A place where I scribble a bit

Stormy Weather

Two week-ends ago it was Storm Babet that caused heavy rain and strong winds. Last week-end it was just an ordinary storm - not named - but combined with high tides caused great damage. The wall at the harbour was greatly damaged. The edges of Elcho Green had the steps damaged and made unusable along with many rail sleepers washed out - most recovered but unusable. 2ft to 3 ft sand cliffs created to make it impossible for the regular swimmers to get down or up to the beach. Meantime, the beach outside me has had sand cliffs created where the sand has been washed away and the sand banking (which contained grasses and bushes) has been washed away. The concrete steps down onto the beach are now exposed with no sand around them.

And now there is a new named storm happening today. At the moment it is mainly heavy rain but the wind is expected to get stronger.. It will last until 6am tomorrow. I'm not inclined to go out again today. One soaking is enough.

1 month ago

Save Our High Street

A number of retail outlets in the High Street have recently put up window posters asking people to "save out high street". They are asking people to sign one or two petitions. One aimed at disputing new car parking charges, the other being against the widening of pavements to the East end of the High Street.

I want to save out high street too but, not the way these "business" people, encouraged by the Community Council are doing it.

The original proposals for car parking charges were that the first 30 minutes would be free, that's now up to 45 minutes, so you have longer to do your shopping and there would be a regular turn over of vehicles. If you can't do your shopping in under 45 minutes you need to stop chatting to all and sundry I do mine in less than that and I don't use a car! I walk into the High Street, most others a capable of doing the same. Some could cycle but they need better provision for leaving their bikes. Also, I want the High Street to become car free with the provision that delivery vehicles could service the shops without the current hassle they experience from inappropriate parking. The future requires us to give up private transport and make it easier and more pleasant for people to get around.

As for the east end of the High Street, there has long been proposals to pedestrianise this area. It is quite narrow in parts, the pavements are not wide enough, they are single file only, there are times when you have to go onto the roadway to get past people looking at shop windows, past a wheelchair or a buggy. Which means stepping into traffic. As part of the "streets for people" initiative during the pandemic big street planters were placed at right angles to the road way, narrowing the road width, preventing car parking. It give more space for people to walk. More recently these planters have been moved parallel to the pavement, closer to the pavement and car users have found space to park making it difficult for pedestrians to move past other people safely. I want the pavements made wider, I want cars restricted at this end as a a first stage to banning cars altogether. Only delivery vehicles should be allowed in this area.

I am against the "save our high street" scheme, I think it's wrong, misguided, and takes no account of our future needs to move away from fossil fuels.

1 month ago

Red Button and QR Codes

In between programmes on the BBC the announcer suggests you "click the red button" to watch a specific programme. I click the red button and it takes me to the "Red Button Text Service". These announcements are completely wrong! What they should be saying is, "if you have an internet connected TV, press the red button to take you to BBC iPlayer". Not every one has a "connected TV" and the continuity announcers must be made to recognise this.

Now on Sky News they tend to encourage you to "scan the QR code" for more information. However, they don't tell you what you need to scan the code with. Apparently your need a mobile device with a specific piece of software on it to scan QR codes. How many people have a suitable hand held device or, know how to install software on it. The lack of explanation on this is very frustrating. They should not assume everyone has this knowledge and they are failing to communicate properly to the lowest, common, denominator.

1 month ago

A View From Milsey Bay

I have moved to a different web host. My previous site has been archived.

My name is Stuart Smith. I was born in my grandparent's house (Craighall Road) in July 1956 - a home birth just like my two sisters. My parents lived in Yardheads, Leith  and when I was about 6 months old they moved to a council house in Muirhouse Gardens (a property that no longer exists). Just before my 21st birthday in 1977 we as a family moved into a purchased flat in Ferry Road, Edinburgh. In 1990 I purchased my current home here in North Berwick and after completing some renovation work, mainly at weekends, started to actually live here in May 1991. My double front windows overlook a beach called Milsey Bay, hence the title above.

Formal photo of me     A relaxed image of me  Me on the sea wall

1 month ago