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Christchurch Town Council is looking for seven community volunteers for its Neighbourhood Plan Working Group.
Applications must be in by 30th September. See full details.

This and That

28 September, 3pm

Two likely events for November have been added to Coming Up. Click and scroll down. Two high resolution pictures from yesterday added to SmugMug. Remember, they are large files and may take a few seconds to show clearly. The Header image has been updated, and it now shows horses on Stanpit Marsh, with the Priory behind.

There is a short but hopefully pleasant update on Oddments. Click the image.

A Miscellany

27 September, 5.30pm

It was cold this morning, but people were still out enjoying themselves, though warmer clothing was required. The steps are finished, the Fairmile Roadworks isn’t, and the European Union has been involved in Highcliffe! Click the image to go to today’s update.

A word about the image here. You may remember that Extinction Rebellion had displayed a poster near Waitrose, and it had been torn, presumably by some disgruntled local! Well, you have to admit that E.R. are keen. It has been replaced. There is no larger version of that picture, it did not seem worth it. Others are available – see 2 September, or scroll up from today’s update.


26 September, 1.45pm

Well, not a total defeat. After yesterday when the embedded video would not resize properly when viewed on other devices, I have changed the method of linking these videos. Instead they will open in a new window, which can then be resized as appropriate. Click the black and white image below to view.

Click the image to see the final version.

The original video has also been tidied up and improved. I have therefore removed the video links published on 25 September, below.

It’s Actually Ready (but gone now)!

25 September, 11.45am – Updated 5pm, and again at 7pm!

The Stanpit Marsh video, I mean. Incidentally, the music is from a Telemann partita, and has been used legally (through https://musopen.org). The video has now also been added to the Attractions Menu (below Stanpit Marsh).

NOTE – This has been updated. See above, 26 September, for the latest version. Those videos posted yesterday have been removed, and the original also removed from SmugMug (view all on Large Photos on the menu at the top).

A Reminder:
A week to go to apply for Christchurch Town Council 

Upstairs Downstairs

24 September, 3.15pm

Don’t be too intrigued by the title. Some might say it is not as thrilling as the iconic television series, but it was really quite exciting to see this work on the underpass steps this morning. When I arrived before 11am, one set had already been completed, so I imagine they had done a lot of work even though the torrential downpours would have been drenching them.

Click the image to go to today’s Oddment and see pictures of the workmen in action on the second set of steps. Some may, of course, prefer the modern term workpersons, but in this case they were definitely men! Click the picture.

A Short Update Today

23 September, 2.30pm

If. you are local and have looked out of the window you will see that the weather is not good. In fact, I think that is true even if you are not local! I blame a low pressure coming in from the Atlantic.

So today’s update is a short one, though interesting – I hope – and even with a touch of culture. Click the image to go to the item in Oddments.

5pm: Very high-resolution pictures (around 6Mb each) of Stanpit Marsh ponies on SmugMug. Note that on some devices these large files appear blocky until downloaded. The link opens in a new window.

On The Move

22 September, 2.30pm

This morning I went to take some final pictures of the ponies on Stanpit Marsh, for the now-infamous video. Suddenly there was a lot of honking in the distance and I looked up and saw flock of geese heading out to sea.

There was time only to get one snatched picture for the header image for this page. So you have had starlings, now you have geese!

6pm: Not a horse, not a bird: different creatures. Click the image to find out more.

Lots Around

21 September, 4pm

I mean there were lots of people taking photographs. But first, the boat has been refloated, though I don’t know how. As I was taking my very dull photograph of said boat a lady came along with a much more creative approach, similar to the gentleman at the end of the update. For more information about both, click the image.

The young man feeding the birds was definitely a willing victim!

Just For Now

20 September, 6.45pm

This does at least ease my conscience, because I have not had time to do a ‘proper’ update today. Apart from watching the football, I have spent a lot of time working on yet another video, and I am hoping that this one will be much better than the last. It is for the Attractions section, about the ponies on Stanpit Marsh; there is even some excellent music with this one. For now, two still photographs from the video, just to whet your appetite – or not! You will have to wait until, hopefully, only tomorrow.

Safety First

19 September, 7am

I confess that I had forgotten about this pavement art-with-a-purpose until the BHLiving magazine came through my door yesterday. It shows road safety measures to encourage pedestrians, and in this case particularly school pupils, to use the nearby crossing.

Click the image for the article, including the piece from BHLiving, then back to return.

Non-running Traffic

18 September, 10.30am

Click to go to the page

Once more Ambury Lane is a scene of interest (well, I think so anyway!). The old van is back. It has obviously been somewhere and returned, so it is not kept off road with a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). I am not sure what is happening, unless Ambury Lane is not a road, but then where did it go to for all those weeks? Told you it was interesting!

Then it was even more interesting to see the abandoned car still near Sainsbury’s. I didn’t think it possible, but it is now in an even worse state than before!


17 September, 7.30am

A small correction to yesterday’s Vote of Confidence result. Sadly I relied on my memory when writing the totals. In fact it was 33-39, not 33-37! The relevant page has been updated. Here also is a link to an interesting article in The Echo today.

5pm: Here is a sinking yet harmonious update on Oddments. Click the image.

5.30pm: July deleted and October added to Coming Up and October’s Council Meeting to choose new Leader added

The Meeting and the Result

16 September, 2.30pm

As you no doubt know, Cllr Slade was defeated by 33 votes to 37, so she has stepped down as Leader until the election of a new Leader on 1 October. There is much more information here.

5.30pm: First, a corrected link (complete with apology) has been received from BCP, so click the link above and this time the page will take you to the correct video.
Alternatively, here is a copy of the link.

It was also a very pleasant, calm morning, so click the image for a short update from Avon Beach and Mudeford.

Big Vote Tonight

15 September, 8.30am

As I am sure you are aware, tonight there is a Council Meeting, at the end of which will be yet another Vote of Confidence in the Leader, Cllr Vikki Slade. The meeting starts at 7pm, and the vote will take place near the end, so probably around two or more hours, though don’t blame me if you miss it! See the Agenda.

Click the image below to watch it live on YouTube in a new window (remember, 7 o’clock tonight)

On a very much lighter note, there are two more pictures of the friendly, patient butterfly. Click here and scroll down a little, below the Council Meeting.

Starlings Again

14 September, 10am

You may remember the previous header image of starlings. Well here is another one, at the top of this page. Everyone seems to ignore them, but they look spectacular sometimes, lining up nicely on the wires, though two are arguing angrily here. The new image was taken in Burton yesterday.

2pm: The Beryl bike by the footbridge is still there, 30 hours later. The lights are still going, too. I almost feel sorry for it! Click and scroll down.

6.45pm: A closer view of the starlings’ argument. I’m not sure if they are arguing, one may just be landing, but there is an onlooker on the right, clearly unsure whether to get involved. Still, a picture is worth a thousand words, though they may not, of course, be true!

Not Another One …

13 September, 8.30am

On Tuesday, September 15, there will be another Vote of Confidence at the BCP Council meeting. For more details click the picture of the main combatants!

4.15pm: It was an eventful walk this morning, and with the delight of an exceptionally co-operative and friendly butterfly.

7.15pm: It’s finished. Decent update on Oddments. Click the small picture of the horses.

Believe it or Not …

12 September, 6.30am

The oft-promised video is ready. This has been a learning curve and I am hardly out of infants’ yet, but at least I have started! The video has also been uploaded to SmugMug, which I hope will be the normal host from now on, but I have also put this one on YouTube just in case.

Click the picture to go to today’s Oddments, where you can read even more fascinating background – and actually see the video!

9.30am: Oops, I forgot to link the picture to the page. It now works.

Beryl Bikes Are Here!

11 September, 6.30am

I had been wondering what was happening with these. Already rolled out in Bournemouth and Poole, I knew that Christchurch was to be next.

So it was good to spot my first two, on Purewell near to the Stony Lane crossroads. It was a particular surprise, as I had heard nothing about it in the press, or even from the Council. The bikes are obviously dotted around, for I then saw five more in Somerford. Click the image for more details, and an interesting article with some better pictures at Highcliffe Castle in the Bournemouth Echo. Cllr Slade is even posing for a photograph, or about to enjoy a ride, on one!

5pm: Beryl Bikes are everywhere!

A Garden is a Lovesome Thing

10 September, 3pm

Guess what – I’m still working on the video! There is progress, but I don’t want to upload until it is, if not brilliant, at least good.

Anyway, today I saw Bob Hancock again, hard at work in his garden at the corner of Edward and Somerford Roads. He was repainting the carrot (can’t remember the character’s name) and showed me Buzz and Woody. I had no idea who they were, but Google provided the answer which you can see if you click the image to go to the page. There were three non-children constructions in his back garden too.

Header image, from November 2016, has been added to the Town Council page.

5.45pm: More from this morning, this time not as pleasant. Click the image, above, or here and scroll down.

Received by Email

9 September

I assume that this morning’s online Q&A session did not take place, as I suspected. The BCP Cabinet meeting lasted well over two and a half hours, starting at 10am and finishing rather before 1pm. They must have been exhausted!

The video is below if you have a spare 158 minutes!  View the agenda and reports for the meeting.

A New Page

8 September, 1pm

At last, the new Attractions page has been created and added to the menu. This page is entirely random, and you may not agree with my choice of what is interesting or attractive. High-resolution pictures have also been added to SmugMug.

Click the (definitely attractive) image to view the Attractions page.

There are currently only four items on this page, others will be added as I spot them. There is much to see in Christchurch besides the Priory, Castle, and so on.

The Dullest Update Ever!

7 September, 2.15pm

You have obviously been following the Pinebeach Nursing Home saga, over near Avon Beach. This update will be the last for some time! Click the link to read and see why.

6.15pm: Slightly more exciting. Click the image below to go to today’s update.

This Morning at the Beach

6 September, 4.30pm

Life isn’t completely back to normal yet post-lockdown, but it was getting busy even by 9.30 this morning.

The lifeguards were alert and hammering (click the image for more) and the waters, placid and calm today, were busy with people on paddle boards, or in small boats, exploring the shallow waters, or enjoying appropriately socially-distanced chats in the cloudy weather. The sun was beginning to peep through, and it was brilliant an hour or so later. Video soon, if it works!

7.45pm: I now have a new program called HitFilm, and I seem actually to be able to use it! The one below was done in about ten minutes, and it will be deleted tomorrow – hence its inclusion only on this page. It is unsteady, the water is not level, there is no structure, and there are only three clips. There are actually lots more. But hey – It’s a start! It lasts around a minute. You can see how hard the lifeguards work at the beginning. I will also be trying to run videos from SmugMug from now on.

Not Another One!

5 September 5.45pm

You may remember Brenda from Bristol who was interviewed before one of the many recent elections. She was clearly fed up with them and her angry complaint has been used frequently in the media ever since.

Well, it is not another election (‘Phew,’ I hear you say) but a Vote of Confidence in the BCP Unity Alliance. This vote will be tabled by Drew Mellor, Leader of the Conservative Group. Click him to read more about it.