue Road and The Addington Street Surgery on the Westcliff and are now housed up at dumpton. Not only that, underneath them is The Grange Practice (formerly known as The Grange Medical Centre). So all those people who live on the west side of Ramsgate that are patients of theirs now have to travel a fair distance to get there! The only one left in west Ramsgate is Dashwood House!

Wouldn't it be nice if your Surgery asked if you'd like them to be open on a Saturday? I think there would be an overwhelming respone of "Yes!" as the answer.

So come on Ramsgate's GP's! Don't moan about this idea unless you are going to open your surgery for longer!

Is Folk Week too big?

So the twiddly diddly music is in full swing (or should that be jig?). But is Broadstairs Folk Week getting too big?

Now before everyone gets on their high horse, what I'm trying to say is, has it outgrown itself? Is it in danger of turning into a monster? Every year we hear about how it's "Bigger & Better" and that it "brings business into the town of Broadstairs"

There's no denying that it does seem to get bigger every year but is it really bringing in that business for Broadstairs? Well the answer I believe is yes and no.

If you're a pub or eaterie then yes, it's obvious that your going to have more trade (and a perfect opportunity to get rid of that Garlic Beer that's been sitting in the cellar all year)

But is folk week really bringing in money for a lot of the other businesses? I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm just being cynical but what would visitors to folk week want to get? OK pharmacies might make a little extra with sun creams and insect repellant but I wouldn't have thought that much.

The people I feel sorry for are the ordinary residents of Broadstairs. Now obviously there will be locals who love it and others that don't. Having had to drive through Broadstairs the other day, I couldn't help but notice the rather large amount of cars parked not just in car parks but everywhere. For example, Dumpton Park Drive was a bit like driving on Top Gears Track. So many swerves around cars not parked very well. And what about residential parking? Not everyone has a driveway so they rely on "on street parking" and I'm sure there are plenty that can't park remotely close to their house.

I'm not saying lets get rid of Folk Week. It's part of Thanet and a lot of people look forward to it. But would it be worth their while in taking a breather for a year? After all, Michael Eavis has done this on the odd occasion at Glastonbury and it's done that no harm.

Incidentally, the Garlic Beer was horrid.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Thanet Leisure Farce

So last night, Mrs Daktari and I went to the theatre....... well, I say theatre.............more a big hall with chairs and a stage...................OK a Big hall that hasn't been decorated properly in years with uncomfortable chairs and a stage that looks like it was painted by Stevie Wonder! I apologise for the last comment but if your saw how bad it was, you'd probably agree!

Now where am I talking about?
A Church Hall? - NO!
A Village Hall? - NO!
A Privately Run Theatre like The Granville? - NO!

WHERE? I hear you cry. The Margate Winter Gardens of Course!

We went to see Joe Pasquale who was incredibly funny. The venue however was not! It needs more than a lick of paint!! It short, it needs a redesign.

Now before you all start lynching me, I'm aware that this costs money but if the place was done up, then maybe a lot of people wouldn't laugh at it as a venue. I would certainly think twice about going there again.

So where do I start with my moans?
Well the chairs were uncomfortable, I challenge you to book up for an event there so you can see what I mean!

Most theatre Auditoriums are at a sloped angle - meaning that if someone sits in front you, you can still see what you paid to see! - At the Winter Gardens, most of it is all on one level and really hard to see though someone's head unless you remembered to bring your X-Ray Specs!

I could go on with my moans but what's the point?

So what would I suggest is done about this Thanet Embarrassment? Well ripping out the inside and starting again. To be able to compete with other places, you have to evolve.

Now I'm not suggesting knocking the place down and rebuilding it - but perhaps that not such a bad idea. I know some people would say it's a piece of history but then some history is best left in the past.

I guess what I'm really saying is that I would really like to see the Winter Gardens become a venue to be reckoned with - not the joke/eyesore I saw last night.

At the moment, I'd rather go to Canterbury or London to see these sort of shows. Not because I'm a snob but the surroundings are important too!

Take the Granville Theatre for Example, now although it's being run by just about everyone, they're really trying hard. They realise that improvements needed to (and still do) be made. It will take them time but they're getting there! They have comfy seats, the decoration is ok and most of the productions they have there are worth being interested in. It's just a shame the Granville wont book as much in the way of the more famous performer.

So am I just being unfair to the Winter Gardens or just being honest? They've booked some great performers who embarrasingly have to perform on that stage! Sadly, I believe that sometimes to go forward, you need be a bit ruthless and make some changes.

Lets face it, I'm sure a new redesigned Winter Gardens would be far more popular than The Planned "Tuner Centre"

Buying a Ramsgate Sands Wendy House

Apologies first for not being on for a few days. The weirdy beardy Folkwits have kept me busy with their injuries whilst trying to dance to "Twiddly Diddly" Music - but more on the Broadstairs Garlic Beer Festival later!

Anyway - The Ramsgate Royal Sands Wendy House....

While Fridays Isle of Margate Gazette concentrated on an actual news story in the form of China Gate (of which you can read more on Richard Eastcliff's Blog and Michaels Bookshop Blog), the rather downmarket Margate Times Newspaper (published on Tuesdays and available across Thanet to anyone who want's to know what's happening in Margate) actually had a "Story" based in our very own beloved town of Ramsgate!
Yes there are people who are so disillusioned with their own town, their mental state of mind has made them camp out all night long to hopefully get their hands on a Royal Sands Apartment (complete with indoor seawater swimming pool!). But was this really Front Page News? Hardly, but the editor of the newspaper obviously thought it was!

Now if it was a news story about people queing to get their mitts on one of these concrete beach chalet's and then discovering that the Enviroment Agency have some rather serious concerns, then maybe it should be front page news. But the story was about 2 local sisters who queued overnight! Well I feel so much better knowing that! That really is an important bit of news that the people of Thanet needed to know!

I'm sure someone will be thinking "You're just criticising the editor of a our local paper!" and my respose is.... "You're absolutely right!" However, this is not in a vindictive way. These are just my views and observations and I just think that the lack of real news in our local newspapers is appalling! OK so lots of people like to read the tabloids - but even the editors of such papers as The Sun or The Daily Mirror know what should go on a front page!

In my youth, I had the pleasure of meeting and quizzing Harold Bull - who, even back then was a retired formed editor of the local rags and would know what when on a front page! What I'm saying is that I believe the current editor is in no way in the same league as some of the newspaper's previous editors (even the one who though he was editing "The Sun" and gave us a dubious "Page Three" every week!)

I think what I'm getting at is that I'm just not happy with the quality of "News" That appears in our local papers - and I mean all of them. When you look at other areas of the UK, some of them have really good local papers - where as ours just seem to be a bit pants!

Right, I'm now off to have a laugh at this weeks "letters to the editor" page................

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Bin Day!

Well it's thursday night and us folk on the Eastcliff are getting ready for Bin Day!

No it's not a new attraction from TDC. It's the day before we all put out our refuse to be collected by TDC. I, like many other people will be getting rid of my refuse sensibly. Indeed, I was only at the waste centre in Sandwich recycling some stuff the other day.

But do you know what annoys me? The amount of rubbish that still lines the gutters AFTER the binmen have been!

Now Richard Eastcliff I know has been passionate about the amount of rubbish that seems to be left behind from the binmen. It does seem that if a bin bag splits, a portion of it ends up on the ground and the binmen don't seem to pick this up. Perhaps they think they're doing their mates (the roadsweepers) a favour by keeping them in work. But it would be nice to see the roadsweepers around at the same sort of time!

But who exactly is to blame? Are the binmen on such a tight schedule that they can't stop to pick something up off the floor? Are some of the Eastcliff's millionaires too tight with their money and buying naff bin bags that couldn't hold a council meeting? Or maybe we should just attack the Supermarkets who sell this nasty bags that split as soon as you put anything in them?

We could spend the next year blaming each other. I on the other hand have decided to spend my money (not necessarily wisely) and buy some stong bin bags. Not only that, I actually will put my full tied up bin bag into another one for a bit more protection.

Whatever we seem to do though, I can guarantee that when I head off for my morning surgery tomorrow, the Eastcliff will probably be awash with refuse. Especially around Welly Crescent, Augusta Road and the Plains of Waterloo.

Am I alone in being annoyed at the way refuse is dealt with around here?

My first blog!

Welcome one and all to my first blog. I guess I was inspired by the ramblings of Richard Eastcliff and figured that as I also live in the millionaires playground known as the East Cliff, I'd put my spare time to some use!

Now I don't have as much time as dear Richard, but I must admit, I admire someone who takes their blogging so seriously. If only there were more of us.

Like Richard Eastcliff, I only want what's best for Thanet, Ramsgate and The East Cliff. I'll also admit that I agree with a lot of what Richard says.

So if you're passionate too, then get involved! Have your say! At least on here your voice can be heard unlike say the local rags!

I was having a good old chuckle the other day reading the letters to the editor in The Isle of Thanet Gazette and it seems to be the same old names that keep appearing. There's usually one from some chap called Adrian Ottley he's pretty vocal although I'm not keen on his views (he's a real regular I think the editor must like him!) and of course there's always the usual ones from TDC. It's usually one councillor having a go at another and then the following week the other one has a go back and frankly the people of Thanet are no better off and none the wiser!

Oh I almost forgot the obligitory letter that usually arrives from Trevor Shonk who's a member of UKIP! Now to be fair, Trevor is very passionate about the town. But UKIP? I mean come on! Whether we like it or not, Thanet gets a great deal of (although we do need more) dosh from the EU! So if UKIP were in power, we'd no longer be in the EU. So how would we get that funding? Can anyone enlighten me?

And then of course going back to the local rags, we have the ramblings of various politicians. Steve Ladyman in one, Roger Gale in another and as the Gazette managed to upset dear old Roger we now have "Ezekiel's View"! Starring the leader of the Council, Sandy Ezekiel! And usually consists of how good a job he thinks the Tories are doing!

So tonight I leave you with this thought.......................................
In the bible Ezekiel was a prophet..................... is our very own Ezekiel looking to make a profit by trying to sell off the Towns family silver? I.E. The old Motor Museum, Albion House and many others!

Enough of my ramblings for tonight, nurse is calling me to continue dishing out the medication!